Thursday, June 10, 2010

What makes great morning show topics?

I made a list of the weirdest and most received morning show topics in 2007 while at KHGE Fresno. Although they represented Fresno, they give you an outline of what would work as phone starters for morning radio on a Country Music Radio station. The topics ran from guys pissing in the yard because they didn't want to come into the house to fighting with neighbors.

We learned this at WCTO Allentown with the now infamous Ken and Kitty morning show, any thing that involves family, that is sublime and weird gets the phones going. I remember the day I told Ken, "You need to be talking about the gay councilman scandal in Philadelphia". Ken said we tried and they responded to a burning box on Highway 22 in the middle of the fast lane. I never tried again to insert topic suggestions. 

Never try to force fashion - Let the morning show audience guide the topics and interactions. Kevin Metheny once told me "Great phones beget great phones." Once you get them going, it takes off. How you interact with the callers is most important. If you come off flippant or inside, with announcer pabulum, then it doesn't make an impact. You can't use weird topics and try to rise above the street level, redneck of it. You then need to share a story or life style injection of your own. 


  1. My phones took off after a passing comment about someone drinking a spit-cup. My partner didn't believe that stuff happens. Well listeners shared their stories of seeing it happen and even a personal experience. All from a short comment.

  2. I only use "reaction" topics. You have to know that what you are talking about will make people react even if they aren't on the phone. And pick a side. You need to pick a's ok to go against the grain! Great stuff Chuck, I love reading your stuff!
    Jesse James

  3. See BCD was working with one of those. I call prude morning show co-hosts that react like Barbie Dolls to everything redneck - The co-host needs to falling on the floor laughing too.