Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You gotta play 8 in morning drive!

In most PPM markets, all-talk or information based morning shows on music stations aren't earning their stripes. You have to play 6-8 songs. The basic personality verses music clocks should accompany the listener in their morning routine. 

2 songs

2 songs

2 songs

2 songs

PPM panelists and meter holders like a combination of music and entertainment/information. We've mentioned this before, but it's worth repeating like any good power record.

Here are the changes that personalities must embrace if they are to survive:

1. Shorten bits. A wandering five minute story was never entertaining, but now we can see it in the numbers. If panelists aren’t listening to morning shows much more than a few minutes, there has to be a pay-off every few minutes.

2. Ruthlessly edit your material. Now every word counts. Bits need to be shorter, but equally importantly, they need to get to the point quickly.

3. Talk to the listener. Teams must avoid the temptation to focus on each other. Talk about things that touch everyone. (Hint: most people don’t play golf.)

4. Constantly create surprises. Reoccurring elements made sense with longer listening spans. Today’s drive-by listening demands change and surprise.

5. Balance entertainment with information. Tell the listener something he or she doesn’t know but should.

6. Understand what is important for your listeners. Be in touch with what they are talking about, what they like and dislike, and the things that get their attention.

7. Be honest with the listener. Today’s listener has a very sensitive B.S. meter and we can no longer fake interest or relevancy.

8. Don’t “break” for news and commercials. Weave all elements on the station into a single cohesive product.


  1. Or just say "the hell with it". Why showcase for a herd of Walmart rejects who may or may not ever be on a PPM panel.? PPM is designed to reinforce programming which will blow up broadcast radio for the final time & leave nothing but weather on the nines.

  2. Good point - But smart programmers are not over reacting to it and making great radio.