Permission to Talk

There are at least two kinds of morning shows in the world: The kind folks know and the kind they don’t, the new kind.

The kind folks know and have heard before have lattitude that the new kind doesn’t have. The better they know you (if you’re the host) and the more they like you and what you say, the more liberties you have to skip the songs and entertain the masses with your brilliance.

The less they know you and the less likely they are to have heard you before, the fewer liberties you have to skip the songs and the more important the songs become in building a bridge between what folks know and love (the songs) and what they don’t – yet (you).

In one market I’m thinking of there are two new morning shows. The first is all-talk and the second plays 8 or so songs per hour. Both started at about the same time. The all-talk one is a “bigger name” than the music/talk mix one, but still a brand new show.

And the one with the songs is significantly higher rated.

Not even close.

The songs act as the “bridge” to places unknown to the listener. The right to talk and only talk is one that must be granted by the audience. And they’ll only do that after they’ve gotten to know you.

They have to cross the bridge to your morning show in the first place. If you try “all-talk” on a new show without that bridge, you’re erecting a “Keep Out” sign for potential listeners.

And your going will be slow, indeed, unless the show is a huge left-turn from the norm. And nowadays, those huge left-turns are rare.

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