The Morning Show Prep Guide

Dave Charles – ByrnesMedia

We know that the Morning Show is the engine that drives our stations to success. So much of our time in consulting begins with all aspects of developing a great Morning Show.

Talent is the most important part, it’s what sets one show apart from another.  You’ve got to have the right players to achieve the engagement and relationship with your audience. Having the right mix of entertainment, relevant engagement and superb local content is essential to building the best Morning Show.

ByrnesMedia’s consulting team has recently updated our ‘Morning Show Prep Guide’ to help your Morning Shows generate quality content and focus on things that really matter to their audience.

The topics and headings are based on Morning Show research from many domestic and international markets consulted by the ByrnesMedia team. 

As we updated this guide, we added a Twitter and Facebook section, as new media is part of most listeners’ everyday lives and we need to reflect this.  We also believe that there’s value in doing a Morning Show Blog, provided you have strong writing skills, and you have the discipline and content to update it frequently. However, please have someone proof the content for spelling mistakes, grammar and typos before you publish your blog. All too often, good verbal communicators seem to be challenged when it comes to writing.  Twitter is also a great way to connect with your audience, provided you know how to effectively use this tool and your content is of interest to your audience. 

What happened overnight?

There is a sense of urgency in world, national and local news.  When your audience gets their first news fix they need to know the key local and big stories of the day.  Local stories first unless there is a major world story like North Korea goes to war with South Korea.  The key is to make sure that your audience knows when they go to work that day that they will have, from you, the top stories.  Remember that information is like currency.  Make sure that you continue to put value into your information.  Make sure that you deliver breaking news immediately.  Remember that Twitter broke the Haitian earthquake, and the Tiger Woods stories first, before other news sources could make a move. 

What will people be talking about today?

In addition to local and major news, your audience will be talking about local events that affect their lives.  The economy, road closures, stock markets, stories that inspire, the big game, entertainment news and reality.  People are now using Twitter, Facebook and favourite websites to access more personal and specific information.  This is why we recommend that you become part of this new media engagement.  People will talk to you if you engage them in a more personal way. 

Local people in the news

Local issues and people have much more importance in our community lives.  It’s therefore essential that you be on top of those people in your market that are of interest.  Morning Shows need to dig deep to find out the real story.  We recommend that when someone makes the news, the Morning Show interviews them to get more of the personal side of the story.  This has much more appeal and will help to make your Morning Show more attractive.  Example:  ‘Morning Show to the Rescue’ is always a good thing to demonstrate the care that your station has for the people in its community.  A family just lost their home and all its personal possessions. We’d like to help them get back on their feet through the generosity of our audience.  Use the power of your listeners to help.   There are other ways to acknowledge local people in the news.  Make sure that when the situation is appropriate, you ‘seize the moment’ and own the local position in your market.

News that affects your lifestyle

Lifestyle, by definition, means how your audience lives their lives.  What are the key areas that they are most interested in knowing about?  We would certainly recommend doing research to find out what areas are most important to your audience. Often, we forget the power and importance of local radio regarding lifestyle issues.  Health, schools, child safety, education, local community events and keeping your community outlook strong and viable. Morning Shows need to capture the essence of lifestyle issues.  Start by generating a list of lifestyle issues that are top of mind.  Use these topics as filters so that news and relevant information can be passed along. 

Entertainment News of the Day

We created a news feature called ‘News Circus.’ It featured some of the more bizarre and unusual stories in the world of show business.  Hollywood, movie and music news add a fun element to every Morning Show.  Look for the big show biz story and find new angles to keep the story fresh.  The Tiger Woods scandal certainly occupied much of the entertainment news over the last 5 months.  Make sure you get a variety of entertainment news on the Morning Show.  For example, top 5 movies for the last week; top music downloads and selling CDs of the week; new DVD releases; live concerts and major sporting events all rank high on the average listener’s list of entertainment interests.

If you would like a copy of our morning show guide send an email request to