05 Aug Wednesday, July 31, 2019
This Week in The Lund Letter:
> Once music is perfect, get mornings in gear
> The ratings are out; now what?
> Meet listeners face to face
> A newspaper does streaming video… plus other Trends
Lund Programming Clinic: Rules of Great Programming, Part III
The top stations have these “rules” in common. In recent issues we’ve listed eleven that assure you play the right music. If these rules are followed, you’re on target. Market leaders in audience and revenue need to win in several areas, not just music.
The morning show is the cornerstone of virtually all successful radio stations. TV networks will win the entire evening with a strong “anchor show” as the lead-in to prime time. In radio, the highest profile talent(s) in the morning garners attention, creates talk about the station, and builds a giant audience. While music programming is locally generated on America’s top stations, the morning show may be either local or syndicated.
Mornings Rule #1: “How goes the morning, so goes the day.” The radio station’s cumulative audience comes for the morning show, tunes in for several occasions, and if they like what they hear, they will listen midday and afternoons. Morning show talents need to be developed and coached to produce terrific performances. Appointment listening occurs when the personalities present regular benchmarks at the same time daily, and all bits are promoted ahead to insure audience recycling. The morning show is the store front; when it is great, people want to come into the store. It’s also the cume magnet; in Nielsen diary markets the most listeners are tuning into the morning show – and the goal is entertain them and get them to listen midday and afternoon.
Mornings Rule #2: Have incredibly interesting content. Morning show qualities include an incredibly great talent or talents, daily awareness of the “the Big Event,” humor, listener interaction, information, promoting ahead, best tested music (if music is played), and content that makes this the most talked about show in the market and required listening for fans. The morning show gets noticed and attains word-of-mouth talk that contributes to the station’s marketing efforts. Above all, in AM drive, the station is totally in sync with the listener.
Mornings Rule #3: News is relatable. Part of the morning programming is information. While formal newscasts are disappearing on music FMs, listeners still want to know what’s trending with interesting stories delivered in the language of the audience. Information is interesting and presented in a way to garner attention and continued listening. Weather is abbreviated to what listeners need to know today.
Mornings Rule #4: Daily success in getting “there” requires a map. Great morning shows are a result of preparation. Talents prep their shows and regularly work with the Program Director in show improvement sessions. A show is planned ahead of time – not on the fly when a song plays. Morning show mapping occurs daily even though the show sounds spontaneous. A written planner helps sort the hours of prep material as the show presents local relatability. What are the listeners feeling?
Mornings Rule #5: The personality is sensitive. The morning talent reflects the image of the station and core listener. In addition to morning personality appearances, the station activities and promotions are promoted in the morning. The morning show is a mirror that gives the listener a reflection of what’s happening in the local area. The talents are typically fun, funny, and memorable. In fact, winning shows are usually the most fun on the dial, and the on-air presentation keeps the “Fun Quotient” at flood stage.
Coming up next week, the Morning Show Rules continue… Getting attention and asking to be tuned in again!
Lund Report: Spring Ratings
The spring ratings are being released now. If the news is terrific, have a plan of action:
+ If you talk about the numbers on-air, act gracious and grateful to listeners.
+ Hand-deliver a quick sales piece to clients with whom ratings influence their buying.
+ Send a press release to the local newspaper who may want the ratings story.
+ After you’ve digested the ratings, hold a strategic meeting to outline plans for fall.
And if it’s not so great:
> If there’s a cume problem, it may mean you need more promotions and marketing.
> If TSL did not improve, study the music, contesting, and recycling.
Study the options and refresh your sound for fall. Find solutions to pesky problems and challenges.
Are Your Stations On Track To Grow?
Set a strategy to build a bigger audience in fall. The Lund Strategic Programming Evaluation provides an in-depth analysis of your stations. We monitor and review on-air programming, ratings and website content. We identify strengths and weaknesses of your stations and key competitors and provide a comprehensive music software analysis with improvements based on solid research.
For more info on a station analysis, email John Lund.