You can always tell the difference between an elite well prepped breakfast show to those shows in the same market that are simply phoning it in. The Dead giveaway? Breakfast re-plays in the 6am Radio Wasteland. I’ve heard the same excuse time and time again, “We just can’t get calls in the 6am – it’s too early”. Maybe your right but is that an excuse to take the foot off the gas and indicate to your listeners you simply can’t be bothered trying?

If you are not getting calls in the 6am hour then you have three choices and replaying your best bits from the day before is not one of them.

  • Come up with some content that doesn’t require the phones to ring.
  • Train you listeners to call by setting up some carrot ? calls the day before.

If you are planning your show on the 70/30 ratio (70% planned/ 30% unplanned) you should have a good idea of what the phone topics are going to be. Get some callers in the bank so that if the phones don’t light up in the morning at least the listeners are getting the full service albeit with fake calls for now but they will eventually realize that they too can be apart of the show .

  • Tailor make your content to listeners that you know are listening at that time of the day (Tradies & gym junkies).

Melbourne’s FOX FM have been running a really great benchmark over the last couple of years called Tradie-O-kie; it’s where tradies will call into the show and sing their chosen song to win the daily prize. Every single morning with out fail they are getting calls – Why? Because they have honed in on a particular audience that are listening at that time of the day. The tradies love it because they are winning decent prizes at that time of the day and if you are not a tradie well your pay off off is that plumbers are trying to belt out a Madonna number at 6:45am in the morning.

Your listeners have gotten out of bed, they are on the way to the gym, they are making their way into the office earlier then usual. What ever it is that your early morning listener is doing they have also chosen to make you apart of their early morning routine. The very least you can do is schedule that replay that you had planned on a Saturday morning where it belongs and get back behind that microphone.

If you have found this article helpful then you may want to consider buying the brand new book “Airheads – A guide to great Radio”. In there you will find some great insights into the radio industry in Australia. “When i got into the game there was never a handbook, so i thought I’d write one”.