There was a day when radio morning shows too could capture a listener's attention with outrageous, off-the-wall behavior. The radio industry once had hometown Charlie Sheens throughout America.
They created controversy. They created GM headaches, but they created water-cooler talk. And they produced box-car morning ratings.
Is that any way to fire up an audience? Is that the sort of content that will keep people in their cars after they’ve gotten to work to see how things turn out?
No. Absolutely not.
Local radio morning shows simply cannot successfully compete directly against television morning shows. National TV shows have the big hosts. They have the big interviews. They have the fancy graphics, cut-aways, and on-location reports. And local TV morning shows just ride their coat-tails.
Radio needs some tiger blood.
Radio was once the medium that tested the limits of good taste. Radio was once the machine behind many TV newscast kickers. But no more.
Now it is Charlie Sheen, YouTube videos, the Daily Show, Jersey Shore, Real Housewives, and Skins that people talk about and discuss on social networks.
Today, the average prime-time basic cable television viewer sees more off-the-wall craziness in a single evening than today’s staid radio morning show produces in a year. Radio has become cautious, even prudish, at a time when the country is headed in the other direction.
Morning shows seem frozen in place reflecting the community standards of Happy Days while radio listeners are busy downloading fart apps.
Whatever you think of today’s moral climate, of America’s 21st century sense of humor and entertainment, radio has to be the medium that reflects where America is today, not when The Osbournes were cutting edge.
Want to get some double digit morning numbers? Stop sounding like Fox and Friends.