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QUESTION FOR DAN O'DAY:

I'm really debating with myself these days on something. Your insight, please. As of the fall book, the morning show pulled a 4.4 share with men 25-54 (our classic rock target). My competitor is a guy named Chuck... he pulled a 13. He owns the men in this market and has for about ten years. He's a local issue-type jock. Lots of talk, phones, etc. Very little music, if any.

The PD and consultant have me doing lots of music, games, and "parody songs, commercials, and occasional stunts". Chuck is killing me in the 8-9 hour. My phones are dead, and I'm having tremendous difficulty making it ring. It's only the contest pigs that bother me at that time.... the same ten people.

I'm not a fan of benchmarks, but some of my popular elements, like Mr. Manly, Chef Perry (from the Premiere Rock Network), Classic Rock Challenge (a daily music-based game) - should I lock these in at SET TIMES in the 8:00 hour? Is it possible (I've only been on for 90 days here), that I can possibly "steal" some of his men for these popular bits for the few minutes they're on my airwaves? Should I, at this early point in my tenure here, take anyone I can get, for the precious moments they'll give me?"

Is it even possible to expect these Chuck fans to break their 10-year habit during that hour?

DAN REPLIES:

Although in general I reject the idea of benchmarked entertainment features, I agree with your thinking....In the short-term, at least.

If you really do have some listener-grabbers, it might be good to lock them into the 8-9 hour at more or less predictable times.

That doesn't mean you can't play them earlier though; they could be recycled in the 8-9 hour. And you could promote them heavily 7-8.

>The PD and consultant have me doing lots of music, games, and

"parody songs, commercials, and occasional stunts".<

When they hired you, is that what:

A) They told you they wanted you do?

B) You told them you wanted to do?

If not, it sounds like they are trying to force someone else's personality onto your show.

>Is it even possible to expect these Chuck fans to break their 10 year habit during that hour?<

Sure, if you have the budget. Have a daily $1,000 trivia question between 8 and 9...and give the answer once per half-hour between 6 and 8. (And put it on a billboard or tv spot, to attract his listeners.)

Of course, if you don't have a budget for that, you can't do it.

It sounds like you do better against Chuck in the earlier hours. Why?

Is he losing them, or are you winning them?

If you're winning them, why can't you continue to do in the 8-9 hour what worked so well in the 7-8?

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