It's been a crazy year for morning radio, especially in the wake of Howard Stern's exodus to Sirius. Everyone knows about the many efforts to try and replace Stern at both CBS stations, as well as stations owned by other companies.
No matter where you come down on this, our strong sense is that Stern's departure exposed the talent drought in radio. Morning shows certainly don't grow on trees, and perhaps radio's addiction to simple syndicated solutions increased the difficulty of developing solid local talent.
That's why it's interesting that while all of this Stern drama has been playing out, the team at Q101 in Chicago, along with Dave Beasing, had been working on a completely different strategy. Parting ties with long-time syndicated talent Mancow earlier in the year, they began developing and recruiting something very different for Q101 mornings.
"The Morning Fix" has been on the air for about six weeks, and of course, it's too early to judge Arbitron results. But what's interesting here is the architecture of the show, and the way that talent was located and auditioned. In short, it was a very unique process that broke many of the conventional rules about how to find and grow personality shows.
The story of "The Morning Fix" was recently told in a nice piece by Mike Stern and Dave that appeared in FMQB. Our website has that story, some audio examples, and some of the publicity the show has already garnered.
We hear a lot of talk about “content creation,” but this is a case where it’s really happening. We’ll all be watching Arbitron very closely over the next year, but we believe the process that went into the creation of “The Morning Fix” represents the commitment it will take to be competitive in the new media world.