It Is Time To Change The Breakfast Hour Clocks?

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March 2, 2015 by johnnyseifertradio

Producer to Presenter: We need to make sure that we have the biggest advertisements and news stories during the 08:00-09:00 hour today! Also, we have a guest coming in and we need to do that competition where we are giving away £250,000 to guess the voice. But before all that we have the latest One Direction single to play at 08:07!

Earlier this week there was a discussion in the USA for the Country Music Industry about their Breakfast clocks:



This got me thinking of how we do it in the UK and the traditions that have always been held:




08:00- News and Travel

08:02- Two songs

08:10- Big link of the show

08:15- Adverts

08:17- Read social media interaction

08:19- Two Songs

08:25- Tease next 30 minutes

08:27- Adverts

08:30- News and Travel

08:32- Two songs

08:40- Presenter Link

08:43- Two songs

08:51- Song

08:54- Adverts

08:56- Song

09:00- News and Travel




Whilst radio is brilliant at curating a routine for a person, is it relevant anymore? When I was at school the 07:43-07:51 time that Chris Moyles’ used to play back to back songs on BBC Radio 1 gave me the chance to shower and get dressed so that I was in the car ready for Rob DJ’s Monday Night Pub Quiz on a Tuesday for example. However, those days are gone and now in the working world, although still unemployed the 08:00-09:00 hour is not actually important to lot of radio listeners anymore:



Looking at the way jobs are at the moment you could find yourself doing all different types of shifts as the 09:00-17:00 idea of work is long gone with 10:00-18:00 being the norm and some people even working 06:00-14:00 or 13:00-21:00.




Therefore, I would argue that are we actually are listening by our radios in the car or at the kitchen table at 08:00 anymore with the family or do we opt to listen to our own personal Ipods or radio stations of choice through apps such as TuneIn and RadioPlayer on our smartphones ?

Radio News



As a nation we are turned on to the news the whole time with constant flows of social media coming direct to our phone through citizen journalism. We can now clearly see the news directly in the categories that we want to see….this means not being informed on Justin Bieber’s latest escapades. Furthermore, as I just mentioned is it important to have the news on the half hour so that we know what the time is?




David Lloyd takes this a step further and asks asks:

Has the time come to take a fresh look at this thing we call the news bulletin?
What on earth should we do with it on radio in our much-changed world?
Should our news coverage take its inspiration from social media?




Big Guests

It is interesting that radio is changing as I write this and that big celebrity guests do not need to appear on the Breakfast show to interest an audience. For example, Eloise Carr on Heat Radio and Adam Wilbourn on Free Radio in Birmingham will have the big guests on their radio shows during their 19:00-22:00 and 19:00-22:00 shows respectively:



Content Vs Music



What tends to happen is that the sales team come first before the content and therefore big song sweeps of four songs in the row are played out with commercial breaks in the middle and content being forgotten about. The problem that this causes between 08:00-08:30 is questioning whether the audience actually want to have music or they want to wake up/go to work/ stay in bed with their radio friends. Although he got a lot of criticism, I think Chris Moyles had the perfect balance and really knew his audience! If Capital is playing Bruno Mars ‘Uptown Funk’ when the listener puts on the radio the liklihood is that they will switch over as they are bored of that song (even though radio stations are still keeping it on their A playlists) and will tune into a different show that has unique content.


At the Student Radio Training Day, BBC Radio 1 presenter Scott Mills and his producer Chris Sawyer spoke about having the content when the listeners are actually listening and making sure that the music has a purpose. Therefore, on his 13:00-16:00 show the first fourty minutes are very music focused with around four short snappy links as the listeners are likely to be office workers on their lunch breaks and are out of their desks returning at around 13:40 which is when the first big segment airs such as Innuendo Bingo:



In this example, the content and the music serves a purpose and fits around the lifestyle of that time. Lunch is 13:00-14:00 in the majority of offices. However, the Breakfast show listener lifestyles have changed and that is what I argue should be adapted!


What do you think? Should the radio clocks change? Is the news and big guests in the Breakfast show important still? Comment below or tweet me @johnnyseifert

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