That Mo Fo Brandmeier

When I was the PD of Nine FM we had a morning show issue.  We had to get rid of a morning show that didn’t fit the direction we were taking the station in but my GM wouldn’t allow me to cut bait until we had a solution.

Serving Chicagoland from the suburbs, we had the hurdle of being suburban stations which were held to Chicago standards.

I pitched an idea I thought would work brilliantly, especially since our variety format was geared toward gold pop-rock hits from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s.

I told Harvey Wells (the GM) I wanted to reach out to Jonathon Brandmeier’s “people”.  He laughed.  He didn’t laugh because Johnny was a bad idea, but because he and I both knew we didn’t have $2million a year to pay Johnny B.

At the time, Brandmeier was on the air in LA and just doing ok.  In fact as I continued to pester Harvey (I don’t give up easily) things changed and Brandmeier was off in LA and rumors were swirling about his return to Chicago to be near family.  I argued Brandmeier would be back.  If LA didn’t work, Chicago was going to work AND I’ve long felt that the rise of Eric & Kathy in mornings was directly related to Johnny B’s absence in morning drive in Chicago during E&K’s rise.

None of that mattered.  I didn’t want Brandmeier to do a live morning show.  I wanted his “best of” shows.  I wanted to play his best of shows in between the Cars songs and other pop-rock 70s & 80s songs we focused on.  These were the songs that were popular when Johnny was at his height.  I wanted to hire a team of interns and producers to cut up these “Bits of Brandmeier” so we could fit them in between songs in morning drive and eventually afternoon drive.

The Portable People Meters were on their way and I believed (and I still do) that stations with star talent should build their stations around those stars.  Music stations have nothing unique.  Anyone can play Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Greenday, and EVERYONE did.  Top 40, Hot AC, Modern Rock, Rock, AAA, Alternative, AC and Variety WERE ALL PLAYING THE SONG.  The only formats that weren’t were Urban or Country!

So my plan was to convince Brandmeier’s “people” to license his “best of” shows to 9 FM so we could boast BRANDMEIER MORNINGS.  Then when the PPMs came I would also run BRANDMEIER in Afternoons.  Needless to say, Harvey didn’t buy into it.  While a smart radio station in Chicago did bring Brandmeier back….they failed to build a station around him and the audience he brings.

The result was, The Loop didn’t fit Brandmeier, and Brandmeier didn’t fit The Loop.  You would think the folks at Emmis would have know this since they watched this same movie play out with Mancow.  Your morning star has to be the star of the station, not just the star of mornings.

This all centers around my theory that if TV Land played re-runs of Johnny Carson’s tonight show opposite Leno and Letterman, TV Land would show huge numbers.  Upon further reflection though I’ve changed my tune and I believe Carson would have to air earlier on TV Land.

So if there was one PD willing to run the “best of” a top tier morning show that once was….is there one more?  Perhaps not.

The bigger question is:  Steve Dahl, Mancow Muller, Kevin Matthews, Danny Bonduce, Wendy & Bill, Eddie & Jobo, Drex, Eric & Kathy;  Where is your 24/7 stream of your “best of” shows?  Where is your flashback podcast?  I’d listen to commercials on a podcast to hear Steve & Garry from the 80s.

Heck, I’d even pay $5.95 a month.  I bet others would too.

P.S.  We ended up hiring Steve Fisher and pairing him up with Joey Fortman for mornings and they worked very well together.

Radio Must Re-Use & Recycle

This is what the Loop should have done with Brandmeier, Q101 should have done with Mancow when they had him and what WTMX should do with Eric & Kathy….

This is a trend that will grow in the months and years to come:

KROQ Adds Kevin & Bean To PM Drive Lineup
Mornings And Afternoons

Beginning TODAY (11/10), CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ/LOS ANGELES adds “KEVIN & BEAN’S CINCO DE LA TARDE” to PM drive from 5-6p. The popular longitime morning show continues to air from 5:30-9a.

CBS SVP/Programming KEVIN WEATHERLY said, “There are no more popular hosts in all of LOS ANGELES radio as hundreds of thousands of loyal listeners can attest to. KEVIN AND BEAN have been entertaining morning-drive audiences for more than 18 years, and there’s no reason their talent should be limited to one daypart.”


4 Responses to “Morning Shows in Afternoons”

  1. Chris Tarr on November 10th, 2008 7:55 pm

    Be prepared to see more of this because of the people meter. The truth that comes out is that AM drive isn’t always the daypart with the highest cume.

    You’ll see PD’s “cherry-picking” programming, and niche formatting specific hours based on people meter results. A lot of “rules” and what was considered common practice will be thrown out the window.

  2. Sander Schrik on November 29th, 2008 11:05 am

    Kevin and Bean are in a league of there own and one hour in the afternoon is oke!

    But putting the big morning show on in afternoons for 3 hours and mornings for 3 or 4 hours is overkill… like the Dave Ryan Show test at 101.3 KDWB in the Twin Cities.

  3. James Spurney on December 1st, 2008 3:45 pm

    Is this any different than what Sirius does with Stern?

  4. Matt on December 1st, 2008 4:16 pm

    Exactly. They repeat him. VH1 repeats all their shows. MTV repeats the shit out of their shows too. They do it so they can reach different audiences in different dayparts.