CRS In Action: 'The Stars Come Out In The Morning'
February 27, 2015 at 3:13 PM (PT)
The penultimate panel for CRS 2015 was "THE STARS COME OUT IN THE MORNING" featuring noted talent coach RANDY LANE as moderator. The panelists included PREMIERE NETWORKS syndicated WSIX/NASHVILLE-based Country morning show "THE BOBBY BONES SHOW" host BOBBY BONES, UNITED STATIONS RADIO NETWORK syndicated WNCI/COLUMBUS, OH-based Top 40 morning show "THE DAVE & JIMMY SHOW" hosts DAVE and JIMMY, and WCBS/NEW YORK hall of fame Top 40 morning show host SCOTT SHANNON.
The panel of creative personalities followed a late-night talk show format, allowing each host to have time in the spotlight to discuss their career path before assembling together in a collaborative banter regarding the state of morning shows and their growth in recent years. Each morning host was introduced after a short aircheck was played to showcase their hosting style and show format.
BONES joined the stage first, sharing his story of the transition from locally broadcast Top 40 morning show to nationally syndicated Country morning show. Making sure to emphasize his desire to be different and stand apart from the crowd, BONES spoke to the importance of the personalities whosurround him on his cast-based broadcast. Explaining that his brand of non-traditional artist interviews and his cast of "non-radio people" at his side have been keys to his success, BONES encouraged attendees to push the envelope, stay creative, and put the most talented people you can in the places around you.
When asked about the role of the cast of characters, most notably his sidekicks AMY and LUNCHBOX, BONES noted, "My staff is awesome. They're super-funny, and they make me so much better. Finding the right people has been the key to the success of my show. [AMY] is really the person who makes me normal. I tend to go in every direction, and she's the one who always pulls me back. She's the angel on the left shoulder, where LUNCHBOX is the devil on the right. And they are who they are on the air and off the air. There's never a, 'Hey, you take this side and you take this side.' It's just -- we're all such close friends and we know where everyone falls anyway. We all have our little triangle of the pie."
DAVE & JIMMY joined the stage next, pinpointing the success of their show in being their ability to pull off well-produced comedy bits and push the boundaries and limits with on-air stunts. Their longevity comes from a willingness to keep their material current and topical, never straying from the slightly controversial or taboo.
DAVE & JIMMY both agreed that staying true to their format and their listeners includes being flexible within their show as well as being willing to break the rules in order to stand apart from the crowd. Additionally, they also cited great preparation as a foundation for success, noting that any idea one brings to the table is kicked around by both of them and polished in a team environment before it hits the live broadcast.
Hall of Famer SHANNON rounded out the cast, briefly discussing his storied career in the establishment of the "morning zoo" style morning show and his successes in NEW YORK CITY. SHANNON also cited preparation as a key to success, but interjected that every great on-air story needs a bit of polish and a hint of falsehood to make it truly funny and memorable.
"I've always believed -- when I got in to radio -- I didn't have the big, deep voice like some guys, but I did have the passion for radio," explained SHANNON. "When I started, everybody moved around quite a bit. I got to know so many different people, and I learned so much about radio, because I came in contact with different personalities and different people who had different preparation rituals. I really got a great education about what not to do in radio and what to do in radio. And one of the things I noticed was that the guys who planned their shows out -- at least spent some time beforehand thinking of what they were going to do -- seemed to be more successful than the ones who just walked in. We all know somebody who says, 'Screw preparation, it's overrated. I just come in and read the paper while I'm on the air and I think of funny things to say then.' That doesn't work for me. We have an extensive system that we use. I have a couple guys who come in at 4a, and I come in at 4:30a, and everyone else is expected to be there then or thereabouts, and we have plenty. By the time the show is over, we only use probably 50-60% of the things that we had available to us. I really believe in preparation."
Takeaways from the panel of morning stars included to be creative, be daring, push the boundaries, build your personalities as a brand both on-air and on the streets, and prepare your show each day to be the best that it can be. SHANNON summated the teachings of the panel best when he addressed the need to leave a lasting impact with your listeners -- be it a passionate like or a passionate dislike. "We have to leave deep footprints," said SHANNON. "We have to say things and do things that make an impact in these lives, or you're going to be just another goober on the radio."