Boston – Friday

How coverage changes

Ok. 5am EST. You wake up to the news.

One brother is dead, one still on the loose, thought to have explosives, threatening to kill many. The entire city of Boston on lockdown!

It is on every local TV station. It is the first headline on Google news.

What does your station do with this?

It just seems inconceivable to me that someone would be watching this riveting coverage on their TV before they leave for the office and then want to hear Blake Shelton or the Rolling Stones or Adele once they get into their car.

Wouldn’t they abandon normal commute listening habits and search for the best local radio coverage of this unfolding event in Boston?

Wouldn’t they want to continue to get as much information about the biggest story of the day, of the week, perhaps of the year, however long it takes them to get to work?

And, if that’s true, how did that change your Morning Show content today?

Can you see listeners pushing buttons in search of information each time you go into a song?

What about when they get to the office?

I might be persuaded that by 9-ish, 10-ish, especially the farther away from Boston your station is, that you get back to “normal programming,” with the exception that you update between every song so listeners know the instant this guy is caught, this situation is resolved, you will tell them so they can all go stand in front of a TV and watch the action.

BTW, does your station have a smart phone app that sends urgent news alerts to listeners who have it? That might be a good investment. Forget about selling it. It’s a service. Give it away. It will increase trust that they can listen to their favorite music station, even in emergencies, and still be alerted when they need to find an information source.

TV will always win these battles, but if we expect listeners to trust us on mornings like this one, we have to give them reason to. They’ll come back, especially if we earn that trust.