RADIO INTERVIEW 101 Dayparts
Radio has a set pattern of listening: During certain days (and times of the day), a certain number and a certain type of listener is there, and these listeners are doing similar things. These differences will make it easier or more difficult to book you, and will help determine your results once you are booked. Here are the points to remember about each daypart...
OVERNIGHTS: (Weekdays, Mid to 6am) This period has the least number of listeners, and thus it is in the least demand by interview guests. This means that it is easiest to get booked here. Not only is it easiest to get booked, but there is a greater chance the host will continue to give away your product for several days after your interview, all the while giving you more promotion. This daypart is also known for a young (college) audience, and for truckers... both a high-response call-in group. Many times, however, this daypart is not local (it's from satellite), so you may want to call the station first to find out.
EVENINGS: (Weekdays, 7pm to mid) The next higher level of listenership is evenings, and (like overnights) it skews young. Talk stations will be more available for interviews in this daypart than music stations will be. Booking here is more difficult that overnights, because most people who want interviews try to get at least this daypart, if not one with more listeners. Also, with evenings you start running into a few of the big syndicated shows, which of course are extremely difficult to get booked on.
MIDDAYS: (Weekdays, 10am to 3pm) Next up on the scale of the number of listeners is middays. This daypart tends to skew older (since kids are in school), and thus it works better for reaching an office crowd. Middays also tend to be the highest rated daypart for Adult Contemporary stations (because of the office listening.) But on talk stations, middays is where you start running into a large number of the big syndicated shows. There's no correlation to market size; some tiny talk stations are all syndicated in the midday, and some major stations are too. With music stations, there is a higher chance of the host (DJ) being local.
AFTERNOON (or PM) DRIVE: (Weekdays, 3pm to 7pm) School kids... and their parents who drive them... are heading home around the 3pm hour, and office workers start heading home at 5pm, so this daypart has the second highest number of listeners. This makes afternoon drive very difficult to book (again, because everyone wants it). And music stations are extremely tough here, because they don't want to interrupt the music flow.
MORNING (or AM) DRIVE: (6am to 10am) This is the number one period for listeners, since everyone is heading to school and work at the same. Morning drive is the most critical daypart for almost every station, and most of the ad dollars are taken in here. The highest paid talent is on the air here, and most of the weather and traffic reports occur here. And for some small market stations, morning drive is the ONLY daypart that is live... the rest of their 24 hour period is satellite.
The good news is that morning drive is the easiest place to get booked on music stations. With talk stations (if the show is not syndicated,) it's going to be the most difficult of any other show. And if you do get booked on morning drive, you are going to have to take constant breaks while the station does it's traffic, weather, etc.
WEEKENDS: This is where everything changes. Weekends (any time of the day) have less listeners than the weekdays, and thus most stations do something totally different here. This is where you'll find many special-topic shows that may fit your area of interest exactly.
Many smaller music stations air talk shows on the weekend. Many talk stations that are ALL syndicated during the week will go local during the weekend. SOME small talk stations that are local during the week will go syndicated on the weekend. Therefore you have to go on a station-by-station basis here, but generally, weekends are a good place to start, and are more easily booked.
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