Moneyball: The Spring Book Starts March 28


When designing questionnaires for perceptual studies, clients have many times asked us to inquire about how much talk listeners want in the station’s morning show. We always try to push back on that request. The bottom line is that most listeners don’t know what balance of talk and music works for them. They’ll answer the question, but they’re not really operating with enough information.

Listeners know that stations are likely to play great songs which they’re likely to enjoy. The quality of the “talk” listeners can imagine on a morning show, however, varies a lot more. They know talk on a morning show can vary from genuinely entertaining segments … to needed weather and traffic info … to commercials. Some commercials do in fact end up as legitimately interesting to some listeners. Even if the question specifies “talk” as not including commercials, nearly all morning shows end up with the occasional dud segment where the elements just don’t come together as planned.

In the end, listeners want to be entertained by your morning show. It’s up to you and your morning hosts to weave together the most entertaining elements minute by minute – or second by second. We have huge respect for the morning hosts who sit ready to start the next element during talk segments. Sometimes, however, bits don’t go exactly as expected and they’re stuck trying to find a way to the intended punchline. While a diarykeeper probably doesn’t recall exactly when they punched out of a station, PPM methodology is particularly harsh in such situations.

Given that the song that could be started at the touch of a button would probably enthuse at least 75% of the audience at that moment, it can be frustrating when morning hosts are resistant to just playing an extra tune. We’ve heard from managers who’ve been told by morning hosts that listeners to their show aren’t tuning in to hear that one extra song. And while that can be true for some shows, it always goes back to the question: What’s the most entertaining/interesting thing that can be coming out of your transmitter (or stream) at that moment?

Make sure your morning hosts know just how popular the songs at their disposal really are. When you hear the songs many, many, many times more than the listeners ever will, it’s easy to become jaded and feel that the songs are disposable. Sharing the music research results with your key talent can help them understand how powerful those songs are – and realize how potent they can be when they’re needed.

The book starts this Thursday, March 28. At NuVoodoo, our research, marketing, and digital teams are at the ready if you need advice or assistance along the way. Efficiently targeted digital marketing campaigns can be spun up in just over a week. Many library music tests can be turned around in less than 4 weeks. A profitable station merch store can be added to your website very quickly.

Want more ideas? We’re sharing results from our new NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study 23 by appointment even with those who aren’t clients yet. We’re enjoying these meetings a lot more than the webinars we’ve done in the past. In about 20 minutes, you’ll get six key takeaways covering new ground for 2024 to help your radio station play and win the ratings game. Of course, we’re glad to spend as much time as needed to answer questions and talk about the data. An email to will get you scheduled for a presentation of our latest data.