(By VP of Programming, Michael Lichtstein)

“Our show is less guest-intensive now,” “My PD told us to move away from guests,” “Our ratings go down while we’re talking to a guest.” If I had a dollar for every time I heard this from morning show producers, I’d have $92. While it’s essential to keep tabs on what is working with your audience and what isn’t, in the end it all boils down to one thing: great stories.

Content is king
If someone is telling a compelling story, it will engage their audience. The trick is to cut right to that engaging story and forego all of the boring introductions and long-winded greetings. Rather than introducing your guest and saying to them, “So tell me about this new book you’re putting out tomorrow,” pick out one or two of the most gripping or funniest passages and start your conversation there.

“I read your new memoir over the weekend and I was truly stunned at what the executive producer of Dallas said to you on the set in front of the whole cast and crew…” Now aren’t you curious what was said? If you’re interested, your audience will be, too.

Keep it PPM-friendly
Pre-tape your interview and chop it up into three ninety-second segments. This allows you to keep the star on the air with you for a good chunk of the hour while still keeping things moving. Utilize the best moments from those guests across all platforms and dayparts.

Integrate guests into the conversation
If you are going live with a guest, begin by integrating them into the conversation your morning show is already having. You can work in a mention of what they came to promote later. “Jennifer Garner is on the line with us. Hey Jennifer, we’re going around the room and seeing if anyone’s ever stolen anything after the age of 12. I stole a bike at age 22. What about you?”

You haven’t interrupted the flow of your conversation and the listener is immediately getting something “juicy” out of your guest.

Guests are full of great stories. It’s up to you to get them on the air. Let Guest Services go to work for you.

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