The morning. It’s when folks tune to the radio to get an early start to their day since the 50s or 60s. Many will be commuting to work, and what better way to pass the lost time in traffic than listening to their fav personalities. Others, well, are chilling at home but in need of some quality company as they prep kids for school or shuffle to their home offices.

In terms of attracting listenership, morning breakfast shows (or AM drive) may not pull as many listeners from the 12+ demographic as PM shows based on Nielsen data. But on the other hand, AM shows are the most listened-to shows by fully employed adults. That’s why morning ad spots pay off big for many stations.

Advertising in the morning and midday also has other advantages. Customers are planning how to spend their day, which affects where they spend their money. Unlike PM drive (from 3 pm to 7 pm when people commute back home). So, you’ll find a pizza joint airing their spot in the morning for customers to think of them as their hunger pangs bite.

Stations are even rated based on their morning breakfast shows because it is one of the primest times of the day. So, there is the pressure to perform, and everyone will feel the pressure. How can you succeed with your morning breakfast show? How long should it be? Which are the biggest shows? These are the topics we’re mulling over in this article. Let’s get started:

What is a morning breakfast show?

In the radio and TV world, a morning breakfast show is a live show that airs during the morning hours, starting as early as 4:00 am to about 11.00 am. Now, most shows are scheduled from 6:00 am to 10:00 am, giving hosts about 4 hours in the studio. Okay, some examples:


Bernie & Sid in the Morning on WABC radio, the home station for The Mark Levin show, airs on weekdays from 6 am to 10 am.

Morning hosts don’t clock in for Saturday and Sunday shifts. Instead, radio stations may have special programs. On BBC 2 Radio, legendary pilate radio host Tony Blackburn presents Sounds of the 60s for about 2 hours starting at 6 am.

Talk radio stations may have special Saturday broadcasts or a different set of hosts in the studio.

What time do morning talk shows start?

To answer this question: It varies on the station’s preferred programming. But with most shows, they start at 7:00 am. This makes sense.

Most people prefer to rise up at 6:00 am, according to To arrive at the office before 8 or 9, they may have left by 7, especially in big cities with longer commute times. You can vary your schedule for weekends if you don’t expect people to rise up early.

What do you talk about at a breakfast show?

Anything really. The only bar is that the topic must be interesting, relevant, relatable, and entertaining. To whom? The listeners, of course. So, you may talk celebrity gossip with a younger audience: Nicki Minaj’s new shoes, the Kardashians, or Ye Yeezys.

With a more mature audience, you may tackle the higher living costs or the job market. Parents care a lot about those things and the direction of their country.

If you’re looking for a quick list of topics, here we go:

Sports scores, politics, celebrity gossip, famous people, the struggling economy, markets, daily life challenges, traffic, your interests, news, events, TV shows, weather, food, relationships, people’s bad habits, what if, liberalism, conservatism, family values, changes, etc.

Some radio presenters are great at creating a show with their improv skills alone. But they will have a theme of what they talk about. The talk will be geared in a way to trigger the audience to call and contribute.

List of most-listened-to morning radio programs: UK, Ireland, India, USA, NewZealand

Quickly, let’s check out some famous morning shows from around the world. We have placed links to places you can find archived shows, or listen live. Starting with the UK, we have:

Some popular breakfast shows in the US include:

Some popular morning shows from India include:

Some breakfast shows from NewZealand include:

Some Ireland breakfast radio shows include:

What makes a good breakfast show? 13 Secret Ingredients

Now, we get to the good part. We’re simply asking: What makes a breakfast radio show great? Here are 13 secret sauce ingredients that you can use to make your show sound wonderful and the best in the morning.

1. Set goals & Keep true to the station’s identity

A lot of stations don’t have any clear objectives about their morning shows. Jocks show up, talk, and leave. That’s not the way to do it. The whole team led by the PM should meet to set clear goals, visions, and missions for the breakfast show. Maybe you want to have the funniest breakfast show or create a reputation for the best music. The goals should keep true with the station’s identity. If you’re a rock station that targets the young at heart, then your goals should reflect this.

2. Great hosts and synergy

It’s true that great hosts drive breakfast shows. Yes, people don’t merely tune in for the music. They can hear their songs on Shopify, YouTube, or a competing station. They are there for the great chemistry, spark, and funny banter between the hosts. They already know the day’s news and are there to hear what their fav presenter has to say about it or their take. Stations need to carefully select and hone their presenter’s talents. If you’re a host reading this, you can implement tips to make you a super host, such as:

  • Being hearty with the listeners by sharing your successes, failures, learning lessons, emotions, thoughts, and opinions;
  • Taking a bold stand on issues;
  • Learning how to create intrigue and mystery with your voice, never giving away too much.

3. Promotion, promotion, promotion!

A great morning show needs to be promoted well. That means producing show promos even days before promoting guests for the morning show or topics.

4. Understanding who is listening and why?

Your shows become better once you discover who you’re talking to. That is the target listener or main listener. This is the core group that is your raving fans. They call in, contribute, and make their voices heard. The listeners are the most likely people to follow your hosts on social media, purchase your merch, and attend your roadshows. Part of recognizing who they are is also understanding why they are listening. What do they get out of your show? So, figuring out listener needs is equally important, along with promising them that you’ll fulfill their needs and following up with a great show.

5. Right topic, at the right time, right people

What should you talk about during a morning show? It should be the right topic. That often means discussing the latest news or event. The topic needs to be timely offered at the right time. Mornings may not be the greatest time to pour over what’s wrong in the country. It may get people in a bad mood for work. But once people are up and going, you’ll find that PM shows, particularly conservative ones, pick up the pace and give many something to mull over over supper.

6. Right segments, sounds, and music

The right combination of segments makes for a more fulfilling and awesome show. Some segments to have in the morning breakfast show include:

  • News bulletins (suitable as top of the hour)
  • Time updates
  • Traffic beats
  • Music
  • Guest interviews
  • Sports updates
  • Prank calls (reasonably and legal)
  • Quizzes
  • Call in segments
  • Man on the street features
  • Radio presenters banter or in-studio games
  • Movies or song reviews
  • Showbiz updates
  • International news
  • Real user stories

The flow should sound integrated and smooth, with tight transitions. Keeping a consistent schedule can help create a familiarity with listeners. You may need great promos and imaging, repeated frequently for audio branding.

7. Feelings and emotions

Your morning breakfast show must not sound mechanical and bland. It should be packed full of feelings and emotions. Ask: Are presenters charged or feeling bored? Are they having a good time? Are they laughing and showing genuine surprise? Listeners can pick up on emotional cues, so give them a more human show.

8. Tell stories

Hosts can’t go wrong with stories. Recounting a personal experience on-air may foster trust, bring listeners in, and make them feel like friends. Stories work as long as they sound genuine and not made up. They should be entertaining too, meaning a challenge you had to face, an embarrassing situation, etc.

9. Teasers

Teasers are a great tool to use during the show. Basically, you tease what’s coming next. A host may say, coming up in 15 minutes, “Why your EX deserves a second chance.” It should be something listeners can wait for and keep listening to find out. Teasers may be deployed even a day before, in the form of show promos.

10. Keep them laughing

Lighten their moods in the morning with some natural humor: natural meaning that it should not be forced or conny. Morning shows should be uplifting in every way. As a potential segment, your station may even play some motivation clips.

11. Involve your listeners

Get people to participate in your morning show. They don’t have to call in, but they can send short recorded clips, voicing their opinion about a story. You can even read their tweets or comments on air. Over time, radio stations develop a list of regulars. Listeners don’t actually mind hearing from these folks. They always build on the content by introducing a new dynamic.

12. Shuffle and move bits around - Don’t go stale

The problem with many great morning shows is that they can go stale after a while, given also that radio hosts may have careers spanning many years. You don’t have to make big changes. Giving listeners something new in a while, like a new segment can help. The PM and producers should also watch for stale bits, and churn them out in favor of more existing segments.

13. Prepare Your Radio Morning Shows

Last and not least, it helps to prepare for your radio show. Preparation allows you to put your ideas in motion, giving you a better chance of having a seamless show that listeners love.

Bottom Line, and word of encouragement

Producing a great morning radio show is not difficult. Put these tips in motion, and watch your listenership grow! We’ll be here to offer the best place on the internet to host your radio station, in a simple, straightforward, and powerful way!