I couldn’t be more proud to work with some great morning shows like The GetUp Crew (Hot 96.9/Boston) and DeDe In The Morning (K104/Dallas & Syndicated). Their discussion of the U.S. Capitol riots is a perfect example of what makes them leaders in their community.

First, a couple of key points about the segments and these shows.

Dealing With Controversial Topics

Many stations have a no-politics or no-controversy policy. This is a sound decision for some. But for stations developing personalities that make a difference, it’s a mistake. Or at least a missed opportunity. The key is how the content is curated.

Both shows are well-established and have a large, loyal fan base. That’s important to keep in mind when listening to these segments. They are in Stage 5 (Love) of the Personality Success Path. Had they not responded to the most important story in the world would have been a disservice to their audience.

Of course, not every personality should be this bold. Some aren’t qualified. Many don’t have a strong relationship with listeners ye and would be out of character for their personality brand. But every radio talent should stretch their boundaries, at least in a small way.

Don’t try to emulate either of these shows. But listen and study these airchecks to learn how they built a strong personality brand.

The Capitol Riots Segments: Hot 96.9

Beasley Media’s Hot 96.9/Boston features Ramiro, Pebbles, and Melissa in the morning. Collectively known as The Getup Crew, the show is upbeat, fun, and funny.

In this situation, VP/Programming Cadillac Jack and PD Scott Morello encouraged the show to relate to a very real issue that is important to their audience.

Throughout the morning, they referenced the event. They covered it in their hourly information update Hot And Trending. And they promoted a specific break in the 8 am hour to talk about it with their audience.

Here’s how that break sounded:

Here’s what stands out to me:

  • It’s exceptionally well-prepared. Each has a unique point of view.
  • They make bold comments. That builds strong character development.
  • There were no phone calls in this break (there were in others). They didn’t need them. It would have diluted the impact.
  • It was not covered as a news event but as a reaction to what happened. This is what being “real” is about.
  • This is a long-ish break. but it did not feel long. And no, it should not have been shorter.

DeDe in The Morning

Service Broadcasting’s K104/Dallas is home to DeDe In The Morning, which is also syndicated via Compass Radio Network. DeDe and cohost Lady Jade regularly deal with highly charged, emotional topics.

Program Director Geo Cook coaches the show to push their limits and trusts them to take smart risks.

The show took phone calls throughout the morning. Here’s one segment:

  • This segment is focused and tight.
  • DeDe and Jade’s point of view comes through loud and clear because they don’t let callers control the conversation. They use callers as a tool to help them entertain. They get out of each caller at exactly the right time.
  • The calls are well-screened. They’re upbeat, prepared, and ready to go!


Your show may not be able to perform like these shows, but there’s much to learn by studying their performance in the aftermath of this dark topic. The Capitol riots were a tragedy, and these shows reacted quickly and appropriately, as outlined in my Dealing With Tragedy seminar.

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