Here’s How Two Great Morning Shows Talked About The Capitol Riots

Here’s How Two Great Morning Shows Talked About The Capitol Riots

by Tracy Johnson

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.

You might also like:  Matty Siegal & How To Talk About Difficult Topics

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.

You might also like:  Matty Siegal & How To Talk About Difficult Topics

I’ll break down these segments and more in greater detail on my new streaming video show The Aircheck Sessions on Tuesday. Watch it live at 1 pm Eastern Time or catch it on demand anytime on my Twitch channel here.


Watch The Aircheck Sessions on Twitch

How To Handle Phone Calls

Take a Stand To Build A Brand

Personality Success Path Seminar on Demand

Personality Success Path Seminar on Demand

Dealing With Tragedy & Emergencies eBook

Dealing With Tragedy Seminar on Demand

Opt In Image
The World's Premiere Talent Coach!
Available Now In Markets Worldwide

Every performer needs a coach. That's where we come in.

The difference between good and great is personalities that relate to listeners.

Wanna win? So do we. We develop on-air superstars, and are ready to make you our next success story.


Storytelling Basics eBook
Webinar, $19.00

Become a better radio performer by learning to construct segments with the fundamentals of storytelling. This powerful, 40-page eBook is easy to read but loaded with information you'll use forever. It shows how great personalities construct content to captivate, inspire, and activate listeners. Apply these concepts to make every on-air segment come alive with entertainment.  

The New Insiders Radio Network

Is This Really Radio's Most Valuable Resource For Personalities Programmers and Promotion Managers?