We are all impatient. We want what we want when we want it. New ideas tend to get rushed and naturally, we expect immediate results. Overnight success is alluring. And it’s a myth.

How many times has this happened to you? A new morning show is hired and the next rating period is lower. Management wants to know why and immediately questions the strategy. The next book shows little to no improvement. More questions follow and some start looking for the next overnight success.

The Overnight Success Myth

Whether you’re Elvis Duran, Ryan Seacrest, Howard Stern, or Bobby Bones, winning radio shows rarely produce overnight success. It takes time to attract an audience. Winning broadcasters understand the process.

Randy Lane shared a research project by Jeffrey Hall, a researcher in communications at Kansas University. Hall measured how long it takes a friendship to develop from first meeting to besties.

His findings:

  • It takes 94 hours to go from acquaintance to casual friends.
  • Serious friendship happens at about 164 hours.
  • Best friend status takes place at around 219 hours.

Think about that. Then consider how much time listeners spend with a radio show each day.

They listen for very short periods, usually around 7 minutes per occasion. The average P1 contributes about 6 quarter hours of listening per week to a radio show.

At that rate, it takes 62 weeks for a P1 to become a casual friend. That’s more than a year. Becoming a fan (Best Friend) takes 146 weeks. That’s nearly three years.

You Can’t Hurry Love

It’s possible to accelerate the process, but as the song goes, You Can’t Hurry Love. When starting the Personality Success Path, I encourage talent to focus on moving from their current stage to the next. The faster one can advance from Stage 1 (Introduction) to Stage 2 (Familiarity), the better. Stage 3 (Growth) is when real progress begins.

Patience is a virtue, but only if it’s the right show. If it is, management’s role is to provide an environment that produces confidence.

But don’t ignore problems. It takes time for talent to develop, but just waiting and hoping won’t get it done. Every show has growing pains and will fail to some degree. Identify weaknesses and address areas that need help. This will accelerate growth.


Everyone wants overnight success but it rarely happens. Building a successful personality brand takes courage, persistence, and commitment. If you want a show that has the potential to get to the top, let me know. I’d love to help.

Just be prepared. Winning radio shows don’t happen as quickly as we would like. It won’t be an overnight success.

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