Why Your Show Sucks on Monday, and 4 Things to Do About It

Why Your Show Sucks on Monday, and 4 Things to Do About It

by Tracy Johnson

Most everyone hates Mondays. There’s even a Boomtown Rats song that made it an anthem in the 80s.  That day is tough for listeners and for radio personalities.  It’s different than every other day. It feels different. Response is different. And the audience? They’re just…different. There are at least 3 reasons your show sucks on Monday.

And I have four things to help deal with it.

Why is it different? Here are three key reasons:

Monday Is Different

It’s easy to understand why listener moods are different after a weekend in a different, and usually more fun, routine.

They’ve been in weekend mode, and so have you. Now it’s time to crank it up again. They’re moving a little slower, and so is their family. The kids don’t want to get up. They don’t want to get up. And everyone is just a little cranky on Monday morning.

The result is that when they finally get started, it’s a more frantic pace.

Those clever segments that normally bring out a great response don’t produce the same results on Monday morning because they’re not as available or as eager to play along with your show.

You Are Different

If you’re on a morning show, you’ve been off for three days (one of the advantages of a morning show is that virtually every weekend is a three day weekend, from 10am on Friday through Sunday night).

It’s hard to shift gears again and get into a different mindset. Sleep patterns changed the last two nights. You’re tired, and have one of those weekend hangovers.

Show prep is probably not as thorough or as complete as it is on other days. Things happened over the weekend, and you haven’t been paying as much attention as usual. Plus, since everyone hit the door early on Friday, Monday’s show probably isn’t quite as put together as other days.

Like the audience, you’re adjusting to a new week. It feels different because it is different.

Physical Differences

If that’s not enough, studies show that you are physically different on Mondays. You tire more quickly and psychologically are less optimistic. It’s what you might call the Monday Morning Blahs.

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All three of these are real factors.

So what’s the solution? Is that just how it is? Are we doomed to have a bad show because it’s Monday?  Never!

Fix That Monday Morning Show

Making Monday’s show great creates an opportunity. Remember, every show is dragging. What a great time to take advantage of those lazy competitors who are mailing it in!

Here are four things to pump it up and make it sizzle:

Show Prep. It’s always a good idea to plan a show further in advance. Some shows have laid out a show plan up to a full week in advance. This makes it much easier to get ahead of Monday morning.

It’s tempting to rush out the door right after Friday’s last break, but make it a priority to spend a few minutes to insure that Monday is ready to go. Start that process on Thursday if possible. I’m all for personalities getting into weekend mode as soon as possible, but establish a discipline lays out the content for the show before hitting the door.

Start Earlier. Knowing Monday is more of a grind, make it a policy to get to the studio earlier than usual on Mondays. Try to come in 30 minutes earlier if possible, but just 15 minutes can make a big difference.

This helps multi-cast shows to reconnect, plan content based on new weekend developments and get the cob-webs out before turning on the mic.

It also helps to play some warm-up games to get the blood flowing before the show begins. It may seem silly, but it’s amazing how quickly it helps pump up the energy.

Plan The Show Without Listener Interaction. Since the audience is dragging, they’re far less likely to participate. Getting upset at them won’t help. And begging for phone calls sounds horrible and desperate. Accept that the phones won’t light up like it might on other days, and prepare the show as if nobody will call.

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This is good advice every day. Too many shows count on listener contributions to drive the show. Phone calls on the air are terrific, but planning for the audience to provide entertainment value is lazy. Plan the show for no phone calls. If they do, it’s a bonus.

Expect less contribution from your listener. This means your interactive content must be simpler, easier to play with and require less thought than other days might.

Prepare Psychologically. Most successes in life are a product of attitude. Mondays happen and there is nothing we can do to stop them. But we can program ourselves psychologically to start the week full of enthusiasm.

Figure out how to look forward to the new week with an attitude of new opportunities. Change your mood and Monday will follow.


Monday will never be fun. And it will always be different. That’s why it takes a little more focus and extra effort to make it work.

Supercharge every Monday by preparing for it and knowing that it’s one of the most difficult days of the week. This goes double for Tuesdays following a long weekend!

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