Well, it seems that when listeners speak Sirius is indeed listening. Today on Howard 101, Sirius avoided a "replay" of some form or another and opted to give listeners a live show featuring Jay Thomas (who has a regular show on Sirius Stars in afternoon drive). This provided a breath of fresh air in the morning drive slot that has long been missing.
While today's event does not appear to be permanent, it is indicative that Sirius is trying to solve a few issues that are at hand with morning drive programming.
1. Sirius needs a Friday morning show that Stern fans can tune to. Some like the "Best-of" shows, but even as good as they are, they are not a replacement for a live morning show. Jay Thomas on Howard 101 this morning was topical, funny, and provided for an entertaining commute. Some fans would like to see Factions Jason Ellis get a Friday morning shot. Ellis has a regular afternoon show on Sirius Faction.
2. Even if Sirius solves the Stern on Friday's situation, they are still lacking a Stern alternative for fans that want a good show that is less edgy. In my mind it is shameful that Sirius Stars 102 lacks a regular morning drive show. Another channel in need of a quality morning show is Sirius's' new channel Indie Talk 110. A personality such as Vinnie Politan would fill a morning drive role on either channel with ease, and in Vinnie's case, there is already a built in fan base.
3. In my opinion Sirius needs 3 good morning shows that cover a wide demographic. Stern is a given. If Vinnie Politan comes back, then Sirius would still need to fill one slot. At that point, they will have good diversity and selection of shows that can meet the listening desires of the subscribers. Afternoon drive is full of great shows. It is time that morning drive had a similar offering.
What Sirius did this morning with Jay Thomas was wonderful. They need to keep it up. Some callers that called into the Jay Thomas show actually expressed gratitude that there was a show to listen to. The dynamic of the show was great, now it is time to make some permanent moves for a better listening experience.
Position - Long Sirius, XM