traffic.JPGWith the return of Vinnie Politan to Sirius' Indie Talk, a major morning drive void has been filled. While Howard Stern is a staple for many listeners, there was no real alternative for Sirius Satellite Radio fans who simply wanted a topical show that was a bit less edgy. Now that show exists. The show is "Vinnie and Me".

Vinnie and Me will air weekday mornings and promises to take the country’s pulse as he takes calls from men and women of all ages and backgrounds, shining a spotlight on their reactions to breaking news, issues and buzz. Topics on the show will be caller and headline-driven and span the worlds of politics, entertainment, and beyond.

Over the past couple of months this site has been critical of the morning drive selection on Sirius. Thankfully Sirius found a solution in bringing back a radio talent such as Politan.

While this news is welcomed by many listeners, Sirius still has a bit more work to do, and I find sort of a mission to see that listeners get what they want in mornings. Now understandably, this is all my opinion. However, I consider myself a someone who has a bit of a finger on the pulse of satellite radio, and the various aspects that still have missing components.

MY MISSION

Solve the Howard Stern Friday Morning Time Slot.

Howard Stern is a wonderful talent. He has a ton of fans, and puts on an entertaining show. However, Friday mornings are missing something, and replays of old Howard shows simply does not fill the desires of people on a morning commute. Radio replays are great during the day, but the morning drive needs to be topical.

Last week Jay Thomas filled in on Friday. The show was wonderful. I am a Jay Thomas listener in the afternoon (His regular show is on Sirius Stars channel 102), and Thomas is a great radio host that brings a lot of humor to the table. The reaction to Jay Thomas filling in was overwhelmingly positive. This type of show is exactly what is needed. The down side is that Thomas hails from the west coast, and getting up at 2:00 AM may not be his cup of tea. Last week he was in New York, so the concept worked beautifully. As a permanent Friday host, Thomas would be stretched to maintain a decent afternoon show.

Many Sirius Buzz Readers have expressed an interest in seeing Jason Ellis fill the Friday morning time slot. Ellis is a DJ on Octane and has an afternoon show on Sirius Faction. Ellis also puts out a good show, but in my opinion caters to a bit of a younger crowd. Perhaps catering to that younger audience would be a good move for the Howard Stern brand. Being based on the east coast may make such a transition plausible.

No matter who it is, something needs to be done to solve the Friday morning situation on the Howard Stern channels. Replays in this slot simply are not cutting it. At least listeners can now catch Politan on Sirius 110.

SOLVE THE MORNING DRIVE SLOT ON SIRIUS STARS

If Sirius is going to label Sirius Stars as their "flagship talk station" they need to have a morning captain. Morning drive is likely the most important slot in radio. A flagship station needs a flagship personality in the mornings that is consistent, and there every day for listeners as they commute to work.

At this point Sirius is marching out various talents that differ each day of the week. Selling advertising for this critical time slot can not be easy. Advertiser want to attach themselves to a specific audience, as well as a specific show. I am not an advertising expert, but I imagine that the demographics vary widely between Judith Regan, Animal Intuition, Candace Bushnell, Jane Pratt, Bill Bradley, and Angels on Call. These are the shows that take up morning drive on Sirius Stars. The variety is great, but not in this time slot. Listeners face a challenge just to figure out who is on when....imagine the consternation of someone trying to buy ad time. Ad time is about getting a consistent message out to a consistent audience.

Please Sirius, Pick a show, and put it on Sirius Stars every morning. Save the variety for late mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Your listeners will appreciate it, the advertisers will embrace it, and the ad sales team will become better at selling the advertising slots.

Bringing Vinnie Politan back was a major step in the right direction, but there is still work to be done on morning drive. Again, this is only my opinion, but I think that there are many who would agree. Sirius Buzz readers can feel free to express there own opinions by leaving comments below.

Position - Long Sirius