Building relationships – you and your new breakfast partner

Building relationships – you and your new breakfast partner

By Andy Rogers, Associate Director & Mediator, CEDR

So BBC Radio 2 DJ, Chris Evans, has lost 1 million listeners to his breakfast show in three months. It was announced this week that the show had 8.48 million listeners a week, down from last quarter’s record 9.53 million. Chris Evan’s got off to a great start when he replaced the nation’s breakfast favourite, Sir Terry Wogan, earlier this year. Hard to believe that anyone could be more loved than Wogan but initially on the surface Evans seemed to manage it. So what went wrong in the DJ-listener relationship?

I would, in a not particularly sophisticated way, compare Chris Evan and his large audience to Bruce Truckman’s 1965 model of Group Development. With this in mind, one might observer that what one has witnessed so far with the breakfast show is the first stage of forming, new listeners were attracted (possibly through curiosity) to join the group, and then storming, when some of those old and new listener’s had a chance to evaluate, over time, their feelings toward (or enjoyment) of the show. To continue with Truckman’s model it might be anticipated that the next stage of conforming, which may have happened already, would be the audience accepting Chris Evans and how they feel about him in Sir Terry’s slot and then performing with steady audience figures of satisfied listeners.

So is there lesson to be learnt? Not really, other than don’t throw a stone into a pond without expecting some waves.

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