Help! Half My Show Is Sick...What Do We Do?

With flu season and COVID in full swing, many shows struggle with what to do when one (or more) players call in sick. The good news is that, even though the show's rhythm might be "off," the new dynamic gives all the remaining players the chance to grow, to step up and to contribute more or in a fresh way. Here are some tips for how to make it work:


• Play more music. Players will need extra time between talk segments to figure out what to do and how best to do it.

• Rely more heavily on callers with an evergreen topic.

• If you're fortunate to have interns, use them. See if they have a hidden talent or embarrassing story you can turn into something.

• Bring in a local celebrity - sports figure, television personality or other "friend of the show." This works best in the cohost role as these people aren't typically qualified to do the hosting.

• Use a family member -- your 10 year old daughter to read the sports or your cranky uncle Bernie to do the weather.

• Bring in talent from another daypart to expose them to a new audience and help them to grow and challenge themselves in new ways.

• Recycle previous content to fill out the show. Use the opportunity to showcase the missing show player's character by playing back their most embarrassing moments, or seize the opportunity to talk about them behind their back with something like "10 Things you never knew about [player]."

• If everyone is out, a "best of..." show is an option. In PPM these shows work best when you don't tell them it's pre-recorded.