A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 14, 2011
“If you win the morning, you win the day” (radio adage)

"As the morning goes, so goes the station” was the slogan of WNBC (New York, NY) station manager Perry Bascom in 1972. Bascom—a former president of Radio Advertising Representatives—had hired the controversial morning personality Don Imus. The saying means that if a radio station gets people to tune in during the morning drive to work, listeners often keep their dials at the same station. “As the morning goes, so goes the rest of the day” has been cited in print since at least 1986.

“If you win the morning, you win the day” and “If you win breakfast, you win the day” are variant sayings, popularly used in the 2000s (especially in Ireland).


Google Books
3 April 1972, New York magazine, “Radio Therapy: Shock Treatment in the Morning” by Mike McGrady, pg. 31, col. 2:
The radio race is run between the hours of six and ten in the morning. “As the morning goes, so goes your station” — a slogan often repeated by WNBC station manager Bascom.

Google Books
3 November 1972, Life magazine, “I’m Imus, I’m the Best: The most outrageous disc jockey anywhere talks his way to the top” by Richard Woodley, pg. 64, col. 2:
“As the morning goes, “ Bascom said, “so goes the station. Morning is when you grab the big nuggets.”
(WNBC Station Manager Perry Basom—ed.)

Google Books
Radio in the Television Age
By Pete Fornatale and Joshua E Mills
Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press
1980
Pg. 69: 
Most station managers agree that “as the morning goes, so goes the station.”

Google Books
March 1986, Texas Monthly, “Turn It UP!” by Joe Nick Patoski, pg. 133, col. 2:
There’s an adage in the radio business that as the morning goes, so goes the rest of the day.

1 April 1987, USA Today, “It’s zoo time on the airwaves; Morning DJs wake up fans with humor” by Andy Smith, pg. 1D:
Morning drive time is the most lucrative time of day for radio stations, and zoos are ratings winners. “As the morning goes, so goes the rest of the day,” Lander says.

Google Books
24 June 1991, New York magazine, “Morning mouth: The rise, fall, and rise of Don Imus, New York’s funniest radio maniac” by Dinitia Smith, pg. 30, col. 1:
According to Arbitron, “Imus in the Morning,” which runs from 5:30 A.M. to 10 A.M., is now the third-ranked radio program among men 25 to 54 in the New York-area morning drive time, the crucial early-morning hours when radio stations capture their listeners for the rest of the day.

23 July 1992, Trenton (NJ) Evening Times, “Howard Stern solos in morning race for double digits” by Randy Alexander, pg. E3, col. 3:
There is no more convincing testimony to the radio adage, “As the Morning Goes, So Goes the Rest of the Day,” than DeBella’s reverse spiral.

Google Books
Process and Practice of Radio Programming
By Joanna R Lynch and Greg Gillispie
Lanham, MD: University Press of America
1998
Pg. 152:
That’s because listeners who tune into a morning show, hopefully, are more likely to stay put at that same radio station throughout the rest of the day.

15 February 1998, Fayetteville (NC) Observer, “Drive Time Radio Battle Heating Up"” by Michael Futch”:
The morning show sets the stage for the rest of the day for a lot of radio stations. “Some stations really drive the whole train on what the morning show does,” said Mac Edwards, general manager for WFLB.
(...)
Edwards said, “A lot of stations look at it if they can win the morning battle, they can keep those listeners for the rest of the day.”

Sunday Tribune (Dublin, Ireland)
November 27, 2005
Street fighter
Like his soul brother Roy Keane, Eamon Dunphy has faced and fought his insecurities, railed against hypocrisy and fallen out with his bosses for his efforts. And, he tells Erin McCafferty, he’s come up smiling

(...)
“The show has been a good challenge so far and I’ve enjoyed it. I always said I’d give myself a target of two years to try and establish a morning show. In radio they say if you win the morning you win the day.”

31 March 2006, Fort Myers (FL) News Press, “K-Rock goes less talk, more music; 96.1 aims to boost ratings after firing of radio personalities” by Chris Wadsworth, pg. B4:
“When you win the morning, you win all day.”

boards.ie
MemEmee
14-03-2007, 07:37
(...)
If, going by the radio scheduler’s mantra of “win breakfast and you win the day”, The Colm and Jim-Jim Breakfast Show catches on, it’ll be good news for The Gerry Ryan Show, which follows it and whose listenership has been in decline for some time now.

San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune
Anything goes on morning radio
By Larry McShane
ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 13, 2007
(...)
An old radio mantra posits that as goes the morning, so goes the rest of the day.

boards.ie
54321
02-08-2009, 20:37
(...)
Remember the old radio phrase “win the morning win the day”.

Irish Times
Posted: August 18, 2009 @ 9:42 am
Prediction: 2fm will be in an even bigger mess in five years time
JIM CARROLL
(...)
In the end, they settled the problem by buying in the FM104 breakfast team. Remember that the saying in radio is “win breakfast and win the day”.

Debritz.net
Which way for radio?
Posted January 2nd, 2010 by debritz
(...)
The thinking was that if you win breakfast, people won’t change the dial and you’ve got the day sewn up.

Irish Times
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Rewards for those who can crack the tough breakfast radio slot
SIOBHÁN O’CONNELL
BREAKFAST RADIO is one of the most competitive segments of the Irish media market. Win breakfast and you win the day, is the mantra for all radio bosses.

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