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OPINION - If you use one of these, thank you

by Chris Conley

NEWS BLOG (WSAU) Years ago McDonald's ran a radio commercial for its McMuffin sandwich. It included the electronic beeping of an alarm clock, and it was the exact pitch and tone of the alarm clock that I woke up to in college. It was a shrill, persistent sound that jarred me from bed each morning for years. And the commercial grated on me each time I heard it.

Today I wake up to a clock radio. George Norrie's voice hosting Coast to Coast AM starts my day at 2:15am. Hes much more soothing than the electronic blatt that I used to wake up to. (My smartphone rings 15 minutes later; it's my back-up alarm.)

There's a reason why I bring this up.

At WSAU, and radio stations everywhere, we'd prefer that you wake up to a clock radio. And theres new research from Lund Consulting that looks at how we start our day. The smartphone is king. 34% of us wake up to chimes or ringtones from our phone. 25% wake up to a clock radio that's set to a radio station. 18% wake up to an alarm clocks beep or buzzer.

The report is a small reminder that broadcasters cant rest on our laurels. Why do we need web sites with audio streaming? Because people listen though their computers. Why do we need listen-live apps? Because people listen through their smartphones. Why do radio stations need a big on-line presence? Because smart dashboards in new cars are here already.

Mornings are radio's prime time. Were fighting to hold onto the privilege of being the first thing you hear each morning. If you've gotten out of the habit rediscover your clock radio. The WSAU Wisconsin Morning News is more pleasant-sounding than beep... beep... beep. At least we are on most days.

Chris Conley

Image: Basic clock radio, via WikiCommons.com