The Breakfast Club has been on air for 9 years this month, and is going strong with ratings, engagement, and seems to be adding new markets every month...but I think the end is near.
I sound crazy right? I know you're thinking, Tammy how and why would you think that a successful morning show would have it's future in the balance? Well, there are a couple of reasons, let's go through them. I mean this could all be in my head and I’m projecting, or I could have some legitimate points and the near future will tell.
- Shock jock radio value going down- The Breakfast Club has been known for it's shock jock style of radio for years. Charlemagne says the most outlandish things in interviews, creates false narratives that he doesn't even agree with for hot takes, and Envy always goes against the grain and disagrees with the masses on any given topic, just to disagree. Podcasting is huge right now, put five people in a room and at least three of them have a podcast; just at the hosts. All three of them have their own podcasts where they are able to speak more freely.
- Tension– There is definite tension between the three of them. Mainly because Charlemagne has no problem using them as casualties of war for his own advancement. He’s never respected Angela Yee and they’ve had a contentious working relationship for years now. I think the final tipping point was the recent Gucci Mane situation, if you don’t know what happened – look it up). Charlemagne doing a separate interview with Gucci for his Youtube channel is perfectly fine, but for him to sit and let Gucci disrespect Yee and never defend her or stop Gucci and let him know they weren’t there to bash his cohosts was a huge red flag. Charlemagne saw the interview as a way to boost his Youtube channel and his following, cool…but why at the expense of your coworkers. When the three of them got back to work together on the show, it was clear tension in the room, which resonates to the listeners.
- Charlemagne has outgrown the show– I didn’t even think about his until I posted a Facebook status and a friend of mine commented. It makes sense, Charlemagne has outgrown the show in a couple of different ways. Do I think he’s above the pop culture talk, and non sense that goes on during morning radio, no. I do think that Charlemagne feels that he isthe show. The average person tunes in to their interviews to see what rude and off the wall question he will ask, and to hear the donkey of the day (which is why I listen daily, or try to). During segments that aren’t his, he is constantly interjecting and even talking over Envy and Yee at times, prolonging their segment. For instance during the Rumor Report, which is basically just Yee talking briefly about pop culture and news stories Charlemagne finds a way to interrupt her and talk over it, taking over the segment. Now that could just a lack of respect, or him feeling that he carries the show and he can do whatever he wants.
- Lack of interest- The three hosts all have their own business interests and dealings on the side, that they seem more passionate about now. I think the Breakfast Club was used as a stepping stone for them and a gateway to open the door for different opportunities, which it clearly has and continues to do. There are some episodes that sound like it's torture for them to be there, yes I get everyone has a bad day, but yikes. Charlemagne even said he was getting restless with the show just this past week on their anniversary show.
- Growing apart - I just don’t think the current dynamic works anymore, and again it could just be me. I think the show runs smoother when Charlemagne isn’t there, interviews seem more relaxed and laid back, the room doesn’t seem as tense since no one is anxious as to what inappropriate question he’ll ask or statement he’ll make.
- Replaceable- They are all replaceable personalities on the show, any DJ can do Envy's part, he spins a mediocre mini mix when they have a music guest, or if it is a musical artist birthday; none of his mixes are anything to write home about and since Power 105 is a Clear Channel station the song selection is limited, which is why you hear literally the same 10 songs every morning on the show. Angela Yee doing the rumor report and front page news is again a job anyone can do, it wouldn't be hard to replace her if need be at all. Charlemagne is also replaceable, even though some people seem to think he isn't, if you want to know why see points.
Now with that being said, I think Charlemagne should and will eventually get his own radio show, should he choose to stay in radio. I actually see him leaving and getting a late night show, or a Netflix type show similar to the one that David Letterman had on Netflix. He’s great at interviews when he’s not being an ass, he asks the hard questions to guests, and doesn’t let you tap dance around the answer. On the other hand I do see him as staying in radio as a way to have a daily footprint in media, but it's a matter of time before he leaves the show.
That's my Breakfast Club rant....if you don't agree.