For years we have hosted events for our clients, featuring top drawer speakers from the world of broadcast. Our latest was with Rosie Wright, who produces and presents “Early Morning Breakfast” on Times Radio, every weekday from 0500. This is a summary of what she said, as heard by Shout! Communications director Keren Haynes.
Who is Rosie Wright
Rosie was previously best known as the anchor of rolling international news programme, “Good Morning Europe” on the channel Euronews. This covered European news, including elections and the interviewing of Prime Ministers and Presidents.
On returning to the UK, Rosie was part of the launch team for GB News where she was the first on-air presenter. She clearly enjoys early mornings, as she co-hosted The Great British Breakfast alongside Simon McCoy.
Rosie Wright began her career at the Christian station Premier Radio, before moving to Radio 4’s religion unit.
About Times Radio
Times Radio was set up in the heart of the pandemic in June 2020. It’s owned by the Wireless Group, sister companies of which include Talk TV, Talksport and Virgin Radio UK. Wireless is part of News UK, owners of The Times and The Sunday Times newspapers.
News UK describes the arrangement as:” bringing together the peerless journalistic expertise of The Times and The Sunday Times with the world-class speech radio and podcasting experience of Wireless…… the latest breaking news, expert analysis and well-informed discussion on the biggest stories of the day, delivered with warmth, expertise and balance.
Latest figures from the radio industry listening body RAJAR say Times Radio delivers a reach of 554K and listeners tune in for an average of 6.3 hours each week.
About Times Radio’s “Early Morning Breakfast with Rosie Wright”
Rosie’s Early Morning Breakfast show is aimed at early rising professionals who want to hear about the main news stories of the day. Just an hour long, the programme was launched in June 2020 by Calum Macdonald who went on to co host Sunday Breakfast on Times Radio. He was followed by Anna Cunningham and Rosie Wright has been in the presenting seat since leaving GB News for Times Radio in December 2022.
What Rosie Wright said to us
Times Radio’s “Early Morning Breakfast” with Rosie Wright is an intensive one-hour programme with few ad breaks broadcasting from 0500. She says her biggest challenge is getting five or six suitable guests, willing to get up at that time of the morning, to discuss the subjects of the day.
And no, pre-recorded interviews, conducted the day before, won’t do! She’d make an exception for the actress playing Barbie, Margot Robbie, for everyone else it’s a no. Rosie says a pre-record just doesn’t have the same immediacy about it, not to mention a story can change from one day to the next. What Rosie wants is the most up to date information, discussed in the moment.
Rosie, who produces as well as presents the programme, says the reality is that in just an hour, she can probably only cover around 7 different stories. Her topics can be diverse – from interest rates to and interview with the model who posed as Barbie for the toy manufacturer Mattel.
The earliest she’ll book in a guest is three days before the show, and even then, the running order may change. Furthermore, anything can happen in the news agenda overnight, which means a pre-booked interview could be dropped last minute. Don’t take it personally though, as Rosie says, if the story is still relevant the next day and there is still room on the show, she will still consider it then.
The Times Radio audience
Times Radio was set up as an alternative to Radio 4 and LBC. It’s a speech radio station with a predominantly ABC1 audience. Rosie suspects many of them are close to retirement and up early in the morning for their daily walk!
But people working in the City are amongst the audience too, getting up early to deal with the markets. As a result, Rosie focusses heavily on business stories as part of the running order, but is always open to some light and shade.
She thinks there are parents of teenagers listening too – the debate about the value of university education crops up a lot.
Rosie enjoys a good OB, or outside broadcast. Valentine’s Day, for example, saw her down at New Covent Garden talking flowers. Earlier this summer, meanwhile, she joined the queue of people trying to buy a ticket for the tennis championships at Wimbledon.
Pitching stories to Rosie
Unlike probably the majority of broadcasters we pitch to, Rosie prefers to get an email without a formal press release. She wants the basic information – what the story is, who you’re offering as a spokesperson etc – but doesn’t need any extra padding!
Some business stories for example can be complex, with industry specific jargon and terminology which some of her broader audience may not fully understand. She wants to know the who, what, when and why of the story as quickly as possible, so she can determine if it is the correct fit for her audience.
Mortgages, strikes, the cost of living and AI are the sorts of topics she revisits regularly. A good test, Rosie says, of whether your story is suitable is whether you can envisage it in print in The Times newspaper. If you can, then it’s probably something Times Radio would like too. If you can’t, then it’s probably not one for them.
Rosie is not particularly interested in sport, but that’s just a personal preference. She does however enjoy politics and events like the Edinburgh Fringe, which are likely to be appreciated by The Times newspaper readers too.
Rosie likes to be approached with expert speakers who can comment on that day’s news agenda. You have to be quick though – and in her experience most PR agencies don’t start work early enough to tap into her show.
The do’s and don’ts when pitching to Rosie Wright
- Keep any communication to Rosie short and sweet
- Don’t embargo until 0800. She’s off-air at 0700 so isn’t going to look at a story that’s nearly a day old!
- Try to find a topical “peg” for the story. That means a new development or a reason for a journalist to cover the story. Rosie says if a story is not topical she can’t really justify including it in a one hour show.
- Say who the spokesperson is
- Don’t resend an email just because Rosie hasn’t responded. She gets so many stories per day she can only really reply to the ones she’s interested in
- Put the news peg in the email title will help
Guests suitable for Times Radio
The sorts of interviewees Rosie invites onto her show totally depends on what the story is. When she went to the tennis championships at Wimbledon, she wanted to interview Pimms, just because the drinks brand is so synonymous with the event. When the doctors strike was on though, she was looking to speak to patients.
Rosie Wright is sometimes on the lookout for guests to review the papers. Such contributors need to have a bit of pizazz about them, as well as being confident and opinionated.
Ideally, Rosie advises, any guest would be willing to go into the studio for their interview. On the plus side, she says, any interviewee who does this is much more likely to have their slot honoured, rather than dropped at the last moment. That said, her second choice would be an interview on Zoom where at least the guest and Rosie can see each other, making the conversation a bit more natural.
Either way, you can tell that Rosie wants to make her guests comfortable and will talk to them before they go on air.
PR research surveys
Rosie will never, she says, sniff at a survey. But it does need to be robust, she counsels. For commissioned research that includes having a polling size of at least 2, 000 and questions that will result in strong headlines.
Some brands come with a reputation for good research; Rosie cites Barclays’ monthly study into what we’re spending as a good example of this.
Read more about how we can help you with PR research surveys here.
What about branding
Rosie claims they know the deal: news generation in return for brand recognition. But, she says, there needs to be some degree of implied trust that both sides will honour. Be warned – if you over egg the pudding in terms of too many brand mentions Rosie will have no hesitation in ending the interview. Instead, she wants the audience to know she’ll give them useful information, not just an advert.
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