Tim Ryan is the reigning champ of DFW morning-TV longevity, having co-hosted KDFW/Channel 4's Good Day for 17 years. He did mornings in other markets before that -- and he says he has never really gotten used to it. He has had several co-hosts, the latest being Lauren Przybyl, who joined the station a little over three years ago. The hosts have a classic morning-TV vibe: an avuncular, somewhat curmudgeonly man teamed with an attractive, upbeat younger woman. Although Przybyl has only been on DFW TV for a few years, she grew up in North Texas, and is a graduate of Grapevine High School.
Good Day is the only morning show that stretches from 4:30 to 9 a.m., and it regularly beats national programs in the 7-9 a.m. block. "I think you get the chance to breathe a little bit more and be a little bit more in-depth," Ryan says of the show's length. "Because up until about 7 o'clock, people's mindset is more about getting the kids to school, getting themselves out the door and just getting the day started. After 7 a.m., we have time and viewers have time to mentally breathe a little bit."
On whether they're really morning people
Przybyl: There's a difference between being a morning person and an early morning person. I think that's the tough part. The second question that people always ask me, after 'Are you Lauren Przybyl?' is 'What time do you wake up?' You tell them and they say, 'I bet you get used to it after awhile,' and the answer is always, 'No, you don't.'
Ryan: I am naturally a morning person, but I'm probably, like, a 5 a.m. person. When you back it up another three hours, it's an adjustment.
Przybyl: I wake up at about 2:15, and I usually walk in the building a little after 3. I start going through scripts, see what the writers are writing and what the producers are putting together. And then about 30 minutes before the show goes on, I'll go and get ready.
Ryan: I get up about the same time, but I live out in the boonies, so I trail her in by about 30 minutes. But it doesn't take long to get this face ready.
Przybyl: I don't drink coffee. People are usually really surprised when they find that out. Just water.
Ryan: And sufficient sleep.
Why morning TV is becoming more important
Ryan: I think people are just more receptive to things in the morning, and they're less likely to DVR stuff in the morning. Are you going to watch that at 8 o'clock at night? Probably not. We joke about people brushing their teeth or taking a shower while watching us, but I can't tell you how many people I have talked to who have said, 'I have a TV set in the bathroom.' That time of the morning, people are doing a lot of other things, but they're also engaged. When they're standing there naked in the bathroom and you're talking to them, they feel more vulnerable.
Przybyl: More people are watching mornings as well because the nights just get so busy. More and more viewers, I'm finding, can't catch the evening news, and the only time they tune into the news is in the morning.
On their chemistry
Przybyl: He seems like a tough guy, but we got along from the get-go. I think you need his more serious side, or his making fun of something, whereas I'll usually look at the flip side on a lot of things.
Ryan: I think if you looked at Lauren on her first day on the show and then looked at her now, you'd think it was a different human being, because she came from a place where she was expected to be buttoned-up and formal and very straightforward. But she loosened up pretty quick.
What happens when the show's over
Przybyl: He has to do Tell It to Tim [a viewer-response segment], so he has to go through all the phone calls and everything that comes in. Then I do a lot of work for Children's Miracle Network, so we shoot a lot of those stories during the week. And whatever story that comes along that I think is interesting. So usually at least once a week, I'll have some sort of shoot that I'll go out on. And we're also planning for the next day or the next week.