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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Does PPM Fairly Measure Hispanics

In our continuing series on the PPM, today we hear from Jay Meyers, CEO of Adelante Media Group. Adelante owns and operates radio stations in nine Hispanic markets and specializes in Spanish Language formats. Meyers says PPM for the Hispanic audience is a mixed bag. "The ratings transitioned rather evenly in our markets back in 09 compared to many companies. The real issue has been sometimes wild swings around panel changes, where we often find the number of meters in use for not only our stations, but for our sector (Spanish language) dropping 20% or more. With Hispanics emerging as significant portions of the population in many markets that are outside the traditional mindset (Salt Lake City, Seattle, Milwaukee), meters have not kept up with the growth."

In Seattle for instance, Meyers says, the census has shown a significant growth in Hispanics, now over 10% and yet the cume for all Hispanic stations has dropped by 40% in the last six months. We can trace it directly to panel changes.

Do you believe your audience is being rated fairly?
Fair is a relative term. I don't feel my audience is treated unfairly, but I do think that a far better job could be done to in placing meters to create a more statistically balanced sample. Spanish language radio stations should be exploding along with the population. But with a lack of language weighting in most markets, with fifth generation Bernie Gonzalez being thought of the same way as first generation Julio Gonzalez, there are clearly issues that Arbitron will need to address to be more effective in reflecting true listening shares.

Do you do anything different/special etc programming wise to try to address the PPM world?
Sure, we've studied things hard. The ability to get ratings is the ability to understand and use the measurement system to your advantage. In Sacramento we've done commercial free Mondays on Latino and that has helped propel the station to number one Hispanic 18-49. On our regional Mexican we've gone to ten in a row every hour and that has helped us grow. On the other hand, we've affiliated in a number of our markets with Piolin, the number one Spanish syndicated morning show and that has shown great growth in the PPM markets, which is contrary to standard thinking.

Is the industry better off now that PPM is the standard for measurement - and revenue?
Regardless of your opinion of PPM, the answer to this question is that we are better off with PPM, and anyone who thinks we're not has their head in the sand. You have to start with one cold hard fact, the electronic measurement horse for traditional media left the barn 8-10 years ago. Radio is late to the party and we're playing catch up. Add in the ability to measure clicks and page views that are part of everyday life, and a medium that doesn't have electronic measuring is a medium that cannot compete. PPM should have rolled out a half decade before it actually did. We dug in our feet because of a dislike or distrust of Arbitron. Classic don't shoot the messenger scenario. Hindsight is 20/20, but in hindsight this industry should have gotten together with Arbitron and worked from the inside, collaboratively to get PPM rolled out faster instead of slowing it down by sniping in the press or making noise about pursuing alternatives. Instead of bitching we should be pushing them to continue to explore how to make the device more efficient yet cheaper (my first Mac plus with all the accessories cost 4800 bucks 25 years ago, an ipad can cost as little as 400 bucks) so we can roll PPM into more and more markets.

It?s a far better measuring device.......seriously, does anyone really think that a 33 year old female arrived at the office at 8am and listened to the A/C station straight through to 5pm as the legendary diary arrow would indicate? No bathroom breaks, no going out to lunch, no conference room meetings? The flaws in PPM (being 'exposed" rather than choosing to listen) are far outweighed by the benefits of actual electronic measurement.

Regarding revenue, that's hard to say. The decline since PPM cannot be viewed in a vacuum. We've had a tough economy, an industry that is still struggling to get to pre 2008 levels, and new media competition that has all come on the scene during the transition. Who knows where we'd be if we were trying to sell an industry based on recall and paper diaries in the largest markets in 2011. Chances are we'd be in a worse situation.

(7/28/2011 10:59:43 AM)
Its refreshing to see an actual group head speak frankly and honestly and pull no punches instead of the typical nonsense and spin that comes from the the people you usually quote

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WARNING! Pandora Says We Have Real Ratings in Every Market.

Pandora wants everyone to know (Pssst - advertisers) that the company is creeping into the local markets gaining listeners. This morning Pandora released listening numbers in collaboration with Edison Research for the month of July. Pandora Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Tim Westergren says ?Radio is radio. Pandora is simply a smart buy for local advertisers as well as national ones.  In fact, some advertising agencies are designating Pandora with the call letters ?WPAN.?  Listeners are increasingly turning to Pandorapersonalized radio to listen to music at home, at work, in the car and all points in between. It's a great platform for advertisers to connect directly with their audience throughout the day.?

Edison Research President Larry Rosin said ?We analyzed and converted Pandora?s data into AQH (average quarter hour), which is the standard metric for radio advertising buying.   We believe this data demonstrates the significance and scope of Pandora?s audience at the local level, especially among 18-34 and 18-49 year olds.? Edison Research examined how many listeners tuned into Pandora, how long each person listened and then converted that data into Average Quarter Hour metrics using industry-accepted methodology. In order to qualify as a listener, a person had to listen for at least five minutes within a quarterhour period. Also, for this analysis, Edison did not include Pandora One subscribers who are not served any ads.

July Ratings
Monday-Sunday, 6.00 a.m. ? midnight
An average quarter hour (AQH) rating of 1.0 means an average of one percent of a target population is listening to Pandora for at least five minutes or more during any 15 minute window between 6.00 a.m. and midnight.

New York
Adults 18 ? 34 = .7 AQH rating
Adults 18 ? 49 = .5 AQH rating

Los Angeles
Adults 18 ? 34 = .9 AQH rating
Adults 18 ? 49 = .6 AQH rating

Adults 18 ? 34 = .7 AQH rating
Adults 18 ? 49 = .5 AQH rating

San Francisco
Adults 18 ? 34 = .9 AQH rating
Adults 18 ? 49 = .6 AQH rating

Dallas ? Ft. Worth
Adults 18 ? 34 = .8 AQH rating
Adults 18 ? 49 = .5 AQH rating
Adults 18 ? 34 = .8 AQH rating
Adults 18 ? 49 = .5 AQH rating

Adults 18 ? 34 = .7 AQH rating
Adults 18 ? 49 = .5 AQH rating

Adults 18 ? 34 = .7 AQH rating
Adults 18 ? 49 = .5 AQH rating

Washington, DC
Adults 18 ? 34 = .9 AQH rating
Adults 18 ? 49 = .6 AQH rating

Adults 18 ? 34 = .8 AQH rating
Adults 18 ? 49 = .5 AQH rating

(7/29/2011 9:21:15 AM)
Michigan Broadcaster....just to make sure your ignorance is not gone unchecked.....The last time I checked I found the difference between share and ratings fairly straightforward....any rating implies an average of "x" percent of a target population is listening to a specific station for at least five minutes or more during any 15 minute window between 6.00 a.m. and midnight. Try the wheat toast with your eggs and GO BUCKEYES!
(7/29/2011 8:14:26 AM)
Share = % of listening vs people using the medium. Rating is % of people listening vs the entire target group whether using the medium at that time or not. In this case, looks like "rating" to me.
(7/28/2011 6:03:49 PM)
I think Pandora is confusing AQH RATING with AQH SHARE. Big difference. I also think there will be a lot of egg on a lot of faces shortly.

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Juan Gonzalez Now Adelante's Director Of Programming And New Media

Gonzalez gets the promotion from PD of Spanish CHR Latino 97.9 in Sacramento. He's also the co-host of Latino?s top rated Juan and Karli morning show.  Gonzalez will now oversee all of Adelante?s brands, including Latino, Regional Mexican LaGranD and Spanish Oldies Juan as well as the company?s New Media and Digital execution.

Gonzalez said, ?This is a dream come true for me. I love Sacramento, and I love all of Adelante?s emerging Hispanic markets that I can now help impact. I look forward to being a great partner to the best group of Market Managers in the business."  This is a great opportunity with a very unique company that just asks you to be brilliant today a little more than you were yesterday, and hands you all the tools you need for success."

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Arbitron Spends $11.7 Million For Analytics Company

As we reported earlier this week Arbitron was making noise about a possible service to rate online listening. Yesterday the company announced it has purchased Finland based Zokem, a mobile measurement and analytics company. Zokem says it provides "passive on-device metering which allows us to interpret people?s needs, opinions and trends as they emerge in daily life." Zokem was launched 3 years ago and is based in Otaniemi, Finland, the company employs currently 25 people. Zokem founder and CEO Hannu Verkasalo (pictured) will continue to run the company, however it will now be called Arbitron Mobile.

Zokem says it has a patented mobile measurement system based on real-time information on user behavior and context, ultimately interpreting everything that people do in life. "With one simple mobile application, you may find out which apps get the most face time from the global mobile audience, or what are the top markets and contexts for different service categories. Zokem allows you to benchmark your mobile service offering against your competition, carry out technical measurements, such as signal strengths, track consumer behavior and opinions, measure your mobile ad campaigns, and lots more."

Zokem was launched 3 years ago and is based in Otaniemi, Finland, the company employs currently 25 people. Zokem founder and CEO Hannu Verkasalo (pictured) will continue to run the company, however it will now be called Arbitron Mobile. The purchase price was approximately $11.7 million in cash with possible additional incremental cash payments through 2014 of up to $12 million based on future financial performance.

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Radio Drives Revenue For Local Insurance Company

This is a success story managers should print, blow up and post on the door of the conference room. It's a great motivator for salespeople and a super idea generator for your next sales meeting. Greg Tramontin has been in the insurance business since 1982 the same year he became a fan of radio advertising. In 2009 Tramontin started Go Auto Low Cost Car Insurance. 2 years later he's up to 41 locations fully deployed in the state of Louisiana with visions of opening in Pennsylvania, Tennessee or North Carolina. He's averaging about 5 to 6 new store openings per month and he is not afraid to admit radio has played a major role in his growth over the past two years. And we let Tramontin tell his story about how radio advertising turned him from a fan of the yellow pages to a lifelong user of radio.

"I go back to 1982 and this is kind of an interesting story. I actually worked for the Yellow Pages for 5 years prior to getting into this business. When I got into the insurance business, I didn?t go work for somebody first and one day decide to open my own business. I opened my own business from day one with absolutely no experience. I was 28 years old and I sold my house. I had about $30,000 in equity, which I took to open up the business in Lafayette, Louisiana."

"After working at the Yellow Pages for 5 years I decided to purchase the largest ad available in the phone book, especially for the category of auto insurance. I opened in October of 1982, just with Yellow Page advertising. The phone was ringing and I would get 3,4, or 5 calls a day. The first day I sold a policy, the next two days I wouldn?t sell any. Then I would sell 2 on a Friday. It was kind of going like that. I had about $2,500 left of from my original $30,000 capital base and a radio rep from KSMB came in the door. She came in to talk to me about radio. I said I really don?t have much money. So we put together a little two or three week October schedule. She helped me put together the ad, nothing fancy, which started on Monday."

"That following Monday, now remember I told you I was going through 5 calls a day, I got 48 calls and sold 7 policies. From that point on, radio became a staple of our marketing campaign.  We used television to build image and the brand. We used radio to reinforce that message with frequency.  They work hand in hand. I've subscribed for years to TAPSCAN, Arbitron, and Nielsen. We don?t go through an advertising agency, we buy ourselves."

"If we get 100 calls, we can sell 45 of them which is a hot percentage. We are just trying to reach thousands of people, frequently, with a good message, and get them to pick up the phone and call or go to our website. We go into a new market with a budget and end up buying probably 8-10 deep.  Our demographic, it used to be 18-49, but we have moved it to 21-54.  That is mainly because what we do is not like selling a bunch of shoes where the worst thing that can happen is maybe the shoe falls apart and they want their money back. When you sell auto insurance, we have to pay the claims.  You have to be very selective. It?s matching risk to pricing. You have to match that pretty accurately.  Teenagers, we know, are very difficult.  We try to skip them altogether.  We now go from 21 to 54, adults.  We buy Urban.  We buy Country, Adult Contemporary, Classic Rock.  Our reach is probably approaching 80-85%.  Heavy, heavy frequency."

There is much more from Greg Tramontin in the August 22nd issue of Radio Ink magazine. In that issue, he touches on how he also uses Google AdWords in his marketing campaign, his view on radio salespeople and his advice on how salespeople can better adress the needs of the client. You are not going to want to miss out on this great success story.

Subscribe to Radio Ink Today by clicking HERE

We would like to Thank 2011 Radio Wayne Award Nominee Jennifer Luquette of Citadel in Lafayette for suggesting we speak to Greg.
Have a local client success story? We'd like to hear about it. Contact me at

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Doug Hyde New VP at Coleman Insights

Before coming to Coleman, Hyde was with Clear Channel where he was director of research for the company?s San Francisco and San Diego radio stations. ?The opportunity to join the best media research firm in the business is a dream come true,? added Hyde. ?I am excited to join Coleman Insights and I look forward to digging in to help our partners achieve their goals.? Prior to his 11 years with Clear Channel, Hyde held research positions with Univision Radio and CBS Radio. Hyde will relocate from San Diego to Coleman Insights? Research Triangle Park, North Carolina headquarters. He starts August 29th.

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(Commentary) They're Laughing At Us.

by Ed Ryan

I keep thinking about the advertisers. The advertisers in Tampa listening to the radio. The advertisers in Birmingham reading their mail. The advertisers our staff interviewed this week about how radio's account executives need a Zig Ziglar lesson in follow-up. I keep thinking about the 7% or 8% of the advertising revenue pie we happily walk from the table with. The same percentage we were getting when I first left Radio Ink 10 years ago. Doesn't really seem much has changed in a decade and this week was a real eye opener. Well, 10 years ago we weren't driving around in our cars listening to the Internet.

In Tampa, the advertisers are being entertained by at least one radio station mocking the age of another radio station's morning man as they hope to steal listeners with a similar format. In Birmingham advertisers will read a letter from one station berating another for complaining about Arbitron's antiquated diary system. The letter was ripe with unflattering remote broadcast pictures. Randy Michaels might say that's good old fashion fun radio. Maybe. I never was a big fan of the competitor beat-down.

On the phone this week we spoke with a New York City media buyer who, much to our surprise, said her radio reps were hard to reach and slow to respond. Blackberry's. iPhones. iPads. Slow to respond? hard to reach? Slow to respond? Baffling. Here's a quote from a local direct radio client we also spoke with. "Follow-through would be nice. In the age of emails, it is amazing how difficult it is to get some of these guys sometimes. We don?t need them in our office every day or even every week or every month. We need to communicate if we have an issue.  We shoot them an email and would like a response." What's going on out there?

Yesterday was the start of something quite interesting. Pandora took step one giant step toward picking your pockets. As you know by now, Pandora sent out specific ratings for 10 major markets. And they did it in language buyers, agencies and local advertisers understand. They did it in your language, even though they don't have to. They did it to prove a point, I think. It's almost like a taunt. We can speak your language or we can speak ours. "Radio is radio" Westegren says. And he knows we can't speak his yet. Maybe Clear Channel will, in September. We should be thankful Pittman is now on our side.

Pandora doesn't need to demonstrate AQH or Ratings points or share, they have actual listening numbers. They are needling you. They are warning you. They are laughing at you. To date, Pandora has local sales offices set up in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Detroit, and Portland. Don?t think you operate in a safe market. They will be everywhere. Pandora salespeople can go into an advertiser and show them who was listening when and for how long and who clicked on a banner or viewed a coupon. They can go into a local advertiser and say you Mr. advertiser are going to be one of only two or three ads heard in an hour. And we can pooh pooh it all we want. It's going to happen but we shouldn't try to argue it away. We should have a plan.

When a Pandora salesperson shows up to the local car dealer with something new and exciting, real listener numbers, are you confident you can compete? When they show up with their iPad and a spec pre-roll video ad that thunders across the showroom in full surround sound and a proposal that geo-targets by zip code or neighborhood, can you compete with your spiraled paper proposal, signal-strength circles, extrapolated data and 24-hour rotators in a 12 minute commercial pod? When they push a real ad out to 2,000 users in your backyard offering free music downloads to the first 200 people to show up to Bob's Gun and Garden shop, can you really compete with your station van, balloons and free hot dogs?

Something else to think about. Are you confident that your top salespeople will stay at your station when Pandora sets up a local sales shop and starts hiring? What if your best salesperson was offered an opportunity to make more money - all Internet companies seem to be an endless pit of V.C. cash - geo-targeting ads for clients she already has great relationships with? Might want to revisit that non-compete Monday. What if they want to run "we're hiring" ads on your station?

We keep saying Pandora is an iPod on shuffle or a feature or a fad. We keep saying our communities love our radio stations and our morning show. And some or all of that may be true. The fact is a small business - or a big business -  could care less what we think. If they are getting measurable results from sales reps that follow up and follow through, that's all they care about. Relationships are good for a cup of coffee. R.O.I. is everything to a business owner.

Ed Ryan is the Editor-in-Chief of Radio Magazine. He can be reached via e-mail or the old fashioned way  239-247-3833. You can also follow Radio Ink on Facebook and on Twitter (@Radio_Ink)

(7/29/2011 6:35:46 AM)
Enough about Pandora! Is Radio Ink being paid to promote it? Well, congratulations you're doing a great job of giving them endless publicity.

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Be A Leader Not A Boss

by Kit Mann

Complacency. That is the #1 symptom that I see and hear when I talk to small market PDs and managers who have it a bit too easy. Complacency is the reason that so many of fellow PDs (sorry to tell it straight, guys) have lost their jobs lately. I was speaking to a PD in a small market (who asked me to keep his name confidential because he KNEW I would write about this) who told me that he only did the minimum needed because he knew that his GM didn?t know any better and he had ?too much to do anyway.?

I asked what he meant by ?too much to do? and he said that he had a ?cushy? job at the station with no accountability and that he had lots of other outside interests. So because his GM trusted him to do his job, he became complacent at work and decided that his JOB was his second or third priority. That sounds to me like a GM has misplaced his trust?or perhaps we have another problem: Accountability.

I know of another PD in a small market, (who I used to work with) who DEMANDS to be out of the station by a certain hour of the day. He makes a big deal of telling anyone that will listen that since he does mornings, he must leave by 2pm. When I found out why, it was because he likes to play video games online. When I asked him if he was afraid of the GM finding out, he said ?I just do what the consultant says. It?s not like I have any real responsibilities anyway??

Both of these guys are talented PDs but have allowed themselves to be complacent at work because they are not being challenged by their GMs to be more creative or responsible.  Sales staffs have these problems for sure, but in most cases, lack of work or lack of effort will show up in tangible sales figures and that person will be offered the door. PDs and programming people are a bit more of a test.

As managers we need to challenge our employees. GMs need to dare their PDs and Sales Managers to be leaders. PDs and Sales Managers need to face up to their staffs and get them to produce, be creative and be responsible. Surely personal PRIDE has to come into play at some point as well, but when your morning show is getting to the station thirty minutes before their show or your PD is simply running a log without editing or massaging it because the ?GM won?t know the difference? then something is amiss with motivation.

I am writing a book called ?Be a leader, not a boss.? In that book, my goal is to help teach up and coming managers to lead not only by example, but by asserting their expectations. We need to be honest with our staffs. We need to tell them what we expect from them performance-wise AND from their actions in the building. We need to hold each other to higher standards if we want to survive.

Living and working in small markets can be very rewarding. We can connect easier. We can relate to a more intimate audience, but we can also become complacent and let the product suffer. When that happens, numbers suffer (and they go to places OTHER than the over-the-air competition now?), sales suffer and people lose their jobs.  Let?s hold ourselves to a higher standard. Expect more from our employees and we will get it. Expect less---we will get that too.

Kit Mann is the morning host and program director of KBPY in Chadron, NE. A brand new signal that he built from the ground up this year. Or Or on Twitter at kitmannrocks

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Online Innovation in Market 248

(by Carl Magnuson) So how does a small market country station in northern Alabama serve over a million online video views? The station owner Jerry Phillips (son of Sam Phillips of Sun Records) told me, "It begins with a song." Let?s go on a journey into market 248 and see how Jerry and his team makes it happen with a great idea, morphing online technology with a great community radio station.

Fast Facts:
The Program ? Muscle Shoals 2 Music Row Live ( is an artist showcase in a small venue. The station sells/gives away tickets to the live show, broadcasts the show live on air and also streams the performance video live online.
Market ? Florence-Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Metro Population ? 124,100
Station ? WXFL, KIX 96 (Big River Broadcasting)
The Team - Jerry (owner), Nick (GM), Fletch (PD), Halley (Director of Digital Marketing), Greg (Sound and Engineering)

RI: Jerry, you said it all begins with a song what do you mean by that?
Jerry: ?We are music people here and we recognize the importance of the singer/songwriter and the connection music creates between the artist, the station and the people listening. We also know good radio starts there but if you?re just playing songs you?re replaceable. We try to make the music mean more and that?s where the inspiration for ideas like Muscle Shoals 2 Music Row comes from.?

RI: You?ve been very successful with a list of performances from names like James Otto, Josh Turner and Steve Cropper and over a million stream and archive video views. How did you get to this point?
: ?It started with us in a head to head competition with another country station in the market. We wanted to find a way to set us apart from them, create unique content for listeners and build a stronger relationship with artists and musicians and songwriters. We wanted a competitive edge. So we started asking the labels up in Nashville if we can get access to their artists. Once we get them down here, we do interviews, meet and greets and then they hit the stage and their airwaves live. Listeners love it.?

Do you get a lot of people tuning in from outside your area?
: ?We get listeners and viewers from all over. Every state. You look at the reports and see countries like Muldova show up. We also get a lot of views in Afganistan and Iraq and that's a real point of pride for us. Our troops are over there serving us and so if we can serve them by putting on a good show then we?re doing something right.?

RI: So the fan response is there both in views online and in your high ratings in the market. What is the advertiser response?
Nick - ?Sponsors love it and we are getting more and more interest every day. You look at Toby Keith and Ford or Tim McGraw with Budweiser. Major brands are looking to co-brand themselves with the music industry and with country music in particular.?

- ?This is something we?ve been working on for a while because it was great for programming but now it?s even more valuable as more and more focus of advertising is going online. MS2MR is a unique product that is exactly what many brands are looking for as they seek consumer engagement beyond just running ads on air.?

RI: What investment have you had to make in technology and has that paid off?
- ?We've recently upgraded our streaming and archiving gear bringing in new computers and drive arrays, HD video interface, etc.  We also multitrack the video and audio which gives us great opportunities to master a finished product like DVDs/BluRays. There's no doubt the upgrades have paid off in the quality of the streaming and recordings.?

RI: For a station that wants to create an experience like this for their listeners and advertisers but might not be two and half hours from an epicenter of music like Nashville, what advice would you give them?
Fletch - ?Don't ignore the value of unique content and don't ignore technology. The technology gives you opportunity. The web levels the playing field and allows you to create almost anything you can imagine. Bring the unique content that makes your station special, present it in a compelling way and you?ll win.?

- ?And just don?t be scared to try something new. We?re independent operators down here and we try to keep that spirit and that edge in everything we do. Some stations might not have that flexibility but I?ll tell you if you don?t take risks and you don?t try to beat your own path then it?s going to be tough to create something that?s unique and special and makes you stand out.?
What can your station give listeners that no one else can? Hint: It?s not 12 commercial free songs in a row?though that might feed the meter.Big River Broadcasting gives their listeners something special and they are rewarded with higher engagement, better results for advertisers, better ratings, better team moral and better revenue. You can hear in their voices how much fun they are having everyday making good radio that means something to their community.

Nick Martin will happily answer any questions you have about how to get something like this going at your station. Reach him at 

Carl Magnuson is a blogger for and Co-Creator and Director of Sales, Social Radio LLC. He can be reached via e-mail at

(7/26/2011 8:00:22 AM)
"Be creative" is the underlying message here. Muscle Shoals has been on that creative edge since it was dubbed "The Hit Recording Capital of the World" in the 1970s. You won't find a more concentrated number of people who are willing to try "new" things - be it with music, or (today) online.

I was lucky to be the Music Director at WLAY-AM in Muscle Shoals back when Terry Woodford (Wishbone Studio) helped shape the Motown Sound, Rick Hall at Fame Studio was working with Merle Haggard to tweak better Country music (or with Donny and Marie Osmond in Pop), and Jimmy Johnson had his Muscle Shoals Sound humming on all cylinders for Rock and other genres. Think of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" and it's line about the Muscle Shoals "Swampers," better known as the The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.

It wasn't uncommon to have someone bring me two acetate disc mixes of songs they wanted to release. I'd start both at the same time - on air - then switch back and forth between the two while they would listen to the airsound and decide which mix to put on the album.

If radio, as an industry, would take a tip from these "try something new" thinkers we'd have a lot more excitement being generated for the audience.

Stagnated approaches to radio programming induces people to look for something different ("fresh" if you want to use that word).

The folks in Muscle Shoals have never failed to deliver.

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Albright: PPM Data Makes A Lot of Sense

In our second day of our week-long series focusing on Arbitron's Portable People Meter, we spoke with respected veteran programmer Jaye Albright about the device. Albright is a 45-year broadcaster with a experience in all areas of programming, research, sales and management, including programming stints in Seattle, San Jose, Bakersfield, Anaheim and Tucson. Albright says with the PPM, programmers must understand that every quarter hous matters, now more than ever. She adds "it's the rare talent who really understands what a different mindset toward content and prep that requires."

- What is your impression on how things have changed going from the diary to the PPM?
The biggest change of many is the fact that in diaries one "listening occasion" got you six or seven quarter hours of listening, because folks in the sample wrote more listening than they actually did to things that they remembered.  One of the seven pages of the average diary may not have even had anything at all written on it.  In PPM, the game includes all 504 quarter hours from 6:00 am Monday to Midnight Sunday and you need above average listening in as many of those quarter hours as possible, certainly more than your direct competition.  PPM shows a lot more listening to radio than we ever say in all but a very small number of very heavy user diaries and that's good, but realizing that EVERY quarter hour matters, every day, every week is a huge change that I have been preaching to all of A&O's PPM market clients for years now, but until it hits you personally it's the rare talent who really understands what a different mindset toward content and prep that requires.

- Do you think the listeners notice a change at all over the way programmers program?
No, I don't.  They still use radio just as they always have, primarily in the background of their busy lives.  The new challenge for personalities is to learn to stand out from the noise in everyone's life in positive and engaging ways which drive more regular usage.  Radio, on average, continues to satisfy listeners by meeting their expectations as we always have.  Perceptual research proves this over and over, and the fact that above average usage isn't being driven doesn't matter to the listener, whose favorite stations have always been "seek" and "scan."  Once upon a time, a great marketing tactic was to find 'em, fool 'em and forget 'em.  PPM actually makes radio better for the listener as we all pursue more usage by watching how they behave as they listen to us.

- What is your advice to programmers on how to maximize ratings for the PPM?
Look at a graph of your station's average minute audience over multiple weeks.  Look at the "down" time periods, which perform lower than your average.  Study what you and your shared cume competition do at those times.  Smooth out the valleys in your listening and grow the size of your down average minutes to the level of the highest ones. 

- Is the system more accurate or not? Why or why not?
Reliable or accurate?  Accurate, statistically, is subject to statistical laws based on sample size and when the difference between two radio stations is just eight meters, of course, accuracy is quite variable due to that small sample size.  More different people have been represented in the diary sample, so when you aggregate a two year trend of diaries, the reliability is more stable due to that factor, but since diary placement and return have gotten ore and more difficult, that is becoming less and less true.  PPM panel management and cooperation rates are an inexact science and require more of a human touch, which of course introduces a different kind of bias that what we have gotten used to. 

Do women really use less radio than men?  Or, do they just wear the meter for less time?  More research needs to be done on that and carriage patterns need to be compared with the many other types of meters being used around the world to see what is going on there.  Female listening to radio is too important to under-report it for any reason. When the "meter" is imbedded in cell phones and sample placement is less expensive so that panel sizes can be more representatively proportional, I am sure that the data will be more "accurate" than is it now, but you cannot deny that PPM data makes a lot of sense in terms of real human behavior and unless you have NO meters in the sample, you can always increase your number of days or week and times per day to grow your ratings by getting to know the people who use your radio station in numerical ways we never had in diaries.

Reach out to Jaye via e-mail to send her a comment HERE
Post your comment about the PPM below.
Tomorrow we speak to Adelante CEO Jay Meyers about the PPM impact on the Hispanic audience.

(7/27/2011 7:32:10 AM)
Great article, Jaye!

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Never Assume Listeners Are With You 24/7?

by Tara Servatius

Last week, I had a life changing experience. I listened to talk radio as a true listener. I hadn?t been on the air in about a week and a half and for the first time in years I wasn?t closely following the news. Instead, I?d been knee-deep in my other jobs and taking care of the kids ? just like everyone else. I turned on talk radio simply to find out what was going on and what people thought about it and nearly ended up tearing my hair out.

Hosts both local and national were talking about the big national story of the week, the debt ceiling battle. That was fine. It was one of the things I wanted to check in on. The problem was that they were all so deep into it that I had little idea what they were talking about. Many of them were talking about ?Cut, cap and balance,? as if I should know what the heck that was. (None of the hosts ever told me, so I Googled it and determined it was a bill by some in the GOP).

These hosts threw around numbers, names and minutia from committee meetings. One played audio from a GOP politician he was mad at over something that had happened with the debt debate. I was never clear on exactly what that was because the host assumed that I knew. It was clear that many of these hosts weren?t happy with President Obama, the Democrats and some in the Republican Party over whatever was going on with the debt ceiling negotiations. That came through just fine. But what the heck was going on? That eluded me completely. After a while, I grew so frustrated listening that I began to wonder how long it would take before someone explained what was going on with the debt negotiations in simple terms.

Part of the problem was that I was driving from place to place and talking to my child in the back seat occasionally.  I wasn?t listening with my full attention all the time, but then again, neither do most people. I listened to hours of talk radio over several days during that time, and only once did someone ? Michael Smerconish ? reset for me and explain exactly what the options on the table were in simple enough terms that I could get it while negotiating traffic.

Everyone else presumed I?d spent the last 23 hours watching FOX news or CNN and knew exactly what was going on down to the smallest detail. Once I understood what was going on, I instantly had an opinion. It tripled my interest in the topic. I could have participated in a conversation about it if it came up and sounded halfway intelligent, and did repeat what I had heard to several people later that day. And I wanted to talk about it. I was now part of the club that got what was going on.

That?s what good news talk radio should do in very small amounts of time. Provide a service. Give me the news, or boil it down quickly so people who don?t have time to read an article or watch a whole news segment about it can get what?s going on in the world in between conversations with their child. Talk radio is editorial journalism in its simplest form. It should include the who, what, where and when before the why and it should include it often and in simple terms because listeners come to us for that first. If I?m driving 15 minutes to my destination and I?m distracted a quarter of the time and you haven?t reset at least twice, you have lost me. Last week, for the first time ever, news talk radio did just that. If I was that frustrated, I can?t imagine what it was like for an FM listener stumbling upon news talk for the first time because the AM talker in town just bought an FM station to broadcast on. They?d have been baffled. Lost. And we might have even lost them.

Tara Servatius was a drivetime News/Talk host at NewsTalk 1110 WBT in Charlotte. She was recently exiled.
Reach out to her at her website Twitter Tara @TaraServatius Facebook

(7/28/2011 1:24:13 PM)

Almost forgot to mention the following:

Democrats and Republicans in Washington are talking about making tough choices when in fact they both desire that our nation be at war opposing nations that are non-hostile.

An independent study has concluded the real cost of war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc., to be at around 8 trillion dollars.

Tara, do you see my point? Talk radio ignores the real issues.

(7/28/2011 7:53:27 AM)

Tara like the majority of other talk show listeners is a victim of political manipulation.

The Republican and Democrat leaders arbitrarily decide what the issues are going to be no matter if they have any merit whatsoever.

Tara and the rest of the dying number of talk show listeners need to look at global picture and decide is the topic worth listening to or is it simply a mountain out of a mole hill topic story.

Regarding this issue "debt ceiling" it's all hype being done with smoke and mirrors.

Tara needs to understand that the real issue that deserves her attention is the long term US policy of off-shoring millions of US jobs. Under the nefarious Republican/Democrat leadership we continue to lose more and more jobs because the globalist corporations are only concerned with increasing their profits and our political leaders will not take a stand.

Further, you have leadership that is allowing millions more jobs to be taken away by illegal immigrants.

Tara like millions of other naive Americans need to step back and realize what they are hearing on corporate radio reflects what big business wants and not what is best for middle class America.

Tara, my reocmmendation is that you listen to internet talk host, Alex Jones and then report back to me what are the issues of the day.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Katz Radio Says Pandora Numbers Don't Add Up

Katz Radio Says Pandora Numbers Don't Add Up

After reading the ratings numbers sent out yesterday by Pandora and Edison Research, Katz EVP of Radio Analysis and Insights Mary Beth Garber penned an opinion piece disputing the numbers. Garber called the Pandora numbers "fuzzy math" and "special math" as you'll see below. In response to Garber's editorial, Pandora spokesperson Deborah Roth said, "We long ago stopped commenting on what others say about Pandora."

The latest release posted on Pandora?s investors? website is another attempt to position Pandora as something it isn?t ? a radio station. I understand their radio envy ? they even refer to themselves as WPAN -- since Pandora is essentially a playlist maker set to shuffle.  But what we took away from their announcement was its failure to reach half the country, fuzzy math, and no benefit for advertisers.  So when it comes to Pandora comparing itself to broadcast radio, it just doesn?t WPAN out.

Pandora?s release centered around its having a strong presence in the top ten markets.  But if the Pandora numbers are valid, then Pandora is essentially announcing that about half or more of its total listenership is restricted to the top ten markets in the U.S. Considering the top ten markets account for only about 25% of the U.S. 18-49 population, that leads us to the conclusion that Pandora is not being embraced outside these ten markets.

On the numbers front, Pandora is making claims based on what I?ll call ?Pandora?s ?Special? Math.?  The company hired well-respected Edison Research to create ?average quarter hour? (AQH) ratings for ?Pandora Corporate? (as they are listed by Triton Digital) within two age segments in 10 markets in the U.S.  We aren?t challenging Edison?s math ? they?re only crunching the data Pandora gave them.  But we do wonder about all the data that seems to be missing.  Like the geographic parameters of their ratings. In order to use the only accredited ratings available, the numbers must be reported in terms of TV geographic definitions (or DMA).  If so, that would inflate their ratings when compared to the smaller Arbitron radio metro area. Therefore, they cannot be making an apples-to-apples comparison.  In addition, we?re missing a statistic that?s critical for any real radio station -- the weekly cume of their listening. As to why that was left out, we?ve pointed out before that the average Pandora listener tunes in just 2.5 times a week ? clearly there?s not much of a cume to be generated by that. 

Another example of Pandora?s ?Special? Math:  In its initial analysts? call, Pandora claimed that it ?ended 2010 with 2.3 percent market share of all radio listening in the United States. Six months later, Pandora has increased its market share to 3.6 percent.?  But anyone who looked at the numbers would see this was a mathematical impossibility.  Triton Digital?s published ratings show a net increase of 6% in users for Pandora over that six month period.  For Pandora to equal 3.6% of all broadcast listening, broadcast radio listening would have had to drop by a third -- 32.5% -- in that same period.  But it didn?t -- In fact, broadcast radio listening remained consistent over that timeframe and, in the top ten markets Pandora targets, radio?s AQH has increased by 3.1%.  And calculations by the two actual ratings sources for radio put all digital listening at about 3% of total radio listening.  Without Pandora?s ?Special? Math, Pandora would account for possibly 1-1/2% of all radio listening.

As we?ve said before, Pandora is not the ideal vehicle for advertisers.  Let?s look at ad targeting ? which is crucial when a buyer is considering which radio stations to include on a buy against 18-49 year olds.  Broadcast radio offers targeted environments where advertisers? messages will have relevance and meaning.  A rating without an environment is meaningless.  Pandora doesn?t offer an environment, period, let alone a targeted one.  So, for example, if the advertisement is for a Closed Circuit Boxing match, the spot could easily be surrounded by ballads from Celine Dion.  Not what that advertiser signed up for, I bet.

Knowing radio?s place in the hearts, minds and daily lives of hundreds of millions of listeners every month, we don?t blame Pandora for wanting to be a radio station.  But as the data continues to bear out, it?s far from succeeding in making that case.

(7/29/2011 10:23:04 AM)
This piece borders on desperate. What's the difference whether Pandora has a 3.6 share or a 2.3? They are big enough to be viable and at their current growth rate, even a 2.3 will be a 3.6 before long. As for not being comperably programmed with terrestrial radio - after 10 AM music TR is the same type of automated playlist vehicle as Pandora, but with inferior sound and much broader, less personal formatting.

Ad environment...jeez! Would you rather be one of four 15 second segments per hour where button pushing is almost impossible, or the last spot in one of three five minute stop set?

No, Pandora will not replace radio. But it will continue to be one of many forms of media that slowly erode it.

(7/29/2011 10:02:23 AM)
Agreed - the world is changing, but if Mary Beth sounds like an apologist for the broadcast industry, the three of you sound like part-time air personalities who got fired for lack of talent.

You missed the obvious:

After the dot com bust, the real winners were the brick and mortar companies that leveraged the exposure to build their online brands.

(7/29/2011 9:57:54 AM)
Wait, Katz Radio is challenging Edison's Pandora ratings or Mary Beth "Pandora Envy" Garber is challenging the research? Last time I checked Katz represents numerous internet radio properties, including Pandora?! Isn't Clear Channel, Katz' parent company, sort of agreeing that personalized radio is a real product (not a feature as their CEO once described it as) and using their own air to brand their new(?) iHeart Radio app..."just like Pandora"?? Who goofed, I've got to know?? So strange??
(7/29/2011 9:33:35 AM)
It's time for the radio industry to stop acting like Pandora is a "flash in the pan" and start realizing that the world is changing fast. Pandora, along with other companies like Google, Apple, Slacker, Spotify,and even CBS Radio's are changing the way consumers find and listen to music. There is no turning back. Start embracing this technology and use it to better your on air brands. Forget about streaming your on air product online and HD Radio. That is not the future that your listeners/consumers have in mind.

(7/29/2011 9:28:44 AM)
Mary Beth -- you must have failed to be hired at Pandora because every time I see your name it is attributed to an smut article bashing Pandora and imploring people to stay content with "Boss Radio" or some other cute, yet antiquated vision of radio and today's consumer consumption. You are a joke that has grown tired -please stop making an ass out of yourself with these ridiculous rants and harsh, off base poison pen pieces.
Respectfully, The Real World!

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Fisher Radio Revenue Drops 5%

Fisher was the third public company to report Q2 earnings so far and it's the second to report a drop in radio revenue. Fisher only has 3 radio stations in its public portfolio, however, it did report a revenue decline at those stations of 5% to $5.7 million. Despite the negative revenue number, the company reported an increase in cash flow of $654,000 and an increase in cash flow margin from 17% to 29%.

Fisher reported, despite the poor revenue numbers, that Radio in Seattle had two of the Top 10 stations in the market during Morning Drive for Adults age 25-54 in average share and cumulative audience in June 2011. Fisher has the #1 station in the market for Adults age 25-54 total day cumulative audience (KPLZ-FM).

Beasley broadcasting reports in ths morning at 11AM Eastern

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When Are You Liable For What Your Employees Do?

When Are You Liable For What Your Employees Do?

by John Garziglia

Earlier this week, we reported how a morning man was charged with child molestation. As if those charges weren't bad enough, it was also alleged the crime took place on the property of the radio station in which the man worked. We wanted to know the ramifications with the law and the FCC for a station owner when this happens so we took it up with attorney John Garziglia in this week's issue of "Ask The Attorney."

Radio Ink asks:  What are the implications for the station and management of sexual contact between a radio personality and a listener under 18 years of age?

Well, it appears that some radio personalities, even though they may be adults well into their 40s or 50s, conduct themselves like they are pubescent teenagers with little regard for their own culpability.  While this may not be a total surprise, it can make for horrible potential collateral damage to the station and others, in addition to exposing the radio personality himself or herself to potential significant criminal liability. Most states prohibit sexual contact between adults and kids under 16, and for some places, under 18.  Most states prohibit any sexual contact for the  purpose of arousal which includes touching and exhibiting, not just touching of private parts or intercourse. 

For more information, I turned to Kurt Stakeman, a former state prosecutor who handles criminal matters at my law firm.  Kurt observes it does not matter if the under-aged person is the initiator, and in most places if the under-aged person lies about his or her age.  There is strict criminal liability for such sexual contact.  Offenders face prison and being listed as a sexual predator.  The more significant the touching, often  the longer the sentence.  Most states have mandatory minimum sentences measured in years.

With respect to management personnel or other employees at the radio station, Kurt warns that there can be criminal liability for those who know of such sexual contact between adults and under-aged persons but do not report it.  He also forewarns that there is clear criminal liability for those who know and do not tell the truth in a police investigation.

Past all of this, offenders and their employers could also face civil liability.  The liability for the employer will be a function of what the employer knew or should have known was going on in the station or any station function such as something connected with a remote broadcast or personal appearance by the personality.  The employer can also be liable if it knew or should have known that the personality had a prior conviction or history of unlawful contact with under-aged persons.  Once again, as with anything where there may be civil liability, it is good to confirm now that the station's liability insurance covers the station for allegations of wrongful sexual contact, rather than after such an incident occurs. 

Finally, the FCC, which has rarely seen fit in the past several decades to take away licenses, reserves a special place for child molestation offenses and drug offenses.  If ownership or upper management at a radio station are somehow implicated in such offenses, license revocation proceedings may follow. I could close by saying ?know the law? and ?check the ID? but that is something every radio personality has known since the beginning of time.  Yet, every so often someone gets caught.  The best advice for over-sexed radio personalities, past the ignored admonitions of not doing something highly illegal in the first place, is to have the direct-dial number of a criminal attorney like Kurt Stakeman (336-721-3689) with you at all times.  At the first hint of trouble, whether real or alleged, the immediate assistance of a great criminal attorney can often be the difference in what happens next.

John F. Garziglia is a Communications Law Attorney with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Washington, DC and can be reached at (202) 857-4455 or Have a question for our "Ask The Attorney" feature? Send to

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The PPM World. Is Better Than The Diary?

July 26, 2011 has embarked on a new series called "living in a PPM world." Our goal is to get a feel from the radio rank-and-file about how things have changed, in their world, now that many markets have been receiving consistent electronic ratings over the antiquated written diary system. Deny it if you will, but everyone knows, and today's top story confirms, so much is dependent on ratings in our industry. The anticipation of the "new book" being released can drive General Managers and Program Directors to the gin till as they ponder the possibilities of what a bad book can do to their revenue, not to mention their jobs. Media buyers will grind you down on the numbers if it looks like you are starting to slip in any way. That's their job and there's not a whole lot you can do about it when you know a station down the street is waiting to scoop up the dollars you are willing to leave on the table.

We thought it would be interesting to ask programmers if they have changed anything now that they seem to understand how the Portable People Meter works and have been able to analyze it over a period of time. CBS RADIO Senior Vice President of Programming Gregg Strassell says just playing to PPM will not help stations in a digital world. "Stations must be loved by their listeners, no matter what the ratings methodology. Program to the audience, win their hearts and minds.  Stand for something they want, and make your station reflect those values.  It?s pretty simple. PPM programming is making our words more efficient, but the key to being a great brand now and in the future is not necessarily overtly playing to a ratings methodology.  We are asking our programmers to spend a great deal of time on the listener benefits of their radio stations, and feel that is a long-term solution to winning, and requires a lot of attention."

Van Harden is the Program Director at the legendary WHO Radio in Des Moines. Harden says legendary status means less in a PPM world. "It appears to me, in comparing PPM with the diary system, that PPM is much more of a "what have you done for me lately" system, rewarding heritage less and content more. Even though I'm at a station with incredible heritage, that's probably good, not bad. There's nothing wrong with more reasons for us to have more great content more often."

Harden adds, "I think the fact we live in a PPM world doesn't so much change things as it does emphasize what we already knew and were acting upon. We know we have to hook listeners early to keep them tuned in and engaged.  That may be one of the biggest things PPM has clearly validated.  Get to the point.  Get to the meat.  And set appointments to use the listeners you already have for even more numbers."

Jim Hicks is a retired Program Director now living in Nashville. Hicks has programmed stations in Nashville and Grand Rapids. He says the diary system was easy to corrupt. "Finding a person or two with a diary was not very difficult, as well as other tricks programmers learned along the way all focused on keeping their jobs. So many people lost their jobs based on 'ratings' that later proved to the wrong conclusion. Programmers can no longer ignore certain formats that are really having a market impact. Now the device listens. In terms of the PPM I think the industry is better off because it is hard to argue with automated listening. As soon as many of us became technically aware in the 80s we knew there had to be a better way." Hicks says with the PPM, there is greater accuracy in the information.

Harden says the industry is better off with the PPM. "Yes, I think so, even though PPM is far from perfect. It seems to be more trustworthy and there is a lot to be said for the speed of it's reporting to us. Strassell agrees radio is better off in a PPM world. "The industry needed strong actual behavior data as the media landscape has become more digital.  The ratings system had to move into a digital age.  The feedback is faster, allowing stations to experiment and see payoff quicker."

(7/26/2011 11:48:01 AM)
The problem with responding to the PPM world too quickly, as Arbitron will admit, is that there is a significant lower number of monitors out there than the number of diaries that were distributed in the same market. Sure, the data from a source is more accurate, but the pool is almost statistically meaningless to your market size. This means you can't use PPM numbers without looking at several books, which is similar to what had to be done with diaries, thereby almost negating the benefit.

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Townsquare Hires Former Clear Channel VP Thom Thon

Thon is brought in as Senior Vice President for Radio and he will directly oversee all of Townsquare's radio markets, reporting to Erik Hellum, Executive Vice President, Radio. When with Clear Channel Thon was Senior Vice President of Operations with responsibility for thirty-eight regional markets in the Eastern United States . Thon is a lifelong radio broadcaster with 33 years of experience in a wide range of roles at Taft, Great American, Citicasters, Jacor and Clear Channel.
?We are excited to have Tom join our team. His track record of leadership speaks for itself and he shares our vision for the future of the radio business,? said Steven Price, Townsquare Media Chairman and CEO. ?I am thrilled with the opportunity to join the leadership team at Townsquare Media,? said Mr. Thon. ?I look forward to working with our markets as we continue to meet and exceed the expectations of our listeners, customers and communities with our terrestrial, digital and event brands.?

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Media Buyer Says Radio Reps Frazzled. Doing Too Many Things.


by Ed Ryan

One of the recent goals we have set for ourselves here at Radio Ink is to conduct as many interviews as possible with local and national advertisers, media buyers and advertising agencies. The goal is to help radio managers understand how they perceive our industry and the people we send out on the street to represent a station or cluster. For example in the August 8th print issue of Radio Ink we have a very interesting interview with Tony Pace, the Chief Marketing Officer for Subway. Pace details exactly what he looks for from radio and how local salespeople should call on local stores. One Pace quote from that piece: ?Radio allows us to get the different portsions of the Subway message out there in a very consistent manner." To find out what he means by that check out page 11 of your August 8th issue of Radio Ink

Today, we have an interview with a very important media buyer operating out of New York City. Elaine Levine is the Vice President/Group Account Director for MPG. Clients she buys radio for include: McDonalds, Sears, K-Mart, Amtrck, Volvo and Fidelty. Her markets include New York City, Los Angelas, Austin and Nashville.

RI: What is your perception of Radio Salespeople
Elaine:  "I think I am very fortunate.  I have some terrific people calling on me and I do think the market is coming back a little bit.  I just think they (radio reps) are being challenged too much to call on agencies looking for non-traditional revenue and new business. Everybody is spread very, very thin. It is very hard some day to even get in touch (with radio reps), because everybody is running from place to place.  If they are in their office, there is a meeting going on. That is probably one of my biggest issues, is trying to get in touch with people.  I just think that people are spread a little bit too thin." 

"I understand there are more revenue opportunities out there for the stations and it?s not just traditional advertising from the agencies, because the world we live in is now changing.  I get that they need to keep going out there and looking for every possibility to find revenue.  It is just hard.  There are only so many hours in the day to get everything done."

RI: What would you like to see the radio reps do better when they are dealing with you? 
Elaine:  "I have to watch my p?s and q?s over here.  The reps who have been calling on me are very senior.  They know the way I work. People kind of come in knowing that we are not going to go around and around with negotiations. You just find less of a support staff for a lot of the reps. It?s hard to get some of the additional information, more than spots on a buy. Now everybody wants added value and you have to get the perfect added value, whatever that might be for your clients. That takes time. Sometimes it's the clients not knowing exactly what they want. It is hard for the reps to do a lot of the bells and whistles these days. I just think the pressure on some of these guys is tremendous. I think it would be nice if we went back to the old days where reps were allowed to make money.  That is the incentive and the carrot for every sales person that I know. A lot of the stations cut commissions, limit salaries. It makes no sense to me. Let them go out and make as much money as they possibly can. You make money, they make money. Everybody?s happy." 

RI: Do you think that they are prepared enough to present to you or pitch to you the digital products they have back at the station?
Elaine: "Not all of the stations have enough tools.  Some are better at it than others.  I think there are radio groups that do digital much better than other ones. I also think it is tough for single stations to compete with the groups? deals. So the CBS and Clear Channel in New York have an edge."

RI:  No sugar-coating it for us, when dealing with the different media who is more prepared?  Radio, TV? 
"I would have to say TV is a little more prepared than radio. I just think radio has a lot to sell. As I said in the beginning, they are being asked to sell the station.  They are being asked to sell the digital component.  They are being asked to find non-traditional revenue. There is just so much more than spots they are selling.  If you are selling more than one station, that is a lot of balls up in the air." 

RI:  Give some advice to radio station reps to be better. 
Elaine:  Be accurate with the information.  Come in with your best deal.  I don?t have time to go back and forth.  I work as efficiently as possible to make everybody happy.  I think management has to understand.   I also think management, sometimes, needs to realize what is going on in the real world.  If they are in their offices with these grand plans, which sound great on paper, they are kind of hard to execute on the street. Just in general, it?s ?Go out and do this.  Go out and sell this.?  It?s like, ok.  That is great when you are sitting in your ivory tower, so to speak.  

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Monday, July 25, 2011

GM's Responsibilities For Tower Fencing?

Earlier this week a North Carolina station was slammed with a $25,000 fine for inadequate tower fencing. WGTM-AM compounded the tower problem when station officials were unable to provide a public file during an FCC inspection. In his weekly "Ask The Attorney" column John Garziglia answers says the rules on tower fencing are very easy to understand.
"The FCC?s rule on fencing for AM towers is clear and unequivocal.  An AM tower, assuming that it has RF potential at the base, must be either fenced or otherwise restricted from public access. Because AM stations often have wood rather than metal fencing around a tower for engineering reasons, the fencing can be subject to deterioration if not maintained.  Missing boards, gaps in fencing, and gates that no longer lock, are all issues that can create potential FCC forfeitures and other liabilities for AM stations. 

Simply put, if a member of the public without too much effort can get through a fence and access an AM tower, the fencing is insufficient and the station  is risking an FCC fine and civil liability. The FCC puts the onus on the radio station to protect members of the public from doing something stupid like walking up to an AM tower and grabbing it while standing on the ground. 

For FM stations, RFR exposure levels often dictate required fencing around a tower to protect members of the public from RFR exposure limits from being exceeded.  For both AM and FM stations, perimeter fencing, in lieu of a fence around each tower, is allowable under the FCC?s rule provided that the perimeter fencing truly restricts public access to the towers. 

How often should the tower fence be inspected?  Tower fences are a matter of public safety.  A tower fence must be inspected as often as it takes to insure that it continues to have integrity, that the gates are locked, and that the public is affirmatively restricted from access to broadcast towers. 

For more columns from John that can help you manage your station CLICK HERE

John F. Garziglia is a Communications Law Attorney with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Washington, DC and can be reached at (202) 857-4455 or Have a question for our "Ask The Attorney" feature? Send to

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Study of Female Listeners Positive for Radio


Even when prompted by questioners to go negative on radio, the majority of females involved in Alan Burns' study would not take the bait. Burns released details of his second annual national study of women yesterday. 2,000 females between 15 and 54 were interviewed and his conclusion was attitudes toward radio look healthy. ?The news is mostly good. Women?s attitudes toward radio are very positive, and there are no signs that music streaming services like Pandora are eroding radio usage. On the other hand, there?s less love for radio among younger listeners, and while wireless broadband in cars isn?t going to kill radio, it will lower usage somewhat. It will also generate more fragmentation, since broadband will bring more non-local stations into cars.?

The study found that just over 2% of women nationally already have internet access in the car they drive or ride in most often; those women were questioned those women about the choices they make between radio and non-radio sources while on the road. ?Based on the behavior of women who already have internet in their cars, here?s what we think will happen as in-car internet becomes widespread? said Burns (pictured right). ?Daily usage of radio in the car will dip slightly, about 11%, but TSL to radio among those daily users will not dive.?

The study found that 69% of women who have in-car internet still listen to radio all or most of the time they?re in the car.  ?It?s important to note why these women choose radio over non-radio streams in their cars? Burns continued, ?and the big reasons are that radio provides energy, excitement, and local information. Radio needs to maximize those strengths because streaming services are working on ways to negate them.?

Burns says there is significant resistance to paying for internet music streams. According to the study data, less than 3% of women who currently use Pandora pay for unlimited streaming, and only 6.6% of current weekly streamers to any service say they would ?definitely? or ?probably? be willing to pay around ten dollars per month to be able to listen to unlimited streams.

Here are some additional highlights from the study and comments from Burns:
?Early Adopters? are disproportionately heavy radio listeners.  Burns says ?sales should be selling this?early adopters are very valuable consumers.?

The frequency of visits to radio station web sites overall is growing very slowly if at all; the number of women who have visited a radio station site in the past week stands at 27%, which is up only 1 point from last year.

Only 38% of women who have ?liked? a radio station on Facebook rate the station?s posts as interesting.

The  #1 change women would like to see in radio station?s online streams is having the ability to skip songs.  Not repeating the same commercials/PSAs over and over was also rated desirable, by 6 of 10 women.

The most-used music  streaming service is You Tube, followed by Pandora.  Awareness and usage of radio digital ventures like HD Radio and I Heart Radio lagged the leaders significantly.
2% of women have ever used I Heart Radio, and 1.4% have ever listened to HD Radio.

Comprehension of HD Radio is low. Less than half the women who have heard of HD Radio could accurately answer questions like ?do you have to buy a special radio to hear HD Radio?? and ?do you have to pay a monthly fee to listen to HD Radio??

While time stress is still a major problem for women, money worries have overtaken it. 70% of the women surveyed chose ?more money? over ?more time?, ?a better relationship with my significant other?, and ?sex more often.? 

(7/22/2011 11:26:10 AM)
How much trouble would it be to give results breakdowns (for any survey) by FM vs. AM?
(7/22/2011 8:56:20 AM)
It's anecdotal, I know...but almost every complaint about a radio station I've ever taken...has been from a man.

Most women seem very satisfied with what radio stations do. It's the guys who continually gripe about the short playlists, gripe about not playing some new act, gripe sometimes just to be griping. It would be interesting for someone to look into the radio battle of the sexes more often.

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Why And How AT&T Succeeds With Radio

Why And How AT&T Succeeds With Radio

by Ed Ryan

Nearly everyone in our industry we speak with, including those who report to Wall Street, says revenue is rebounding. ?Cautiously optimistic? is probably the best way to describe how owners and GMs are feeling about revenue heading into Q3. A category that?s been good to radio is wireless. The RAB says Verizon and AT&T spent more than $900 million on radio at the national level in 2010. Tack on what each and every one of you gets from the local stores, and wireless turns out to be a killer category. It?s intensely competitive, and as companies fight to win market share, radio is going to benefit.

In 2010, according to the RAB, AT&T spent $504 million on radio advertising. We decided that was a number worth further investigation, so we picked up our AT&T iPhone and dialed the office of Daryl Evans, who is VP of consumer advertising and marketing communications for AT&T and responsible for where a lot of the advertising money goes. He says the competition in his category is ?vicious.?

Evans tells Radio Ink that AT&T uses radio mostly ? 80 percent ? to drive home the price of products and get people to the local stores. ?Radio is a good local vehicle for us,? he says. ?We have a lot of variation around the country, in terms of the offers. Some offers we do nationwide, other offers we do on a local basis. Or the various markets will pick certain offers, and we?ll run something different in Oklahoma City than we will in Dallas. Radio allows us that type of customization.

?It?s also a good awareness-building vehicle for us. Whether it?s 60-second produced radio or DJ chatter, both of them allow us to raise awareness around offers. For instance, we ran the iPhone 3GS at $49. Radio is a great environment to get that out. Most people know what an iPhone is. Getting that $49 price out for us ? radio can get us there.?

A company like AT&T is always evaluating and re-evaluating what works. We wondered how Evans gauges success when he uses radio. What determines a successful campaign? ?That?s a great question,? he says. ?I guess we look at two things. One, we watch what our in-house models tell us about what will probably happen as we allocate media between television, newspaper, online search, outof- home, and social. That will tell us what happens to new customers, and it will tell us what happens to new customers minus the ones that leave, which is what we call ?net customers.? Our models are very accurate. We have the luxury of large budgets in media, so we can invest a lot in models and measurement tools to try to quantify what happens when we make various media decisions.?

He goes on, ?The second thing is, we keep very close tabs on traffic. Foot traffic in our retail stores, traffic on our websites, traffic to our call centers. So we measure both ways. We measure traffic, or ?touches,? to AT&T, and the models tell us what happens when we shift media between the various media types.

?Actually, our models are pretty granular. We can tell by DMA what happens when we shift money around. When we get down in markets in places like Louisiana and Mississippi, newspaper still works really well down there. In San Francisco, newspaper is not a very powerful vehicle for us. There are markets out there where radio is a very effective vehicle, and other markets where radio has a weaker demand curve.?

Why should other advertisers use radio? What?s the benefit? ?Radio is a great awareness vehicle,? Evans replies. ?I think it?s a great way to localize your message. I am a fan of both 60-second and DJ chatter. I am probably a larger fan of the DJ chatter format of advertising. I love having the DJ just talk about the product.

?I don?t think we are fooling the consumers. They know the DJs are being paid, but it?s way closer to their voice than something we try to produce. I think it?s a great way to build up knowledge of what our offers are. In some brandbuilding instances, in our business, when we?re talking about network improvements on the local level ? we?ve added towers in Little Rock or whatever ? I think it?s a great way to build that awareness up very quickly.?

Ed Ryan is the Editor-in-Chief at Radio Ink Magaine
Contact him at
Do you have a radio success story? We'd like to hear about it.

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Radio: The Original Social Network

Mike Stiles

I had a friend who heads up digital for one of the major radio companies say something interesting to me the other day. They said, ?Remember, radio is the original social network.? That swirled around in my head for days.  I don?t even know why it made such an impact on me, but it did. The first thing I did was figure out in what ways that statement is true. Yes, there was a time when jocks connected to listeners. That conversation was one-sided for the most part, but it could be 2-way if a listener called in. And, it?s certainly true radio used to create ?communities? of people who were like-minded in at least a couple of ways, location and taste in music.

The problem is that pesky phrase, ?used to be.?  Because while online social networks have moved forward and exploded in usage and influence, broadcast radio went the opposite direction.  The social network qualities of broadcast radio were minimized, if not eliminated.  Yes, listeners hear a jock, but limitations in what they can talk about and how long they can talk make it much harder for listeners to get to know them, or hear their true personalities, or feel like they?re a friend...all the things that used to be radio?s competitive advantage. 

There was a time when you could call a radio station to make a request or comment on something, and the DJ you were listening to picked up the phone and talked to you.  Now, the DJ you?re listening to is on the other side of the country and recorded what they said sometime late yesterday.  If you?re lucky?you can get through to a board op.  Social networking is about a constant flow of 2-way communication.  You can?t have that if one side isn?t listening.  Or isn?t there. 

It?s also hard to picture radio as a social network because while even if the jock and the listener are connected and talking, the station?s listeners aren?t connected to each other?another key component of digital social networking.  There was a time when listeners saw and connected with each other at station events like concerts.  I?m not talking about a promotions assistant parking the station van 5 blocks up the street at just any concert.  I?m talking about a concert the station put on where it?s the station that brought people together.  It still happens, just not nearly as much.

So sure, while radio can claim the title of the ?original social network,? it?s moved so far away from what gave it that distinction, it?s reduced to a nostalgic claim at best.  The last thing radio needs is something else that contributes to any image of a ?nostalgic? industry. 

With the elements that made radio the original social network fading, it becomes more important than ever for stations to seize, embrace, invest in and maximize their social network strategies on the platforms today?s digital entrepreneurs have set up, and use those tools to build their community and get the 2-way conversations going again.

Mike Stiles is a writer/producer with the social marketing tech platform, Vitrue, and head of Sketchworks comedy theatre. Check out his monologue blog, The Stiles Files.
Find him on Facebook
or on Twitter @mikestiles

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Clear Channel Baltimore Names Justin Cole PD


Cole will take over programming Clear Channel's WPOC. The previous PD, Meg Stevens was recently named Operations Manager for Clear Channel's  Washington, D.C. and Baltimore markets. Stevens said of her first promotion in her new position ?I am excited to promote Justin Cole to Program Director of WPOC. His knowledge and passion for the brand make him a perfect choice.  His leadership on-air and digital skills will allow him the lead the team to future growth.?

Cole has been WPOC?s Assistant Program Director for three and a half years and is a 16 year radio veteran.  He has also worked in the Nashville, Charlotte and Asheville markets.  ?The past three and a half years at WPOC have been some of the most gratifying of my career,? said Cole.  ?Watching the way this team constantly raises the bar is inspiring, and I look forward to leading the team.?  

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Ready to be PD. Here's How To Approach Your GM?


by Kipper McGee

You?ve put in the time. You?ve done everything that?s been asked of you, and then some. YOU know that you?re the glue that?s holding the station  together. So how do you make the case to your GM that you?re ready for that first PD shot? While there is not any one route that will work in every situation, there are some basics that every prospective PD should know in pursuing the ?next step? of career growth in radio, whether at the station you're currently working for, or another station.  These 5 tips will prove useful to current PD?s as well as the GM?s and corporate types responsible for their care and feeding, too!

1.)It?s not just about the product!   
As any experienced PD will tell you, they all wish that they would spend more time focused on ?what comes out the speakers? (and in these days of digital, what comes off of any co-branded screen).    However, in the real world, the PD is responsible for much more than just brand management.  You will need to be able to demonstrate mastery of the product, along with other key skills sets such as talent management and coaching, branding, administrative tasks such as HR requirements, the FCC pubic file, and of course, being a collaborative, solutions-seeking partner with the sales team.   In short, demonstrate a passion for brilliance at the basics.     

2.) Dig your well before you?re thirsty.  Start planning and working NOW to prepare yourself for advancement. Get to know the key players, both in your station and on your corporate team, to learn what they do and how they expect their PD to fit in and contribute to the overall operation.  

3.) Understand the ?Win?.  Be sure you understand how the operation is being measured, how your boss is being measured, how YOU will be measured (hint:  it?s rarely just ratings!) and give some thought to how you would measure your team.  

4.) Perform your own ?S.W.O.T.? Analysis.   This age-honored exercise works well in evaluating any station or company, but it is often overlooked as a tool for individuals.  Write down your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.   Be brutally honest.  Seek input from colleagues and mentors you trust.

5.) Never Stop Learning. There is no question we are operating in an ever quickening world.    Just as we must learn to work faster, we must also learn to work smarter. This means digesting more than just the trades (although they are important, too)!  With all the areas in which you will need to show proficiency, make sure that you are up to speed ? and up to date ? on the fundamentals as well as the ?latest and greatest?. Pick several resources that you read regularly. Sources like the Wall Street Journal (even if you only have time for the Marketplace section), Advertising Age, The Week and Wired are merely among the list that I check out.   Then there are the occasional ?thumb through?s?, which may catch your eye at your local magazine stand.   And of course, there are countless blogs on every subject. NOTE:   If you see something noteworthy, don?t be shy passing it along to your GM, GSM, Marketing/Promotions Director, or any other person who might benefit from it.   

This is all about creating what Tom Peters coined ?The Brand YOU?.   Whether you like it or not, you ARE a brand. What that brand stands for is up to you.  As Peters put it, ?You are the C.E.O. of your own life?.   So now is the time to start thinking and acting like it. There are many undiscovered geniuses, but few undiscovered marketers. How will you market your personal brand into the position you ultimately want?

Kipper McGee is Chief Media Brandwidth Specialist at Kipper McGee LLC. E-mail:

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Arbitron Q2 Revenue Increases 8.4 percent.

Arbitron says its revenue of $95.7 million should be credited to the commercialization of the PPM radio ratings service in the final 15 markets in the second half of 2010, the continued phase-in of contracted PPM price increases and the PPM ratings contract signed with Univision in November 2010. Arbitron Q2 net income was $7.6 million, an increase of 99.6 percent compared with $3.8 million for the second quarter of 2010.  Earnings per share (diluted) was $0.27 for the quarter versus $0.14 for the second quarter of 2010.

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Townsquare Gets Millennium

Papers were filed today that make it official: Townsquare is the new owner of the 11 Millennium (eight FM and three AM) stations in three markets that were recently acquired by Oaktree Capital.

Oaktree is the money behind Townsquare, and earlier this year Millennium agreed to sell the company to Oaktree. The next step was for the 11 stations to be moved under the Townsquare umbrella, and that happened today. Under the leadership of Chairman/CEO Steven Price, Townsquare has slowly been building quite a portfolio of stations -- the company now has over 170 radio stations in small to medium-sized markets throughout the country.

The regulatory paperwork is expected to take about a month to go through. Bill Saurer has officially stepped down as President and CEO of Millennium, and the Millennium staff has been notified of the change in ownership. Townsquare/Flint, MI GM Zoe Burdine-Fly will be in charge of the 11 Millennium stations.

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Slacker Confirms Arbitron Measurement Discussions


Calling it a "Total Audio Measurement Service" Arbitron executives revealed Thursday that they were working with partners to be able to measure over-the-air listeners and Internet listeners. Arbitron says "we have a line of sight on how we can do this but we need to fill in some gaps." Slacker's Jonathan Sasse tells Radio Ink "We have had discussions with the team at Arbitron ? in general I think there are needs in getting a good overall measuring stick for the variety of platforms and services out there (web, mobile, connected home, car, etc)."

Arbitron officials say they have the resources to build the system in house, partner with other companies or make acquisitions to fill in those gaps. The say speed to market is critical as radio partners move more and more to where their listeners are going - online. Arbitron would not say specifically whether Pandora, Slacker or Spotify were going to be part of any new service. They did say pure plays would be involve

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Radio Should Be Everywhere. It's Worth Your Time To Promote That?

Radio Should Be Everywhere. It's Worth Your Time To Promote That?

by Ed Ryan

There are two big debates going on inside our little industry. Should we care whether FM Chips are installed in Cell phones and easy to find and use by the consumer? And, is it worth your hard earned money to stream your signal over the Internet when you are working overtime trying to increase your over-the-air rates and get your revenue numbers back to where they were several years ago? Whenever we dare to write about the FM Chip or Streaming those that claim they are on the cutting edge of new media pepper our comment section with claims we have no idea what we're talking about, that our drive for the FM Chip is a weak attempt to get into the consumer's phone so we can get into their wallet.

Well, despite what they say, and will say today, we believe we do need to fight for our spot in the cell phone. The new guys are fighting for their spot in the cars, and getting them. We should not sit by idly and allow phones to pass us by. Whether the argument is "community safety" or because we know consumers really do have a bond with their local morning DJ, we should get in the fight. And we should get in the fight with a certain degree of seriousness, not just lip service, at an NAB board meeting, paid to Emmis' Jeff Smulyan who is a driving force behind the effort. Despite what the "new media" writers and bloggers want you to believe, consumers do not dislike radio. In fact all the recent research we are now seeing indicates that the more devices radio can be found on, the more consumers listen. We want Radio to be everywhere and one way to accomplish that is to get behind a campaign to have FM chips in cell phones. Check out Eric's LATEST BLOG on the subject and let us know if you're on the team.

Feedback me at or leave your comments below.

(7/21/2011 4:14:14 PM)


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Friday, July 22, 2011

Triton Digital Promotes Fischer to Sr. VP of Engagement

Triton Digital Promotes Michael Fischer to Senior Vice President of Engagement

Michael Fischer has been with Triton Digital since 2008, most recently serving as Vice President of Interactive Solutions. In his career spanning nearly 30 years, Fischer has held several high-level leadership positions at Lincoln Financial Media, CBS and Full Audio/Music Now. Fischer will be responsible for helping clients maximize engagement through Triton?s suites of applications and services, reporting to Division President Chris Bell. Triton?s Applications and Services Division currently serves over 2,500 affiliates and has over 3,000 implementations of its services.  The team is currently developing new ways to drive engagement through the socialization, mobilization and gamification of its loyalty products.

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Celebrating 30 Years On The Air. But This is No Ordinary Jock.


Bernie Eagan just celebrated his 30th year on the air in Indianapolis. That accomplishment alone is certainly nothing to yawn about. But hold on, there's more. Not only has Bernie been in one market for 30 years, he's done it with the same company, Emmis. Make that two major accomplishments, 30 years in one market, 30 years with one company. Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says "Bernie was remarkable the first day he walked in to Emmis in 1981, and he's been a remarkably talented guy ever since. I am proud and honored he has chosen to spend his career with us." We spoke to Eagen about his longevity in the business. "First of all, I am living my dream. When I was 10 years old, this is what I wanted to do. People where I went to school said, ?You probably don?t want to do radio. I was so consumed with it that I just couldn?t see myself doing anything else." What a great attitude. Oh, and speaking of Bernie seeing himself, did I forget to mention, Bernie Eagen is blind.

Bernie Eagen does afternoon drive on Emmis' WYXB in Indianapolis also known as B105.7(Radio Ink Magazine has a full station profile of WYXB in the August 8th issue). Eagen says he started at WENS after it had been on the air for one week back in July of 1981. "I was working full time in Muncie. I heard about this station coming on and everybody was applying. I thought, ?Well, I have to apply too.?  So, I did and I got a job doing weekends. I went full time in October of 1981 and was with WENS until 2002."

WENS is now HANK FM, a country station.  Eagan says "They were going through some changes and the people in charge said, ?We?d really like you to do mornings on B105.7. I'm really glad they did because I don?t think I would have made it 30 years with Emmis if I hadn?t because they were  making a lot of changes. I started at B105.7 in August of 2002 and moved to afternoons about a year ago." WYXB Program Director David Wood says   ?Bernie is an Indianapolis treasure. People have literally grown up listening to him. Bernie has such incredible passion for our listeners and for radio in  general. I don?t know that I have met anyone that loves what they do more than Bernie?.

With all the new and always-changing technology operating a radio studio can be a daunting task for someone who can see. When Bernie first started his radio career, carts were still being used. Today, you'd be lucky to find a CD laying around a control room. In 1981 a DJ was still dropping a needle on a record. Today, one keystroke or screen tap does the trick. Bernie has weathered the changes. He does not have an engineer or a sidekick. He runs his own board and he goes out in his own remotes.

Back when the transition to computers was being made, not everyone was keen on Bernie being part of the future. "It's interesting because, when  Emmis decided they were going to go to a computer system, they talked to a lot of people and said, ?Can you do something to accommodate a blind person?  A lot of the companies said no. In fact one of them said, ?Why don?t you fire him??  That?s what I was told by one of our engineers at the time. Everybody was so loyal at Emmis. They went until they found a company that really did guarantee they could make it work. That happened to be  Audio Vault. They set it up so that I can do most things with a keyboard.  here are some things that I can?t do, unfortunately.  I can run my own  board. I can run my own show. I can even voicetrack if somebody sets it up for me. I have gotten lucky enough, that with keyboard commands I can  do all the things that I need to do, especially when it comes to running a show." 

Bernie admits, there is one thing that would frazzle him. "I love running my own board. That's second nature to me. The thing that can happen is, you  know how computers are, if it crashes, I'm pretty much on my own.  I have to call somebody immediately.  Fortunately it happens very, very seldom.  I  am able to work around it pretty quickly.  I have gotten really fortunate where that?s concerned. I run everything myself, even when I did mornings.  I  took the calls.  I edited the calls.  The whole thing all by myself and I loved doing it.  I loved the challenge of it." 

Bernie says when people told him not to get into radio, he just said to himself he wasn?t going to take no for an answer. "I had solutions to every question that somebody would come up with.  I just got really lucky.  Not a day goes by that I don?t think about the fact somebody else could be doing this shift. Somebody else could be taking this shift from me.  If I don?t stay on my game that could happen.  I try to work really hard and stay up to date on things. I am just having a blast."

"Listening to a lot of guys at WLS and WCFL, WCBS, this was the 60?s.  First of all, the music was great, but I don?t really care about the music anymore. I play whatever they want me to play.  I don?t care about that. The music was great.  It sounded like they were having so much fun.  I  thought, this is what I want to do.  I mean, this sounds like so much fun.  When I got to Emmis, I had no idea I would be here this long.  I figured I would be here four or five years, because, in the 80?s that is what everybody did.  They lasted somewhere four or five years and then they went somewhere else.  Jeff Smulyan is good to his people.  It is a fun place to be, from my perspective. Everybody has their own perspective on things.  For me, every day is a good day."

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