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Friday, August 31, 2012

Others Named in the TRN Lawsuit?


Mark Masters is going after additional companies and individuals in the complaint he filed Tuesday. Also named are; Compass Media, Oaktree Capital, Excelsior Radio Networks, Triton Radio Networks, Triton Media, Verge Media, Courtside Entertainment, WYD Media and individuals Spencer Brown, Ken Williams, David Landau, Norm Patitz, Peter Kosnan and Ron Hartenbaum. And here's why Masters named these additional companies and people in his complaint.

Masters alleges that the formation of Compass Media, Courtside Entertainment and WYD and WYM were formed to create the false impression of an independent content provider. Compass lists The Lars Larson Show, Todd Schnitt Show and The Norm Goldmann show under programming on its website. WYD Media carries Michael Smerconish, Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, David Webb, Mike Malloy and Zach Sang. Courtside lists Loveline with Dr. Drew, The Dave Koz Show and Talking Points with Bill O'Reilly.

We reached out to all the companies named in the complaint last night and only received the following response, from Ron Hartenbaum. "I am aware of the litigation although I have not been served as of this time. I am aware that   Mr Masters  has sued both WYD Media, and WYM Media, our newly created affiliated sales organization. He has also sued me personally/individually. I have retained CA counsel since the suit was filed in Federal Court in Sacramento. I am sure it would be fun to be a fly on the wall when my lawyer calls his."

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Former RIM Executive Mark Springfield Joins Marketron


Marketron says a new position has been created for Springfield, Vice President of Product Management. He will lead the company?s Product Management team and oversee Marketron product lifecycles, long-term product strategy and development. For ten years Springfield was at Research in Motion where he was Senior Product Manager.

Marketron CEO Jeff Haley says, ?with Mark?s appointment we have completed the evolution of our leadership team to create the best possible business outcomes for our customers. It's our goal to leverage Mark?s expertise in product management to help guide the roll out process of some very exciting products in the coming months.?

Marketron recently announced the reorganization of its leadership team to better serve and support its customers and partners, with the appointment of Susie Hedrick as SVP of Sales and Business Development, JeffLondon as SVP of Client Services, and Tony Gaughan as SVP of Products and CTO.  Mark joins Jeff Haley?s leadership team as the fourth player under the new company structure. .

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Arbitron Hires Former Nielson Exec For New Position.


Manish Bhatia (pictured) joins Arbitron in a newly created position, Executive Vice President, New Product Innovation. Bhatia will direct the Arbitron cross-platform initiatives and lead the teams that are developing additional research services outside the company?s core radio business. Since 2010, Bhatia had been President and CEO for Symphony Advanced Media, a Silicon Valley-based startup serving advertisers with cross-media insights.

From 2007 until 2010, Bhatia worked for The Nielsen Company focusing on advanced TV, online, mobile, and social media measurement. As President, Advanced TV Services from 2009 to 2010, he led efforts to leverage set-top box tuning data to create new insights into television audience behavior. As President, Global Services and U.S. Sales for Nielsen Online, he lead the integration of the 2007 acquisition of NetRatings into the Nielsen organization and developed services to deliver integrated cross-media insights including the integration of television and online behaviors, as well as online and mobile behaviors.

Prior to the 2007 acquisition of NetRatings, Bhatia served as Executive Vice President, Global Operations and U.S. Sales for the Silicon Valley-based, NASDAQ-traded Internet research firm. At NetRatings, he led the product, strategy, research, engineering, and operations functions globally, and directed the sales and client service functions in the U.S. Mr. Bhatia began his research career at Nielsen in 1989, working for Nielsen Media Research and Nielsen Interactive services. He joined NetRatings in 2002.

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(SALES) Oh, No! Not Another "Secret"


I received no less than 11 emails this past Monday offering to reveal "secrets" to me. I?m well aware that there are words like "free" or "new" or perhaps "secrets" that are proven to capture attention.

Here?s my big "secret." The words you choose have to be the truth if your claims are to be believed and sustainable.

So I looked up "secret":

Se-cret (se'krit)
adjective  Kept hidden from knowledge or view; something kept, or to be kept, hidden
noun  Something kept hidden from others or only known by one's self or a few individuals

One of the emails I received was from a "business coach" who claimed his "secret" has helped thousands of upstart businesses to succeed. Is it really a secret if thousands know about it?

Another email claimed ?This secret is so big it won?t be revealed until after you join my webinar.? Wow! It?s not just a secret, it?s a BIG secret.

In sales and in advertising, building trust is paramount, and making false claims or exaggerated claims, simply compounds the skepticism for your message.

I know of one station that changed its format two years ago and still promotes itself as "the new 103." Don?t you think listeners who?ve been tuned to that station for 730 days know it?s no longer "new"? And doesn?t this claim cast doubt on the validity of other claims made by that station or its reps?

In a world of hype and exaggeration, maybe the secret magic words used to capture attention should be replaced with honesty and integrity. Being real is so unusual that just telling the truth stands out amidst all the hype today.

Exaggerated claims are one of the biggest causes of ?I tried radio and it didn?t work.? Over-zealous salespeople who make inflated claims make it impossible for the station to live up to the advertiser?s expectations.

For advertisers to renew their commitments to you, they have to perceive that you have delivered value. And the Value Equation by which they measure your performance is simple:

Value = the customer?s expectations  + or ? the customer?s experience.

Using this equation, "breaking even" is not good enough. Your customers must have an experience that exceeds their expectations, to perceive value.

The good news is that you can control both ends of the Value Equation. You can establish the customer?s expectations, and you certainly control the customer?s after-sale experience.

In a recent SoundADvice radio-e-marketing letter, we told this story to demonstrate how the customer?s expectations can be managed.

The owner of a local candy store couldn?t help but notice the difference in the sales levels between  the two identical twin sisters who worked for him. Both girls looked the same, had the same hours, same location, same product and same price, but one always had a line at her cash register, while the other seldom served any customers.

When he asked the more successful twin the secret to her success, she said ?It?s easy. When you go to my sister?s counter and order a pound of candy, she piles a great big scoop of candy on the scale in front of you and keeps taking candies away until she gets down to a pound.?

?When you come to my counter,? she went on, ?I?ll put a little wee scoop on the scale and watch the customer?s grin grow as I keep adding until I get up to a pound.?

Do you see the difference? In both cases the customer gets exactly sixteen ounces of candy for exactly the same price. But you know which customers are delighted versus those who are disappointed. Contrary to what you might think, your customers do not receive value when they buy from you; they perceive value. It?s up to you to enhance that value perception.

So now you know my "secret" which, by virtue of this article, really is no longer a secret. Creating realistic expectations up front will not only help your presentation stand out amidst all of your competitors? hype, it will actually make it possible for you to delight your clients at the experience end of the value equation.

Wayne Ens is president of ENS Media Inc, a pro-active media consulting and training company that specializes in increasing local-direct radio revenues. You can reach Wayne at

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Engineering Pioneer John Battison Dead at 96.


Battison was a broadcasting engineer whose career spanned more than seven decades. He wrote 15 technical books and more than 500 articles for publication. He also served as technical editor for Radio magazine and was a frequent contributor to Broadcast Engineering magazine. Battison may best be remembered for initiating a movement that lead to the creation of the Society of Broadcast Engineers. It's an organization he initiated and one that now includes over 5,500 members.

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Relationship Gone Horribly Astray


It's clear from the 38-page document filed Tuesday by TRN CEO Mark Masters against Dial Global (and others), that Masters believes a relationship, a friendship with people he trusted, was violated and his business has been significantly damaged. Talk Radio Network syndicates Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Phil Hendrie, Mancow, and others and was using Dial Global to pitch its programs to affiliates. A relationship that started over a decade ago when, according to Masters, Dial did not have any competetive programs to pitch to stations. Today, Dial Global lists under its programming wing Dennis Miller, Michael Smerconish, Neal Boortz, Clarke Howard, and others.

Masters alleges that Dial's power has grown to the point where they now compete with the very clients they rep, not only for content ownership -- in violation of their original mission and inducements -- but for their own clients' customers/radio station affiliates. He goes on to allege that he was "fraudulently induced into committing a long-term rep agreement by telling him they would never engage in conflict of interest then used that agreement to accomplish and fulfill their anti-competitive merger, acquisition and expansion schemes." Masters says he was "steadfact in his trusting loyalty to the Dial Group and in recommending the pre-behemoth to other spoken-word syndicators," and claims Dial used him as part of a plan to "roll up the other rep firms." The other firms Masters is referring to are Jones Media in 2008 and Westwood One in 2011.

Masters also says he's requested an audit and has been denied by Dial Global. Masters wants to determine whether advertising revenue from packaged talk programming, sold to advertisers, was properly allocated. For example if Ford purchased time on Laura Ingraham's show with TRN and time on another talk program with another vender that was sold by Dial Global, Masters wants to be able to look at the books to determine that the money was distributed properly.

Masters also alleges that Dial Global has been spreading false and defamatory statements and rumors about TRN and TRN shows and hosts at radio industry conferences and elsewhere. And, Masters says Dial Global claims some of TRN's programs are under the Dial Global wing and that Dial is interfering with contract negtiations with TRN hosts.

We reached out to Dial Global several times on Tuesday for a comment about the filing. The company has not been officially served and had only read the filing after we forwarded it to them. There's a possibility a statement from Dial Global will be made on Wednesday. It's also important to note that Dial Global has not been found guilty of anything.

Read the entire 38-page TRN filing HERE.

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Salem Buys


Salem Church Products, a division of Salem Communications Corporation, has acquired, an online provider of church media for local churches and ministries. SermonSpice, which began in 2004 as the original distribution site for worship videos and sermon illustrations, has relationships with over 2,000 Christian filmmakers, providing thousands of sermon illustrations, worship backgrounds, and church countdowns to churches looking for professionally produced worship media.

This SermonSpice library allows Salem to expand its reach in the church media market. Salem has a network of pastoral resource websites, including,,,, and

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Gray To Be Part Of 2013 Advertising Outlook Panel


Katz Radio Group President Mark Gray will be part of a panel discussing next year's advertising outlook. The event, Media Outlook 2013, is organized by the Media Financial Management Association. Gray will be on the panel with TVB President Steve Lanzano, SVP Marketing & New Business Development for NCC Media Andrew Capone, and Houston Chronicle President John O?Loughlin. The event will be held Thursday, September 13 at Hearst Tower in New York City.

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Liberty Inches Closer to 50% of Sirius XM

John Malone's Liberty Media increased its stake in satellite-radio operator Sirius XM Radio Inc. to 48.8% from 48.1%, according to a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It paid around $2.53 each for about 40 million shares in the roughly $100 million purchase.

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Opinion: "TRN Lawsuit Could Be Dismissed."


After reading through the 38 page document TRN filed in United States Federal Court in Tuesday, we reached out to an attorney who specializes in anti-trust cases. Here's the opinion he offered up "It appears that the simple way to look at the allegations made is that the plaintiffs some number of years ago were seduced by defendants into having defendants' affiliate stations carry their programs and sharing advertising revenues with a promise of truthfulness and faithfulness. But, defendants thereafter also seduced others in carrying programming that now competes with plaintiffs' programming.  And as in any failed relationship, there are allegations of grievous lies and unspeakable acts."

The attorney we spoke with says, "there is a decent chance for a dismissal of the lawsuit."

"A feature of this lawsuit is the peppering of First Amendment claims within it.  A curtailment or harming of First Amendment rights is not generally possible by a private entity.  Rather, governmental actions are generally the subject of the First Amendment.  In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants "power to control the financial fate of over 100 Independent Spoken Word Syndicators, held in the hands of unelected Wall Street executives, is chilling to the First Amendment, because that concentration of power over the financial destinies of so many syndicated providers of non-music, non-sports spoken word radio programming ... forces these programmers into silence, through the fear of financial repercussions from the rep firm these Spoken Word Programming providers depend on for their very survival."  Defendants' conduct may be allegedly harmful to plaintiffs, but it does not appear by any stretch to be "chilling to the First Amendment"." 

"This complaint appears to be a disgruntled programming supplier lawsuit gussied up in grandiose claims of Sherman Act and Clayton Act violations.  Simply put, the programming supplier plaintiffs  entered into contractual relations with program syndicators and now believe that those contracts have been breached.  These observations are not to minimize the alleged harm or damage that may have accrued to the plaintiffs.  But, it will be interesting to see if the plaintiffs are able to proceed with the litigation of their Sherman Act and Clayton Act antitrust claims which are getting all the attention, or whether those claims quickly wither and die."

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Clear Channel Names Scarano Atlanta Market Manager


Matt Scarano has been named President and Market Manager, effective immediately. Scarano joins the market from Clear Channel Chicago, where he most recently served as Director of Sales. Melissa Forrest, former Atlanta Market Manager, will remain with the company in a senior role in a soon-to-be-announced position. 

Scarano has more than 20 years of experience in the radio industry and has served as Director of Sales for Clear Channel Chicago since 2009. In Chicago he oversaw all sales initiatives for Clear Channel?s seven stations. Prior to joining Clear Channel Chicago, Scarano worked in Atlanta radio sales holding various positions including General Sales Manager for ABC Radio and Local Sales Manager for Big League Broadcasting.

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KFEZ Host Reveals He Has Stage 3 Breast Cancer


Jim Berry (pictured) from the ?Berry For Breakfast? morning show on KFEZ in Colorado Springs, announced on the air this morning that he has stage 3 breast cancer. Berry had a mastectomy last week and will start chemotherapy this week. On the air, Berry said men need to understand that this type of cancer, that normally affects women, also attacks many men and they need to check for lumps and bumps and see a doctor right away.

Male breast cancer accounts for about 1 percent of all breast cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2010, about 1,970 new cases of breast cancer in men would be diagnosed and that breast cancer would cause approximately 390 deaths in men (in comparison, almost 40,000 women die of breast cancer each year).

Reach out to Berry at

(8/29/2012 5:39:54 AM)
Sorry to learn of this. My wife has had stage 4 breast cancer since 2002, so I can relate. I hope and pray that you do well with your treatments and have a remission. CANCER SUCKS!!!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

(SOCIAL) Pinterest And Top 40 Radio


There?s a reason so many brands and businesses are creating a marketing strategy just for Pinterest: It?s a huge traffic driver. Recent statistics show it provides more referral traffic to other websites than YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn combined.

Whether you?re a blogger, a retail boutique, or a radio station, traffic to your website is important. Web traffic makes advertisers happy, and your station may gain new listeners within and outside your market from Pinterest referrals. If your website content is good, those visitors may become regulars. They might listen online, and again in the car when they head to work the next morning. They might even pin your content, increasing your reach yet again.

Almost 70 percent of Pinterest users are female. Fifty percent have children. The age demographic is varied, with 27 percent 25-34, 29 percent 35-44, and 24 percent 45-54. The site receives almost 1.5 million visitors every day, with users spending an average of almost 16 minutes per visit (exceeding Facebook?s 12.1 minutes).

Both the demographics and the power of Pinterest as a referral source make it perfect for Top 40 radio. But the nature of Pinterest is different from other platforms. Show up and do what you do on Facebook or Twitter, and you?re destined to fail. Treat Pinterest as a ?what?s in it for her? experience, and you?ll be rewarded with the virality of repins, an increase in Web traffic, engaged listeners, and happy clients. Embrace The Top 40 Lifestyle: Get In Her Head Define your station?s target listener. Go beyond age and gender to determine what she does during a typical day.What are her interests? What are her problems?  Defining these will help you create a content strategy for your station?s Pinterest account.

Eighty percent of pins are repins, meaning Pinterest users are browsing to curate content from pinners they follow (and not always to create organic pins from the Web). This could be thrilling or damaging, depending on the strength of your station?s content. The pro: There is a strong chance your content will be repinned if it?s good. The con: Station-centric content can?t be your focus. You won?t gain any followers, as only the most devoted P1s will repin a promotional image or DJ blog. Users are looking for content they can identify with to repin as a form of self-expression, or content they can come back to later, like household tips, recipes, or products to purchase.

The most popular categories on Pinterest are Home, Arts and Crafts, Fashion, and Food. Use your listener profile to expand your strategy beyond these. If 50 percent of Pinterest users have kids, and many Top 40 listeners do too, create content for moms. Pin family-friendly events from your website?s events calendar to a Pinterest board for your mama listeners, or create a fitness board to help new moms lose weight. Follow the example of WSTR (Star 94)/Atlanta and pin cute kid pics. Use Pinterest to drive traffic back to your website, too, by creating boards that represent features on your website ? for example, a ?Sleaze Board,? where you can pin entertainment and pop culture news from the station website and other sources.Add content to your website with the ?Pinterest mindset? to ensure stories, promotions, and events have an attractive image to pin. Use teases to ensure your followers will read the full story on your site. While it?s essential to pin like a listener, don?t forget to include content expected from a radio station. Create boards for music you play, concerts in your market, personality blogs, and more.

Can You Sell It? I haven?t seen a station get a pin or board sponsored yet, but I believe you can. Pinterest is all about visual content. Be picky about which clients you partner with, and choose based on the custom visual content you can provide. If you?re weaving clients into a well-developed content strategy, listeners won?t care that some content is sponsored. Weddings are a hot category on Pinterest. Partner with a local wedding boutique to share wedding and bridesmaids? dresses. Pin their images (with a link to the boutique?s site) over a period of time, mingled with other wedding content, like catering and music. You could include a pinned coupon, or a repin promotion to win one of the dresses pinned. Create the content idea first, with your demo in mind, then present it to the client. And be protective of your Pinterest account so it doesn?t become a dumping ground for client products and events.

Your followers on Pinterest will be paramount to any future success you have with clients. So create a content strategy and get pinning first, to establish your station as a ?pinner to follow.? Need help? An intern (ahem, ?pintern?) in your demo might not be a bad idea.

Stephanie Winans is a Social Media Strategist and Content Curator for the Randy Lane Company and Stephanie Winans Digital. Learn more at or e-mail her at

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(SALES) Are Role And Play Really Four Letter Words?


As a sales manager, you have a plate overflowing with responsibilities, and developing your people is only one of them. But it could be argued that your coaching role is, in fact, the most important role of all. The more skilled your sellers are, the more success they will have reaching their budgets, and the more likely they will be to stick with you. Unwanted turnover is never a good thing.

Also, as a coach, I?m sure you would agree that in order for someone to become better at something, they must practice. So why does practice in the form of ?roleplay? have such a bad rap? Why do so many sales managers shy away from the opportunity to help develop their salespeople? And why do so many salespeople hold on to the notion that role-playing is a waste of their time?

It seems that nowadays the general idea is that roleplaying is only necessary for the new people to participate in to develop their skills. Using it for ongoing growth and development with more seasoned sellers is seen as a form of micro-management, or even punishment.

In other professions, continuing skill development is common, and in some cases it?s mandatory. A professional baseball player spends time taking batting practice before every single game. That?s certainly a form of roleplaying. Can you imagine what would happen if a player didn?t take batting practice before a game? The reaction from the media, the fans, and his teammates would be loud and critical ? especially if his performance at the plate wasn?t at an acceptable level. That baseball player also spends time in the infield or outfield, running through every scenario his team might face during a game so he can figure out how each play should be handled. Again, that?s roleplay, and not only is it important, it?s expected.

A dancer or an actor will rehearse countless times before every live performance. They will mark their spots, practice using different approaches or emotions, and they will have dress rehearsals before the final performance. That?s yet another form of roleplay. Can you imagine a performance where the performers had not had that opportunity to practice?

A student preparing for the SAT will attend preparatory classes, run through multiple practice tests, and often take the standardized exam more than once to improve her performance and outcome. That?s also roleplay. And not only is it seen as a worthwhile investment of time, it?s important enough that students and their parents pay top dollar for the opportunity.

Think about the best of the best ? the best athlete, performer, or student. When you hear them in interviews, they talk about the practice routine and the role their coaches and teachers played in their development. How often have you heard one of these people say they just had natural talent, so they went out there and did their thing? Never. The greats talk about how much time and preparation went into becoming great. Michael Jordan is most celebrated for the amount of practice and preparation he dedicated to his sport.

I?m not sure why salespeople feel differently, but you can change their perspective. You need to work hard to show them that practice and roleplay are important for their professional growth and that by embracing this, they will see a solid return. But changing their view is something that you?ll need to work hard to do.

Here are eight things you can do to improve roleplaying in your sales organization:

1. Plan to roleplay. Schedule it in advance. No sneak attacks!
2. Make it fun. Perhaps take it out of the office and do it in a new environment.
3. Make it useful. Make sure the scenarios are realistic.
4. Remind everyone that this is practice. It?s okay to make mistakes during practice. It?s how we learn and grow. Better to make mistakes in here than out there.
5. But also decide what perfect looks like in advance, and strive for perfection during the practice time.
6. Set up a system to give consistent feedback. Look for what the person did well, and where they could improve
7. Resolve to make roleplaying part of your sales culture. It can?t just be a one-sales-meeting gig.
8. Keep it positive.

Matt Sunshine is EVP of the Center for Sales Strategy.

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More Names Announced by Dial Global and NBC


DG and NBC Sports Radio have hired former NFL pro Amani Toomer and radio veterans Eytan Shander, Dan Schwartzman and Kay Adams as part of their new network.  Toomer and Shander will host Amani and Eytan on the new network weekdays from 10PM-1AM. The Dan Schwartzman Show will air Tuesday-Saturday from 1AM-5AM. Adams will anchor the NBC Sports Radio national updates weekdays between 5pm-10pm. and she will appear regularly on the previously announced The Erik Kuselias Show, Monday-Friday between 7pm-10pm ET.

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ESPN, MLB Sign Extension Through 2021


ESPN and Major League Baseball have reached an eight-year, multiplatform rights extension that affects ESPN?s TV, digital, radio, and International MLB rights. On the radio side, the agreement includes, "increased ESPN Radio rights, including the additional right to co-exist during two Saturday windows per team, per year."
ESPN?s expanded MLB package will include the following additional rights:
- The addition of an annual Wild Card game presented by Budweiser, which will alternate between the AL and NL each year;
- The rights to produce a significant amount of additional Baseball Tonight hours;
- The rights to all regular-season tie-breaker games, if necessary;
- In-progress highlights during SportsCenter on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNEWS;
- 10 additional regular-season games per season, including four pennant chase games in late September and up to six holiday games across Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day;
- New and increased co-exist rights on Monday Night Baseball and Wednesday Night Baseball;
- The rights to produce a new, daily baseball studio show.

The new deal will also include several enhancements to existing rights:
- Increased rights for Sunday Night Baseball exclusive team appearances;
- More selection flexibility throughout ESPN?s 25-game Sunday Night Baseball slate;
- Increased highlight rights for ESPN websites and applications, additional digital rights for ESPN programs, and increased interactive television rights;
- Increased ESPN Radio rights, including the additional right to co-exist during two Saturday windows per team, per year;
- All MLB-related television content, including games and studio shows, to be available on WatchESPN;
- Continued State Farm Home Run Derby coverage during MLB All-Star, including renewed 3D Derby rights;
- Renewal and expansion of international rights across territories, including Wild Card games and the rights to additional Baseball Tonight hours.

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Judge Approves Settlement With BMI


Judge Louis Stanton, of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, has approved a settlement that ends two years of litigation between the Radio Music License Committee and Broadcast Music, concerning the fees payable by the U.S. commercial radio industry to publicly perform the more than 7.5 million plus musical works in the BMI repertoire through 2016. The RMLC represents the vast majority of the nation?s radio stations.

Christian said, ?This is a gratifying result for the radio industry. The new BMI license reflects the reality of our industry?s economy and puts the industry back on a sound footing insofar as its licensing relationship with BMI is concerned. We appreciate the good will which BMI has demonstrated in working with our industry to get this resolution.?

The new BMI license covers the period January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2016 and includes the following: :
? A $70.5 million industry fee credit against 2010-2011 industry payments that is immediately available to the industry (this, in addition to the industry?s retention of $40 million in fee reductions that had been voluntarily agreed to by BMI at the interim fee stage of litigation in calendar year 2010);
? A 1.7 percent of gross revenue fee structure for stations on the blanket music license format, less a standard deduction of 12 percent for revenue derived from terrestrial/analog and HD multicasting broadcasts and a 25 percent standard deduction for revenue attributable to new media uses;
? Retention of the program-period license that benefits many ?news-talk? format stations, with a base fee of 0.2958 percent of gross revenue, less the same standard deductions; and
? Expanded rights coverage to accommodate the industry?s developing new media platforms related to Internet websites, smart phones, and other wireless devices.

The impact of this settlement was reflected in BMI?s June 2012 billing statements that reflected substantial fee decreases. For many stations, the resulting credit balance will carry through to the end of 2012 before it is exhausted. New BMI license forms will be made available to the industry shortly.

The radio industry had faced a serious challenge in terms of restoring reasonable license fee levels during difficult economic times. License fees had ballooned to some 3 percent of industry revenues for both BMI and ASCAP in the post-2008 environment. The settlement approved by the court today effectively rolls back annual industry fees payable to BMI by more than $80 million for 2012 (as against where they stood at the end of the prior license in 2009) and provides for a return to a revenue-based fee structure at a level of 1.7 percent of gross revenue. In addition, the new agreement covers (at the same 1.7 percent rate) the range of new media platforms in which the radio industry is increasingly engaged.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

(DIGITAL) Avoid Legal Trouble And Get More Done


I worked for CBS several years ago. I know just how hard they try to avoid legal trouble. So I can only imagine the [expletive deleted] storm that occurred internally, leading up to the $10K fine that the FCC levied on CBS?s Urban AC in Charlotte, WBAV. You can read broadcast attorney David Oxenford's analysis of the situation for Radio Ink here.

This news is certainly being circulated to radio staffs all over the country with the instructions to be extra-careful that we do what we say we?ll do when we run contests. Instead of adding to anyone?s workload, here?s how you can use your digital tools to simplify your workday when it comes to special content and events that you?re promoting on all your different platforms.


Once you post the copy of your contest rules, make that the only copy you work with. If you have a special Web page for the contest (and you should), link to the rules from it. Produce the rules promo for on-air from the online rules, and make sure everyone who might need them has a link. That means don?t circulate a different document with the rules once they?re posted. Consider the rules at the website the only real rules.


WBAV got in trouble because the contest dates in email, on the website, and on-air didn?t all line up together. Let?s solve the email part right now: send out less-wordy emails. For the ?Carolina Cuties? contest that resulted in a fine, all you would say in your email is, ?Do you have Charlotte?s cutest baby? You could win blah-blah-blah and show off your kid on Learn how to enter and win ?Carolina Cuties? here.? The word ?here? is a link back to the special Web page you?ve already created for this contest. That Web page shows what you can win and how to enter, and has a link to the official rules. You?re centralizing the information, which means less of a chance of someone freelancing on important details.

By the way, a huge benefit of writing less and linking more in your email is that people then tend to open them up and read them more often!


I know, the last thing you want is another meeting. But this one will actually save you time throughout the week.
Hold a weekly half-hour focus meeting for those, and only those, who are your key content providers. Those are the people who really impact what happens on the air, on your website, and in social media. Keep the list as small, yet inclusive, as you can. Then, each week, run through the major topics you?re going to focus on in the coming week: contests, concerts, appearances, special programming, key personality show bits, whatever. Talk about how they fit together: ?We?ll announce this contest on Facebook and in email a day before we start promoting it on the air on Thursday. That means the Web page needs to be ready Tuesday morning so we can see it, and the promos need to be done by Wednesday. I?m writing the copy and I?ll have it to you later today.? Brainstorm, coordinate, and prioritize. It?s project management for all your content platforms, and this will focus everyone?s to-do list for the week, leading to less confusion and fewer sloppy mistakes all around.

Chris Miller has been a major-market PD in Atlanta, Portland and Cleveland. He now operates Chris Miller Digital, which he launched. Visit his website at
Contact Chris via e-mail, or 216-236-3955.

For more articles from Chris Miller go HERE.

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(Guest Editorial) Is Radio Going Backward On Digital?

I read, with great alarm, Ed Ryan?s article in Radio Ink on Friday about Saga abandoning ad insertion and, more importantly, their decision to stop selling their digital separately from their broadcast signal. Alarm, not because of my own vested interest, but because in my view this is the wrong message to send to the market about the future of radio. Please note: Saga is not now nor have they been in the past, an Abacast customer.

I suppose my response could be expected and it isn?t without prejudice. Abacast has been supporting the radio industry since 2000. We?ve invested heavily in the industry, filing four patents this year alone and releasing multiple new products. But please, overlook my prejudice for a moment and hear me out. We?ve invested heavily in digital products because they are the future. I don?t think anyone will debate that fact. 

Analysts and stock owners have given Pandora a market cap that exceeds $1.6B. This is because the markets always pay for where things are going, not where they are today, and shareholders see what Pandora is doing as one of the future possibilities for radio. Radio pundits have complained that Pandora isn?t profitable and that proves that digital isn?t a good model, but it is hard to believe that anyone really means that. Of course they aren?t profitable today -- but they could be, easily in fact. All Pandora would have to do, right now, is increase their ad load to six minutes an hour and they would become highly profitable. That?s on a third of the broadcast spot load. Note that Pandora isn?t the only way forward. The radio industry today has, at best, a muddy message about its digital future, and the choice to simulcast looks like a step backward.

What is wrong with this decision? Saga said they are making this change because they are concerned about the listener experience, the quality of the insertion, and the number of PSAs. I don?t read it that way though. What I hear them saying is that digital has no value, that they can?t make money with it, and so they are going to stop; that digital isn?t worth the investment to get it right. Analysts are going to read it that way too. They?ll read it that they don?t want to invest in the future, can?t figure out how to execute a digital strategy, and aren?t going to be prepared as audiences continue to shift online. This is not the message the industry wants to promote.

Regarding the audio quality issue, I can?t speak for other company?s products, but the issues described, leveling, insertion accuracy, etc. are issues that Abacast dealt with long ago. If a broadcaster uses our ad insertion system, AAC+ encoder, and streams at a bit rate of 48kbps or higher, the stream will be indiscernible from the broadcast stream. We have worked really hard to deliver products that a broadcaster can rely on and that have a very high quality level. I?m sure other vendors strive to do this too. Years ago this wasn?t always possible but we are in the third decade of streaming and many, if not most, quality issues have been addressed. That?s not to say that Saga is wrong, perhaps their current vendor still had some of these legacy issues, but I don?t believe it is the norm today.

Saga said they are going to simulcast their broadcast spots and just roll the digital into their broadcast -- but we all know that?s probably not going to amount to real revenue. Let?s be honest: 99 percent of the time the salesperson gives away the digital to get the broadcast buy, thereby wiping out any value that the digital numbers would have. Further, Saga will still be paying Sound Exchange fees, and these outweigh the cost of streaming and the software by a huge margin. So in all likelihood, streaming is going to become a huge money pit for Saga with little to no hope of ever creating meaningful revenue.

I don?t want to pick on Saga, I think they are just an example of how radio is torn between the past and the future and I think Saga is indicative of how these macro issues are impacting radio today. Saga has plenty of smart people on their payroll and they?ve been very successful. They?ve been around a long time and they obviously run a solid business.

So why did they take this tack and why is it being considered by others? Getting digital right has been difficult for many broadcasters, Saga isn?t alone here. When I first started running Abacast a couple of years ago, I noticed that customers never spoke about how much profit they were making from digital. The more customers I spoke with the more I noticed that digital seemed to frequently be treated as something that was a necessary evil, not something to get excited about. Additionally, many of the people I spoke with were trying to apply the way they sold and managed broadcast to digital and that clearly didn?t and still doesn?t work. We?ve done extensive customer surveys, and what we?ve learned can be summed up succinctly: If a broadcaster has a strategy and plan that is differentiated from their broadcast strategy and plan, they can be very profitable with digital. If not, they will almost universally not make a profit.

What is the difference? The stations that have been successful have all had a solid strategy, a good working plan and have executed it well. Make no mistake, it is harder to make money streaming and until the radio industry acknowledges the fact that a.) digital is here to stay and the growth is only going to accelerate; and b.) as a group, a team, the radio industry needs to get together and fight for lower rates from Sound Exchange or it will continue to be challenged in creating growing digital businesses.

Despite these challenges, some stations are growing their digital businesses. Need proof? We?ve published two customer case studies detailing profitable digital efforts (available at, one with Federated Media and the other with Neuhoff. What I like in particular is that both of these groups are in mid markets and don?t have a singular advantage. What they did do was decide that they were going to make a concerted effort around digital and that effort had to be different from their traditional broadcast initiatives. They looked at digital not as a burden but as a new revenue source.

They didn?t spend a lot of money to accomplish what they did and most tellingly they didn?t hire a separate sales force, they just had their salespeople sell the digital inventory using a different program and they didn?t bundle it in with their broadcast. When stations apply these principals, we consistently see profit margins, after paying Sound Exchange and streaming fees, of 60-80 percent. These are meaningful numbers that I believe any broadcaster could attain.

Think about it. Not only can you sell in-stream but you can also sell pre-roll video, accompanying banners, you can target the ad delivery and provide advertisers a distinct, trackable call to action. The startup costs are low; no tower, land lease, FCC license, etc. All you need is a PC.

So why aren?t more groups doing well? The best part about this story is that more groups are doing well with digital. Since we published our case studies over a year ago we?ve continued to follow up with Federated and Neuhoff and not only have they continued to prosper but other groups have adopted the same model and they too are creating real profits with digital. Further, their digital audience is growing and as more cars become streaming-enabled, that growth will explode ever faster.

My distinct impression is that it isn?t that broadcasters don?t want to do something, it is that they frequently just don?t know what to do. When you add in capital restrictions, debt loads, cutbacks, etc. creating a meaningful digital offering adds up to something difficult to envision -- and that?s a shame. Because this is where the audience and advertisers are going and to turn your back on it will surely be a disaster in the long run. I?m sure Saga struggled with their decision, and I encourage them to revisit it.

Rob Green is the CEO of Abacast and can be reached at

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Report: Auto Sales Looking Strong in August


The Detroit Free Press reports there's a lot of optimism around Detroit for the second half of 2012. It appeared as if auto sales were tapering off but the paper has several optimistic quotes about the auto market. J.D. Power and Associates Senior V.P. John Humphrey said, "August continues this summer's trend of healthy growth in retail sales as dealers work to sell down inventory in time to make room for 2013 models."

Ron MacEachern is a GM for several dealerships. He's quoted as saying, "The market growth is very, very steady." The paper says U.S. consumers are on track to buy 1.3 million vehicles in August, or 16 percent more than a year ago. That would translate to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14.5 million -- the strongest pace for any month this year. Automotive website also is projecting a selling rate of 14.5 million.

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Former WLW-AM Host Dale Sommers Dead At 68


Bruce Dale Sommers, also known as "The Truckin Bozo" has died. He was 68. Sommers worked overnights at WLW-AM in Cincinatti for 20 years from 1984-2004. He was in a hospice in Florida at the time of his death. He retired in 2004 due to poor health but reappeared on SiriusXM's Open Road Channel. That show ended earlier this year. His funeral will be September 8 in Mason, Ohio. A fan page has been set up on Facebook with more information.!/groups/432500376801919/

(8/26/2012 9:27:22 PM)
Bozo was a friend of mine as I listened to him often. He helped me and my son get home from Columbia, Mo. one night in Jan, of 1985 when it was freezing cold. We had taken my daughter to College in the freezing cold weather and we had had an awful time getting the car to start. I was afraid to turn it off to fill it with gas. He was like a friend keeping me company so I would make it back to Urbana, Oh. safely with my son. He will be greatly missed and I'm thankful for his son to carry on. Thank

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(PODCAST) Is Radio a Slave to The Quarter Hour?

Download this show


In this week's Sales Meeting Podcast, we interview Tom Talbott, the CEO of Talbott Marketing. Talbott is a former radio salesperson who advanced through the radio ranks to General Manager before starting his own advertising agency. We asked Talbott about the importance of relationships, the length of stopsets, whether radio has an understanding of digital, and how he utilizes radio for his clients. Talbott says, among other things, radio commercials are not very creative and the industry has become a slave to the quarter hour.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

SALES)Should You Attend The Radio Show?


Measuring desire in a salesperson is a question that I have tossed and turned about many times over the years. Before making an investment in a potential sales rep, what characteristics should managers consider? I received the following email regarding attendance at next month?s NAB-RAB Radio Show. Put yourself in the sales manager?s position and decide whether or not to take Cindy to the conference.

Dear Sean:

I know for sure that our top rep Tim and I will be going to Dallas for the Radio Show, but our GM Jeff wants me to also consider taking our newest rep Cindy. He wants her to go because he feels that the conference will provide her with a much needed boost of enthusiasm for her job. She has been selling for ten months at the stations. She was previously a part-time jock. We gave her some sales training, and she did quite well initially.

Unfortunately, Cindy is still maturing. She views her sales position as a job, not a career. Her sales peaked early, but have fallen off. She doesn?t involve herself in community functions or do any networking. When I ask her what she wants to do with her life, she says that she wants to go back to school for a PR degree. Earlier this month and behind budget, she asked for time off to help a friend in Milwaukee. She told me she would make goal this month. I trusted her, and guess what? She will miss her goal.

I have coached her in the field and provided much training, but she seems to take one step forward and two steps backwards. I know that my general manager wants me to make the investment and send her to the conference. I don?t want to reward non-performance. If I don?t send her, I feel that I am trying to motivate her with a negative. Do I send her and hope she gets charged up, or do I keep her here?

Snowed Under

Dear Snowed Under:

Please review the Sales Rep?s Must Do List included below, then decide whether or not to send Cindy to the conference.

In my opinion, point number 12 seems to separate those who will be in this business five years from now, and those who will not be here. Before investing more money in Cindy, I would make sure that she wants a career in radio sales. Maybe one of the most helpful things that you can do is to encourage Cindy in her personal goal of going back to school. Truly caring for people is one of the characteristics of top leaders. I would let the sand sift to the bottom on this issue and keep her home. I am sorry to diminish the coffers of the NAB and RAB, but this is a pointless expense until Cindy decides whether sales is a career or a job. When was the last time you let someone go to pursue their passion? If it is best for them, it is best for you!

Sean Luce

1) Arrive at work on time.
2) Do what needs to be done whether you want to or not.
3) Read good business books and be informed of all facets of the business. Always be learning new things.
4) Help others in the sales department and be a team player.
5) Be goal-oriented and focused.
6) Be prompt and give consistent service and follow-up to customers.
7) Invest in a wardrobe and have professional etiquette.
8) Have a ?whatever it takes? attitude.
9) Be trustworthy and credible.
10) Be enthusiastic.
11) Be tenacious?never stop trying.
12) Have a life plan. Make this a career!

Sean Luce is the Head International Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at

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Are You Proud of Your Digital Product?


(by Ed Ryan) Saga's Warren Lada has stirred up a hornet's nest with his recent comments about ad-insertion and Saga's decision to completely abandon the technology. Those that operate in the digital space believe Lada is leading radio back to the dark ages, the radio industry just doesn't see where audio is headed and the industry is too cheap to seriously invest (money or people) in their streaming product. Some in radio return fire by saying the cost to stream and insert ads isn't worth a lot of their time and certainly not worth dumping tons of money for what it returns. They are just being smart. One thing became clear this weekend, after listening to music stations across the country, if Program Director's actually listened to what went out over their streams, you would think they would be horrified.

We randomly picked music stations that were streaming online and focused on their stopsets. We listened for all the issues that Lada told us concerned him. How were the audio levels compared to the music? What was being played during the breaks? How was the segue back to the over-the-air signal? Is the product comparable to what goes out over the air? The easy answer is the products are not even close. Nearly 100% of the time, whenever a stopset concluded, and a station came back to its on-air signal, it clipped the end of the over-the-air promo or commercial. Very few stopsets were loaded with local commercials. And, national PSA's are making a big comeback online.

We listened via iHeartRadio, TuneIn, individual station apps and through pop-up players on station websites.
Here are just a few examples;
- At NextMedia's Country station WRNS-FM in New Bern, North Carolina (via TuneIn) a stopset started with two PSA's, played an Auto Zone spot, three more PSA's and came back to its on-air signal by cutting over a spot.
- At Entercom's KBLX in San Francisco (using the radio station app) the station played a stopset with two PSA's, a spot for, a spot for and two spots for 800 number products which sounded like PI's. None of the commercials sounded local and while the re-entry clipped a spot it was short.
- At Clear Channel's WSIX-FM in Nashville (via iHeartRadio) we heard an ad for, an iHeartRadio Promo for the app, an iHeartRadio Festival Promotion, a promo for the Roots of Country Channel on iHeartradio, a Wine Festival (local commercial?), an iHeartradio artist spotlight for Kenny Chesney, an iHeartradio artist spotlight for Jake Owen, a promo and a clean re-entry back to music.
- At Greater Media's Magic 106.7 in Boston (soft rock format), a stopset included a homeless cats PSA, a promo for workday music, a 9-11 Memorial PSA and a jazz song to fill the rest of the stopset which was cut off hard to get back to the on-air signal.
- At Cumulus' I93 in Dallas (via the station player on a PC) the stream sounded as if someone was sitting in the radio station studio flipping a switch turning the broadcast on and off, on and off through every song being played.
- One station stream was in the middle of a stopset which cut right into a song that cut right into a second song which then cut into an artist clip before cutting that off and going back to the on-air signal. It was so bad, we decided not to identify the station here.

Of course, this is not a scientific study, we didn't listen to hundreds of stations, so take our limited research for what its worth. It was random and we tried to spread the listening out by company, format and technology. It did leave us wondering if managers would allow these mistakes to consistently occur via their transmitter. The answer is obvious. Not a chance. Is it OK for this to happen online because listening numbers are so low? Is it because the online stream isn't really a priority? Is it because it doesn't sell? Is it because there isn't enough staff to take care of these issues?

If you know of examples of radio stations executing a perfect stream, with local or nationally sold ads commercials filling the stopsets, please list them here in our comments section or send to

(8/27/2012 6:37:59 AM)
Ed, you hit on the big problem with broadcasters streaming their audio - it's the CX - or Consumer Experience. While others will argue the economics or the commitment to digital, the reality is that most streams sound just like the way you heard them in your mini-research study. Most programmers don't monitor their streams, nor are they incentivized to even think about them. You heard the result.

We tackled this point following the Saga decision, and you can read our "take" on this at

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Emmis' Chris Nadler Passes


Nadler's title was Lifestyle Engagement Director/ Music Marketing with HOT-97 in New York according to Market Manager Alex Cameron who tells Radio Ink Nadler was in his early 50's when he died. Program Director Jill Strada tweeted "My heart is so heavy right now. RIP Chris Nadler. An amazing talented & unique. You are missed. May your soul rest in peace." Funeral services will be held today in New Jersey.

A statement released from the company said, "We at Emmis Communications and Hot 97 are devastated by the news that one of our own has passed away. Chris Nadler was an incredibly talented, dedicated and passionate professional very widely respected by peers and colleagues. Chris began his career at Emmis Communications in 1999 as the Sales Record Label Account Manager and has served in several key  positions throughout his career, most recently as the Lifestyle Engagement Director for Hot 97, producing the Hot 97 Summer Jam  Festival Stage and the monthly Who's Next Artist Showcase at S.O.B's in Manhattan. His career accomplishments are too great to list  and his influence and impact on artists, music and marketing will live on."

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(TALENT) My Position: The Programming Priority?


In a recent Radio Ink audio-interview, Mike Sheehan, CEO of Hill Holiday, one of the top ad agencies in the country, offered up some advice on how radio can compete for more of his budget. He urged stations to be ?fearless? and improve their content. Well damn! Maybe that?s the answer after all! Even though Mike may have some further, more specific revelations in his back pocket, he did not reveal them.

Now, I do appreciate his point and agree with his position. However, the consideration of approaching any new radio programming or spot production concepts does come with significant "fear factors." This leaves a manager or PD in a precarious situation where ?fearlessness? is no longer a viable option.

Rin Tin Tin had a fearlessness about him. Ol? ?Rinny? would charge into a dangerous, even life-threatening, scenario with complete abandon and come out of it with a large piece of pants torn from the butt of a defeated and humiliated villain between his teeth and with his tail wagging. Hero! But, that was fiction. In real life, the same kind of abandon can get a person killed. For a station manager or PD to do likewise could be even more terrible. It could get them blown out.

If I were a radio company line manager -- executive, sales, or programming -- these days, I would begin my day by ralphing my guts out until I was slumped on the floor in front of the bowl with nothing left in me except a few more throat-ripping, dry heaves. PDs, in particular, are being hosed down by company-provided blasts -- a combination of restricted, depleted resources, multi-platform responsibilities, the incapacity to attract or train talented, on-air presenters, and production departments that have been converted to extra storage spaces. Plus, for many, there is the necessity of serving and sacrificing to the false god of PPMs -- a fickle deity that is likely to reward the stronger, clearer signals before it deigns to bless an outfit that may be producing (alleged) terrific programming.

Then an audacious guy, say, someone like myself, saunters up with the claim that our most basic and assumed-solid model of communication is not only flawed, but is a dangerous and toxic detriment to what we want for our stations, including the continued and ever-developing acceptance of our programming on the part of our audiences and influence over those audiences on behalf of our advertising clients. At some point, PDs heads are going to start exploding as a direct result of trying to sustain an overwhelming load of responsibilities.

Yet, my claim stands. We have not addressed, changed, or developed the strategies and techniques -- the model -- of delivering language through broadcast communications media since well before ?payola? was an acceptable, if not legitimate, way of making a couple extra bucks in the business.

Still, it gets worse. My claim includes the admonition that until we are trained to be better, more efficient, more appealing and more influential communicators, any efforts directed at all the other issues creating challenges for our programming leadership will be generating minimal returns and will, practically, make those efforts almost inconsequential. Indeed, the multiple challenges facing contemporary radio are real not fantasies. Although mostly internally generated as these challenges may be only adds to the complexity and frustration of having to deal with enemies from within.

Of course, I appreciate how difficult it is to build something of value when most of the muscle is directed at digging out of the rubble -- even as much as the destruction was self (industry)-induced. Nor is it difficult to understand how we are behaving more like mangy, cowering curs -- snapping at anything and anyone who dares come near -- rather than the courageous K-9s we are being encouraged to emulate.

When I?m doing personal coaching work, I go into each relationship with a basic and historically effective approach: To challenge, to change, and to check. I also enjoy a tremendous advantage. This is as a result of having clients who are already willing to make changes. Most are in some crisis or other and are often, in some way, desperate. Of this, they are consciously and painfully aware. I can challenge their already-existing beliefs, values, behaviors, and habits-of-thought about the world and themselves with relative ease because it is those very attributes that contributed to their current state. It is then incumbent upon me to have the skills to assist them in accomplishing any necessary, agreed upon, remedial or generative outcomes, with them and for them. I am then obliged to check my work and be sure the changes were implemented and the client is satisfied.

This audience of readers -- serious radio-people -- however, is a completely different group and with this one, I have no similar advantage. This group of individuals have any number of radio-related issues on their minds and have yet to come to the consideration or suspicion -- never mind realization or conclusion -- that an immediate re-development of our communicative strategies and techniques is acutely necessary and is, therefore, deserving of the highest priority.

A couple of reminders: Ours is an indirect, passive medium that impacts consciously and unconsciously. Radio generates more emotional responses than it does intellectual ones. We have no authority to tell anybody to do anything. We are not directly connected to anybody, specifically, even while talent and management parrot the ?one-to-one? liturgy. This position is no more than an assertion that has become a wholly accepted and grossly inaccurate dogma. The proposition cannot stand even under the weakest of challenges. In these articles, I am constantly inviting evidence to be provided that might sustain or support the position. So far, and beyond a couple of boo's from the gallery, no takers.

Ronald T. Robinson has been involved in Canadian Radio since the '60s as a performer, writer and coach and has trained and certified as a personal counsellor. Ron makes the assertion that the most important communicative aspects of broadcasting, as they relate to Talent and Creative, have yet to be addressed. Check out his website

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NABEF To Host Radio Show Career Fair

The NAB Education Foundation, in partnership with the Broadcast Education Association, will host a Career Fair on September 18, 2012, one day prior to the 2012 Radio Show kickoff. Located in the Hilton Anatole from 1-5:00 p.m., the Radio Show Career Fair will provide experienced professionals, college students, and entry-level job seekers with the opportunity to network and interview with major radio companies.

This year?s Career Fair will feature round-table-style networking and group interviews, allowing attendees and recruiters to interact in a fast-paced, personal and competitive setting. Entry-level candidates as well as seasoned professionals interested in radio opportunities in sales, technology, and on-air should register online. Admission is free with attendee code CF12, and registration includes entry to the exhibit floor of the Radio Show.

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(SALES) No Doesn't Mean No


Many radio account executives let themselves get cut off at the pass by manufacturer?s published co-op plans. But that need not happen!
When you begin to think of the published co-op plans as "guidelines" rather than rules that can?t be broken, you can often open a floodgate of advertising opportunities for your clients and revenue opportunities for you and your stations.
The key is to think about the objectives of the suppliers and manufacturers who have co-op plans:

1. They want to sell more product.
2. They want to foster stronger customer relationships with the advertiser.
3. They want to get preferential merchandising space and promotion over their competitors.

When you understand their objectives, it?s a simple matter to persuade suppliers to bend their "rules" and to tap into "extraordinary marketing funds" for you.
We?ve been able to help stations we consult to break beyond the meager co-op percentages prescribed by some manufacturers and actually get 50-100 percent of a campaign paid for by the manufacturer.
In one case, we helped sell a high-volume multiple-brand tire dealer by creating a huge spring tire event. We were able to persuade one manufacturer to cover the entire cost of a remote broadcast promoting the event by featuring their brand exclusively and naming the event after their brand. The manufacturer paid for 100 percent of the campaign and sold a ton of tires!

It?s not too difficult to persuade a local advertiser to use your station when you get that kind of funding from their suppliers.
In another case, we worked with a station to sell an appliance store on sponsoring a station?s traffic reports with 15-second tags. He carried three competing brands of dishwashers but none of them had 15-second scripts in their co-op manuals?only 30s and 60s.
We simply made a presentation to one of the manufacturers outlining all of the merits of sponsoring the traffic reports, and suggested that if they didn?t approve the use of our 15-second script, one of the competing brands would.
For the sake of winning favour with the retailer, getting preferential showroom display space, and advertising their brand versus the competitor?s, the manufacturer gladly approved our 15-second script for co-op funding. 
Many co-op plans allow for print ads only, or will only reimburse advertisers who use manufacturers' scripts. Often the local advertiser doesn?t want to use those scripts because they focus on the manufacturer, with only name mentions for the advertiser. Don?t let those "rules" deter you.

1. Become a resource. Often your clients just don?t have the time to create a marketing plan or presentation for their suppliers and to do the paperwork necessary to capture more vendor support. Doing the work for them can strengthen your relationship and help you generate more revenue.

2. Think beyond existing co-op plans. Virtually all manufacturers and suppliers can access extraordinary marketing budgets for building stronger customer relationships, for sampling campaigns, merchandising, and extraordinary campaigns to help them sell more product.

3. Tender your next ad campaign. Present a written proposal for submissions, to all of your client?s suppliers, outlining your proposed advertising schedule and investment, along with any special displays, promotions, demonstrations, or other exposure the winning bidder will receive. Have a deadline for submissions and be prepared to make a commitment to buy from the winning supplier.

4. Think beyond cash. Your advertiser?s suppliers have more to offer than cash, credits, or discounts. They often have branded advertising specialties or prizes they can offer for your campaign. They might also offer their vehicle presence for "truckload sales," or arrange factory demos at your place of business.

5. Leverage suppliers? expertise. Many suppliers are happy to provide the manpower and expertise to facilitate demonstrations, sampling, or contesting for your next promotion if you only ask.

The bottom line? The rules for generating more sales and stronger customer relationships are meant to be broken! Break ?em and make some money for you and your clients.

Wayne Ens is president of ENS Media Inc, a pro-active media consulting and training company that specializes in increasing local-direct radio revenues. You can reach Wayne at

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Emmis Sells KXOS/Los Angeles

August 23, 2012

Emmis pulls the trigger on the sale of Spanish Hits KXOS/Los Angeles to qualified designees of Mexico City-based Grupo Radio Centro. The price is $85.5 million, most of which will go to pay down Emmis debt.

Emmis recently announced it was negotiating to further extend the recently expired provision of the put and call agreement that gave GRC the right to buy the station for the $85.5 million figure -- after the August 8 deadline passed, the price was set to go up to $110 million, but the companies said at the time that they were still negotiating. According to an SEC filing, on August 20, that part of the agreement was extended through August 23, and now the sale has been made.

The original seven-year LMA gave GRC the right to purchase the station for $110 million during that term or for Emmis to require GRC to purchase the station for that amount when the term expired. But earlier this year Emmis and GRC adjusted the deal to offer the reduced price if a deadline was met.

GRC began operating KXOS (Exitos) under an LMA in 2009, flipping the format from Rhythmic AC "Movin" in April and changing the calls from KMVN to KXOS in June of that year.

(8/23/2012 2:11:25 PM)
The amount of money Emmis has spent surrounding all things HD is disgusting. All Emmis staffers were required to take a 5% pay cut afew YEARS back (and were promised it would be returned.. it has not) and some took an additional 6% 2 years ago.
(8/23/2012 1:18:08 PM)
I wonder how much of that debt is due to developing that silly iBiquity HD Radio phone, and converting stations to HD Radio. Where are all of radio's shareholders, and are they even aware of the HD Radio scam?

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Linda Cassidy Picks up Love Songs at KOIT

Cassidy will host KOIT?s Love Songs After Dark starting Monday. PD Andy Holt said, ?Linda?s a familiar voice to Bay Area listeners. She?ll create the perfect environment for ?de-stressing? after a busy day." Added Cassidy, ?I?m excited to be a part of the KOIT team and I look forward to playing the songs that bring back so many great memories for our listeners.?

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Dan Mason - The Writer

Dan Mason - The Writer

Responding to a "Hollywood Reporter" article that highlighted the age of some of radio's most powerful talkers, CBS Radio President/CEO Dan Mason wrote a rebuttal piece that appeared online yesterday. Mason's piece is called "Sorry, Radio Is Far From Dead," and he writes, "the good news for those who like radio is that reports of our untimely demise are not only premature but, well, just plain wrong. These kinds of stories conveniently fail to take into account that, according to Arbitron, more than 92 percent of the U.S. population still regularly tunes in to over-the-air stations, with millions more listening online and via mobile devices."

The magazine included the ages of  Rush Limbaugh who is 61, Sean Hannity who is 50, Michael Savage who is 70, Laura Ingraham who is 48, and Ed Schultz who is 58. Combined those five names reach 47 million weekly listeners. Mason pointed out there are other radio stars on the rise. "Just last month, CBS Radio hired Ty Bentli to host morning drive on our Top 40 station in New York -- the No. 1 radio market in the U.S. I'd point out that Ty just turned 31. Changing directions is never easy, but ultimately it must be done. You might never hear another Tom Leykis, Howard Stern, or Rush Limbaugh on your local radio station. That's not to diminish their long history of success or their loyal followings. Programming that appeals to those audiences might very well find a new home on satellite or via podcasting or online streaming. It's great that those options exist."
And Mason writes, despite the ages the magazine points out, the talk format is still popular. "Talk radio formats targeted to the 18-to-34 and 25-to-54 demographics are still thriving, with hosts of similar age taking the leading role engaging listeners in topical discussions about news, sports, and pop culture, and exposing them to new music. Did you know that 660 Sports Radio WFAN in New York broadcasts one of the most popular morning talk shows with men 18 to 49? CBS Radio's WBZ-FM in Boston and WXYT-FM in Detroit are both No. 1 with men 18 to 34 in morning drive. More important, if you look at the median age of listeners to CBS Radio's sports stations, you'd see they are 44."
And, Radio Ink would like to point out that in our issue this coming Monday, we have interviews with Andy Dean, Andres Gutierrez, Monica Crowley, John Tesh, Nikki Sixx, Bobby Bones, Blair Garner, and others. Many who are young. Many who are making a name for themselves in the arena of syndication. In fact, the syndication bullpen is in a lot better shape than most people think.

Read the entire Dan Mason article in The Hollywood Reporter HERE

(8/24/2012 1:26:32 AM)
89% of Americans did NOT learn of the selection of Paul Ryan to be Mitt Romney's running mate from radio. Also, twice as many Americans learned about it from a computer than from a radio.,0,3396454.story

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University of Texas Purchases KXBT For $6 Million


KXBT-FM was once part of Border Media Partners, before it went through a restructuring and Larry Patrick was appointed the trustee. Today Patrick announced that the university has agreed to purchase the Austin station for $6 million. Back in 2009, Border Media Partners had 29 stations which were taken over by its lenders. Most of the stations aired Spanish-language formats.

Here's what the university posted on its website about the sale:

"New programming will begin on KUTX 98.9 FM and KUT 90.5 FM sometime this fall, following Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval. Differentiating KUT?s news and music services across two stations is consistent with our strategic plan to double impact by 2020 and contribute to the long-term public service and sustainability of KUT," said Stewart Vanderwilt, director and general manager of KUT Public Radio. "The new KUT Public Media Studios ? with their increased production capacity, public spaces and direct audience interaction ? are the foundation of this strategic direction."
KUTX 98.9 will feature a public radio-style music format with diverse playlists covering the broad spectrum of music that makes Austin a global music destination. Programming will include many of KUT's existing music programs along with interviews, in-studio performances, the music journalism program "Texas Music Matters" and local arts-related news and commentary. Additionally, the all-music station will provide a high-profile platform for promoting and sharing content from the new KUT Public Media Studios' Performance Studio 1A and the KUT-operated Cactus Cafe.
KUT 90.5 FM, NPR and Austin News from the Capital of Texas will continue to broadcast national news and information programming, including NPR's "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered," "Fresh Air," "Wait, Wait ? Don't Tell Me," "A Prairie Home Companion," and "This American Life," among other national and local programs. The new dedicated format will enable KUT to add additional national news programs and enable KUT's award-winning news team to provide a deeper level of context and a broader forum for the voices shaping Central Texas.
"Austin is one of only two state capitals in a major market without a full-time news and information public radio station," continued Vanderwilt. "Austin has all the demographic and social attributes ? high levels of education, political engagement, civic participation and a strong sense of place ? needed for a full-time public radio news station to thrive."
KUT and the University of Texas at Austin are purchasing the station from the Border Media Business Trust in a deal brokered by Public Radio Capital, an independent nonprofit organized to support the growth of public stations throughout the country, for $6 million. No tuition or taxpayer money will be used for the purchase.
KUTX 98.9 FM will provide roughly the same five-county metro-area coverage as KUT 90.5 FM.

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Rome Never Took No For An Answer


We are only a few short weeks away from hearing what CBS and NBC will have to offer stations with their new sports updates. CBS will distribute with help from Cumulus, NBC with Dial Global. In our continuing series on the exploding success of this format, today we hear from Jim Rome. Rome is one of the most successful sports radio talk show hosts this format has ever seen and he'll be part of our September 17th special report. The Jim Rome Show is heard on over 250 stations with 1.5 million weekly listeners. He's syndicated by Premiere (Clear Channel) and is known for his aggressive style. In a sneak preview of our interview with Rome, he explains how that approach landed him his first job in radio. A job he had to have doing sports on an AM station in San Diego back in 1986. Here's a short clip from our interview with Jim Rome.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Entertaining The Troops During Tet


Today's "Blast From The Past" comes from Phil Lenz who started his radio career while serving in the Army in 1967. He was stationed at the Bien Hoa Air Base, which is where he decided to build a radio station that would appeal to a 19- or 20-year-old GI.

While AFVN, the Armed Forces Station in Saigon was playing Percy Faith, Mitch Miller, and Engelbert Humperdinck, he would play top 40 hits like Sam & Dave, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Canned Heat, and Country Joe & the Fish. Lenz says he built a makeshift studio in a "Conex Box" (a corrugated shipping container). When he wasn?t live, he would play hundreds of airchecks of popular stations from back in the States. The station became recognized by the Base and became a critical force of information during the 1968 Tet Offensive. Do you have a "Blast From The Past" with a great story like Phil's? Send it to

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(AUDIO) NBC Already Has 100 Affiliates


As we continue to look at the upcoming sports talk radio battle gearing up to begin after Labor Day, we focus today on the NBC Sports Network. If all goes according to plan, both NBC and CBS will be launching their update products September 4th. CBS will go into 24 hour mode early in 2013, NBC later that year. NBC - with help from Dial Global - says it already has 100 affiliate stations ready to take the udpate product, which is pretty good being neither company owns any radio stations. When CBS launches it will not only have its own signals to cherry pick from, with Cumulus as a partner, there will be hundreds more to choose from.

Rob Simmelkjaer is the NBC Sports Group Senior Vice President, NBC Sports Ventures. He's also a former top ESPN executive. He'll be part of our expanded sports talk coverage coming up in the September issue of Radio Ink magazine. Simmelkjaer says morning drive and afternoon drive shows are not a top priority for the NBC sports network because those positions are occupied by strong programming at the local level and are harder to sell. In this short preview of our interview Simmelkjaer talks to Radio Ink about getting off the ground with so many affiliates and what those affiliates can expect to get from the NBC product. Here's our interview preview.

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Will Apple Remove Your Ads?

There's a lot of buzz about a patent Apple just received for technology that will allow them to selectively remove unwanted elements in music streams as people listen on various devices. Will that impact radio listening and radio?
A first reaction to this news might be, "There are billions of radio devices in homes and cars that won't be impacted by this technology. Radio has nothing to worry about." At first glance, I'd agree. After all, radio reaches almost every household, with most families owning several radios and 100 percent penetration in cars.

Yet I think we had the same reaction when Apple announced their first MP3 player and later announced they would be selling music. Most people in radio initially wrote those things off as non-events, and few of us understood Apple's vision -- which turned out to be a giant success. The same thing happened with the iPhone and apps, which again changed the game. But why would Apple bother with technology to remove commercials? Perhaps they have a vision we cannot see.
Radio may have a huge advantage for a while, until this technology is implemented in the streaming environment, where it could potentially remove spots that are inserted into streams. From what I can tell by reading the patent, it doesn't appear the technology can detect a commercial inserted in real time (though I may be wrong). In other words, the spots in your live stream would play, but those in a stream where ads are inserted individually could be removed. Of course, most of our streamed content includes inserted ads.
My biggest concern about this technology is that about half of all Internet activity takes place in a mobile environment, and a big chunk of that is on iPhones. Mobile makes up a significant portion of streamed listening, so radio has vulnerability there. And if Apple licenses this technology to other mobile devices, then the impact will be ever greater.
Perhaps an even bigger concern is that radio is about to lose its command of the automobile. Yesterday Sirius XM announced that 50 million cars are now satellite radio-enabled. (This is not a subscriber figure.) My prediction was that it would take satellite years to dominate the car. And I was wrong, it took 10 years. But satellite radio isn't my concern. An increasing number of new cars are now Internet-enabled and have iHeartRadio and TuneIn and Pandora on the dash, no subscription required. Radio's biggest listening takes place in the car. So as these devices and services penetrate, eventually, most radio listening will be streamed listening, in the car.
The New York Times Magazine recently reported that the current car fleet averages 11 years old and that the majority of cars will be replaced -- in fact, it's expected that 2015 will be the biggest car sales year in history because of that need to replace old vehicles. And that means that, by the end of 2015, virtually all cars will have in-dash Internet radio.
Do you see where this is going?
It's possible that all in-car listening by 2015-2020 will be online listening. Suddenly that transmitter's reach is reduced to in-home units. If Apple's commercial-replacement technology covers all your ads, then radio's business model is broken.
Perception may be the biggest problem we face. Advertisers seeing this announcement may naively think that audio advertising is dead or dying and switch to other alternatives. We all know how consumers and advertisers perceive Pandora, often based on inaccurate and exaggerated press reports. They continue to buy that story, and there's no reason to think they won't eventually believe that audio ads will be covered in all environments.
What Should Radio Do?
A natural reaction would be to fight this and find a way to prevent it. That would be a typical NAB approach. After all, no one should be allowed to alter our broadcasts -- though I'm not sure it can be prevented.

Another reaction would be to make consumers suddenly like commercials. We all know from focus groups that ads are disliked, even though in the same breath listeners will tell us ads are often how they find out about things going on in their communities. Though we can make commercials better, and should, I don't think that solves this problem.
Radio needs to take a serious look at its business model. Though commercials aired over the transmitter will likely continue to be heard, we need to assume mobile and in-car listening will dominate. And therefore we need to find new ways to generate income.

Radio needs to dig deeply into its creative soul and find out how we can generate new forms of revenue on our strengths: our relationships with listeners and our ability to move products. Though we may never see the radio spot die, we should assume it will die and seek new ways to replace that revenue.
We need to look at ways of placing audio advertisements seamlessly into our programming, so they can't be detected by this technology -- and we need to do it in ways that won't alienate our listeners. Perhaps that's a product-placement strategy; television increased product placement in response to the DVR, which allowed consumers to skip ads. Or perhaps the strength of some talent or some formats will allow us to command subscription revenues?
Chances are what needs to be done has not yet been invented, and it's time to start inventing it. If these predictions hold true, the clock is ticking, and we'll need to develop a new approach within the next couple of years.
Radio remains a tremendous industry because of our loyal audiences, but we should not get complacent or arrogant. Because of our success, everyone wants to take our audiences away -- and it's predictable that fickle listeners will follow innovative solutions they feel better meet their needs. The promise of radio with few or no commercials is inviting, and it's one of the strengths of Pandora. Plus, as the generation of baby boomers fades and the Internet generation gains a foothold, there is perhaps less loyalty to radio, and that will impact listening and advertising.
Radio has a promising future. These things should not frighten us, but they should not be ignored. A proactive response is what will help us remain strong.

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Townsquare Purchases MOG's Ad Network


The official announcement is expected to be made at 9 a.m. this morning. This Townsquare purchase, believed to be a little over $10 million, has more to do with Townsquare's national websites than its 242 local radio station websites. The MOG network, which has 60 million unique monthly users, sells ads from about 1,500 publishers (a third party provider serves the ads), and Townsquare was already using the network to serve ads for its consumer site

In addition to radio, Townsquare is building a digital business, so this purchase fits into their big-picture strategy. Other national Townsquare websites include,, and The company has about a dozen of these consumer-focused sites. The MOG network has offices in Berkley, Santa Monica, Chicago, and New York. All offices will remain open and all employees will remain employed.

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(TALENT) Programming And Other Four-Letter Words


When I was being trained to do HR-work and personal coaching, I was introduced to a premise that, upon consideration, held true in an alarming number of circumstances. And in no way have radio-folks been inoculated against this particular scourge. The premise was: "People, and the organizations they develop, have a tendency to find out what doesn?t work ? and do it harder!"

All-too-common examples of this phenomenon can be witnessed regularly by observing people who, when talking doesn?t get the response they want, start yelling. When that doesn?t work either, they will up the intensity and the decibel levels. Less-than-cordial responses promptly ensue. At the risk of stating the obvious, the multitude of "yell and sell" and "buy or die" radio spots that continuously wreck our credibility and challenge the patience of the audience, provide another disconcerting example.

Meanwhile, radio -- especially commercial, music radio -- has been applying this ineffective and tragic "find out what doesn?t work and do it harder" strategy for decades. Even a cursory investigation reveals that radio has been sabotaging its own potentials by embracing a series of misconstrued values. The primary one is a focusing on the most direct line between expenses and the bottom line. This line, by the way, bypasses any consideration of the most important outcomes that were, at least at one time, the basis upon which all radio business and programming decisions were based.

To be successful and relevant, radio has a couple of high-level outcomes to pursue and accomplish.

1. To attract and develop an ever-growing number of audience members for increasing amounts of listening time.

2. To design and produce effective and compelling commercial content for the benefit of our advertisers while avoiding burning down or blowing out our audiences in the process.

Astute readers will note these objectives have nothing to do with any straight lines joining expenses and profits. Rather, unless and until those lines intersect with the two (above) principles, we will continue to get what we?ve been getting ? an industry at the bottom of the list of desirable advertising media and an industry in obvious turmoil.

Further, as radio?s leadership continues to ramble on about concepts like "innovation," I find myself stymied. No. That?s not nearly strong enough. I find myself dumbstruck that management can use that term at all ? never mind deliver it with a straight face.

For as long as I can remember, any innovations that have come to radio have been those that are strictly technical and that have been delivered from outside our business! The wailing about the challenges of participating effectively through online platforms serves as another recent example of a technical innovation that has been foisted on radio. Certainly this is not a platform developed by radio people. Nor has it been a welcome addition to the owners and management of radio stations. I suspect they would rather have another 50 pounds of bricks added to their sleds.

Programming, meanwhile, has been in the doldrums ever since the Drake format ran out of gas in the early '80s. Ghettoizing spot-sets into irritating, interminable prison sentences for audiences does not qualify as a programming innovation. Whoever came up with that one or accepted it as an "innovation" needs to be taken out back, and at least shown a hickory switch. Likewise for whoever introduced those music sweeps that go on into next week.

Laying waste to the talent-base without having a better, more effective alternative ready to go has been a disaster to those stations attempting to be noticed and accessed regularly ? never mind to those stations? owners who have picked up on the newest buzzword and are insisting on developing a "brand." When a decision to eliminate back-selling tunes on the radio is considered another, important innovation, the next, logical step is to wave the white flag, plead for mercy and, if possible, pack up and go home. We?re out of fight and we?re out of ammo.

Indeed, "innovation" when applied to radio programming becomes another of those four-letter words ? the ones that are rude, crude and vulgar, and that lose their meaning through over-usage.

Only because they have so many other responsibilities in the running of their businesses, am I almost willing to forgive owners and senior management for not coming up with advances in their programming departments. Or rather, what?s left of these departments, particularly after management-applied, "scorched earth" policies have rendered them severely injured, if not entirely immobilized. Professional programmers, however, are not being offered the same free pass. Last time I looked, "Deckchairology" was not a verifiable nor offishul profession.

Although transmitters are still humming and the shells of radio stations still stand while, within, their severely limited staffs stagger about but still carry on, these days may be remembered in one of two ways. One is as a time when radio began to wake up to its responsibilities and its potentials. Or, they may be recalled as the days just before the drawn-out collapse of the industry.

I am of the firm belief there is one primary focus that radio must address and on which it must concentrate to not only save itself, but to put itself in a position to prosper beyond anything dreamed of up to this point.

That primary focus is an acceptance of the necessity for the acquisition of, and training in, the precise strategies of broadcast communications. Anyone in radio who is operating under an assumption they are already delivering their communications/services with precision and sophistication is unclear on where they are and equally unaware of where they could be going.

The evidence is readily available up and down the bandwidths in every small, medium, and major market. While there are still many exceptional, professional performers slaving over hot microphones, the pervasively mundane and insulting (to audiences and advertisers alike) offerings of music radio on an everyday basis are unworthy of those who would be professional on-air communicators, professional creators of effective broadcast advertising, and representatives of these services.

To be sure, real, new and valuable innovations are still available. But these innovations won?t be much like those we are already providing. These strategies may well be the elements of a leading edge, a new paradigm for radio, a quantum leap, or the difference that makes the difference. Plus, my education and experience urges me to say, "Better to go with what works ? and do that harder."

By applying these new, innovative strategies, I claim we can, once again, start considering and projecting another four-letter word: "Success."

Ronald T. Robinson has been involved in Canadian Radio since the '60s as a performer, writer and coach and has trained and certified as a personal counsellor. Ron makes the assertion that the most important communicative aspects of broadcasting, as they relate to Talent and Creative, have yet to be addressed. Check out his website

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