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Thursday, February 28, 2013

(AUDIO) Radio's Challenge Is In The Home


Larry Rosin (pictured) and Megan Lazovick of Edison Research presented detailed information about the Country radio listener at CRS yesterday in an "Ethnographic Study." Lazovick went out across the country and spent days with listeners, observing how they consume music and what the country music format means to them. In addition to reinforcing the fact that Country music songs make an emotional connection with the listener, Edison uncovered more details about how consumers take in their audio entertainment. And, it's all about the path of least resistance. If consumers are in their automobiles, the radio is a very easy selection. If they are in their homes however, radio is facing many more challenges. Listen to our interview with Rosin and Lazovick about this project HERE.

According to CRS Executive Director Bill Mayne, ?Their results yielded from this highly personal and rarely used ethnographic methodology exposes countinued challenges for country radio in the coming years. We are optimistic that the points brought to light in this study will yield considerable discussion in radio circles in the months ahead.?

Among the study?s key findings were:
- Radio?s competition is no longer only between stations. The fight today is against all of the other media: Television(outlets like CMT/GAC/TCN), YouTube, Pandora, and even personal mobile devices.
- People are choosing to listen to the device that presents the path of least resistance.  In the car, that remains radio.  At home or in the workplace, there is a much more competitive situation: television, in particular, at home and the Internet at work.
- If one listens to radio today, it is often devoid of emotion.  And yet when you talk to people in their homes, they place the emphasis on the emotions that country music elicits.
- One of the challenges that Radio faces is the fact that country fans don?t spontaneously equate country music strictly to country radio like the used to. This poses a challenge to radio provide talented DJs/hosts to guide the listeners in a more personal manner.
Rosin says, ?For all of these nearly 40 years of radio research, we have concentrated largely on the hard facts of research, and the easily quantifiable ? answering questions like: what portion of the audience likes this song?  What portion of the audience works in an office? But while we call people on the phone, or now contact them on the Internet, or bring them to hotel ballrooms for auditorium music tests or to focus group facilities, there is one place that our research hasn?t gone to ? and that?s straight to the homes of our listeners.  And while there in the homes we found an entire line of inquiry we largely hadn?t explored the emotions underneath our work and the real connections that people have to country music and country radio. Radio remains most people?s primary way to interact with the Country Music they love.?

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(TALENT) Spots – What A Load


Radio commercials are, practically, the only elements that allow for every station to have an income. That is why the creation of these ads gets a greater amount of energy, time, and budget than any other aspect of the business. (Pause.) I excuse myself here to go outside for a few minutes. Every year at this time, massive flocks of squealing piggies are overhead, winging their way to their Canadian summer nesting areas.

Now, I would be cruelly patronizing to this readership were I to suggest that everybody should now be convinced that pigs really do fly. Of course they do not. The reality is much more astounding and disturbing. They levitate. That?s right. All known natural laws of physics are suspended for this one phenomenon.

Our radio reality is about as absurd and destructive. Here we have a whole industry that is offering only bacon-like substances to our advertisers. We begin with cans of something that is a lot like Spam ? imported from offshore, of course. Next we open the cans and mix in copious amounts of sawdust and imported mixtures of fish oils. Then we transfer that into 10 smaller cans and re-label them ?Radio?s Advertising Solutions.? Indeed, we step on and cut our product (spots) so thinly, we would embarrass the seediest of drug dealers.

I would be less than candid if I did not confess to being flabbergasted at the discussions about spots that have been, and are continuously, being held when radio folk gather to lie to each other. Nevertheless, where possible, I will confine my comments to the use of professional, technical terms.

While the media world around us has made enormous leaps in various technologies, methodologies, and philosophies, radio continues to spit out the same spots that were written in 1964 ? the only difference being in the placement of the decimal on the price points. The professional, technical term for this practice is ?Stupid.? I can?t be kinder about this. While the rest of the civilized world has figured out indoor plumbing, we continue to fill our buckets and throw the contents out our windows and into the street. Then we wonder why passersby keep yelling at us.

Yes, I know. The installation of actual flushing toilets can be an expensive proposition, the cost of which can easily be justified as not being consistent with a satisfactory R.O.I. Still, the methodologies and techniques for making radio spots far more listenable and effective are available. (Operators are standing by.)

That our spots are, for the most part, irritating or altogether unlistenable hardly ever comes up for long or serious discussion. After all, most locally produced commercials are no more than authoritarian demands to buy something and to make that purchase right freakin? now! So charming and influential they are, too.

Meanwhile, there is an ongoing argument about the value of :30s and :60s. All the 60-second spots do that :30s do not is provide the time to make a longer laundry list and more vacuous claims of superiority on the part of the advertiser. I am convinced that, given a chance to think about it and respond to our spots, many listeners would offer some equivalency of ?Please consider my shorts as a source of fine dining.? We (radio and the advertisers) do not require a :60. We are not newspaper-of-the-air. All the damage that needs to be done, we can do in a :30.

Besides, radio is a lousy medium to transfer pure content, especially if there is any expectation of audience retention. We do it anyway because we are compelled to do so ? sometimes by advertisers but mostly by our own traditions. Most of us still believe that is what we are supposed to do. Here, however, is where we can shine and excel. What we have always done is not how we can be the most effective. Ours is a medium that, primarily, strikes directly into the emotional capacities of our listeners. This is where we can punch above our weight. Until we learn and accept that fact we are just goofing off. That a medium as pervasive and accessible as ours garners only five percent of available revenue might suggest we are not doing a number of things correctly.

I suppose there might be some expectations that a comment or two on the fusterclucks ? the ghettoizing of back-to-back-to-back spots around which both advertisers and audiences plan their days ? would be forthcoming. I have telegraphed too much already. Suffice to say, though, that any clinical psychologist who listens to the (above) set of universal, everyday radio strategies from a radio manager might immediately start thinking, ?Cha-ching! I now have a client for life! This guy is my kid?s college education!? If the pshrink has any nerve at all, she might also ask, ?Are there many more like you??

Lucky for us that radio is still such a pervasive medium and that even ratty spots sometime have at least a modest impact. All of this, by the way, is in spite of our best efforts to supply the very least we can in advertiser services.

The facts of radio include that the creative budget is competing with the toilet roll/bucket budget. There is little point, therefore, in wondering why, nor should there be any surprise when potential advertisers walk by our studios, and the first thing they remind each other is to ?Duck!?

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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(SALES) 5 Tough Tactics To Tackle Ad Agencies


As a boy, I used to play Stratego, a two-person, war-type board game. The object was to uncover the opponent?s flag before yours was found. Whenever a confrontation occurred between one of your pieces and one of your opponent?s, the hidden number behind the player was revealed. This decided who won that battle.

The same tactics apply when working with agencies. You must understand how they work, and you must find out what it is they really want. You must "uncover their flag.?

Here are five tactics you should understand when dealing with agencies:

1. Bring Ideas: Agencies want good ideas. Tom Haynes, who is now the Director of Strategy for Acuity Marketing, spent more automotive money than any agency I can recall in Houston, Texas. According to Haynes, his No. 1 need was fresh ideas for clients.

Many agencies are insecure about someone else taking the credit for a good idea. When an agency understands that you are trying to work with them and not against them, this can only enhance your relationship.

2. Understand the "15 Percent Rule": If the goal from the agency is $90 a point (CPP/CPM-points vary depending on the media), in most cases they have a spread to work with, and their real goal is usually 15 percent over what they quoted. They want you to give them a reason to come in over their original goal.

Sell the value of your media company. Can you deliver an exclusive audience they can?t get anywhere else? Following the event you tied their client into, do you put together a promotional recap? Do you run their schedules and placement of ads as they ordered them?

3. Build a Relationship With The Agency: Do you know the principal of the agency? The media planner? Account supervisor? Most importantly, the AE? We usually have a relationship with the agency?s media buyer, who in most cases is taking orders from her higher-ups.

If buyers ever change within the agency, you want to make sure you have relationships with people who can help you stay on the buy. Because they are used to working with you, this will also give you power in situations where you can?t meet CPP or CPM goals.

4. Know the Client: Who pays the bills? Clients change agencies quite often. Don?t get too caught up in having the relationship with just the agency. We overlook who we really need to cultivate the client. If the agency is too insecure about you going to see the client, it?s their problem, not yours. In the long run, the agency that?s like that tends to lose the account.

5. Provide Exceptional Service: Buyers want you to be the eyes and ears for their agency. Are you sending them industry trade articles from magazines that pertain to their client?s business? Have you ever walked the client?s business and done an in-store survey, noticing trends, demographics, and the psychographics of the business? Agencies want knowledgeable sales reps who are in tune with business.
Uncovering the flag in Stratego is no different than uncovering the real reason agencies will keep working with you. They want you on the team to help the clients achieve their goals, not just CPP/CPM goals.
Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at

(2/25/2013 9:44:23 AM)
So according to Luce, a radio station is supposed to provide the agency with the IDEA that motivates the client to buy the station, and let the agency take credit for the idea, with the client. Then, we are supposed to let the agency take 15% off our rates, and usually give the agency discounted rates also. Wow. Talk about a one-way "relationship."...
Empowering small-time "agencies" that basically do NOTHING, is precisely one of radio's problems right now.
(2/25/2013 9:21:26 AM)
Nothing to add here except that a huge missing part of the equation is the talent dynamic. It still gives me the heebie jeebies to reflect on some of the calls and conversations I've had with buyers over the years who got their butts chewed because some unprepared, under-qualified, over-zealous agency conquistador from a radio station caused mayhem inside the agency.

I believe that navigating the five points is a no-brainer in theory. In practice, it really requires a tremendous amount of care in talent selection & development with those specific goals in mind. Creating a trust-based agency/station relationship is all about touch, tactics and being seriously committed to the partnership--not just to getting the potential billing to fall in the quarter we need it to.

Being a true partner requires patience, a reciprocal trade of business intelligence, creativity and flawless execution that delights the client (and by association, the agency). When that happens...what a feeling!

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(OPINION) What Will Happen to Radio Ratings?

by Eastlan Ratings CEO Mike Gould

Is Nielsen spending 1.26 billion dollars to buy Arbitron and improve service to their indispensable radio customers or to eliminate a potential threat to their monopolistic TV empire? Today?s Arbitron is a billion dollar company fueled primarily by revenue from radio stations.  They are poised to be swallowed by an even bigger firm to whom radio won?t even be their most important customer. 

Imagine a day this Fall when radio station owners all over America are forced to take an urgent call from their new consolidated ratings vendor letting them know their old Arbitron contract has been torn up ?and that rates are going down!  No doubt this call will come on your cell phone while you and Elvis are enjoying box seats at Game 7 of the World Series at Wrigley Field.

The long-term impact of consolidation is seldom in the best interest of those whose options are eliminated.  If you are still fortunate enough to work in a radio station everyday, consider how consolidation has changed your job.  Then consider how consolidation has impacted the overnight jock.

What about TV?  It seems a widely held belief that the PPM trumps any technology Nielsen currently uses.  Will there now be a second bite at the apple with television broadcasters given the opportunity to pay for the same PPM innovation that radio has already funded over the past decade?

It?s time for radio to speak up.  Demand that your leadership get involved now. 

Consider the past 5-8 years, in most cases; your annual payment to Arbitron has grown dramatically while the radio industry has struggled to achieve even meager growth.   This scenario is about to get worse.  Radio broadcasters win by fostering an environment that encourages competition among its vendors-especially expensive categories like ratings research.  This proposed merger would likely raise the barrier of entry and as a result, discourage any new innovation or competition.

Our company, Eastlan Ratings, has taken 14 years to amass nearly 100 markets.  We have a unique culture allowing Eastlan to grow by remaining patient and focusing only on our core competency: providing an alternative in small and medium market radio measurement.  In today?s business environment, few companies can afford this kind of slow and steady approach within such a narrow niche.

Radio is an industry with a pattern of letting others dictate its fate.  Most recently, radio stood still as the fledgling satellite radio technology re-positioned and marginalized them as ?terrestrial radio?.  Online jukebox services have be allowed to infringe on radio?s brand, too (Pandora is an useful online service but it?s not radio.).  Before that Arbitron was able to exercise their power as the industry?s most influential vendor to foist huge price increases by promising adoption of the PPM would increase radio?s revenue.  Remember ?70 is the new 100??

More than a hundred years before the American Association of Advertising Agencies hired Archibald Crossley to produce the first radio ratings, Thomas Jefferson said, ?(We) are now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.

The proposed merger would benefit Arbitron stockholders in 1.26 billion ways.  If you think the proposed merger will benefit radio broadcasters in any way, here?s hoping you and Elvis enjoy the World Series! 

Mike Gould is the President and CEO at Eastlan Ratings and can be reached by e-mail at

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Does Pandora Have an Eye on Apple This Week


That's a question analyzed by Forbes contributor Richard Saintvilus as Apple holds its shareholder meetings when Saintvilus believes Apple's rumored music service will be discussed. "Why advertisers would chose Pandora over Apple is a legitimate question? And even if they do, Apple?s entry gives advertisers an additional negotiating leverage they didn?t have before." Saintvilus says this puts Pandora in a position to sacrifice margin for revenue. Read the full Forbes article HERE

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Average Station Generates $137K in Digital Revenue


According to a new online advertising study released by the Radio Advertising Bureau and Borrell and Associates, an average radio station generated $137,033 in digital revenue in 2012. An average cluster took in nearly $600K. The radio industry increased its piece of the local online advertising pie from 1.8% to 2% in 2012, according to Borrell.

Internet pure play companies such as Craigslist, ReachLocal, Yelp and Angie's List took in nearly 50% of the local digital revenue. We spoke with Borrell about specifics of the study.

Listen to our interview HERE.
RAB members can download the report HERE. The RAB will have a free webinar on the report March 7th.

If you want to be better than average at selling digital you should attend CONVERGENCE next week in Santa Clara. See the AGENDA. REGISTER

(2/25/2013 1:41:44 PM)
Curious, what does that digital revenue mean to the overall radio station pie? What percent of the station/cluster revenue is derived from digital?

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SRN's Tradup in Guatamala For Special Series


Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup spent the past week in Guatemala preparing a week-long SRN News series titled The Poorest of the Poor. Tradup said, ?We always strive to be 100% objective covering any story. But for me?especially as the father of two?many aspects of this trip were heartbreaking." Guatemala suffers from the lowest malnutrition rate anywhere in the Western hemisphere. Tradup embedded with the American relief agency Food For The Poor to cover the story of impoverished children in Guatemala.

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The Bubba Schnitt Circus Goes On


Todd "MJ" Schnitt has decided the show must go on in Tampa. Schnitt fired the attorney who represented him during his lawsuit against Todd "Bubba The Love Sponge" Clem in Tampa. A new attorney is onboard and Schnitt apparently plans to continue his defamation claims against Clem. Phil Campbell, who was arrested for DUI during the case, is out and new attorney Wil Florin is in. In January a jury determined that Clem did not defame Schnitt and his wife. Read more in The Tampa Bay Times HERE

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Honig Wants FCC to Delay Ownership Decision


Minority Media and Telecommunications Council President David Honig told TVNewsCheck he's planning to formally ask the FCC to hold off on a vote on its media ownership review proposals for at least a couple of months, while an MMTC-sponsored study looks into what impact FCC crossownership rules have on minority ownership. BIA Kelsey is conducting the study for the MMTC.

TVNewsCheck writes, "As part of the FCC?s media ownership rule review, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has proposed to create a presumption in favor of a TV-newspaper merger in the top 20 markets, but only if there would be eight major media outlets remaining, and the deal did not involve a station that ranks among the top four in the ratings. There would be a presumption against TV-newspaper mergers that didn?t meet those criteria. The crossownership prohibitions generally bar common ownership of a daily newspaper and a TV or radio station in the same market. Also under the Genachowski proposal, the bar on radio-newspaper crossownership would be axed."

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As Speculated Bailey Joins AGM


Ralph Bailey, made it official on his Facebook page that after abruptly quitting Buckley's KNZR last week, he's joining American General Media's KERN. "I signed a contract today to join American General Media. I'll be Scott Cox's guest today at three and begin my own 3-6 p.m. drive time show on Monday, March 4.  I could not be happier! I have security in a business that is not that secure and for the first time in my life I'm making a little scratch."

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GEICO Remains Radio's Top Advertiser


With nearly 59,000 spots aired, GEICO was once again the number one radio advertiser for the week (2/18-2/24) according to Media Monitors. McDonalds holds the number two spot (28,181) and The Home Depot moves up from number four to three (27, 024). Rounding out the top five are two big movers, Wal-Mart (22,332) and State Farm (21,301). Wal-Mart was number fourteen last week and State Farm was number twelve.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Is Radio as Strong as You Think?

An article in says Internet radio is contributing to the decline of traditional radio. "Since the turn of the century, the onslaught of new technology has contributed significantly to the dimming commercial radio's star." The piece credits huge debt for Clear Channel and others as another negative factor and quotes Edison's Larry Rosin saying ?Pandora is clearly stealing time from commercial radio music stations, primarily among people under 35 years old.?

The article also quotes paragon's Larry Johnson about the decline in radio listening. "While the percentage of the population that listens to radio has remained almost constant during the past decade, time spent listening to the radio consistently has declined by about 15 minutes a year for the past 20 years."Johnson said the drop "has been especially pronounced among younger listeners, who usually are among the early adapters of new technology and services ? such as iPods and Pandora. However, he added, there's no clear way to see if those declines have been caused by listeners leaving radio for online streaming services."

A study by the Katz Radio Group provided by Johnson to showed that listeners between the ages 18-34 listened to 15.25 hours of broadcast radio every week during spring 2011, while listeners between the ages 35-64 listened to 17.5 hours of radio every week.

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Ford Unveils "Spotify in The Car."


Forbes has this story under the headline, "The New Car Radio?"  ?Spotify in the Car? is a voice-activated music service that has been in the works for over a year. The two companies unveiled the product at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona which integrates with the Ford SYNC service. Among the features: users can share playlists with friends by using voice commands, and instantly switch to a playlist they have received on their Spotify account. SYNC will will read an alert aloud, such as ?You have been sent a new playlist. Would you like to play it?? According to Ford, Drivers can also tell the app to add a track to their playlist, pause a track, play similar music or start an album, track or track radio.

At Convergence March 4th and 5th Greater Media's Buzz Knight will moderate a panel called "The Digital Dashboard and Beyond: A 2015 View." See our full Convergence Agenda HERE. Register HERE

(2/25/2013 8:36:45 AM)
I'm thinking of all the royalty fees rounding the corner when the next wave of music rights hit the fan.

Thanks in large part to the HiDef movement, wasting mega millions from the talent and marketing pool since turn of the century,placing free radio into the lower class of satellite radio as our talent and local content fell to the level of Viagra dependency.

Next well hear another need to give up successful bandwidth and coverages for more sharing of digital platforming.Why not do both?

(2/25/2013 7:39:57 AM)
So, Ford has finially given up on that fraud called HD Radio?

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Katz Says Audio Enhances TV Advertising


According to a new study released by Katz Marketing Solutions, Television ads using audio elements can efficiently enhance a brand's identification and messaging. The Katz study examined TV commercials from 14 brands (see below) where all audio and visual brand references were removed, and 300 respondents were served either the de-branded television clip or an audio-only version of the same clip.

The respondents were asked to identify the brand, pinpoint their ?aha? moment of recognition, and describe their emotional response to the audio and video segments. Katz Marketing Solutions President Bob McCurdy says, "This data strongly supports the strategic and creative use of radio to supplement a television campaign.?

From the Katz study: "The audio clips generated 93% of the brand identification metrics that the television commercial clips generated. Even with the absence of visual stimuli, consumers were able to correctly identify the brands being featured in the ads. The results also indicated that in certain instances audio triggered brand identification at a much greater rate than visual cues."

"For example, 25% of the respondents exposed to the Taco Bell television clip referenced visual cues as the brand trigger, while 55% mentioned the sound of the iconic Taco Bell ?bong? as the "aha? branding moment. In Duracell?s television clip, 50% more viewers referenced its distinctive three-note audio signature as the brand trigger than any visual stimuli. And for Outback Steakhouse, four times as many respondents cited the announcer?s distinguishing voice as the brand trigger than any visual element of the commercial."

McCurdy adds, ?Marketers often allocate large sums of ad dollars to broadcast television commercials, which results in the creation of tremendous audio equity?a brand?s audio logo or signature?that can continue to carry the marketing punch of a television commercial."The study examined television commercials from:Allstate, Apple, Capital One, CoverGirl, Diet Pepsi, DirectTV, Dos Equis, Duracell, GEICO, Old Spice, Outback Steakhouse, Snickers, Taco Bell, and Warner Brothers.

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NBC Sports Radio Adds Alpha In Portland


Dial Global and NBC Sports Radio have announced the signing of a multi-year partnership with Alpha Broadcasting?s 750 The Game/Portland, Oregon, (KXTG-AM). Dial Global?s Executive VP/GM, Sports, Chris Corcoran said, ?Having 750 The Game on our team is a great asset. As we continue to build our station lineup, we look forward to growing our partnership with Alpha Broadcasting and bringing fresh sports talk to Portland.?

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How I Got Into Radio -- Steve Smith


If you know Steve Smith, then you know there is no one else like him in the radio industry or in the world for that matter. Steve's personality is all over every station he programs and the station?s success is the result of Steve's ?It's the right thing to do" attitude. He?s never scared of the establishment and follows the voice in his head that tells him which direction to go. And in doing so, he is always ahead of the game. In the early 90s, I worked with Steve when he was overseeing the programming of KKFR in Phoenix. We had just placed Danny Bonaduce after his first run in Philadelphia. Danny made every day interesting; every phone call from Danny started with "Lisa, you're not going to believe what happened" and every one of Steve?s calls started with ?Lisa, you?re not going to believe what happened.? So, needless to say, Steve and I spent a lot of time together on the phone ?not believing what happened.? If you don't know Steve, you don't know one of the brightest guys in the industry, as Director of Radio Programming, is still working ahead of the business and making Cox a formable competitor.

Now, here's Steve in his own words?

I was 17 years old, playing in a rock band, going to Arizona State University, and preparing for law school. I was going to be a litigation attorney.

I took a job with Phoenix Pest Control as the new telephone sales manager. We would call new home owners and trick them into thinking we had been servicing there house all along. I became a top sales manager within weeks. One day the phone rang back, a bit startled I answered; it was a woman from a research company. She asked me if I wanted to help her by answering a few questions. She went on to explain that she would play the hooks to certain songs and I would rate the songs between 1 and 10 based on if I liked them or hated them. I said, sure. Several months later when I left the pest control company, I needed extra money for my senior year in college so I called the ?song hook girl? and asked her about openings at her company. The next day she called me and told me that I had an interview for a job. I drove to the company for my interview; the corporate headquarters were located in a double-wide trailer in Guadalupe, Arizona.  As I sat through my interview, I remember looking at the guy behind the console who was talking into a microphone. I thought he was performing air traffic control for Sky Harbor Airport nearby; I had no idea he was the DJ of the radio station located in the trailer.

The next thing I knew I was in the research department, where I made up all the answers, picked my favorite songs, and watched the station get the best ratings ever.

From this, I was promoted to weekend public affairs/overnight producer. KUPD was a Top 40 FM station. The station was known as ?Cupid?; and if the ?Cupid Call Girl? called you, you got cash. The AM station was a ?wacko? throwaway; I was on the AM station. Steve Casey was the PD of the AM station and John Sebastian was the PD of the FM station. One Sunday, while babysitting ?Dateline Israel,? I cracked the mic and said ?670 KKKQ Phoenix, break from the tapes with more of your favorite music.?   The next day Steve took me aside and told me: ?While driving my wife to the airport Sunday morning in an effort to get her to a 6 a.m. flight, I heard you.?  ?I?m sorry," I replied.  ?I?m not angry, I thought you sounded good.?

Thirty days later I went to work for KUKQ-AM an R&B radio station. I was a paid weekender and acting as music director for free.  In 90 days we had a 5.5 rating 12+ and beat KUPD, and creamed Guy Zapoleon at KZZP. Guy immediately flipped to a rhythmic CHR.

I had finished college and was enjoying playing at the radio thing when I was accepted to Pepperdine in Malibu. But, I was struggling with the thought of going to law school and leaving the radio business. I told my Dad, ?I love this radio thing, meeting great artists, going to concerts; it?s really a lot of fun.? My Dad said, ?If this radio thing is so great, how come you still don?t have enough money to live on? So I went to law school, and when I finished I went to work for Hot 97.7 in San Jose.

Lisa Miller is the President of Miller Broadcast Management in Chicago. She's also one of Radio Ink's Most Influential Women in Radio. Miller can be reached at or 312-454-1111.

So, how did you get into radio? We'd love to hear the story about why you're passionate about radio.

How Dan Mason Got Into Radio
How John Gehron Got Into Radio

(2/22/2013 11:44:43 AM)
Steve Smith was fun to work with. When he was going to law school in LA, he was the music director, then soon program director of 670 KWNK "Top Hits 67 K-Wink" in Simi Valley. We had some good times there. And I knew then Smith had what it takes as a great PD.

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Clear Channel Rocking Out Again in Tampa.


Two translators are helping Clear Channel bring the Thunder back to Tampa on 105.9 and 94.5. According to Tampa VP of Programming Doug Hammond says Clear Channel was simulcasting WFLA-AM on 105.9 and 94.5 is new. Both will now switch to the class rock brand to compliment Active Rock "98 Rock" WXTB. Thunder 103.5 was dumped about 8 years ago to make way for Country US-103.5. The Rocker was being played on HD2.

Hammond said, ?We?re excited to bring Thunder to Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg to offer our listeners Classic Rock programming all throughout the area. Thunder is another avenue for great Rock programming and we?re excited to have it as a compliment to Active Rock station, 98ROCK WXTB.?

Thunder 105.9 and 94.5 debuts commercial free playing the best Classic Rock from the Beatles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Eagles, Pink Floyd, Boston, Van Halen and more. Thunder returns to the market after the station previously flipped to Country programming in 2005.

Thunder 105.9 and 94.5 programming lineup:
Jim Kerr ? Weekdays from 6-10 a.m.
Maria Milito ? Weekdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. ? 3 p.m.
Ken Dashow ? Weekdays from 3-7 p.m.
The Big Rig ? Weekdays from 7 p.m. ? Midnight, Sundays 10 a.m. ? 3 p.m.
Doc Reno ? Weekdays from Midnight ? 6 a.m., Saturday s 3-7 p.m.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

$25K Fine For Trying To Avoid Feds


Gary Feldman gets hit with this NAL for operating ?" on the 97.7 frequency in Miami without a license from his residence. A month later, agents used direction-finding equipment to find Feldman again, this time he had his antenna mounted to the side of a commercial building. Turns out Feldman could be a serial pirate. Commission records show Feldman violated the law by broadcasting without a license in Tampa and was hit with a $10K fine.

Read the complete FCC NAL HERE

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Political Helps Univision Gain 7.3% in Q4


$5.6 Million in Q4 political revenue helped Univision gain 7.3% compared to the same quarter in 2011. When you back out political, Univision is as flat as the radio industry as a whole, up only 1% for the quarter. Univision took in $89.1 Million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012. And, also in stride with others reporting, Univision is pacing up in the low single digits in Q1 of this year.

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Abrams to Albuquerque as Ops Manager


Cumulus makes the announcement that Kris Abrams will become the new Operations Manager (for music stations) in Albuquerque. He'll also serve as PD of (Country) KRST and (Adult Variety) KDFR and oversee (AC) KMGA and (CHR) KKOB.

Market Manager Jim Christoferson said ?As a third generation broadcaster, Kris Abrams is a winner on every level. His previous enormously successful six-year run at these iconic brands in Albuquerque, combined with a proven track record of innovation and leadership, make him the perfect programming partner to lead our FM stations to new levels of revenue and share." 

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Fox Sports Launches On KGGS


FOX Sports Radio has picked up another affiliate, this one in Garden City, KS. KGGS-AM has flipped to sports, re-branding as Big Dog Sports 1340, and will air the complete FOX Sports Radio line-up, including FOX Sports Daybreak, The Dan Patrick Show, Jay Mohr Sports, FOX Sports Primetime featuring Pat O?Brien with Steve Hartman, Petros & Money, FOX Sports Tonight and JT ?The Brick,? as well as weekend programming.

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Yahoo! Sports Radio Picks Up Vegas Affiliate


Gow Broadcasting, operator of Yahoo! Sports Radio, says KMZQ-AM in Las Vegas is its newest affiliate. KMZQ launched its new sports format on Tuesday and will carry YSR?s weekday programs hosted by Steve Czaban, Travis Rodgers, Marty Tirrell/Bob Ryan, Geoff Ketchum, plus overnight and weekend shows.

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Cumulus Starts to Build Live New York NASH Team


New York City's only Country music station has its first two live announcers. Cumulus announced Kelly Ford (10AM-3PM) and Jesse Addy (3PM-7PM) will start their live shifts Monday. Ford comes to NASH from Denver (most recently at KYGO), where she woke up country listeners for 20 years. She's won 3 CMA's and 1 ACM for best Major Market Radio Personality and a Marconi from the National Association of Broadcasters. Addy comes to NASH from Detroit and is promoted from within the Cumulus family, WDVD-FM where he was PM Drive host.

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Radio Waits. TV Innovates


As the New York Times reports, "For media executives, there may be nothing worse than a viewer or listener who is not counted." That's a thought that certainly haunts radio executives as our industry continues to speculate and extrapolate who and how many people listen to their station. And, as radio executives know, listeners are tuning in to their stations online at work and mobile devices when they are on the go, for which radio gets no credit. Nielsen announced Thursday it would start considering Americans who have spurned cable, but who have a television set hooked up to the Internet, as ?television households.?  Nielsen will measure viewership on iPads and other mobile devices in the future.

The Times quotes Nielsen Senior VP Pat McDonough saying, "The new definition ?will include those households who are receiving broadband Internet and putting it onto a television set. Currently a ?television set? is the flat-screen kind, but in the future a tablet computer like an iPad could also be considered a TV set." Nielsen?s move was announced a day after Billboard said it would start including YouTube streams in its calculation of the most popular songs of the week. That shift immediately vaulted ?Harlem Shake,? a modestly selling hip-hop single that has become a viral video sensation, to the top of the charts.

The big question is when will radio get proper credit for listeners who have already moved online and to devices?

Read the full New York Times Article HERE

(2/22/2013 11:07:50 PM)
Can't fault Master Blaster for being candid. Or terse. Or accurate.
While this may come as a bit of a shock - our first priority is: Learn how to do Radio. It hasn't happened yet. And it wasn't all that great either... before we mortally wounded it.
Getting heavily involved in the internet only muddies the waters and fogs the windshield.
("But the internet is so cool!" Yes, it is. But, it's no place for amateurs to waste money better spent on other issues.)
(2/22/2013 10:17:54 PM)
You guys, JUST like "The Yellow Pages"have continued your POMP-ASS position that "The oncoming TRAIN, won't hit us"!

Oh, "We are TRANSITIONING to the internet". WTF? 22 YEARS after everybody else! What makes you fools think that the people who already OWN it (showed up 22 years Ago) are going to let you have any of it?

What idiots!

(2/22/2013 3:41:40 PM)
I run a Classic Hits Station. Prime demo is 45-54. We've been #1 in that demo for three years. This last book 13th in that demo but #1 18-34 with a 14.2 share. This last summer we were #1 12-17 for three months. My rep says hey that's just the way it is. Really? 1 meter on a 22 year old made us #1 18-24. My CHR competitor is #1 35-64 now because a 77 year old and his 54 year old daughter listen almost 2000 AQH a month. My rep said; "oh how can you judge that as bogus". Arbitron is bogus.
(2/22/2013 1:50:54 PM)
In markets with Arbitron PPM, it would be a simple matter. Listeners with meters would automatically pick up the codes. Provided that Arbitron actually allowed that happen.

The broadcaster should demand that Arbitron to allow PPM codes on all webstreams and streaming sites. I for one see no reason that Arbitron demands a separate encoder web streams. The amount of listenership, regardless of type, is what REALLY matters.

(2/22/2013 11:42:57 AM)
Isn't it great to be in radio. We now are faced with really serious challenges to being relevant and no one is the almighty with the answers. It is a creative free for all with truly inspired and motivated people coming up with new ideas. Born again or we are free, free at last.Enjoy the ride, laugh a lot, dance a lot, sing a lot, or get out and go sell some insurance.

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TuneIn To Offer MRN


NASCAR fans now listen to the Motor Racing Network on TuneIn. MRN President and Executive Producer David Hyatt said, ?By offering MRN?s racing coverage on TuneIn, we?re able to connect our passionate NASCAR fans to the racing moments that mean the most to them, when they?re away from their local MRN station?s coverage area. In TuneIn, we see a partner that can provide an excellent listening experience for the sport?s growing fan base.?

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Without Warning Ralph Bailey Quits KNZR


A not-so-nice welcome for new KNZR General Manager Mary Lou Gunn, who started her new position last week with the Buckley station in Bakersfield. The popular conservative talker gave no reason for giving his two week notice, however, The Bakersfield Californian speculates he may be getting ready to take a job with American General Media's KERN. Gunn told the paper, "He was a huge part of the success of the radio station. He will be hard to replace." Bailey did post this long goodbye message on his Facebook page.

"It was with a heavy heart that I tendered my resignation to Buckley Radio today. However, future opportunities and challenges make it virtually impossible not to seek out new adventures. I would like to thank Steve Darnell, Kathy Baker and posthumously Rick Buckley. To my colleagues, I hope I was a team player who made the station and the client top priority and someone who grasped the concept of pulling on one side of the rope. To my sponsors, I hope I played a small role in your success and thank you for your support! And to my listeners, (and you know I'm blubbering like a baby, by now) you gave me a voice in this community! I pray you will travel with me wherever I go!!! Thank you all!! It's been an incredible ride!!!!"

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Shannon Takes Over in Sacramento for Entercom


Sean Shannon, currently the D.O.S for Entercom Seattle, has been promoted to VP/Market Manager for Entercom Sacramento. He will take over next week for John Geary who retired after a 45-year career in radio. Shannon, a 24-year radio veteran, has been with Entercom since 2009, and prior to that he had 8-year stints with both Clear Channel and Fisher Broadcasting.

Entercom Regional President Deborah Kane said, ?I am very excited for Sacramento and for Entercom to be able to promote from within and reward the solid results Sean has produced in Seattle these last four years. Sean is a dynamic individual.  His passion for the business, intelligence and authenticity are great fits for leading these incredible brands to the next level.? 

Shannon said, ?Our brands are unique, our ratings are formidable and we are a market leader in revenue. Entercom is in a strong position in Sacramento; my goal is to make us even stronger. I can?t wait to start working with this incredibly gifted team.?

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Tim Draper's Advantage And How You Can Use It


Remember those old TV ads: "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen"? In just a couple of weeks, at Radio Ink's Convergence, Silicon Valley venture capital legend Timothy Draper will take the stage. When Tim Draper speaks, it's such a rare occasion, he's in such rarefied air, everyone stops to listen.

Why? Think about this: Since before the dot-com boom, virtually every major tech firm has come to Tim Draper, hoping to get him to invest. He's invested in many of the businesses that are household names today, and he's the inventor of the viral marketing concept.

To this day, everyone wants Tim Draper to invest. Not only is he a rainmaker, his investment in a company signals that company may well be about to become the next Facebook, Google, or Apple. He has been pitched by every hot startup in Silicon Valley ? and that means he sees every business plan and every trend, and he can tell you exactly what's next. He's the best-connected man in the tech world.

Why is this important to you and to your radio station? Tim will stretch your brain and expose you to concepts you've most likely never heard of. The things or companies that are coming. Would you have an advantage if you knew about the next major trend to be embraced by consumers? Do you want to be among the first to implement the next big thing in your market for your station? Tim is all about the consumer experience and about revenue.

You'll learn volumes by listening to what he has to say. You can hear Tim Draper, and other Convergence keynoters like John C Dvorak, Leo Laporte, and Norm Pattiz talk about what's next, how it applies to you today, and what you need to be doing now to generate new digital dollars. Give yourself and your station an advantage. Hop out to Silicon Valley for Radio Ink's Convergence. Just two days away from the office will give you fresh new income-generating ideas you can implement as soon as you return.

Convergence Early Bird Discount Ends Friday

See the Full Convergence Agenda HERE

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(SALES) Making "Thank You" Memorable


Little stands out in today?s world of electronic communications more than a hand-written thank you note. It is a lost art and the few who still take the time to make this a regular practice know the impact it has. Of course, as the account manager, you should make it a habit to send a thank you for every sale you make. But today, let?s talk about two additional new strategies regarding thanking a client for their business that will take the impact of documenting appreciation to even greater heights:

1. THANKS FROM THE GENERAL MANAGER: I encourage you to have a system in place called a Management Letter Request. Whenever a seller gets a new client on the air and the amount that client is spending is enough to categorically help them, the seller should fill out a Management Letter Request. This is a form sent to the GM asking them to write a letter to the new client welcoming them to the radio station?s family of advertisers and thanking them for their business. Additionally, the Management Letter Request is designed to accomplish something the seller cannot? brag on themselves! Look at this example:

Welcome to the KXYZ family of advertisers. We are honored to be serving on your marketing team. Your account manager, (seller?s name here), is one of the market?s most admired advertising professionals. I know with (seller?s name again) at the helm, you?re in the  best of care. As general manager, I too  am always available to serve you in any way I can. Please do not hesitate to call on me. We?re grateful for your business and the opportunity to work for you.
(GM name)

Now let?s employ a second practice that, hopefully, you won?t have to use very often? sending a thank you when we are NOT bought. Yes, I said saying thanks when you?re NOT bought. This is a note to the business decision-maker who turned you down. It also lets them know they?ll be seeing more of you. Look at this example:

I am sorry I was unable to convince you of the selling power of (your station name). I will keep trying! But, in the meantime, on behalf of the (your city) radio industry, I want to thank you for buying radio advertising and the stations you did buy. I look forward to meeting with you again soon.
(seller?s name)

Imagine the impact this note will have as the advertiser realizes one of the only thank you notes, if any, they received was from a radio station they did not buy.

Always say thank you, in writing. Always have your GM do the same, and always say thanks when you?re not bought.

Rob Adair is the President of Pinnacle Solving. His company provides revenue growth solutions, branding and differentiation strategies to radio and other industries. Adair is a former radio industry COO and Sr. VP overseeing 25+ stations and multiple major markets. He can be reached at 405-641-0458 or by e-mail

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

WFLA-AM Anchor Martin Giles Retiring


Eric Deggans at the Tampa Bay Times reports that two years after a health scare which led listeners to mistakenly believe he had suffered a stroke on air, newsman Martin Giles (pictured) is retiring. However, it's the workload that's forcing the 76-year-old to quit after 28 years, not his health. Giles told Deggans Clear Channel requires the news staff to feed news to Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, and other cities and he's had a little trouble keeping up.

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(SOCIAL) 7 Big Social Media Missteps


What are the big missteps radio folks make when they use social media? You know it is happening out there. It?s not just a misstep here and a misstep there. We see tons of radio stations only promoting likes or their own contests. Where are the truly local radio stations involved in what their listeners are passionate about and providing great content for the listeners they most want to attract? Is someone on your team or inside your company making some of these seven big missteps? Let?s take a quick look:

1. They let someone on the staff just ?do it.? It?s okay to assign things to individuals on your staff, but it is not the first stop in creating a social media ?program? for your brand. But it is highly important. If you send it off to an intern or just let the afternoon guy ?handle it,? you may be making a huge mistake. See misstep number two below.

2. They don?t have a strategic plan with specific goals daily or weekly for individual types of content. If you are ?doing? Facebook and Twitter, but you don?t have a strategic plan, you are making a potentially huge misstep. You should have your team selected (based on their skills and on-air job function) and they should meet with you to review or design a plan that includes very specific individual goals for posting a variety of content that is interesting to local listeners of your brand (your targets) along with specific sets of visuals to draw attention.

3. They don?t target the actual listeners that most represent people who will engage, cheerlead, and grow ratings through high passion for their radio brand. These types of radio stations are simply ?on Twitter and Facebook.? They have it on-air. They want to be liked (who doesn?t like to be liked?). But they have not put thought into who they are targeting as a radio station and how to engage those types of individuals with the right high-quality content. That is a big misstep.

4. They are not consistent and don?t follow through. You know how this goes: Start strong, fall off. Radio stations who have a consistent social media strategy and execution with follow-up beyond engaging listeners publically (in some cases to follow them back to their Facebook page or Twitter account for a comment or thank you or to find a personal email) are winners. To do less is?.less. And a misstep.

5. They don?t really engage anyone. See number four above. Engagement is not the same as posting something on Facebook about a contest. See what is happening on your Facebook page. Engage these people by commenting on their thoughts and opinions. Send them an email note on Facebook or shoot them an actual email when you can find their email address. Things are always smaller than you think they are. You won?t have your time dominated by doing this. It takes a minute, but it leaves an impression that you are truly engaged. Listeners love that. It grows passion. Not doing it is a misstep.

6. They forget the mission. This is an easy misstep. You?ve been doing something for a while now. You get complacent. Your efforts and consistency fall off. The person ?in charge? leaves and someone new gets the project. Your mission is long forgotten. Then you are simply ?on Facebook? or ?on Twitter.?  That?s sad. See number two above. You must have a plan and must follow up and update your plan. Make sure your team knows it is an important priority and not just busy or even just fun work. It?s strategic and important work.

7. They forget that Facebook, Twitter, and any other product is only good for radio when you help radio brands grow ratings or revenue. We see clients all the time that think success on Facebook is how many likes you have. They say over and over that they are ?on Facebook? and ?on Twitter.?  But that is not good enough. In fact, radio should only be interested in these products (or any other entertainment-based products or social media sites) for how they can encourage listeners participating to come back to their radio products, love their radio products, and cheerlead for their local radio brands on the social media sites. If you don?t use social media to engage social media actives in your local brand, that is a misstep and a crime.

Staying focused is important for radio stations. It is critical for your on-air product, it is critical in your marketing, and it is critical if you want to be highly effective in using social media to boost your ratings and revenue by participation and passion.

Make sure you have a strategic plan, focus on what matters and who matters, truly engage them, use visuals to draw them to you, and high-quality content about their interests (not just the radio station). Follow up and make sure the right people are doing your social media so you have a passionate outreach program that focuses the right content on the right listeners or potential listeners and brings them or encourages them back to your brand. Now that?s winning.

Loyd Ford is the direct marketing, ratings and social media strategist for Americalist and programmed very successful radio brands in markets of all sizes for years, including KRMD AM & FM in Shreveport, WSSL and WMYI in Greenville, WKKT in Charlotte and WBEE in Rochester, NY. Learn more about Loyd here: Reach out to Loyd via e-mail HERE  Visit his Facebook radio social media page HERE

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RF Boot Camp Added To The NAB Show


Don't be surprised if you see a bunch of engineers doing situps and pushups in Vegas this April. The NAB is holding a new Radio Frequency Boot Camp, April 10, as part of the Broadcast Engineering Conference. The day-long training program presented by NAB Labs will help attendees expand their knowledge and understanding of radio and television RF transmission.

The goal of the camp is to dispel the ?magic? often associated with broadcast transmission and will focus on the essentials that all broadcast managers should understand.

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(SALES) Why Cookie-Cutter Solutions Don't Work


Every time we facilitate our sales workshop on how to craft customer-focused presentations that sell, we receive emails and phone calls from account executives looking for cookie-cutter short cuts. They ask us to forward presentation samples for them to copy.

I refuse to do so.

In the past, we did forward presentation samples but they inevitably became fill-in-the-blanks "templates" instead of samples.  And one-size-fits-all templates are the antithesis of professional customer-focused presentations.

Think about it. When you receive a letter or an email, you know instinctively if it was written specifically for you, or if it is simply a fill-in-the-blanks, one-size-fits-all generic communication.

I do understand why we get requests for samples or templates. They are short cuts and eliminate the most time-consuming aspect of presentation writing?thinking.

And there is some merit to taking short cuts or not creating relevant customer-focused presentations for small, low-potential clients. They might not be worth the effort.

But what if you?re wrong? What if your prospect has more potential than you estimated and would have invested considerably more with you had you taken the time to create a custom customer-focused presentation?

Here are a few reasons why we recommend creating your best presentations from scratch, rather than simply removing client A?s name from an old presentation and replacing it with prospect B?s name.

1.) There really is no one-size-fits-all presentation. Every client deserves a schedule and a creative strategy specifically designed to achieve their goals and objectives.

2.) When you put on your ad manager?s hat and build a presentation that is specifically tailored to your prospects situation and needs, you?ll be mentally rehearsing your verbal discussion as you carefully craft each segment.

3.) Advertisers recognise generic one-size-fits-all proposals versus presentations custom-designed specifically for them. Customer-focused presentations trigger psychological reciprocity; that deep-rooted subconscious need to do something for those who do something for us.

4.) Custom presentations distinguish you as a professional among a sea of media competitors who use the cookie-cutter approach. You know when your lawyer, accountant, investment counsellor, or other professionals prepare solutions specifically for you versus presenting generic fill-in-the-blank solutions. Your clients recognize the difference as well.

5.) Taking short cuts, often produces catastrophic errors. In your haste to use a sample presentation for another client, you often find the presentation says something you hadn?t meant to say; or you?ll even miss one of the prior advertiser?s mentions and have it appear in your hastily edited version.

6.) Every client has different objections. Well thought out custom presentations anticipate and diffuse each prospect?s specific objections rather than simply using generic information like ?Radio reaches 93 percent of the market every week?  
Of course, there is room to template the format of every customer-focused presentation to ensure you cover every important selling point. Every presentation needs to address:

? A custom, well-researched situation or competitive analysis.

? An outline of the specific objectives or what this presentation will do for the prospect.

? A proposed marketing strategy to differentiate each prospect from their competition.

? A "why advertise" custom tailored to the client?s situation.? A "why radio" segment validating radio?s strategic fit in the new media landscape.

? Why your station specifically deserves a role in the advertiser?s media plans.

? A scheduling strategy clearly outlining how your proposed schedule is designed to achieve the advertiser?s objectives.

? A creative strategy outlining how your campaign will communicate the advertiser?s points of difference clearly and convincingly.

? A conclusion that summarises how your campaign will achieve the advertiser?s objectives and how they will measure their R.O.I. (return on investment).

In this age of instant gratification and short cuts, it?s common to look for the easy road to success. But like I say in my book, How to Get Luckier in Advertising Sales, ?there is no denying that the harder we work, the luckier we get.?

Wayne Ens is president of ENS Media Inc. and a principal with Noll & Associates. He can be reached at 705-484-9993 or

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CBS Targets Record Labels With New Position


Chad Fitzsimmons will move from KROQ and AMP in Los Angeles where he was Director of Integrated Marketing to take a newly created corporate position, Director, Music Initiatives. CBS says Fitzsimmons will work with CBS's 85 radio stations to develop and launch a variety of unique partnership opportunities with  record labels. The company also says Fitzsimmons will create exclusive experiences allowing listeners to engage directly with artists. His promotion is effective immediately and Fitzsimmons will report to Sr. VP Gregg Strasell.

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Father & Son Podcasters Headed For ESPN?


Bryan Feldman and his 15-year old son Jaycob (known as Jayc on the air) are creating quite a name for themselves on the Internet. The sports talking Podcasters were featured in the Las Vegas Review Journal where they hinted about a possible hook-up with ESPN and their show is scheduled to move to KLAV-AM March 3rd. One segment of Jayc & Dad is called the Father Son Spotlight. It includes a sports celebrity and either their father or son.

The Journal reports the show has several segments that help build the credibility of what the duo has to offer. "Legal correspondent Michael Printy, a Las Vegas criminal attorney and sports aficionado, covers pertinent legal issues as they arise in the world of sports. NFL correspondent, Pete Chryplewicz, a former Detroit Lion and Notre Dame tight end keeps the audience abreast with what's going on from an insider's perspective."

"In today's day and age, anything is possible," Chryplewicz said. "There are no more boundaries. There are no more stereotypes or prejudices. ... They found a couple voices of reason who listened to their (pitch) and said, 'You know what? This is a feel-good, do-good type of program. Why not put it on the air?' "

Jayc said he likes the idea for another reason. "It kind of brings us together, and it brings other father-sons together."

The show can be heard from 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays on REALITY Sports Talk on Internet Radio at
Read the full article from the Las Vegas Review Journal HERE

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Nash Bash Packs Roseland Ballroom


As part of the launch of New York City's only Country station, Cumulus' NASH-FM held three big nights of Country music featuring some of the formats biggest stars. Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey said ?The response to launching New York City?s only Country radio station last month has been amazing and we?re excited about this opportunity to let our listeners celebrate with top Country acts as we roll out NASH nationwide.? Blake Shelton was part of the festivities.

NASH FM 94.7, the only Country station in New York City, is the flagship for the national NASH entertainment brand based on the Country music lifestyle. NASH includes programming on more than 80 Country format radio stations owned by Cumulus as well as a NASH magazine, online content and television programming. The Roseland Ballroom was packed with more than 3,000 NASH FM 94.7 listeners each of the last three nights.

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Political Comes In Big For Radio One


When you back out political advertising, the Radio One radio division was still up by 2.9 percent. In Q4 Radio One net revenue was $60.2 million compared to $55 million in Q4 of 2011. In Q4 Radio One took in $5.9 million in political advertising. For the year, the $9.1 million in political advertising is the most in company history and more than twice what the company budgeted for. Retail, Government, and Telecom were Radio One's biggest categories in Q4. Auto also did well.

Reach Media's net revenues decreased 20.9 percent in the fourth quarter 2012 compared to the same period in 2011. The company says that was partially due to changes to certain Reach Media's affiliate agreements as well as "advertisers who deferred spending during the quarter." Net revenues for THE Radio One Internet business increased 7.7 percent for the three months ended December 31, 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.

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Barboza Named MD At Hot 96.9 In Boston


Greater Media is bringing on Roy Barboza as Music Director/Mix Show Coordinator for Hot 96.9 in Boston. Barboza will be responsible for reviewing music for airplay, acting as a station liaison, and supervising the station?s mixers and mixes. He most recently served as the Director of the Mix Shows at WFHN-FM in Fairhaven, MA, and WJMN-FM in Boston from 2001-2006.

?It is a pleasure to be back in Boston with Cadillac Jack, a program director I extremely admire,? said Barboza. ?I look forward to being back on the air and doing mixes. I love this new challenge in my life.?

"I have known Roy for the past 13 years and have always greatly respected both his work as a mixer as well as his integrity and personal character," said Greater Media Boston Director of Programming "Cadillac" Jack McCartney. "Roy previously served as my Assistant Music Director for a number of years, and I'm happy we're able to bring him back to Boston to grow his programming skills and showcase the mixes he became famous for with the many listeners Hot 96.9 is already attracting!"

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The New Jersey Broadcasters Association (NJBA) has been working diligently to defeat a Performance Tax.
Nowhere is the defeat of the Performance Tax more important than in New Jersey. Time and again, our local radio broadcasters have proven their unmatched dedication to the audiences they serve in times of emergency. This reality was once again best exhibited during a regional crisis where the radio industry excelled in their coverage of Superstorm Sandy and the compelling manner in which radio provided critical, life-saving information to the people of New Jersey, almost exclusively, throughout Sandy?s onslaught.
Real-Radio? should not be compromised with a Performance Tax of any kind! Any ?tax? imposed on radio broadcasters will bring a correlating service decline as broadcasters look to try to cover those expenditure outlays. It would cripple local radio coverage, decimate the EAS, and hurt our communities, denying them the only measurable, constant, and ubiquitous free source of entertainment and information, especially in times of weather emergency and disaster. We do not need to provide less service to our public but, arguably, more services. Enacting the Performance Tax will undoubtedly affect radio services and content in a negative fashion.
We all know that radio provides a vital service especially in times of crisis. As first responders and first informers, broadcast radio and TV stations up and down the state work around the clock to ensure their communities have the information they needed to prepare, endure, and survive during times of crisis. Unlike cell phone companies that have failed time and time again, radio has remained the beacon of information during these periods where people need information the most. Radio is unique and should be highly respected for its crucial role in society. Radio is a priceless necessity and it should always be free.
One of the most dangerous threats to our industry is the prospect of a Performance Tax on local radio. As you know, the NJBA has been the most vocal opponent to such a measure and we are very grateful that our Congressional delegation in Washington has protected their constituencies and supported our local broadcasters. who serve them. This is a wrong-headed measure which is being forced upon them by the greedy foreign-owned record labels. In that regard, the NJBA is very pleased to see that U.S. Representatives Michael Conaway (R-Texas) and Gene Green (D-Texas) have reintroduced the Local Radio Freedom Act (H. Con. Res. 16), which would oppose any new fees, taxes, or royalties for music played on local radio stations. The resolution already has 71 additional original co-sponsors.
Conaway said, ?Communities rely on their local radio stations for news, weather alerts, and other emergency broadcasts, and the suggested Performance Tax could jeopardize the future of many of these struggling stations. I?m pleased so many of my House colleagues have joined with me in supporting local radio stations and listeners while pushing back against punitive fees.?
Notwithstanding all of the foregoing, one can argue the merits or the pitfalls of any proposed legislation. While we as broadcasters are trying to provide background on why the music industry is trying to push for the enactment of the Performance Tax, there are many other reasons that that this tax is unjust. Such as: 

1.       RADIO IS THE MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS ARM FOR THE MUSIC INDUSTRY - The music industry has clearly understood that free-over-the-air radio provides free marketing and promotional services for their artists and for the music industry. Without that free service, artists and the music industry would arguably fail to exist or, conversely, be faced with millions of dollars in marketing and promotional expenses trying to promote the artists they are developing. Similarly, the radio industry has enjoyed a source of programming through the music that is provided to them free of charge. The music industry invests in artists in the hope that these artists can provide a return on investment (ROI). Radio promotes the music and thus is provided a programming element in return. The ROI for the music industry is aided, if not completely developed, by the free marketing and promotion that radio provides to the music industry. This symbiosis evinces the inescapable conclusion that both sides are benefiting. Why do you think local stations across the country are bombarded with sample CDs and demos by emerging artists (and seasoned veteran artists) begging station managers to play their new tune? It?s because broadcasters and artists genuinely ?get it.? It?s how they sell records, (yes, vinyl records are making a comeback) CDs, downloads, and videos.
2.      SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP - Heretofore, the music industry has not paid any royalties for the decades of airtime afforded artists by the radio industry and likewise, the radio industry has not been required to pay any royalties for the artists developed by the music industry. To date, neither party has sought any ?share of the profits? that the other party earns from this symbiotic relationship. Moreover, the payola laws expressly prohibit radio from accepting any payments from the music industry for ?pay-for-play.? This law clearly recognizes the relevance and importance that radio provides to artists. Left unchecked, the music industry would willingly pay radio to play their artists music and thus promote their artists and radio would thereby charge for the airtime afforded artists. If Congress should decide to support legislation to enact the Performance Tax, then radio should likewise be permitted to charge the music industry to have music played on the airwaves. This would level the playing field on both sides of this argument.
3.      RADIO ?FREE? - Unlike satellite, Pandora, and cable, ?free-over-the-air radio? has no other sources of revenue other than advertising. Radio is not afforded the same luxuries of imposing fees such as the ever-increasing ?subscription revenues? charged by these other music outlets. The music industry, and the consumer, are not well served with this model, which is becoming a prohibitive luxury for many in this challenging economy.
4.     ARTIST ENDORSED ? Ask any artist or listen to any artist when they accept their Grammy or other music awards. The first person cited is always radio for playing their music and promoting their songs. When have you heard an artist thank their label? They don?t because these same labels are already unjustly enriched and the artists loathe the financial arrangements that they are forced to take.

Well, the argument against the Performance Tax seems fairly straight forward, right? Well what changed? And why is the music industry now pushing for the Performance Rights Act and thus looking for radio to provide a royalty for artist services and music? Why the hard sell for the Performance Tax?

The answer is quite simple. The music industry is looking for a Performance Tax to remedy the problem that the music industry brought upon itself when they developed the partnership with iTunes that allowed iTunes to sell artists' songs for $.99 each. The result was that the day of CD album sales all but disappeared. This short-sighted business decision, that the music industry executed as it sought to increase sales through the Internet and the digital download business, was simply an ill-conceived plan and did NOT provide the windfall profits for their industry as they had hoped. The financial adage that discounts (or losses) can be overcome by volume has clearly not worked. Because of this, the music industry has been confronted with trying to earn back lost profits because of iTunes from other sources.

Radio is not the only entity confronted with this issue. Ask ANY artist what has happened to their songwriting or music deals. Big label and music industry contracts have evolved from a simple profit-sharing arrangement with artists, to now being deals that artists loathe called ?360 deals.? These 360 deals are contracts whereby big labels and the music industry virtually tap into every source of revenue that an artist develops over their career. Now as we move into 2013, artists are seeing that the one source of revenues that heretofore was something that they solely had access to is now something that the music industry is tapping into, namely, touring/concert revenues and merchandise sales.

In fact, in a surreal report released a few weeks after Michael Jackson?s death, it was revealed that the King of Pop told interviewers that it was ?Time for artists to take a stand against record labels.? In a video interview filmed by director Brett Ratner, Jackson lashed out at record labels. Asked about his greatest lesson learned, Jackson replied: ?Not to trust everybody in the industry. There are a lot of sharks and record companies steal. They cheat. I have to audit them. And it's time for artists to take a stand against them.?

Clearly the push is on by the music industry to earn back the ?lost profits? resulting from the iTunes business decision that they decided to embark upon. As a consequence, big record labels are pushing for government policies that could hurt their biggest promotional ally ? local radio. What's on the line? A lot. But from the record labels' standpoint, the ability of local radio stations to bring you the music.

The unavoidable result of the Performance Tax?s passage is much more than merely reeking economic havoc on local radio stations. The passage of the bill would force the closing of a many local radio stations in New Jersey and across the country. To be sure, the prospect of enhanced opportunities for localism and outreach would be stifled immediately. Station groups and networks would be hurt, as well. Localism would be out the window and thousands in New Jersey would lose their jobs.

Equally disturbing is the disingenuous comparison of broadcast radio to Internet providers and pay/subscription audio entertainment programming and fees paid by satellite radio. The proponents of this legislation want us all to be alike ? just because cable, satellite and Internet services pay these royalties. We are not alike: free over-the-air radio and television are the only exclusively local media that exist. We are licensed separately and differently. And we have a very different mission; mainly to operate in the public interest from the EAS for local emergency notification such as NJ Amber Alerts and community-wide emergencies such as forest fires, hurricanes, blizzards, other extreme weather hazards, flash flooding, and local or national emergencies, to local news of community events and happenings in entertainment from our great and diverse variety of formats.

On behalf of the NJBA and the broadcasting community, we appreciate your attention to this very serious piece of legislation and how it affects our industry. And, more importantly, the inherent unfairness of the legislation in light of the radio-music industry relationship.

Paul Rotella is the President/CEO of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association. He can be reached at (201) 914-0495 or

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What is Cloud Based Ad Insertion?


While the radio industry continues to struggle with the how to make ad-insertion technology sound professional, companies like Abacast are continuing to innovate and evolve the technology as consumers shift habits to mobile. Abacast CEO Rob Green says Abacast?s cloud-based ad insertion allows radio to target devices such as iPhones without the need for additional client software.

With Abacast's new cloud-based ad insertion, listeners can receive individualized in-stream audio ads. Examples of targeting options include ?all smartphone listeners,? ?all listeners in the top 20 DMAs that are on iPhones,? ?all male listeners in the 25-34 age range in a group of zip codes,? ?all listeners listening on the TuneIn player."

Green says, ?Targeted cloud-based ad insertion technologies will be an imperative driver for broadcaster profitability in online radio as we continue to see consumers using many devices to consume content when and where they choose.?

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NAB To Recognize Schieffer


The NAB will award CBS's Bob Schieffer its Distinguished Service Award during the upcoming NAB Show in Vegas. Schieffer will accept the award at the opening keynote session on April 8. NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said, "For more than 50 years, Bob Schieffer has been an eyewitness to history's biggest stories and respected as a preeminent journalist of his generation." 2013 marks Schieffer?s 56th year as a reporter and his 44th year at CBS News.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

RAB Comes Out Swinging at Television


The Radio Advertising Bureau commissioned a Nielsen study the organization is hoping radio salespeople can use as an edge over their brothers and sisters selling Television. In 2012 as core radio revenue limped along, Television revenue continued to recover nicely. The RAB isn't taking that sitting down. And there's nothing like going after the most watched Television event to make your point.

The RAB says that despite millions of dollars spent on Superbowl ads, consumer recall of brands advertising during the game was low. Adding radio can deliver better results at a much lower price. RAB CEO Erica Farber says, "The strength of radio?s unique audio delivery drives product and brand recall. As recent studies have proven, radio performs tremendously to extend brand awareness established on TV and further, impacts product and brand awareness as a stand-alone and when added to a TV campaign.?

The RAB says the data from the study states that while ad recall may have been as high as 57 percent, on average, only 12 percent of viewers could recall the type of product being advertised. Similarly, the brand was recalled by only 14 percent of viewers, on average, but in several cases by fewer than 1 in 10 viewers. 

For example, of half the ads tested, recall of the types of products being advertised was below 10 percent among viewers of the game.  More importantly, the RAB concludes, when asked to name the brand of the product being advertised on an unaided basis, most viewers could not link the brand to the ad, even for the ads that had higher recall themselves.  As with recall of the product category, for most ads, brand recall was in the single digits.

The ads not only generated low brand recall, but also had little impact on viewers? perceptions of the brands.  Additionally, only 15 percent of game viewers said they later looked for the ads or related content online; only 9 percent posted, tweeted, or shared links about the ads; and as few as 7 percent claimed that they actually looked for more information online about the advertised products or brands.

Companies paid an average of $4 million for a 30-second spot during this year?s Superbowl  The RAB says, "Radio works hard to register a marketer?s message at a fraction of the cost." The survey consisted of online interviews conducted on February 6, 2013 with 750 respondents aged 18-54 who said they had watched the game and saw any of the ten ads in question.

Read more about the RAB study HERE

(2/21/2013 7:12:22 AM)
Let's not get too excited here, especially about information that is not pertinent.
Electronic media - TV, online AND radio - are horrible at generating recall. Print is superior by leaps.
Fortunately for us, electronic media generates behavior when the messages are emotionally-based. Recall is not necessary.
Ask anybody at all the following: "What are the last three radio commercials you heard where you went out and bought the product or service?" Responses ain't priddy. Nor are the (wrong) conclusions that can be drawn from that information.
My own question is one of: Howcum broadcast professionals do not already know this stuff....? It is kinda important.

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Analyzing The Radio One Markets


In Radio One's four largest clusters, revenue in Washington, D.C. was the big winner, up 38 percent, a lot of that due to political and government advertising. Baltimore was up 11.2 percent and Atlanta gained 7.4 percent. But it was Houston, only up 4.6 percent, that Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins was raving about. "The Houston market is on fire. The market is healthier than it's been in many years." Philadelphia and Raleigh were the only two Radio One markets that reported a decline in revenue.

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Foley Promoted To VP Of Sales In Cleveland


Clear Channel Cleveland elevates Kristin Foley from Sales Manager to Vice President of Sales. She will now oversee sales for six stations in Cleveland. In 2006, Foley joined the Sales Management team and most recently oversaw WMMS-FM, KISS-FM, and 99X. In 2008, Foley received Clear Channel's National Pinnacle Award for Excellence, recognizing her as one of the top sales performers within the company. 

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Liggins: "We've Come Through Hell"


When asked how he felt about the radio business, Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins said, "I feel good about it," adding, "We've come through hell, like everyone else in the radio business did. We're more realistic now." Liggins says Radio One will grow its cash flow in 2013 even if there's a down market through a combination of top line revenue and expense control in a number of areas. He also said several Radio One assets have not matured yet giving the company potential for additional upside. He specifically mentioned the Atlanta, Detroit, and Houston markets.

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How Radio Succeeds Selling Digital


James Derby is the Chief Strategy Officer at Federated Media and one of radio's standout digital experts. His job is to guide what Federated is doing in the digital space. When he arrived three years ago, his assignment was to get Federated to a place where it had digital platforms integrated with its radio product. Then, to put a sales component in place. Derby, who will be a panelist at Convergence next month, has, in three short years, created a very successful digital arm for the company. Today he talks about how Federated moved from not having a digital strategy at all, to having one that generates new dollars. And, he gives a great example of what Federated is doing to help clients succeed with digital, therefore bringing in that fresh new revenue for the company.

RI: When you first arrived, what was the Federated strategy?
Derby: We were like a lot of traditional radio groups that had some websites that no one wanted to look at, other than entering a contest or maybe to stream the station. But, even our stream at that time was just a regular stream, like a lot of radio stations, without a lot of effort being put into it. It was a repurposed broadcast of the terrestrial signal. We didn't promote it.

When we got started, the job was about building Federated to the point where it had an integrated digital platform. That involved revamping websites and the creation of social media accounts -- Twitter and Facebook-- for jocks and the stations. It included streaming and ad insertion. We didn't have apps. Now, we are on our second generation of apps. We tried to think of what would make apps kind of cool. We found mobile app gamers that do it for a living. They helped us build these mobile games and put purchase and share features, and pictures and video on the apps. That's what the job started off with. The job certainly remains that today, as we continue on the sales side of that business.

RI: Is this just you doing all of this?
Derby: Fed Interactive is a separate company that was created by ownership to let the rest of the folks in our radio group know that digital is going to be a part of our future. By having a separate house and a separate building, which started off as me and one Web developer and is now 8 or 9 people, three years later. Now we are starting to wander into other areas. We started our own social media management company that has its own sellers and programmers. And we started a consulting business recently and took on our first radio client. The purpose of the consulting business is to really help them with digital integration. 

RI: So where  is radio in terms of digital?
Derby: Unfortunately, I really think the majority of the radio groups are just not involved in digital. They are scared of it. They know the landscape is changing but the business is a tough business. The last three or four years, with the economy, people are just buckling down, concentrating on what they have done best, which is radio, selling spots, coming up with creative ideas for clients, and executing great promotions. But the dynamics have changed. The radio pie isn't growing. It's shrinking. I think unfortunately our industry, which has always been fairly slow to move, is moving at an excruciatingly slow process when it comes to digital. You have radio stations that either don't have active social media accounts, or don't have an active mobile presence. The fact that we have radio groups out there that don't do these things, don't dedicate resources to their people and sales, is unfortunate and frightening. If we're going to survive and prosper as an industry, we need people to be actively doing these things. I don't know how you would not have both of these things going on, at a minimum, both digital and radio. I don't think that there are a lot of groups committed to doing this, either because financially it looks like too big of a risk, they can't afford to do it, they don't understand it, they're scared of it, or they don't think it's the business they're in. They are radio guys and they don't do digital. But the consumers are there. And clients are absolutely in that space. The idea that you wouldn't be where your consumers and your clients are is crazy.

RI: Can you give our readers an example of something you put together that really worked for a client?
:  This one comes to mind simply because we were recognized for it recently. There's a big grocer out here called Martin's Supermarket. They have about 19 stores in the northern Indiana area. We did something with mobile that involved radio, but you'd be surprised by the amount of radio really involved in this idea. From scratch, we created the Martin's Grocery Membership Club. They didn't have a membership club, so it's not like we transferred club members over. The promotion resulted in about 18,000 brand new members. A text would go out once per week to everyone that signed up for the text club. There was an incentive involved to get customers into the store. The consumer entered and would get a bounce back saying "Congratulations. You are now part of the Martin's Club. We will be sending you a weekly offer." Something along those lines. It was an easy process for consumers because they could find it on the radio by hearing the promotion or they could go to the station website and grab it there. The reason this worked was the client was smart with his incentive. He knew it couldn't just be 2 percent off of something. It had to be a real incentive. Once shoppers were in the grocery store, the client knew people were going to see the milk or the diapers and pick them up too. We all looked at it as extremely successful because it was carried out on multiple platforms. It was texting so it was mobile, there were banners on the websites and live 10-second radio liners. It was digital dollars for us. We took something that did not exist and helped grow the client's club membership to somewhere around 18 thousand people. It was a significant buy for us.

At Convergence 2013, Derby will be part of a panel called Traditional Media In the Age of Digital: How TV and Print Are Facing the Challenge and What Radio Can Learn From Their Mistakes ? and Their Wins, moderated by Ruth Presslaff, President, Presslaff Interactive Revenue. See the full Convergence agenda HERE and register HERE

Reach out to James directly  at

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(MANAGEMENT) Coexisting With The Arbitron Beast


Ratings. When I hear that word, I can still summon up the agonizing, gutwrenching, sleepless-night feelings I got when it was time for ?the book.? I mean, let?s face it, a good book can make your year, and a bad book can kill it. And when you factor in the flaws in Arbitron?s methodology, both PPM and diary, as well as the fact that all research is imperfect and subject to flukes and spikes, it makes the whole experience even scarier.

As a GM, it?s your responsibility to manage how you and your team communicate about ratings, both internally and externally. Not the sales manager?s. Not the program director?s. Yours. How the GM handles the information flow about ratings can have an enormous effect on the eventual impact ratings have on a station?s business, morale, and overall condition. You can make a bad situation better ? or make a good situation worse. Here?s a list of things that work best.

Be proactive. Don?t let your competition or the rest of the media world communicate ratings results before you do. Get out there first, with whatever positives are in the report. Pick things that go beyond a broad AQH share. How did you do in your format? What dayparts did particularly well? There?s always something good, if your station has some core viability. For better or worse, we live in a sound-bite world. That means the first thing someone hears about your latest ratings is what will stick in their minds. Make sure it comes from you.

Be visible. Don?t hide in your office if you had a bad book. C?mon ? you?ve done it. We all have. Get out there and talk about it with your staff and your clients. If you seem unflappable, folks might just believe things are better
than they thought.

Educate people. Staff members and customers know less about the ?guts? and development of ratings than you think. Educate them about the methodology and how it leads to swings in the numbers. Educate them on how your internal research verifies that ?WXXX isn?t a loser.? (Yet another reason internal research shouldn?t get lost in
budget cuts.) Talk about your target demographics, not just adults 25-54.

The fact is, having a successful radio station ?according to Arbitron? is a marathon, not a sprint. Teach people that. One of the biggest compliments you can receive from a client is, ?One thing I know about WXXX is that, if they have a bad book, it?s almost always followed by a good one. Over the long run, they?re always in the game.? If every one of your customers thought that way, your life would be much easier, and your revenue would be better.

Be careful not to overreact. There?s an old line: No radio station on earth sounds better to the ears of the GM than one that just had a good book, and no station sounds worse than a station that just had a bad one. The worst time to tinker with a station?s programming is in the first few days and even weeks following a new report. Take a step back. Look at how you?re executing your strategic plan. Make sure that plan is still valid. Many a great radio station has been killed by overreacting to ratings. Arbitron?s data does not reflect reality as accurately as other research that?s more specifically targeted to the status and condition of your station.

Do business in a way that minimizes the importance of ratings. This is the most important point I have to make: If you sell solutions and not numbers, both you and your customers win. If you use all of the tools in your kit ? over-the-air, website, mobile, social ? and develop integrated marketing plans as a normal way of doing business, your station will flourish, no matter what Arbitron reports.

This concept has been given a lot of lip service, but now it?s crunch time. I?ve been involved with stations in markets that were not rated by Arbitron or any other rating service. Their ?book? was whether the station was able to make the advertiser?s cash register ring. If they had the right audience, both quantitatively and qualitatively, and the marketing plan was done right, the register rang. If not, it didn?t. Ultimately, clients spent money based on results, not just ratings.

It sounds funny to say ratings are a ?necessary evil,? but it?s true, due to all the absurdities surrounding the subject ? sample sizes, flukes, kisses, all of it. As a GM, you have to learn to coexist with the absurdities, manage them, and use them to your advantage. There is, however, a potential ?necessary benefit? from ratings companies, and I?ve talked about it before: the development of more total audience measurement systems for traditional media, especially radio. We need to show advertisers what they are getting from all the different sources of radio content. I hope the industry will make that an even bigger priority going forward.

Marc Morgan is the former SVP and chief revenue officer for Cox Media Group; he retired in 2011. He can be reached at

(2/18/2013 6:20:16 PM)
Marc knows the drill. He obviously has the Arbitron scars to know the hazards of managing radio stations when so many folks believe the book as if it was the word of God, rather that just an estimate, a math aproximation, of what is happening in a radio market. Arbitron people are master marketers. We all in radio should learn from them. Always be selling.

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