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Friday, May 31, 2013

(SALES) The Salesperson's Appointment Dilemma


Radio salespeople ? and all media salespeople, for that matter ? are struggling now more than ever to secure quajlity appointments with prospects who might actually be ready, willing, and able to do business. The fact is that radio sellers are typically at their best when they?re in front of a prospect, finding out their needs and selling them solutions. The challenge is that most radio salespeople, after spending many frustrating hours cold calling, find themselves going on only one or two quality appointments a week, and that is just not enough. The current system of getting salespeople in front of really good-quality prospects is broken, and it must be fixed before even the most talented sellers will see better results.

Advertising sales needs a disruption.

For decades, the radio salesperson?s job was to find the prospects, secure the appointments, define the needs, solve the problems, and then sell the right solutions to get results. That is neither efficient nor effective. Expecting one person to be a Jack-of-all-trades and expert in all areas is a poor use of their time ? and can actually prevent these professionals from developing any real expertise.

Those who are especially good at finding needs and selling solutions are becoming increasingly discouraged as they spend endless hours banging the phone, hoping they will eventually score an appointment. And then in
the end they find themselves meeting with people who are not necessarily interested or ready to do business. Ask any salesperson and they will tell you how frustrating it is.

Where is the focus right now?

In most radio station sales departments there is intense focus placed on the end result: total billing. It is also common for sales managers to want to measure other things, such as the number of proposals generated, the total
amount pending, the closing ratio, and the size of the ask. It is easy to spot the common thread here: Managers are holding their salespeople highly accountable for sales output (this is good!).

While some managers may try to pay attention to their direct reports? weekly activity (which is a step in the right direction), they usually do that by simply measuring the number of appointments each sales rep has each week. Focusing on the raw number of appointments just causes that vicious cycle of frustration I talked about earlier. Forcing salespeople to spend more time cold calling means they will spend less time selling. That?s more time trying to find someone (anyone!) to meet with, which means less time spent finding needs and selling solutions. Stop and think about the cost of an appointment, if it takes an hour a day of cold calling, five days a week, to
secure one really good appointment (emphasis on ?really good?). It?s expensive in more ways than one.

What if there was a way to generate quality leads, and then hand them off to media sellers once they were sales-ready? What if you had the same sort of systems, process, and expectations in place for marketing and lead generation that you have for pending business and closing ratios? I can tell you from experience, it works! It could allow salespeople to go on six to 10 quality appointments per week rather than the one or two not-so-quality ones they are going on now. You?ve got to know how, though.

And inbound marketing is how. Radio stations know all about marketing ? you use it to attract listeners and users all the time. You also sell marketing solutions to businesses and help them use their capabilities to get fantastic
results. But radio stations often fail to use their marketing expertise to attract leads for their own sales departments. Inbound marketing fixes this problem.

Within the last year, a few pioneer media companies have begun to use inbound marketing, and, as you would suspect, the early results are very good. Their inbound marketing strategies are producing quality leads to hand off to salespeople and, at the same time, positioning their sales teams as thought leaders in their specific markets and areas of expertise.

It?s a paradigm shift, but it?s one that has to happen in order for sales and marketing to work together and both be held accountable for success. Installing and executing a lead-generation and thought-leadership strategy is important to the future success of media sales and will help improve the number of quality appointments media salespeople go on each week.

Matt Sunshine is EVP of the Center for Sales Strategy.

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"More 4 Moore"


This creative idea was sent to us by Premier Broadcasting's Wayne Moran in Effengham, IL, who says the station was approached by advertisers in their community who wanted to help. Moran tells Radio Ink that after a few meetings with the advertisers, "More 4 Moore," was born. Here are all the details that got the community jazzed up about helping load and a 53-foot truck filled with donations.

"We created a Web page on our websites  and Facebook page, as well as custom More 4 Moore Facebook and Twitter profile badges. We shot video from the first day of the effort (located inside the link on our website). Utilizing the all-important radio-to-social media tie-in, we were able to mobilize a literal army of volunteers and donations, and were blown away by the incredibly fast response by our listeners."

"One of our local advertisers contacted us with the idea of them collecting supplies and items needed, inside their small business called Discount Eyewear. They wanted our help to promote the idea. Through Facebook, the owner of Discount Eyewear was able to make contact with local trucking company Broadway Express to secure a 53-foot semi-trailer for donations. We met with the two businesses at our station, and in collaborating with them and our on-air staff, created More 4 Moore. We worked as well with another one of our local advertisers, Martin's IGA Plus, and made plans to place the trailer on the parking lot of their grocery store."

"One of our local advertisers, a local shoe and sporting goods apparel company, Prime Sole, donated nearly $19,000 worth of shoes and apparel. Many of our local businesses and organizations also made large contributions. But we focused on donations from local residents too, like that of Amber Putnam and her children, (pictured here) who gave nursery water and boxes of pasta."

"We took the local approach a step further as well, securing a location in Oklahoma, just outside of Moore, at the Mid-American Christian University. One of our sales representatives, Doc Kralman, contacted officials with the Mid-American Christian University, as John Fozard, a former Effingham resident and pastor of the First Church of God in Effingham, is now president at the university. They have stepped up and offered to house and distribute our collected items to people directly affected by the tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma, and the surrounding areas. They're even going to provide the driver from Broadway Express Trucking with a meal and an overnight stay before he heads home."

Moran said, "Truly, this has been a local effort that has far surpassed our expectations, and it's one of our proudest moments in radio." Reach out to Wayne to congratulate him on such a fantastic idea

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Dial Global Broadcasting Benefit Concert


In cooperation with NBC-TV, Dial Global will provide a radio simulcast of tonight's ?Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert? airing live from the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City (9pm ET). The concert and telethon, which sold out in :30 seconds, was organized by Country star and Oklahoma native Blake Shelton, who will headline the event. Miranda Lambert, Vince Gill, Reba McEntire, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Usher, and Ryan Tedder from One Republic are also performing.

Dial Global is offering the simulcast to all of its Country radio affiliates and to every country radio station in the US, in addition to radio stations of all formats in Tornado Alley. ?Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert? is set to raise money to aid victims of the deadly tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, May 20.  The tornado killed at least 24 people, injured hundreds, and damaged houses, hospitals, and schools in both Moore and Oklahoma City.  Funds will go to the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund.

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Adkins Kicks Off Summer Season

This past Friday, Trace Adkins performed live at the free iHeartRadio Coca-Cola Open For Summer Concert at Charlotte Motor Speedway to officially "pop the top on the season." The concert, which also included a performance by Josh Thompson, was part of the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600.

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St. Louis Morning Show Raises $67K For Oklahoma


The Phillips and Company Morning Show on KYKY (CBS) in St. Louis played requests for donations that were given to the American Red Cross effort for Moore, Oklahoma, raising $33,670. The President of Lion?s Choice, a local fast-food chain, called in at the end of the 14-hour broadcast to match every donation, boosting the total to $67,340. Guy Phillips from the Phillips and Company show said, ?It's easy to underestimate the power of caring, but this city's generosity touches me personally every time we ask for their help. I can?t thank our listeners enough for their generosity."

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Former KGO Talker Gene Burns Dead At 72

I had the pleasure of hearing and listening to Gene over much of his career. He also worked at WSBA in York, Pa as news director, went to Metromedia's WCBM 680 in Baltimore where I had the pleasure of meeting him and Gene lit the fire of not only his own talk-radio career, but those of others, including mine.

Gene was a noted choclatier, which took him to Orlando and WKIS, where he practiced both arts -- talk radio, as program director, and as a chocalate candy maker; making a huge name for himself throughout central Florida, where his family still resides.

Gene went on to CBS Radio legend WCAU-1210 (now WPHT) in Philadelphia, to Buckley Broadcasting's WOR in New York,and nationally on the WOR Radio Network, which gave birth to his incredible "Dinng Around" program in New York, then on to Boston for a brief stint at WEEI and with Jerry Williams and the stellar talk lineup at 68/WRKO.

Gene would return, this time as operations manager, to WKIS in Orlando in 1984, where he tossed his hat (almost) in the ring as a Presidential hopeful for the Libertarian Party. He pulled out just before the election, due to his feeling of lack of strong political support.

Eleven years later, Burns trekked across county as a fill-in talk host at KGO in San Francisco. From that time, the rest is history.

Gene was not about to leave. After fill-in for KGO's then stellar lineup, "Mr. Burns" as he was known to many, did 7-10 pm and became one of "The Top 25 All-Time Talk Show Hosts" in the early 2000s by "Talkers Magazine" -- an honor he would keep for years from the publication.

Gene perfected, as well as his nightly Mon-Fri airshift, "Dining Around with Gene Burns" on Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm, as well as countless remotes for charity events and for culinary and wine "delights."

Pat Thurston said it so perfectly in the story. Saturday night's impromptu "Radio Wake" was filled with many great and notable people from KGO's past and a few from the present.

To know that Gene was so unceremoniously "dismissed" along with three other Bay Area talk legends -- a word not used lightly -- was incredible. Even long-time former GM Mickey Luckoff called in to thank Ms. Thurston for being courageous and the others for showing their love and affection for Burns.

Incidentally, another favorite word of Burns, in addition to an ocassional "idiot", "moron" and more -- all ground into absolutely perfect and proper conversational English, with a hearty and wonderful laugh was the word - "Cajones". "It's shorter than saying testicular fortitude sometimes he said."

On Sunday night, KGO presented from 10 pm to 1 am, a replay of a Gene Burns program ("...never a show,, always a program.") showing his versatility, his incredible depth, a fabulous and often sharp with and much more now so missed.

"Mr. Burns" -- we continue to salute you and thank you for your huge contributions to Radio and to Life.


Joe Benson
San Luis Obispo, CA

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Remember...Arbitron is Dead Serious About Protecting Data

Arbitron Doesn't Mess Around
by John Garziglia

Arbitron vigorously protects its data.  That is well-known.   On May 23, 2013, Saga Communications, Inc. and its subsidiary Lakefront Communications LLC were named as defendants in a Delaware Federal district court lawsuit alleging unauthorized reproduction and distribution of Arbitron?s copyrighted audience estimates. As the lawsuit was filed just days ago, the defendants have not yet had a legal obligation to respond.  Therefore, it does little good to speculate upon the truth of the claims or the eventual outcome of the lawsuit.  The lawsuit could be settled without another public word about it, or it could play out in the courts for years to come. 

The filing of a lawsuit against a radio broadcaster alleging improper use of copyrighted audience estimates is an opportune time to reflect upon the rights claimed by Arbitron, and the various ways that a radio station, and indeed industry observers such as the news media, can run afoul of Arbitron?s claims to its intellectual property. 

A discussion of the legal area of copyright is not easy.  A discussion of Arbitron?s claims to its data, however, involves little nuance.  Basically, Arbitron claims the right to every part of its audience estimates. 

Arbitron even goes so far as to restrict the news media from re-printing audience estimates, telling the news media that ?Arbitron conditionally provides, to newspapers and other publications that write about radio or other media, a nonexclusive, limited, revocable, and personal license to publish a limited, newsworthy amount of Arbitron copyrighted data ? limited to those radio stations that are current subscribers to Arbitron?, along with various other restrictions (for more, GO HERE).

For subscribing stations, Arbitron offers a three page summary of what may and may not be done with its audience estimates including the overall admonition to stations that they ?have an obligation to keep these data out of the hands of unauthorized stations. After all, why should a competing station get for free what you pay Arbitron for?? (for more, GO HERE).  

For non-subscribing stations, and for that matter, for any non-subscribing industry professional, it is simple.  If you or your employing entity is not a subscriber to Arbitron?s products, Arbitron pretty much claims the absolute right to keep you from using Arbitron?s audience estimates in any way. 

There are two good reasons to take Arbitron?s broad and comprehensive claims to restrict the use of its audience estimates seriously.  The first, while not strictly legal, is that Arbitron is a large entity with good lawyers.  Picking an intellectual property fight over gray areas of copyright law with a large entity is usually not a good idea.  Litigation costs can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and there are few certain outcomes. 

The second, more legally-oriented reason to take Arbitron?s claims seriously is that, in addition to actual damages and a variety of other remedies, Federal copyright law provides for statutory damages in many instances of up to $150,000 per work infringed. In the Saga lawsuit, Arbitron initially alleges that 33 works were infringed upon. Do the math. 

If the factual allegations in Arbitron?s lawsuit are assumed as true (something yet to be proven), the broadcaster may believe that Arbitron, or applicable copyright law, only restricts nonsubscribers from the use of its audience estimates to activities related to selling commercial advertising to third parties.  Arbitron, however, in its lawsuit takes the position that the use of its audience estimates by nonsubscribers even for strictly internal purposes such as programming decisions and awarding of employee bonuses for programming ratings victories, is a wrongful use of its intellectual property. 

Whether or not the court will agree with Arbitron is yet to be seen.  If Saga defends this lawsuit, we should learn more about Saga?s legal reasoning in subsequent court filings. 

For now, this lawsuit is a reminder to our industry of the all-encompassing rights claimed by Arbitron to its audience estimates, the ownership of which is Arbitron?s primary product, and the risk of using audience estimates in any way that Arbitron demands a license to do so. 

John F. Garziglia is a Communications Law Attorney with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Washington, DC and can be reached at (202) 857-4455 or

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Research Director Announces Play-By-Play Webinar


Research Director, in cooperation with GfK MRI, has just completed an extensive study on the play-by-play radio listener that quantifies the benefits of reaching these listeners. Research Director partner Charlie Sislen says, ?Play-by-play audiences deliver great bang for your buck. This study will help sellers differentiate their listeners from the average consumer.? The company will be conducting a webinar to show this data on June 5 at 2 p.m. (EDT). To reserve a spot, visit

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Bobby Bones Gets Creative for Oklahoma Tornado Victims


Bobby Bones leaned on his Nashville friends to come up with a great idea to help the victims of last weeks devastating tornado. Country music?s biggest stars stopped by his show or called in to offer support so Bones took advantage of that and launched an online auction of the donated items on eBay. All proceeds will benefit the disaster relief efforts of the American Red Cross.

Among the items now up for auction at through May 30, 2013 are: 
? Blake Shelton - 2 tickets, 2 meet-and-greets, hotel and airfare to any show on his summer tour
? Jason Aldean - signed guitar
? Jake Owen - limited edition signed guitar
? Luke Bryan - signed guitar and clothes from his video shoot for "Crash My Party"
? The Band Perry - signed guitar
? Tim McGraw - signed guitar, 4 tickets and meet and greets to any show, suite next to stage, receive signed guitar on stage
? Brad Paisley - signed guitar
? Kenny Chesney - signed ?The Boys of Fall? jersey
? Taylor Swift - signed guitar and signed limited edition lithograph
? Kellie Pickler - signed guitar and signed ballroom dancing shoes she wore on Dancing With The Stars
? Carrie Underwood - signed guitar
? Rascal Flatts - 4 tickets and 4 VIP passes to a show
? Zac Brown Band - signed Jack Daniels barrel (empty)
? Hunter Hayes - signed skinned electric guitar
? Dierks Bentley - airfare, hotel rooms, backstage passes to a show and signed guitar
? Toby Keith - signed limited edition guitar
? Florida Georgia Line - signed guitar
? Eli Young Band - tickets to a show, meet-and-greet, and signed guitar
? Kip Moore - signed guitar, 4 tickets, plus meet-and-greet, private show and drinks on tour bus at any stop
? Thompson Square - signed guitar, signed Jay Leno bottle of wine
? Brantley Gilbert - signed guitar, 4 tickets and VIP passes to a show, signed hats
? Little Big Town - tickets and meet and greet to a show in winner's city
? Chris Young - signed guitar
? Justin Moore - signed guitar
? Lee Brice - signed guitar
? Craig Campbell - signed first cowboy hat, backyard BBQ (at winner?s home)
? Tyler Farr - one-of-a-kind camo signed guitar from ?Redneck Crazy? music video
? Will Hoge - BMI guitar for #1 song "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" with handwritten lyrics on guitar, tickets and airfare to Nashville June 4 show
? CMA Awards - Trace Adkins, Vince Gill, Lee Ann Womack & (30+ other artists) signed guitar
? Montgomery Gentry - signed guitar
? Brett Eldredge - signed guitar
? Cassadee Pope - signed guitar
? Chris Janson - harmonicas
? Colt Ford - signed guitar
? David Nail - signed shirt from "Let It Rain" video
? Dustin Lynch - cowboy hat, signed guitar
? Gary Allen - signed memorabilia
? Greg Bates - signed cowboy boots
? Jana Kramer - signed guitar
? Parmalee - 2 signed Taylor guitars
? Phil Vassar - signed keyboard
? Randy Rogers - signed guitar, trip (airfare and hotel) to see a show
? The Henningsens - signed guitar
? Thomas Rhett - signed guitar
? Tracy Lawrence - song download and signed guitar

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Saul Levine Purchases a Buckley Station


Richard Foreman brokers the deal that sends KYZZ-FM in Salinas, California to Saul Levine's Mt. Wilson Broadcasting. No price tag in the announcement. The Buckley Class A (at 97.9) is a sports format carrying ESPN. Buckley will continue the ESPN affiliation on KIDD-AM. Mt. Wilson also owns KKGO-FM and KMZT-AM in the Los Angeles area.

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WTOP is #1 News Station In America


A panel of news and news/talk experts have named Hubbard Radio's WTOP top news station in the country in Radio Ink's first listing of news and news/talk stations. Under the leadership of GM Joel Oxley, Vice President of Programming Jim Farley, and Program Director Laurie Cantillo, WTOP has developed into a news leader in the Washington D.C. market, competing with newspaper outlets like the Washington Post and television news organizations in the nation's capital. WTOP has also established itself as a digital news leader with nearly 100,000 regular readers at and 60,000 followers on Twitter and 11 full- and part-time digital journalists. It's well documented number-one biller status, three years running, adds fuel to the debate that well-run radio news organizations cannot only survive, they can produce big money.

Here's a listing of the top 20 stations. We voted the KTRH aircheck the best aircheck submitted. We encourage you to give it a listen.

#1) WTOP - Washington DC
Read our cover story with WTOP's Jim Farley HERE
#2) 1010 WINS - New York City
#3) KFI-AM - Los Angeles
#4) KCBS-AM - San Francisco
#5) WBBM-AM/FM - Chicago
#6) WCBS-AM - New York City
#7) WBZ-AM - Boston
#8) WSB-AM/FM - Atlanta
#9) KYW-AM - Philadelphia
#10) WWJ-AM - Detroit
#11) KIRO-FM - Seattle
#12) WBT-AM/FM - Charlotte
#13) KNX-AM - Los Angeles
#14) KKOB-AM -Albuquerque
#15) WBAP-AM & FM - Dallas
#16) KTRH-AM - Houston
#17) KFBK-AM & FM - Sacramento
#18) KMBZ-AM & FM - Kansas City
#19) KRMG-AM & FM - Tulsa
#20) WGAN & WGIN - Portland, ME

To see a PDF of the Top 20 stations as it appeared in Radio Ink Magazine CLICK HERE. It includes a listing of all the stations, dial positions, signal power, website, Facebook and Twitter details and the names of the people in charge at each station responsible for making them great. Thank you to our panel of News and News/Talk specialists for voting in our first ever listing of Top 20 News and News/Talk stations.

NOTE TO READERS- KKOB in Albuquerque was listed in the issue as being owned by Clear Channel. KKOB is a Cumulus station. Also, KFBK is in Sacramento, not San Francisco as listed in the magazine. Our apologies for these two errors.

(5/23/2013 6:18:29 PM)
Apples to oranges comparison. The top public radio stations take hours and hours of programming from NPR, You are comparing a local radio station to a national news network.
(5/23/2013 7:20:01 AM)
Good Points. We did not receive any nominations for non-coms. Hopefully you will nominate a few next year. And, ratings was not the only factor in determining the list. Hope yo are well.
(5/23/2013 6:46:11 AM)
Why not give some credit to the public stations that are huge ratings successes? Look here: WAMU beats WTOP, 9.7 to 7.9, in Washington. KQED beats KCBS in San Francisco too. The list goes on. I understand that your main interest is commercial radio; but noncommercial radio matters just as much — if not more, if actual listening is taken into account.

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Listeners Discussing Radio


Check out what listeners - and others - are saying about your station, your talent and your market. The most popular radio discussion board is now owned and operated by Streamline Publishing - the parent company of Radio Ink Magazine and

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Secret to Programming A Great News Station


Today we begin a series of interviews with winning program directors at successful news and news/talk stations around the country. Our first interview is with Tim Scheld, the Director of News and Programming at WCBS-AM in New York City. What is the WCBS secret to success? "Our mission has been the same since the radio station started its all-News format back in 1967, to be New York?s number one trusted source for news and information on the radio. You get that by delivering a product that is reliable, timely, honest, and compelling."

Talk about the success of WCBS.
I think the most important factors in the success of WCBS-AM are the consistency of the news product and the quality of the people behind it. Our mission has been the same since the radio station started its all-News format back in 1967, to be New York?s number one trusted source for news and information on the radio. You get that by delivering a product that is reliable, timely, honest, and compelling. You get that by having talented news anchors who communicate information and provide context that only experience can provide.

The other key to success for us is to have a team of reporters who can bring listeners out to the scene of breaking news with sound and word pictures. It?s an art that we hope never to lose sight of. It?s why we decorated our new facility at Hudson Street with a large photograph of Edward R. Murrow behind a CBS Radio microphone. His words captured the imagination of an entire nation during World War II. The photo reminds us that our words can be powerful and important. I want  people here to take that responsibility seriously. We take our heritage very seriously.

How do you create that special connection between station and listener?
The bond between listener and radio station is something that takes years to develop. The foundation of that bond is trust. Our job is to deliver a product that we hope will be of value to the people listening. If we do that on a consistent basis, listeners will make a conscious choice to listen to us. Over time, that develops into an implied contract that whenever there is a need, we will be there. But it?s not just about having what people need; it?s about how the information is conveyed. There needs to be an honesty and authenticity. That comes with having news personalities who can connect with listeners. We don?t put on any airs ? we are real people. We laugh at a good joke; we get mad at higher tolls, we cry inside when we are faced with stories like Sandy or Newtown. We are not just providing news to our community, we are members of the community delivering news, and hopefully that comes through in what we say, how we say it, even in the questions we ask. To be a successful News station in your community, you must.... It?s all about staying connected to the community, and understanding the responsibility of being a voice for the people in that community. First and foremost, I think it?s important to have a presence in the places you cover, and not just visit them in times of tragedy. That can be a challenge when you consider that in our Tri-State area we have hundreds of municipalities.

We also take seriously our responsibility to tell stories about the tremendous good going on across our listening area. These stories are the ones that provoke the most reaction and lead to new connections and new story ideas. I also feel strongly about building partnerships with community entities like the March of Dimes, WHY Hunger, the Special Olympics, and the 9/11 National Museum. These are organizations that we provide support to by helping them raise money and awareness. Another part of our commitment to the events that engage our listeners.

We run multiple events each year including several Small Business Breakfasts, ?The Business of Getting into College,? a Working Women?s Luncheon, and a Women?s Achievement Awards. These events help connect us to people in the communities we serve. They allow us to interact with listeners in a personal way and help us take the pulse of the people who listen to our station every day.

With the rapid growth of technology, how has gathering and delivering news changed the past 10 years?
First off, the equipment we use out on the street has changed significantly in the past 10 years. Smartphones are smarter. They allow reporters to take photos, tweet, post onto Facebook, record audio, and connect via broadband to deliver highquality live audio. The technical developments in the last few years have been breathtaking, and we continue to test new avenues all the time. We are also now seeing social media play a larger role in the delivery of news to consumers. While some might consider it competition to the traditional media, I actually view it as an opportunity for us to expose our reporting and newsgathering to an audience that may not normally consider radio news as a source of information. It?s an exciting time for us. Challenging, but exciting.

It?s almost as if listeners/consumers are telling you how they want their news delivered, isn?t it?
There isn?t a business on this planet that can afford to ignore how consumers use their product. Do people wake up to us on clock radios the way they used to? Do they stream us in their cars? Does Twitter deliver listeners to breaking news? It?s a fascinating time for our business. I am encouraged by studies that suggest that the demand for news and information is greater than ever. Our job is to figure out a way to make sure that our brand is one of the top choices.

Reach out to Tim Scheld at

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Who Will Jimmy Bring Back?

In an interview with Radio Ink Thursday, Jimmy de Castro said WGN has some great personalities now and some great personalities "I'd like to bring back." When pressed on who he was thinking about, he wouldn't say. After all, de Castro had only been in the building for two hours. He said now is the time for research, infusing energy into the hallways, coming up with a strategy for the station, and implementing that strategy. He also said he believes more stations can be added to the company. Tribune only owns WGN-AM.
When asked about a news and sports format functioning and succeeding as one format, de Castro said, "I don't know the answer to that. I absolutely believe you can create a personality-driven news station and a personality-driven sports station." He said sports-talk has become to men what Oprah was to women and added that he's going to stir things up a little bit and focus on creating great content. He added that WGN needs to grow younger, a dilemma facing many AM signals around the country.

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James Fortune To Host Show For Reach


REACH Media announced today that Grammy nominated gospel artist, James Fortune, will host an inspirational broadcast radio show beginning Tuesday, May 28, 7-11 p.m. Eastern Time, and host The Spirit Top 15 Inspirational Countdown every weekend. The shows will feature gospel and inspirational music along with "interviews and insights that are meant to motivate and engage."

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We're Growing The Audio Ad Pie

Answering a question about the length of advertising units, Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy said, "We are bringing advertisers into audio advertising who have not been there." Those are manly coming from digital accounts, not the traditional $15 billion radio market. Kennedy said, "When we take audio advertising and make it targetable  we're clearly attractive.

Kennedy said, "We don't take :60's, we take :15's and 30's. We've been successful at telling advertisers that :15's on Pandora are more effective than "60's in the overcrowded traditional radio environment. We've had tremendous success at bringing auto dealers onto the Pandora platform which is a cornerstone of local advertising. We've been gradually increasing the overall ad load. Our strategy is to gradually grow it over time."

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CMG Jacksonville Launches New Hot 106.5


Thursday morning, Cox Media Group in Jacksonville launched Hot 106.5 ?Duval's Adult R&B? (WHJX). The station is also bringing on Clarence Natto (pictured) as the new PD. Market Manager Bill Hendrich said, ?This is a great opportunity to serve the Jacksonville community in an area that has been underserved with radio options for a number of years. Our in-depth market research indicates a great need for classic R&B, and we expect this new format to be an unbelievable success with listeners, as well as a unique platform for our valued advertisers.?

Natto joins the station from CMG Atlanta where he was Director of Promotions for KISS 104.1 FM WALR. ?Great talent resides in the stations owned by Cox Media Group and we have been able to tap into that talent bank once again with Clarence,? added Hendrich. ?I had the pleasure of working with Clarence in Orlando when he was at Star 94.5 and have watched him grow his career over the past few years in Atlanta. I really look forward to having Clarence on our team here in Jacksonville.?

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Emmis Launches Hispanic Format in Austin


Latino 102.7 KLZT HD-2 made its debut in Austin today. The Spanish-language format Emmis has chosen is contemporary hit music. The station will celebrate its launch by playing 10,000 songs in-a-row, without commercials. Latino 102.7 PD, Armando Ulloa says, ?Austin?s vibrant and bilingual Latino population continues to grow and set the trends for the marketplace. We?re proud to bring Latino 102.7 to the Austin community and to fulfill an unmet need of providing today?s biggest hits, with deep local connections, and soon-to-be announced local personalities that are on the cutting edge of pop culture in Central Texas.?

The station will feature a diverse mix of Top 40, Rhythmic, Dance and Spanish Pop artists such as Pitbull, Romeo Santos, Prince Royce, Don Omar, Wisin Y Yandel, Mana, Camila, Chino Y Nacho, Aventura, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Swedish House Mafia, Lady Gaga, and many more.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What Are You Doing to Help Oklahoma?


Radio is always there for local communities. Your station is doing SOMETHING spectacular to help the victims of the deadly Oklahoma twister. We'd like to hear about it. Send all the details about how you are serving your community to Radio Ink Editor Ed Ryan at

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(WIZARD) Escaping The Most Dangerous Trap


I recently received the following e-mail:

I really enjoyed reading  your thoughts on radio sales. I own a current Country format in California. One of our issues is when the GM goes in to sell and they say, ?We have all the business we need.? How do you come back on that one? The GM has been in the market for the last 20 years on another station, and he says our market is ?unique.? I?m not sure if I buy that or not. I would appreciate any help you can give.

Here?s how I answered that e-mail:

I?m going to answer your question ?as asked,? even though I challenge
the premise. This would be my response:
?Obviously, you?ve been very successful. So I understand that you have
all the business you need. But do you have all the business you want?? If the business owner persisted by saying, ?Yes, we have all the business we want,? I?d say, ?You?ve obviously made up your mind that I have nothing to offer you ?and that?s OK, I?ll be leaving now ? but would you at least do me the courtesy of telling me the real reason you don?t feel I can help you?? To be successful, an AE must maintain their confidence and their dignity. Walking out with shoulders slumped and head hanging down is simply not acceptable.

Obviously the line ?We have all the business we need,? is a blow-off. But it?s not the most dangerous trap into which an AE will step. The worst of all traps is when a new client buys a short flight ?to test the waters.? The AE walks out with a wee bit of cash and a massive, ticking time bomb.

Pay attention to me, AEs. The messages that work best are highly specific. If you walk out of a new advertiser?s office with an insertion order and nothing else, that time bomb is going to blow any future business with this client completely to hell. Believe me, I fell into that trap many times. Your smartest move is to probe for a specific offer that is new, surprising, and different, an offer that won?t be made through any other media. And the client doesn?t have to lose money to impress the customer. Just pick a specific product or service that people actually like ? not something the advertiser needs to dump because no one ever buys it ? and then write your copy around that item. Think of it as a ?feature item.?

1-800-GotJunk is a junk-removal company with 184 franchisees in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. My firm was hired to write creative ads to make the phone ring. I noticed their pricing structure was based on the percentage of their truck your junk would fill.

?How is the client supposed to know the percentage of your truck their stuff will fill?? I asked.

?We give free estimates,? came the reply.

?So if I call and ask, ?How much do you charge to haul off a sofa?? what will you tell me?"

?We?ll tell you we need to come out and see the sofa.?

?I?m thinking, ?Hey! My sofa is the same size as your sofa, stupid!??

They looked at me blankly, so I asked, ?What single item do you haul off more than any other??

?Dead TVs? was the reply.

Here?s the ad I wrote:
ROY: You?ve got a dead TV, right?
BRIAN: Don?t be embarrassed. Everyone?s got a dead TV.
ROY: You don?t know what to do with it....
BRIAN: But we do.
ROY: Have you got twenty-nine dollars?
BRIAN: Give us a call or contact us online
ROY: And we?ll send some guys right over.
BRIAN: We?re a full-service junk removal company.
ROY: You don?t have to lift a finger.
BRIAN: Well, that?s not entirely true....
ROY: (obviously confused.) What?
BRIAN: You have to lift one finger to point at the dead TV.
ROY: That dead TV will be gone-gone-gone! [relief] ?
BRIAN: And you paid just twenty-nine dollars.
ROY: Lift that finger again and watch the magic.
BRIAN: Junk will disappear. [sfx]
ROY: Call 1-800-Got Junk
BRIAN: Or visit us online.
ROY: We?ll quote you a price for hauling away everything
you point at.
BRIAN: That?s one powerful finger you?ve got there!
ROY: Be careful where you aim that thing.
BRIAN: We?re full service. All you have to do is point.
ROY: Call 1-800-Got Junk or contact us through our
BRIAN: And prepare to be amazed.

Result? Sales volume during the next 90 days in our test market was 41 percent higher than the same 90-day period the previous year. If you ask a person if they have any junk, they?ll probably tell you no. But ask that same person something specific ? like whether they have a dead TV ? and you?re likely to get a different answer. And when you use a ?feature item,? you no longer fall into the trap of, ?Well, business was up 41 percent but I?m not sure it was due to the advertising.? When people call and say, ?Dead TV,? you know it?s the advertising that?s driving the call.

Now go sell something for your clients.

Roy H. Williams is president of Wizard of Ads Inc. E-mail:

(5/23/2013 8:45:59 AM)
GREAT point! If you don't have a target... how do you know if you hit it?

Being specific makes it MUCH easier to track results to see what you need to do to stay on track!

Thank you for the ammo for our collective "radio sales guns"! If I had a nickel for every time I've quoted you... I'd owe you a BUNCH of nickels! ;o)

(5/22/2013 10:25:46 PM)
Roy: On behalf of all the people that work in radio sales, I thank you deeply for the valuable contribution you make to the radio industry by sharing your knowledge--you're a BLESSING to the media! My honor and respect go out to you!

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(NEW FEATURE) Expert In The Wings

by Buzz Knight

Today many media professionals sit on the sidelines ready to blend with any organization and enhance the quality of a brand. Too many. These folks are keeping busy and active with projects but deserving of more recognition for their past, present, and future contributions.

When I approached Ed Ryan, the Editor in Chief of Radio Ink, about a column called "Experts in the Wings" that would highlight these individuals, he was more than willing to give me the space to embark on this column with the hopes of frequent contributions and even more frequent recognition for each of them.

Jay Clark is first up as an expert ready to take on any project that needs a kick start in your organization.

Jay was most recently the Executive VP at Sirius where he was involved in all facets of the Programming Department from Howard to Buffett and everything in between, and the creation of the various VP positions in Music, Talk, and Sports which still exist today.

Beyond his work for Winstar with the Sports Fan Radio Network and Comedy World (an early 2002  dot com broadcast venture), Jay's resume lists some amazing call letters: WRKO, KSLX, WTKS, WWWE,WOMC, WTIC/AM/FM, and WABC. Jay left Sirius some years back to tend to some family issues but when I saw him this past year at the Dallas NAB he indicated he was primed and ready for any challenge.

When I asked Jay what he feels is missing in day-to-day action at radio properties, he said: "Attention to detail, probably due to lack of staffing. With few exceptions no one seems to be working with on-air staffs, critiquing, cajoling, and helping frontline product folks. Web and social media is, in most cases, neglected and dated. On-air streams are not listened to and, in fact, I sometimes wonder if even over the air is listened to by anyone in charge."

Jay in fact feels many operators have "gone overboard in cutting to the bone" when it comes to resources like writers, producers, and Web people. Thinking back over his career, he has had many interesting celebrity encounters but one bizarro moment regarding Jerry Lee Lewis sticks out.

"Jerry Lee Lewis, way after his prime, worked a concert at Heart Plaza in Detroit. That was the day the IRS confiscated his jet plane. He began drinking at about noon and appeared in no condition to go on but insisted. We literally carried him to the stage at 6 p.m., stood him up, and to all of our surprise he walked to the keyboard and went on to do a perfect show. He then walked back to the stage stairs out of sight to the crowd and collapsed. I caught him before he hit the floor and we carried him back to his dressing room where he slept it off until midnight when we got him back to his hotel."

Jay Clark's elevator pitch in his own words: "I want to work for you and if hired you'll have an honest employee with passion and integrity who will work 24/7 to help your company succeed. I have a 'what you see is what you get' personality, am a great people person, love mentoring, and am very good with budgets. I am diversified, creative, and very excited about the opportunities new technology brings to the audio table. I've been successful in all size markets with both music and talk formats and my resume speaks for itself. All I need to know from you is what your needs are so we can get to work. Thanks for listening."

Reach out to Jay Clark by e-mail
If you want to recommend an "Expert in the Wings" reach me at

(5/22/2013 12:28:44 PM)
When I met Jay Clark, we were on-the-air disc jockeys at WTRY in the Albany, N.Y. market. A very good top 40 station, we were the market leaders but when Jay took over the all night show (didn’t we all), his on air approach was different enough to get him listeners, management attention and eventually, a promotion to program director. Jay was an “out of the box” thinker, long before that term existed.

His career blossomed and from his resume, you can see he quickly moved up and out and, I tell him to this day, he was a cleanup hitter at the major league level when radio was king. Not only did he stay up there, he climbed a little higher when, as Executive Vice President of Sirius, he helped shape satellite radio into a viable alternative to terrestrial radio.

It’s hard for me to believe that a broadcast executive, with a mile long resume of successes is not gainfully employed. It seems like a no brainer for those independent radio companies who are up against corporate radio, not to look at a man like Jay Clark. Jay is innovative, up to date, has intimate knowledge of how corporate radio works and knows how to compete against them.

I know, as a radio lifer, that Jay Clark will make things happen for your stations as he opens the door to the world of real radio. Live, local, touching the audience with on air talent to draw listeners and advertisers to your stations is how Jay learned the radio business. He knows how it works; his track record is exemplary and he specializes in making your stations sound exciting, relevant and compelling. You will benefit from a conversation with Jay Clark regarding your business, your passion and your company. Don’t miss out on this guy. He is one of the best!

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Companies Can Work Together to Save Lives

Eric -

People who don't like to "turn the knob" or, in an emergency, don't know WHERE to turn, face problems in an emergency. That's why they "listen" (more than just "hear" their favorite stations.) They identify with those radio "friends" in an emergency, especially in a horrific situation as this weeks events in Moore, OK.

With the rush of national media, the speculation of both local and national media, the platforms of immediate radio, TV, internet, newspaper video as well as print ... it becomes that "battle" over and over again -- when lives are at stake.

The disturbing disgust of the Emergency Services person not even mentioning the resources of local, dedicated RADIO, no matter the "service", was maddening to hear.

Even in voice tracking, satellite, talk, or local live music programmed stations ... there must be a plan -- news department or not. Flipping the switch to simulcast a TV feed does not guarantee a "staying" power to a station. People may just flip the dial to find anything of value in an emergency. Be prepared if you don't give it to them in some way.

They will, however, LISTEN as well as HEAR a friend ... be it a newsperson, reporters, sports jocks, DJs, any format, anytime ... when they talk and lead the "guidence and navigation" of such an event. This did and didn't work well in Moore or Oklahoma City. I listened to all streaming stations on the internet.

Putting people on the air as well as listening to other media around you -- and owning YOUR content (with permission, of others helping you, of course) gets out more information and has YOUR station's name attached. A sales person, GM, Sales Manager, Engineer, somebody in every station needs the training to be available and able to interrupt the air-feed on a moment's notce to get something out there to the community. Either that ... or sign off and get your staff out of the building while others who can provide the information do so.

One or the other.

Yes, it sounds like what the old Conelrad days would do .... and no one wants that, but again, it's about providing important information, not competition.

As Ted Turner wisely said, "Lead, Follow or Get the F++K out of the way."

Cronkite said, "Get it first, but get it RIGHT."

Funnel your audience to either your station because they know to be there with your brand when news like this happens ... or point them in the direction of where the RADIO voice truly is. There, they will hear the TV simulcast, local reporters, citizens, government officials, etc. that can help them and you provide the service of getting the people to the right place, in case you can't provide the needs they have.

Write an operations manual. Here in California, I've written a few for radio stations and participate in a county emergency plan for such an occasion, be it wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis, civil unrest, etc.

It may be hard to tell a listener to tune to someone who has the resources, but don't "fake" what you don't have. Talk among yourselves as broadcasters with emergency and community leaders and resources. Then, have someone, Sales rep, Sales Mgr., GM, Jocks, News Person, News Director -- even if they have to be called in -- ready and able to provide a service, even down to putting listeners on the air.

Be it 3:20 in the afternoon or 3:20 in the morning -- be prepared. One never ever knows when this could happen in your community.

We have a responsibility to our communities, as well as our own listeners in a lifesaving effort. We can't afford less than doing the best and most we can do to help them.

If it means getting out of the way to let someone else better prepared do it ... make that move.

Think about the alternatives ,then, do the right thing.

There are no excuses ... in an emergency.


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CMG Goes Into Overdrive For Oklahoma


On Tuesday and Wednesday, Cox Media Group Tulsa radio and TV station employees filled three semi-trucks packed with water and supplies that will go to help the American Red Cross with their relief efforts. They also raised more than $40,600. CMG Tulsa Radio D.O.S. Matt Ledbetter said, ?This has been a total group effort from CMG radio and TV. It?s been a wonderful experience in spite of the tragedy of both the Shawnee and Moore tornadoes.? 

CMG Tulsa Market Manager Gene Vidler said, ?Serving our communities is one of the many things we take pride in. To have so many co-workers and listeners come together to help Oklahomans in need is a special thing.? 

Other CMG markets are also working hard to help Oklahoma.

?  CMG Atlanta?s B98.5, WSB-AM, 97.1 The River and Kiss 104.1 have all been airing hourly IDs asking listeners to text a donation to the American Red Cross beginning early Tuesday morning. Personalities on the stations are doing various live solicits as well, asking for monetary donations to the Red Cross through texting or

?  CMG Jacksonville?s WOKV posted the link to the Red Cross on and have promoted that frequently in newscasts and on social media. Additionally, the Morning Mess and team at 95.1 WAPE (THE BIG APE) dedicated the day to Oklahoma tornado relief by encouraging all listeners to donate to the Red Cross by texting ?Red Cross? to 90999. When listeners texted and got the receipt text back they were asked to tweet that pic to the station using hashtag #FL4OK. By noon the hash tag #fl4ok reached 21,702 accounts, and had  105,413 impressions. WAPE has also been supporting the cause on its Facebook/Twitter/Instagram accounts. They are also posting all the names of people who donated on the studio wall. As of noon, there were 30 names on the wall which equates to $300. The goal is $1,000.

?  CMG Orlando radio and TV have teamed up with Fifth Third Bank to invite listeners and viewers to donate to any Central Florida Fifth Third Bank location under the account, Oklahoma Relief Fund and via Twitter #OrlandoCares. CMG radio and TV employees will be in the community today, May 23, at various locations from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. with live call-ins and news shots. Additionally on Friday, May 24, Power 95.3, K92.3 and News 96.5 will all be airing live morning show broadcasts from various locations. All donations will go directly to the Oklahoma Red Cross for tornado relief efforts.

?  CMG San Antonio?s stations are airing liners, as well as online, promoting donations to Red Cross. The stations will coordinate remotes to help collect clothes etc. this weekend, and Y-100 is preparing to air a Country concert next Tuesday night to benefit the victims. It will be on NBC and hosted by Blake Shelton. 

What is your station doing to help the residents in Moore rebuild? Send all the details, including pictures, to

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How Jeff Trumper Got Into Radio


On my first trip to the beautiful city of Des Moines, Iowa, for McCann Erickson, I met with the General Manager Jeff Trumper. Because the station had a swimming pool behind the building we decided to shoot a TV spot for Coca Cola. Jeff was a dream to work with and made the process a pleasure, which is not the norm when shooting TV spots in bikinis in the dead of winter. Several years later our paths crossed when Jeff came to WLS Radio in Chicago. It was a joyous reunion that made my job much easier and brought WLS a step further in its years of radio dominance. For the past 35-plus years, I have cherished my relationship with Jeff either as an owner or as a friend; both have been rewarding and a gift for me. Anyone who knows Jeff would agree, he?s a class act and someone who makes radio a better business.

Now, in his own words, is how Jeff Trumper, president Trumper Communications, got into radio?

As a young boy growing up in Minneapolis, and one of seven kids in a rather large family, the radio was my friend. I travelled everywhere with my transistor radio and slept with it under my pillow. During the day it was KDWB and at night it was WLS.

Radio for me was so magical and the music became the soundtrack of my life. The studios of KDWB were near my house; I would walk there in the winter and stand outside the studio window looking in with envy. No matter how cold it got, I would stand for hours, sometimes in sub-zero temperatures, in awe of the DJ, the equipment, the music, and all that was radio. One day, Rob Sherwood waved me in and began to explain what he did and what radio was all about. In time, I was visiting the studios daily, and eventually pulling news off the wire and grabbing records for the turntable. I listened and learned as much as I could, I loved radio; but I never thought of it for a career. I never thought I could make money in radio, or at least that?s what my mother told me. After high school I went to college with the intention of becoming a defense attorney; --I knew I could make money as a lawyer. After my freshman year, money was tight, so I joined the service in order to be able to go back to college on the GI Bill. After my stint in the service working in finance and accounting, I returned to college and dabbled in college radio a bit.

Now at the University of Wisconsin, my senior year came, and I found myself married and expecting my first child. I needed to get a job, so off I went to KXLF in Butte, Montana, to a station owned by Gary Owens. My job was twofold:  On-air I was the fabulous ?Jumpin' Jeff Edwards,? and off-air I was trying to tackle my first job in sales.
From Butte it was back to the Twin Cities where I worked at WMIN as an on-air announcer and account executive. Because there were no management jobs open in Minneapolis, I decided to leave my home town and venture to another market. Just three years into the business I went to Des Moines to become a general manager. KGGO-FM and KSO-AM were two dynamic stations; we had everything including a swimming pool at the station! Why a pool? When a client couldn?t pay for his advertising campaign, we traded what he owed for a swimming pool. That?s how it was done in the 70s.

The following years were spent with ABC stations in Houston and Chicago, including WLS, the station I listened to under my pillow. The next 20-plus years were spent in ownership, with stations coast to coast, which I sold during the high point in 2000. I kept just the Phoenix Station and love it just as much as the day I stood outside the window of KDWB -- except in Phoenix the weather is a lot warmer!

You can email Jeff Trumper at

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.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Mobile Helps Pandora Hit $125.5 Million In Q1


One year ago, Q1 revenue was $80.7 million. This year Pandora's advertising revenue was $105 million for the quarter compared to $70.5 million last year. Mobile revenue was up 97 percent to $83.9 million. Subscription revenue went from $10 million to $20 million. Content acquisition costs also jumped from $55.8 million to $82.5 million.

In the U.S. Pandora now has over 200 million registered listeners. In Q1 700, 000 new subs were added to Pandora 1, which was more than all of last year. More than half of those new subs came from mobile. Pandora had 4.2 billion listening hours for the quarter and now has 70.1 million active users. The company also reached the
30 billion thumb mark and claims is has 7.33 per cent of total radio listening in the United States.

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(TALK) Learn How To Play The PPM Game


The more I listen to current radio hosts, the more I go crazy. They do not practice the PPM skills they need to succeed in the ratings, which of course translates to more revenue. The old Arbitron way is out. Radio hosts need to change or they will be changed.

I was listening to a radio host in a Top 10 city the other day and the dude was so horrible at teasing into segments and brutal at carrying an audience from segment to segment. If you want to succeed at talk, whether it's politics or sports, here's some advice -- get to the meat of your tease within the five-minute mark after returning from your spot break. If you don't, your audience is lost and  has no idea what you are talking about. The result is...CLICK.

Most radio listners hang around a radio show for about five minutes a day. The host simply must punch the topic in the first five minutes of each segment or face losing the audience bulit up from the previous segments. Hosts and producers need to watch time and teasing with of the MOST destructive things a radio host and producer has to deal with are live guests. Radio guest are the fastest way to destroy a PPM hour if the host doesn't know how to reset and the producer doesnt watch the time of the interview.

Ninety percent of all interviews should be taped so the timing of PPM stays in the format. There are daily examples on the radio of producers getting a guest on late and a host blowing through the break. That PPM hour is lost. If the guest is late put him on and ask if he can stay for the next segemnt. It's more important to stay in format than getting the scheduled guest on. Unless that guest is President Obama or Hank Aaron -- you get the point. Producers have a tough job but sometimes the producer of a show lets their ego get in the way of what's right for the show.

It's also important for the program director/host/producer to be on the same page when it comes to benchmarks, whether it's contesting or trivia or any other benchmark. One of the most important things to a show, especially when a station doesn't have massive cume, is repeat visitors. The more repeat listeners, the better chance you have at getting great PPM ratings.

Guys like Rush, Stern, or Beck are awesome storytellers, with Limbaugh being the best of all time, but he's not the greatest at PPM. His storytelling is like listening to Hemingway read "The Old Man And The Sea" on the air. He's a brillant writer but he doesnt really practice PPM skills. But, he's Rush! The point: There are exceptions to PPM. However, 99.9 percent of us have to use these skills today or, as I said, "change or be changed."

Dan Sileo, also known as "The Bonecrusher," is a sports talk show host who has worked at KGO & KNBR-WDAE and WQAM. He can be reached at and on Twitter at @dansileoshow

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Devine Joins Morning Show At "The Peak"


98.7 The Peak is owned by Bonneville in Phoenix where Mark Devine will join Monica Nelson for mornings. Devine was one half of the Tim and Mark Show on KDKB from 1989 to 2005, and has most recently been hosting a weekend talk show on KTAR-FM. Devine says he left radio to start a real estate business and wasn't planning on returning unless the perfect situation presented itself. He says the opportunity to host mornings with Nelson was too good to pass up.

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(SOCIAL) Experiment With Twitter Et Al Now


Today could be an important day for you. Once I was a 20th century radio pro. I believed certain things and even believed that those things were universal truths that didn?t change.

Well, now I live 13 years into ?the future,? and things change here all the time. I?ve had to learn and embrace the contact and engagement elements of social media. I?ve had to look at platforms like Facebook and Twitter for what radio can get out of them for our brands (not just as places where we go and act like someone who is on Facebook or Twitter in their personal time). That has led me to embrace Facebook and the connectivity, validation, and closeness that it can bring you with the listeners you most want to attract and bring back to your brand. However, I have been slower to embrace Twitter. Maybe it is the 140 characters. But now that is over, too.

Twitter gives us opportunity to be relevant and sticky on subjects most likely to be of interest to the listeners we most want to attract. So, here are some thoughts to ?open the floor? on discussion about Twitter.

1. Local radio should focus on building the personality-listener on Twitter and the subject should relate to local, local, local whenever it is possible to do so.

2. Twitter allows you to post 140 characters (hopefully) about something important to someone other than yourself, the radio station, or the broadcast company you work for today. Note to self:  Make sure your 140 characters are about something that would interest to the listeners you would most want to attract for your local radio brand. You can do something compelling that is uniquely focused on listener interest. This could be related to a local issue, a local photo, or something that happened nationally in the news that has a local spin to it.

3. Use hashtags to zero in. Twitter allows you to use hastags so listeners who search content can find things of a specific interest. If you live in Atlanta, Georgia, for instance, you might be interested in Atlanta. If I programmed a station in Atlanta, I might offer content with the hastag #Atlanta whenever appropriate so I can capture the eyes of those searching #Atlanta. At the same time, if I were a Country station and Zac Brown was doing a show tonight, I might use #ZacBrown or #ZacBrown with my city name as my hashtag for those listeners most interested in Zac Brown. By the way, this works for any artist-related content.

4. When you use Twitter and hashtags, your focus should always be to bring them back to a product you own. Not Facebook or Twitter.

Social media are something you should experiment with today. It is a largely free resource and we don?t live in the 20th century anymore. So we shouldn?t still be back there in 1999. As your mom may have said to you back in the day, ?Get out there! There?s a whole world waiting for you!?

There are just a few more things that you should think about associated with these thoughts:

People respond to visuals and the visuals you use in social media (especially Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest) should be important to the listener (not just the station), they should be relevant to the current moment, if possible they should be fun and they should lead back to the products you on (either on-air or on the web). This especially includes your use of images and hashtags on Twitter (or anywhere social).

Keep this in mind:  When you are posting anything or commenting on anything as a personality for your radio station, you are representing the radio company. As long as you use common sense, understand that social media ? like being on air ? is public, make sure you are responsible and legal and respectful to everyone, you should enjoy and experiment to develop important impact in your social media for the radio station. That?s the goal. As long as you know that the words and images you use are ?really out there? in ?print,? you should be respectful and positive to bring back only positive benefits for your station and employer.

If your employer doesn?t get the value of social media, work on showing them how you can help the company make additional revenue with digital and social media. Show them that and you will get all the cooperation you want. You might even get a raise.

Having said all of that, It?s 2013. This could be the year of local radio ? again. Be local, have fun, think about the listener and be visually engaging. Respond to listeners. Be helpful. Let?s go get it on-air, on the street and in social media. It?s our world.

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

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Mid-West Family Sends Moore Some Hope


Here's another example of radio leaning on its listeners to help Americans located in another state. Mid-West Family Radio in Springfield, MO, stuffed a 53-foot trailer, with the assistance of Convoy of Hope, with flashlights, batteries, work gloves, water, diapers, baby wipes, and ready-to-eat food, collected for disaster relief and distribution in Moore, Oklahoma. For 12 hours, listeners to four Midwest Family radio stations helped donate, collect, and prepare to ship the items to Moore, OK. 

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Oregon Host Helps Moore Victims


KYKN (12 p.m.-3 p.m.) host Bill Post held a fundraiser on his show in Salem, Oregon, Wednesday for the victims of the tornado victims in Oklahoma. In three hours, Post raised $8,500 from his listeners. The money was sent directly to Oklahoma through Glenn Beck's Mercury One non-profit. Post said, "It was amazing how the people of the mid-valley pitched in to help our American friends in Oklahoma."

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Harvey To Host 5th Annual Mentoring Camp


Syndicated radio host Steve Harvey will host his 5th annual mentoring program for young men in Dallas June 11-16. Harvey mentors 100 young men who are without fathers on his country ranch with special guests, including frank sessions on the principles of manhood, leadership, sports, health and wellness activities, dream building and more.

Harvey says, ?Bringing the young men out here, out of their everyday surroundings, is an experience that gives them the opportunity to recharge and renew themselves, taking part in a program focused solely on them. Filled with a diverse number of activities, sessions, and role models from sports to business, education, fitness and more, no dream is too big to help them discover their potential, and help build the successful futures they?re meant for.?

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TALENT)Talent – Can ‘Em Or Keep ‘Em


There can be but little remorse left in this business. Anybody who has been in radio management over the last 20 years has been squashing talent at a dizzying rate. Thicker skins have evolved and the (normally) human trait of empathy has been severely suppressed. It is now a habit, typing up the following: ?? and we wish them well in their future endeavors.?

While I can appreciate how this practice came to be, I have no difficulty in pointing out how this strategy of culling the talent corps has been more akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater ? and the tub, sink, toilet, shower, vanity, and all the faucets. What remains is a trashed and useless room with a shattered mirror and an irritating echo -- no place to seek comfort or relief.

The first error corporate radio made was in believing the tainted ?research? that started coming out in the late ?80s and early ?90s (supposedly) demonstrating that what audiences really wanted was: ?More rock ? less jocks.? Music radio, in particular, went from being an entertainment, informational, and advertising medium, to being strictly an enterprise from which to draw as much profit, with as low an expense base, as possible.

An enormous portion of all three aspects of radio have been systematically cut or curtailed. Emphasis was placed on sales activities and, in time, the word was out: Radio was a questionable buy, especially if an advertiser came to the table without prearranging commercial production and a buy-strategy. Today we are burdened with the fact that even major market stations are ill equipped to supply the necessary writing and production services to fill the actual needs of those unprepared clients.

Overwrought creative departments that have already been sliced to a skeleton staff have been relegated to the same position as assembly line workers who have lost much, and sometimes all, input into the generation of their products. As a result, the products suffer. I might also remind readers that radio?s ?products? are the spots. Everything else is about gathering and holding an audience to be exposed to those commercials.

Meanwhile, I still have an appreciation of another dynamic that was part of the reason for crippling on-air and creative staffs all those years ago and why the practice continues. They (the staffs) weren?t all that good! Indeed, while each station did have its stars in the departments, those talented performers did not represent a majority of the players at any given station.

Back to the present. Radio, having already obliterated its talent base, is now, in my view, obliged to attempt to either recruit or train those people who can, over a longer-term, hold and influence an audience. Likewise for creative departments. Actually, the priority belongs in the creative departments. If spots that influence are not being generated, enhancing audience ratings becomes an expensive practice that might provide some bragging rights ? but not necessarily any greater revenues or advertiser satisfaction. That is, unless the station can get into a position where regional or national buys are assured and commercial content is supplied.

However, the continuing proffering of maudlin, syndicated, and V/T?ed programming, along with wholly inadequate commercial writing and production materials, make up the shoddy ingredients that are paving our road to irrelevance. There are even fewer excuses for those stations whose ?live? on-air performers can do little more than provide a smidge of poorly delivered and (arguably) patronizing ?local? content.

There really is only one reasonable and cost-efficient strategy for improving the lot of any single station or larger organization: Training! On-air and creative staffs must be educated and trained to become superior broadcast communicators ? talent that will consistently produce more effective and more appealing materials over the long term.

Hiring talent that, if they weren?t gracing the stages of comedy clubs located on the back roads of the country, would be hauled away and institutionalized, is only a strategy for creating a disaster. These are dangerous choices for programmers. These are the performers who don?t wear very well on a day-to-day basis, and who would be striking terror into the hearts of management and advertisers. Better, I submit, to have better-trained talent who can maintain and influence an audience over time ? negating the need for EMS staff standing by to minister to station management.

I?m asking for a small indulgence here as I digress a bit. I do stand by my harshest of criticisms of music radio. But, those are also offered with the inclusion of more than a trace of disappointment. I lament for the lost opportunities. I feel for the wasted careers of the talent who are being arbitrarily crippled or altogether discarded. I even empathize with those in management who are being forced into delivering squalid justifications of these shabby results because of a necessity to observe ?fiduciary obligations.?

Besides, the real reason these guys aren?t attracting the big dollars is because they don?t know what to do next. Even so, it may still be worthwhile to cut some radio people a little slack. The very idea that proven strategies and techniques for making massive improvements in the quality of on-air and commercial presentations are readily available may still come as a shocking, if not unbelievable, revelation.

Still, it is incumbent on everyone in radio to consider and challenge the proposition that there are no alternatives. Failure to do so will only guarantee an undesirable and continuing status quo. As to whether to keep or can talent, a better alternative is: Keep who we?ve got ? and make ?em better. Still ? a tough choice.

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

(5/22/2013 4:58:21 PM)
The good news, Al, is that there are ways off the rocks and on to smooth, enjoyable sailing. The key is in having someone who can handle the tiller and knows navigation.

The bonus is: It will only take a relatively short period of concerted learning, practice and the applications of new techniques and methodologies. We'll be alright.

(5/22/2013 4:20:43 PM)
Agree with Mr. Robinson. Again, in this age of Cumulus and Clear Channel corporately programmed stations with one person doing many stations and turning out horrible radio, by cutting talent etc. And these owners wonder why nobody listens to radio anymore. For shame how they have ruined a once great business.

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Entercom Indy Alters AC Format

At 5 p.m. Thursday, Entercom Indianapolis altered the format on WNTR-FM. The station was re-launched to become "Hot AC 1079 The Mix." Previously, the station was "Variety Hits AC." The new format will be artist driven and more current than before, according to the company. ?Mix?s new Hot AC format will play more music than competitors in the market and deliver more of what women want, the best of the 2000?s and today.?

GM Jennifer Skjodt said, ?We are thrilled to bring this amazing mix of contemporary music to Indianapolis. Due to the tremendous success of Entercom?s Top 40 station, WZPL, there is a hole in the market for a station like 1079 The Mix. We are building on the strength of nearly 300,000 weekly WNTR listeners to create a better mix. Today?s launch is the perfect opportunity and timing for 1079 The Mix.?

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Are The Cubs Killing WGN?


What will it take to bring WGN back to its glory days? It's one thing when you're a recognized sports station carrying play-by-play of a winning major market sports franchise. It's another when you're a hybrid news and sports station and one of the teams you carry is as consistently awful as the Chicago Cubs (currently 18 wins 28 loses in last place).

De Castro's answer to the whether or not the sports/news hybrid format can succeed was "I don't know." Perhaps that non-answer says a lot. On former Chicago Market Manager says over time WGN has been beaten down. 

Most researchers agree play-by-play is not very PPM friendly. When you add the dismal performance of a team like the Cubs, that play so many day games, on an aging frequency on a station trying to successfully execute both news/talk and sports in a major market you have to wonder if de Castro will look to make major programming changes to drive revenue and "grow the audience younger." Here's the perspective from a former Chicago market manager.

"While the call letters remain iconic, the brand has lost all of its luster.  It no longer stands for anything. None of the talent generate water-cooler talk, they all lack relevance to today's Chicago listeners. In neither morning nor afternoon drive do they do a good job of providing information when big news breaks #which used to be a WAGON hallmark#.The station really doesn't even have an identifiable logo #such as WLS's#, nor a single positioning slogan.  The incredible erosion of the Cubs' on-field product and the Cubs brand means that the team does not currently drive passion for WGN.  Because of the over-all station ratings decline and the eroding level of sponsor interest in the Cubs, WGN salespeople are meeting more resistance selling the station and are earning less- resulting in a steady stream of AE's leaving. Chicago is a market where media buyers tend to buy two AM stations for any client: WBBM-AM is a given, and for the past two years, sports-talk WSCR has replaced WGN as the other. They need to find a way to make the station compelling to media buyers who still spend 60% of all market revenue."

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First, in order for radio to sell more advertisers, radio has to prove radio gets results -- shamefully radio?s most unsold and unmarketed ?story.? And for a very simple reason: Getting results for advertisers is not a priority among radio?s largest companies.

It?s all about cash flow, cash flow, and more cash flow. Imagine if we sold and marketed radio today as advertising?s only ad medium ?Famous for Getting Results? (no ad medium has ever made that claim!); how business would be today if industry leaders of the past had the foresight to make that a reality? Yet today, dollar-for-dollar, local radio does get better results than any other ad medium. Can?t compete with higher-rated stations and/or clusters in your market? The hell you can?t! Getting results blows away all other considerations including ratings! The first station in your market to become ?famous? for getting results, wins! Then, it?s all about marketing.

___ !ncreased leads!
___ !ncreased rentals!
___ !ncreased turnover!
___ !ncreased deposits!
___ !ncreased cash flow!
___ !ncreased credibility!
___ !ncreased enrollment!
___ !ncreased table turns!
___ !ncreased case sales!
___ !ncreased awareness!
___ !ncreased stock turns!
___ !ncreased ticket sales!
___ !ncreased store traffic!
___ !ncreased co-op sales!
___ !ncreased market share!
___ !ncreased subscriptions!
___ !ncreased memberships!
___ !ncreased profits-per-unit!
___ !ncreased customer base!
___ !ncreased big ticket sales!
___ !ncreased weekend sales!
___ !ncreased vendor support!
___ !ncreased storewide sales!
___ !ncreased catalogue sales!
___ !ncreased repeat business!
___ !ncreased accessory sales!
___ !ncreased interactive sales!
___ !ncreased occupancy rates!
___ !ncreased same-store sales!
___ !ncreased department sales!
___ !ncreased fifth season sales!
___ !ncreased promotional sales!
___ !ncreased sales of new lines!
___ !ncreased private label sales!
___ !ncreased regular price sales!
___ !ncreased ?loss leader? sales!
___ !ncreased average ticket sale!
___ !ncreased special event sales!
___ !ncreased sales of new brands!
___ !ncreased national brand sales!
___ !ncreased sales per square foot!
___ !ncreased sales of special items!
___ !ncreased sales of new fashions!
___ !ncreased postal code penetration!
___ !ncreased mail and/or phone sales!
___ !ncreased beginning-of-week sales!
___ !ncreased leased department sales!
___ !ncreased perception among voters!   
___ !ncreased sales of advertised items!
___ !ncreased trendy merchandise sales!
___ !ncreased number of website visitors!
___ !ncreased number of credit applications!
___ !ncreased sales of higher margin goods!
___ !ncreased value of the company's brand!
___ !ncreased sales of seasonal merchandise!
___ !ncreased signs of the store's "buzz" appeal!
___ !ncreased sales of overstocked merchandise!
___ !ncreased customer satisfaction survey results!
___ !ncreased attention from the financial community!
___ !ncreased customer data base via credit card applications!
___ !ncreased success countering competitive price comparisons!
___ !ncreased success in getting more floor planning money back!          
___ !ncreased special market sales (military/ethnic/college/global)!
___ !ncreased sales over last year's weakest sales months and weeks!
___ !ncreased spillover sales (sales priced item + additional purchases)!

Dave Gifford has been helping salespeople and sales managers improve their skills for decades. Send a message to Giff here:

(5/22/2013 5:00:18 PM)
Stellar article, Dave. I had no idea of how many aspects of a retailer's business we could enhance. I'm getting tingles. :)

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

(COPYWRITING) Radio Character Development


Are you different now than you were last year, last month, yesterday, a few minutes ago? We?re all changing. So should the characters in your radio commercials. As difficult as it may seem, you want your audience to be interested in those characters. Change helps create interest.

It?ll make your story more compelling. Even in the short duration of a radio commercial. Aside from making the story about them, with a plot that your target audience can relate to (based on their needs, wants, and desires), if you can have your characters move, evolve, and develop it will draw listeners in.

If your characters remain static, you?re less likely to keep the listener?s attention, especially with repeated exposure.

A character can go from being a devil?s advocate to being an advocate, sad to happy, frustrated to relieved, frightened to calm, shy to confident, coward to hero, from a loser to a winner, from the throes of passion to the depths of outrage, hysterical crying to hysterical laughter.

And what can be the catalyst for these changes? Other characters, each behaving from their own point of view, which you?ve already developed in your back story. As they experience their lack of, discovery of, or interaction with the advertiser?s product or service, they change. What else? Self-discovery, overcoming obstacles, and emergencies -- all the vicissitudes of life cause us to change.

Show the changes with dialogue and the attitudes of the actors, but also with sound effects and music.

If you?ve created a character your audience can relate to strongly, then they will have the same ?aha? experience as the character in your radio play (that?s what your commercial can be). Now you have the ideal situation where your listeners are co-creating with you. They are, to an extent, ?rehearsing? that discovery themselves.

Try applying this technique to all your commercials, even the monologues. See if your character has remained static or has changed. Change is movement, which attracts and keeps attention, which leads to involvement and eventually to a purchase.

Jeffrey Hedquist can be reached at Hedquist Productions, Inc. Phone 641-472-6708. Email Check out his website at

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"I Missed Radio. I Love Radio."


Jimmy de Castro is back, and his business card now reads President/GM at one of the most recognizable sets of call letters in the country. WGN-AM in Chicago has been through a lot of turmoil in recent years with parent company Tribune going through an extended bankruptcy and highly publicized management failures. The energetic 60-year-old de Castro told Radio Ink he's very excited to be back. "I missed being with people every day. I missed radio. I love radio. WGN is the cornerstone of Chicago radio. It's been cast astray a little bit, and my goal is to bring it new energy. It's going to be a lot of fun."

De Castro spent more than 25 years as one of radio's most successful executives before getting out. In the early 80s he was running WLUP in Chicago. In 1988 he founded Evergreen Media with Scott Ginsburg, and with the help of a little government deregulation grew the company from a handful of stations to over 400. In the late 90s Evergreen merged with Chancellor which became AMFM. Clear Channel came along and purchased AMFM, which is when de Castro cashed out and began dabbling in the Internet. In 2007, de Castro launched the "Content Factory," an independent content-focused national syndication company for new and traditional media, that carries The Dan Patrick Show.

De Castro will report to Larry Wert, whom he once hired to be the GM at WLUP. Wert is now Tribune's President of Broadcast Media.

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AdLarge And Sports USA Settle Differences


Representatives from AdLarge Media and Sports USA Media say they have settled their differences. President of Sports USA Bob Moore said, "Any pending lawsuit has been dismissed, and we are really looking forward to this upcoming season with AdLarge. Their connection with national advertisers and their agencies provide the opportunity for continued revenue growth in our football programming.? The two companies have extended their relationship. AdLarge will continue as the exclusive national advertising sales representation firm for Sports USA. Sports USA Radio Networks had filed a lawsuit against AdLarge Media alleging the company refused to make up the difference between what it sold during the 2012 NFL season and a contracted revenue guarantee. 

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AdLarge Gary Schonfeld said, ?We are delighted to renew our arrangement with Sports USA. Sports USA has a terrific line-up of 2013 NCAA and NFL games, and we are looking forward to representing their play-by-play coverage for the upcoming football season. These football games offer advertisers an incredible opportunity to associate with two of the most exciting sports leagues in the country.? 

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Cumulus Rolls Out NASH Brand On 5 Stations


The plan was to roll out the NASH brand to more stations across the country and Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey is keeping his word. Five Cumulus stations will now be known as NASH FM ? with their logos, websites, and on-air promotions using ?NASH FM? and ?Powered by NASH? language. They are WPKR/WPCK in Appleton-Oshkosh/Green Bay, KHKI-FM in Des Moines, WKAK-FM in Albany, GA, KQFC-FM in Boise, and WLXX-FM in Lexington. 

Dickey said, ?Following our debut of the NASH-FM brand earlier this year, we?re excited about expanding NASH to more radio stations as well as bringing NASH content to other forms of media, including video and magazines. Our listeners and advertisers will continue to benefit from the variety of on-air and off-air Country lifestyle content opportunities associated with the NASH brand.?

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NY Times CEO Says Pay Model is Working


In a commencement address to business students at Columbia University, New York Times CEO Mark Thompson (pictured) told graduating students companies like the New York Times can be reinvented. The Times uses a metered paywall for online content to try to make up lost advertising dollars that has plagued the newspaper industry for years. Thompson says, "The launch of the pay model is the most important and most successful business decision made by The New York Times in many years. We have around 700,000 paid digital subscribers across the company?s products so far and a new nine-figure revenue-stream which is still growing."

Thompson said taking risks is part of being successful. "We will not secure the future of The Times without the kind of bold innovation ? in products and services, in business-model ? which is intrinsically and necessarily risky. The consensus among the experts was that it wouldn?t work, was foolhardy in fact and not needed. People just weren?t prepared to pay for high quality content on the internet and, besides, wasn?t digital advertising enough ? wouldn?t it grow until, just as with print advertising in the golden age of physical newspapers, it alone was enough to support America?s newsrooms? Much of the rest of the US newspaper industry is now following suit. And developing this pay model, launching a suite of new subscription products to attract additional new subscribers, is central to our plans for the future."

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Our "Farley File" Issue is Out

WTOP Vice President of News and Programming Jim Farley is on the latest cover of Radio Ink. Farley is retiring at the end of 2013 with Laurie Cantillo set to take his place. How did he end up at WTOP? Did he really want the job? How has he, along with his team, transformed the way listeners consume news? All of those questions and many others are answered in our interview with Farley. To order Radio Ink, call 561-655-8778 or GO HERE to order a Digital subscription for only $49.00 a year.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Top Jocks Of All Time?


It's a topic always sure to stir a debate. CNN's Todd Leopold dares to name the "Kings of Radio: All-time great DJ's". At the top of his list is Alan Freed, who many credit for creating the phrase "Rock 'n' Roll." Freed was also made famous by payola. At number three is Cousin Brucie from his days on WABC. Wolfman Jack came in at number five on Leopold's list and Casey Kasem at number eight. Of course, we want to know who you think Leopold left off. Read his full list HERE

(5/21/2013 7:16:27 AM)
Come on....STERN....or RUSH..than there is everybody else!!
(5/20/2013 8:54:56 PM)
Way back when, I was impressed by just about everybody mentioned in the list - and others. The only jock who earned my admiration, however, was... Lujack.

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