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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Kraddick Spoke About Death On His Show


It was a comedy bit at the time. Kraddick did a segment last week on what he would say to each member of the show in his final moments on earth. He said, "Have you ever thought about those last moments of your life? Nobody wants a long, lingering illness; nobody wants just that; but it would be nice if you could have a day or two where you know it's coming." He then said goodbye to his on-air staff. "I want to thank all of you guys for being at my deathbed today. I'm going to miss you so much."

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CBS Goes Regional Mexican In Dallas


Marconi Radio Award-winning personality Edgar ?ShoBoy? Sotelo (pictured) will now be heard in Dallas as CBS flips one of its signals to Hispanic. La GRANDE 107.5- FM brings together some of Spanish radio?s most talented on-air personalities with the very best in Regional Mexican music, according to PD Jimmy Gonzalez. "It all starts with ?ShoBoy En La Ma?ana.? Edgar?s positive energy and enthusiasm set the tone for the entire station.?

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Beasley Q2 Same Station Revenue Up 4.2%


Beasley CEO George Beasley said, ?The increase in second-quarter revenue reflects strong national and digital revenue growth which contributed to strength in several market clusters including Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Ft. Myers, and Augusta. We attribute our out-performance to our organization-wide focus on strong core programming and targeted localism, both of which are contributing to the company?s ratings strength in its markets."

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Man Arrested For Threatening Beasley Host


Austin Rhodes (pictured) is the afternoon host on WGAC in Augusta for Beasley Broadcasting. When 25-year-old Darnell Tyray Chambers posted on Facebook he would slap Rhodes if he saw him in public, Rhodes notified authorities. Chamers was arrested and charged with making terroristic threats and acts. He was being held Thursday in the Columbia County Detention Center on a $2,600 bond. 

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Torey Mataltia Resigns as WBEZ-FM GM

The longtime GM of the public radio station resigned on Friday stating, ?It has been my honor to lead the transformation of what was a fine radio station (WBEZ 91.5 FM) into an internationally revered institution on the cutting edge of trans-platform in-depth journalism.

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COPYWRITING)They're Not Just Spots.


Morris Hite, the legendary ad man, has been quoted as saying: ?Advertising is salesmanship mass produced. No one would bother to use advertising if he could talk to all his prospects face-to-face. But he can't.?

As radio advertisers, we often forget this truism in an effort to be clever, funny, or outrageous. Those qualities can be effective ways to get a listener?s attention, but what we want our commercials to do is convince the listener to make the call, visit the website, go to the place of business, request the brochure, attend the free seminar, or ask for the free consultation.

Then it?s up to the advertiser and his staff to close the sale when the prospect responds to the commercial.

One way to create an effective radio commercial is to listen to and learn from the most effective salespeople your client has. It may be the owner, sales manager, or top salesperson. These are the people who are on the frontlines and spend most of their time in front of their customers every day.

Ask them to sell you their products or services, watch them as they sell to their customers, record their pitches on the telephone, or speeches to rooms full of prospects, eavesdrop and take notes. Get a copy of the telemarketing scripts they use, read their training materials. Make sure you monitor only the very top salespeople. Often they will use stories, examples, analogies, comparisons, and case histories as part of the sales process. Listen to how they overcome objections.

Guess what? If you?ve taken good notes, your campaign is just about written. Although it?s mass salesmanship, a radio commercial is still speaking to one person at a time. You could break the sales process down into steps and do a series of commercials, based on the phases of a salesperson?s pitch.

Good salespeople do all the things a good radio commercial does. They get their audiences? attention and they make their solution relevant to the problems, discomfort, pain, or challenges their audience is experiencing. They answer the prospect?s question, ?What?s in it for me??  They tell stories, give examples, overcome objections and get the prospect to envision how this will enhance their life. In some cases they may do a take-away.

As you know, it?s rare to close a sale on the first call. That?s where radio shines. Each spot the listener hears is a like a sales call. If you create a sequence of interesting radio ?sales calls? then the audience gets to hear the first one, and the next, and the next several times each. Let the client?s salespeople help you write the campaign and let radio?s built-in repetition work for you to close sales.

Jeffrey continues to discover ways to help you help your clients make money at Hedquist Productions, Inc. Phone 641-472-6708. E-mail For your free subscription to our idea-packed newsletter visit

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Industry Remembers A Friend

Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads said, "Dave 'Kidd' Kraddick was a dear friend. We became friends in Salt Lake when I gave him his first morning show. He had been doing nights and I thought his nighttime teen sound would work well on mornings. His ratings soared. When he went to Dallas he told me his goal was to beat longtime Dallas legend Ron Chapman who had the top morning show in Dallas at the time, which he did. Dave was the most driven, most hard working, most creative air personality I ever worked with."

Entercom CEO David Field said, ?The entire Entercom family is shocked and saddened by the tragic death of our friend, Kidd Kraddick. Yesterday the world lost an amazing man and radio lost a tremendous talent. Even as he died, Kidd was doing what he loved and helping those who loved him. Kidd was a shining example to others. He brought joy and hope to thousands of chronically and terminally ill children through his dedicated work with his charitable foundation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his friends at this very difficult time. Kidd will be missed and always remembered.?

"I lived in Dallas for 12 years and knew Dave 'Kidd' Kraddock when I programmed KVIL. Not only was he an amazing talent but a wonderful person, father, husband. God bless his family and may he rest in peace." -- Tom Watson

"Kidd was like a Formula One driver.  Always moving forward at a breakneck pace for fear of having someone catch up with him.  Losing someone so vital, so seemingly unstoppable, is hard for the radio community and his legion of fans to process. 

"When I was working across the street (at KVIL), I would marvel at the things Kidd could get done in D/FW.  On the day he had volunteers at EVERY 7-11 in the Metroplex (and there are hundreds of them) collecting change to send another planeload of kids to Disney World. I listened. I cheered. Granted, not a very competitive reaction, but a worthy one given the kind of work Kidd performed. His vision and commitment were sterling. 

"Kidd taught us that the art of well-planned and well-executed audio entertainment is alive and well. 

"I am certain that after grieving over the loss of one of the best decision-makers in our industry, we will get back to questioning the value of talent. Are we paying them too much? Do they get in the way of what people really want from radio? Are they a management nightmare? The answers, as Kidd Kraddick demonstrated so well, is NO, NO, and NO, if the talent holds up his or her end of the bargain:  Be smart. Show heart. Study what your audience consumes. Plan with wild abandon. Execute with precision. Be fabulous. 

"Everyone of us who sits (or sat) behind the mike wonders if we will be remembered for our contribution to our listening community. In Kidd's case, he takes the knowledge with him that he was the best at it. Thanks for the inspiration, dear friend. Now it's our job to groom others to follow your lead." -- Smokey Rivers

(7/28/2013 5:07:27 PM)
Kidd and I arrived in Dallas the same week in the early 80s. We worked together for about 8 years.

I was the best man in his wedding and he was in my wedding.

One of my favorite memories of Kidd... He came to my home town in Thief River Falls, Minnesota for my wedding. My bachelor party was held at a cabin in the woods. First time Kidd saw the northern lights and I'm certain it was the first time he ever made a wager on wood tick races. I was visiting same cabin when I got the news.

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(SALES) It's Not Enough To Be "Liked"


There is a difference between traffic, and the perception of traffic.

At Luce Performance Group, we deal with many advertisers and their advertising challenges. Here is one that I personally took on who expressed his frustration with Facebook. He wanted to know why his competition had more "likes" than him. This wasn't just a few more likes. We are talking 50,000 versus 5,000. He also said his competition almost never posts on Facebook, while he is posting several times a day.

This client was convinced that more likes and more posts on Facebook would mean more sales. He went as far as to hire a guy to set up a dedicated Facebook presence for his product. Using an aggressive marketing and like-building campaign, he has done well to grow his Facebook page. He directs the traffic to a specific domain so we know the sales came from Facebook. Thus far it?s been two months, 5,138 likes later, and not a single sale.

It?s possible to pay companies to get you thousands of likes. But those likes don't mean anything if they are set up by fake profiles, and people who really have no interest in your product.

Even if you were to get 50K real likes from people truly interested in your product, you only have their attention while you are at the top of their newsfeed. Five seconds later, photos of someone's cat pushes your product post down.

Due to the way Facebook is constructed they don't allow direct third party graphics and links. On other sites you could use a beacon image to track your open rates. This is similar to how e-mail newsletters are tracked. Even with e-mail newsletters you are lucky to hit 20 percent open rates.

Just think how you would feel if you posted something on Facebook and realized that of the 100K likes you have only 50 people saw it. Your ability to reach new customers is based on those 50 people commenting or liking your post so that all their friends are potentially exposed to it. If no one likes or comments on your post, then nobody sees it. Plus, on Facebook various advertisements are trying to get visitors' attention on the right-side column of the page.

Instead of chasing likes on Facebook, focus on your own Internet properties. Focus on developing quality content that will engage your visitors. Facebook should only be used as a way to drive people back to your website where you DO CONTROL the advertising. When you do post to Facebook post something interesting. Simply showing your product and saying "Buy Today" doesn?t get you far.

Keep these things in mind next time a client has focused the majority of their advertising budget on Facebook. Has your client actually measured the return on investment, or are they just buying advertising for the perception of traffic? 

Some will say that branding is important, and that is true, but branding is also expensive and can take months, if not years, to start showing signs of progress. Don't use branding as the excuse for why advertising with your property costs more than it returns to the advertiser.

If an advertiser does not get a return on investment, they are unlikely to keep advertising. A good advertising mix where you dominate the ?air? and the ?ground? is always the most advantageous when it comes to dominating your competition.

Paul White is the Head of IT for Luce Performance Group and can be reached at or

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A Tribute to Kidd Kraddick


Sadness, shock, loss and hope ran through my entire being. Hope that the news of Kidd Kraddick?s death/passing was some cruel joke or stunt. It was not. My thoughts went to his daughter Caroline. Kidd and Caroline had such a loving relationship. I?m remembering how proud Kidd was of Caroline when I met her as bubbly and artistic 14 year old. I imagine the pain she must surely be feeling.
Kidd Kraddick was self-deprecating and spontaneously funny. He was one of the best sensory storytellers, his lovable and self-deprecating humor connected with females and males alike. Innovative genius is a term we reserve for only the most brilliant people in any field. He was the Steve Jobs of radio.
Kidd?s Firsts
Kidd transformed multiple-cast shows from morning zoos to a cast of characters. He realized that if listeners didn?t care about the characters, nothing much else mattered. He saw a polarizing spark and a realness in a small town South Carolina girl named Kellie Rasberry. The charm and likability of a Dallas limo driver named Big Al Mack. He recognized the budding talent of a young Bert Weiss. He loved the creative fearlessness of Rich Shertenlieb. They all became stars.
Kidd Kraddick in the Morning was radio?s first character based show that gave equal mic time to all the characters rather than a host or duo with peripheral characters. There was always humor and fun. The difference was the addition of tears, drama and conflict. All real life stuff that connected the characters to the audience emotionally.
The characters extended beyond the show in the form of experts. Kidd introduced me and hundreds of thousands of listeners to a guy named Dr. Phil, his relationship expert. Kidd?s Kids was the first major morning show to create a year-round organization devoted to brightening the lives of chronically and terminally ill children. His last day was spent raising money for his treasured kids.
Character Clip Imaging (Kidd Kraddick plus clip, Kelly Raspberry plus clip, etc.) was a Kidd Kraddick innovation that we still recommend to shows. Kidd Kraddick in the Morning was the first successful syndicated show in Top 40 radio targeted to females.
Kidd demonstrated the difference in good shows and great shows. He wouldn?t stop with a good idea. He would go into every content segment with the goal of making it the best ever! He would push it over the top by improvising a character on the phone, adding a piece of attention-getting audio or by introducing a surprise guest.
He pushed boundaries in life too. We were coming back from dinner in Dallas late one night and he insisted that I experience driving his new BMW. He said, ?Come on man, this IS a driving machine. Push it up to 80?now 90?hit a hundred!!? I?m thinking WTF!! We survived my freeway driving without a speeding ticket!
Kidd wrote books, he wrote music and lyrics, he did TV (Dish Network recently). I witnessed him dash into his office during a commercial break and bang out a sketch comedy bit in less than five minutes! He pulled it off flawlessly on the air.

The last time I saw Kidd was the World Radio Summit in Hollywood a couple of months ago. He looked healthy, relaxed and happy. He was hilarious hosting the awards luncheon with Bert Weiss. He had the audience laughing hysterically on the talent panel later that afternoon. The complimentary emails we exchanged the next week was my last contact with Kidd.

I was privileged to work with Kidd for many years. I lost a friend and a mentor. The world lost a creative genius who gave back generously. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us Kidd. You made a huge difference.

I?m still in disbelief.

Read more at his website
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Kidd Kraddick Dies At Age 53

The nationally syndicated morning show host died of a brain aneurysm during a golf tournament for his charity. Kraddick was in New Orleans at the tournament to raise money for his Kidd?s Kids charity. Clear Channel SVPO Kelly Kibler Owens said in a statement, "All of us at KISS-FM, Clear Channel Dallas, YEA Networks, and the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning crew are heartbroken over the loss of our dear friend and leader. Kidd devoted his life to making people smile every morning, and for 21 years his foundation has been dedicated to bringing joy to thousands of chronically and terminally ill children." Kraddick won a Marconi in 2006 for Personality of the Year. Listeners are commenting on the Dallas Radio Discussion Board.

We've been told the funeral will be private, for family only.
Read the comments on the Kidd Kraddick Facebook page from fans.

Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads said, "Dave 'Kidd' Kraddick was a dear friend. We became friends in Salt Lake when I gave him his first morning show. He had been doing nights and I thought his nighttime teen sound would work well on mornings. His ratings soared. When he went to Dallas he told me his goal was to beat longtime Dallas legend Ron Chapman who had the top morning show in Dallas at the time, which he did. Dave was the most driven, most hard working, most creative air personality I ever worked with. "

Here is the full statement sent out by KISS-FM in Dallas. "It is with a very heavy heart that I am sending you this e-mail. It has been confirmed that Kidd Kraddick passed away today in New Orleans at a golf tournament organized to raise money for his beloved Kidd?s Kids charity. He died doing what he loved, and his final day was spent selflessly focused on those special children that meant the world to him.

"All of us at KISS-FM, ClearChannel Dallas, YEA Networks, and the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning crew are heartbroken over the loss of our dear friend and leader. Kidd devoted his life to making people smile every morning, and for 21 years his foundation has been dedicated to bringing joy to thousands of chronically and terminally ill children.

"We ask that you respect the privacy of his family and his colleagues. At the appropriate time, we will release more information about the cause of death."

The news of Kraddick's death was greeted with disbelief by friends. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted, "You were an amazing man and a friend. You are already missed."

"Oh Man, I just heard Kidd Kraddick died! He's my childhood dj. What a sad day. His poor family. He was always nice 2 me from the beginning," tweeted singer Kelly Clarkson.

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Duran Picks Up West Palm Beach


This closes the loop at WILD 95.5 where Kevin Rolston, Virginia Sinicki, and Jason Pennington are leaving mornings to join Cox in Miami. The Elvis Duran Morning Show adds Clear Channel's WLDI-FM in West Palm Beach to its 70 plus affiliates. He also picks up WOW 92.7 in Key West.

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Godman Joins Northwestern Media in KC


Don Goodman becomes the new afternoon driver at Northwestern Media's Life 88.5 in Kansas City. Godman has held a variety of positions with Positive Life Radio in Washington state over the past 13 years, including Morning Show host, PD, Operations Director and Development Director. Godman said, ?I am thrilled to be joining the fine team at Life 88.5. God has some amazing things He wants to do through this vital new ministry and I'm humbled to be asked to serve."

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Bob & Sheri Staying Put At WLNK Charlotte


Greater Media announced today that longtime morning personalities Bob and Sheri have signed a multi-year deal on WLNK-FM in Charlotte. The duo joined the station back in February of 1992. Market Manager Rick Feinblatt said, ?Bob and Sheri are truly one of the best morning shows in the country. We look forward to having them entertain our valued Charlotte listeners for years to come.?

The Bob & Sheri Show is currently heard on 42 stations across the country. 

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(SALES) Raise The Bar On Local Client Budgets


These next few months are critical for broadcast reps trying to lock in 2014 local direct ad budgets. The question is, even in a recession, are you asking for enough or are you leaving money on the table?

Almost every week I sit with local direct clients and help them come up with long-term marketing and advertising strategies. It?s interesting to observe how these business owners behave when you ask them for real money. They usually squirm in their chairs and then lean forward, as you now have their full, undivided attention. Why? Because like many of the client?s other vendors, you?re asking for real money, not chicken feed. Real money proposals get decisionmakers' attention.

We should be prescribing advertising budgets to clients, not the other way around. I just got off the phone with a television sales rep who called me looking for a creative angle for a local client. We came up with a great idea and the rep was excited about presenting it. Then he said, ?I?m calling the client right now to find out what his budget is.?

NOOOOOOO! When you have a client interested in a great new way to sell his product or service to your consumers it?s YOUR job to recommend the budget. Aim high, not low. Base your recommendation on what it would take for your client to own his category on your station. Kick-butt creative, combined with great frequency equals results. Perhaps due to budget constraints you might have to agree to a smaller amount, but at least the client now has a good understanding of what it would eventually take to own his/her product/service category on your station.

We gave the owner of a local home improvement store (45 percent gross margin of profit, average sale $300) a better way to advertise. Without scripts, he explains how easy and inexpensive it is to install your own hardwood floor. His new tagline is ?See? It?s easy! You can do this!? Other commercials discuss how to install a dog door, how to add your own ceiling trim, etc.

He supports his commercials online with step-by-step instructions. And, he tells the people that if they don?t feel like doing the project themselves, he has a list of qualified and honest contractors that will do the job for them. The client loved the idea. Then he asks how much it would cost. We suggested that he should spend in a week what he normally spent in a month.  He squirmed a little in the chair, leaned forward and we came to an agreement that far exceeded what he?d ever spent in the past.

We came up with an idea that a local homebuilder (gross margin of profit 20 percent on an average sale of over $250,000) just loved. He would talk to empty nesters and explain to them the logic of downsizing into a smaller, one-story new home. He would explain on air that smaller homes loaded with amenities is the new ?cool.? No more stairs to climb, no more maintenance issues. He would talk about the unnecessary cost of heating and cooling their current empty rooms and high-ceiling entryways. He would also tell consumers that he would help them sell their existing homes. When he asked how much the campaign would cost, we gave him a high number, higher than this station had ever asked a builder to spend before. He leaned forward, thoroughly engaged, tapped his pen on his desk, and took the schedule as presented. He bought it because he saw value in the strength of the idea and, based on his average sale and his gross margin of profit, because his calculated risk looked low.

Don?t forget that gross margins and average sales stay consistent regardless of market size. So smaller market stations have the right to ask for more as well. The important thing is that if you don?t get into the habit of asking for more you?ll never get more. So, ask, ask, ask.

Paul Weyland helps broadcast stations sell more long-term local direct advertising. He can be reached at 512-236-1222 or at Get Paul?s new book "Think like an Adman, Sell like a Madman" at

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Lovin' Life In Small Market America


Congratulations to the team at WCRE in tiny Cheraw, South Carolina (population 6,000), where the station that went on the air in 1953 just celebrated its 60th anniversary. The station was an AM daytimer back in the day and didn't go 24 hours until 1996. Today, the station is also heard on 93.9 via translator (W230AS). Over the years there were seven ownership changes before current owner Jane Pigg came along. Pigg says she wanted to serve the community and there is nothing like serving the community where you work. Pigg admits she had no idea how to be an owner, but with help from the previous owner and a run through the The NAB's "Broadcast Leadership Training" program, where she graduated 5th in the class of 2005, she was ready to take control. Here's the story of how Jane Pigg was able to go from salesperson to owner.

RI: Do you feel like it was the right decision to become an owner?
: Absolutely. I would never look back. It was absolutely the most perfect thing for me to do. I had the opportunity to go to a larger station and go into other industries. My preacher said, "Go where you can serve the most people." If I had gone to a big station and made gobs of money, I would've served myself. But serving the most people was at WCRE. When I went there, I basically went on faith, because I knew that I was going from making a six figure salary to making maybe $10,000 the first year.

RI: How challenging is it to own one AM station when everybody else owns four or five stations?
First of all, we are located in no-man's land. There are no other radio stations. There's a station licensed to Cheraw, but it is a Florence station. There is no media here. The television market is split between the Charlotte DMA, but we're in South Carolina, so everybody watches the Florence stations. They only media in the whole region, is my station. We cover everything. People listen to us because they know we know what's going on, and we will get the word out.

RI: How are you are getting people to continue to listen on the AM dial?
: I'm going to throw a wrench into your story right now. We turned on the FM translator on April Fools Day of 2008. I know that probably 90 percent of my listeners are listening on the FM side. Every AM station deserves an FM signal because of the clarity. Radio has evolved into an FM signal. I don't want to put AM down. I really don't. But, I know from personal experience that the FM station is where my listeners are. If my FM station goes off the air for 30 seconds, I will have 30 phone calls. If my AM station goes off the air, I might have a phone call in 30 minutes. That is reality.

RI: What are your biggest challenges, being in a small market?
: One the biggest challenges would be franchised stores that place 100 percent of their advertising budgets, including the money that comes from the franchise located in our town, with the DMA and not here in Cheraw. The money goes to Charlotte or Florence. Supposedly "Cheraw can pick up off of that advertising." From an economic standpoint, we don't have as many locally owned stores as we had 10 years ago. Locally owned stores put money back into the community. Franchise stores don't put local money in the local community ? at least where we are. Some do, but most don't.

RI: Would you advise people to get into ownership like you did? Is it a great experience?
Pigg: It is a fabulous experience. I love owning a radio station. I like serving the community. I like selling things. I like to be able to go to a car dealership and put a campaign on the air and sell cars. I like to go to a dress store and sell dresses. But, when I can use the airways to inform the community and put something on the air that can make a difference in someone's life, that is what pushes my button, more so than selling the cars and the dresses.

WCRE has won many awards over the past 12 years, including the state?s highest honor from the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, ?South Carolina?s Radio Station of the Year,? and  has been named one of the top five Oldies format radio stations in America by the National Broadcasters Association. 

Congratulate Jane for being a great small market operator,
For more information on the NAB Leadership Program go here:  

(7/24/2013 9:12:11 PM)
I compliment Ms. Pigg on all she has accomplished and continues to do. Small and local is real radio today and not corporate-controlled and programmed i.e Cumulus or Clear Channel. Keep up the great work! Al Gordon 1640 WJPR Highland Park/Edison, NJ
(7/24/2013 3:34:37 PM)
There aren't many small market stations doing local radio in 2013 and I always make a point of tuning in WCRE to see how they're doing when I'm in the area.

Great work, Jane, and best of continued success to all of you!

(7/24/2013 3:33:37 PM)
As Jane mentioned, they added the translator in 2008, way before most operators even thought of the possibility and immediately repositioned the stations as My 93-9, an FM with a more modern, tighter playlist. Driving through the market one day I heard Susan Glimour play an obscure 80s song ("Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime" by The Korgis) on the noon request show and called to tell her how great she sounded... which was the truth!
(7/24/2013 3:32:58 PM)
I'm Operations Manager for Entercom Greensboro, NC and have been hearing WCRE for years on my drive from Greensboro to Florida when I go "home." At one time, the station was doing automated oldies, with a deep playlist and not many spots. Later, they began to reconnect with the community... lots of local information in drive times, local news, etc. They ran more spots and the station sounded alive. Still, as Jane says, it's tough to get it done on AM and the long term potential was an issue.
(7/24/2013 1:37:13 PM)
Hats off to ALL broadcasters who are fortunate enough to know the privileges and pleasures of being alone in small market. Our WRIP(FM) in Windham, NY (pop: 1,600) is the only station within 35 miles. We literally saved lives when Hurricane Irene washed away entire creekside neighborhoods in our area, homes and all. We've taken most every local advertiser away from the local weekly newspaper (which was not our intent - they are our friends.) It's so nice to be important and beloved!

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Sharks Radio Broadcaster Going To Hall


The board of directors of the California Historical Radio Society, the Bay Area Radio Museum, and the Broadcast Legends announced Thursday that San Jose Sharks radio play-by-play announcer Dan Rusanowsky has been elected to the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in the sports category. The date of the induction ceremony and dinner will be announced at a later date. Rusanowsky has been the voice of the Sharks since the team's inception in 1991.

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Hitting The Jackpot In Atlantic City

In today's focus on small market radio, we go to Atlantic City, New Jersey where we found Gary Fisher doing quite well. Early on in his career Fisher, a self proclaimed radio geek, was getting lessons from some of the great minds in the industry. "I had spent my formative years in the 70's at WABC Music Radio, working with Rick Sklar. Then, I was fortunate to move to Z100 in the 80's, working with Scott Shannon. In the 90's, I was running a cluster in Detroit, WNIC and WKQI, with Jim Harper. I was soaking up what these guys were spewing." Fisher says he's always been a retail sales guy at heart. "I shared my vision for combining a sophisticated large market, polished sounding operation, with a small market retail sales. The "find a parade and get in front of it culture." I shared this vision with a venture capital guy by the name of Steve Gormley, who became my partner. Then, I went hunting for stations. Today, Fisher is the President/Partner Equity Communications. He started the company in 1996 with the purchase of WAYV, a 50,000 watt heritage CHR. The company owns 7 FM's and 2 AM's in and around Atlantic City. Here's Gary Fisher's story.

RI: What's it like for you to compete in Atlantic City with the bigger operators around you?
I kind of modeled the company after that early Mel Karmazin model of separate and competitive but compatible. I certainly didn't want to encourage the so-called silo mentalities. My idea is to keep my stations fiercely competitive with each other in both sales and programming. That is really the best way to keep them fiercely competitive against the rest of the world and against the rest of the other companies. Yes, we have had a number of companies that have come and gone here in Atlantic City. Because we're doing very well, they tend to paint a target on my back, as I would if I was coming into a nice market like Atlantic City and I didn't see any big consolidators. Over my run in Atlantic City, we've seen Beasley come and go. We've seen Spring Broadcasting come and go. We've seen Nassau come and go. Citadel. Access One. Millennium. They have all come and gone. It has helped us sharpen our saw, basically.

RI: What does it take to win in that market?
I'm very fortunate. We have some wonderful resources here in market 141. We have Jacobs Media, Valley/Richards, Larry Rosen at Edison Research all working with us. As you know, they are great teachers, great mentors. We have been repped by Katz right from the start, which has always been a great resource. What it takes to compete is a combination of high tech and high touch. I think for the first 15 or 16 years, we were very high touch and kind of low tech. Certainly in a small market, high touch and bedside manner is very important. I've never understood why the bedside manner approach isn't more prevalent in the larger markets. Whether you are in a large market or a small market, the money is green. The dynamic is the same in all the markets. I think the reason why you see some smaller market entrepreneurial types still operating very successfully is that in a smaller market there is less margin for error. You screw up one client, one negotiation, or one promotion, there are not a bunch of new clients coming up right behind them to bail you out. You screw up one day's music, or one rotation, or one music set, there are not a bunch of new listeners coming in to let you try to get it right tomorrow. Small market listeners and clients tend to have much longer memories than the large market consumers. You really have to be right a greater percentage of the time in a small market because there is less margin for error. I think that is what makes us better.

RI: What specifically do you want your stations and people doing to be high touch?
Scott Shannon was always saying, "When you have a 2 share, act like you've got a 20 share. When you have a 20 share, act like you have a 2 share." Meaning: high tech, high touch. We've tried to embrace that. We are blessed with great signals and great stations and a great staff. We fan out in the community more than ever, especially since the great storm of last fall. My motto is, "Find a parade and get in front of it." It's worked out beautifully for us. Because we have a staff of homegrown South Jersey people, that have been with us for a long time, the community outreach is second nature to them. Five of our salespeople have been here for 14-15 years. Our program directors have been with me for 11 to 12 years. We have two traffic directors to handle nine stations. They have been here for 13 years. Just wonderful people. Wonderful job of serving up great radio here in South Jersey. They know the company is successful. That success has been kind of addictive for the staff. Amazingly, they are every bit as proud of the company as I am. I couldn't be prouder of our people.

RI: In your opinion is radio in a good place?
Well, I really think it is. People have blamed consolidation for everything from global warming to the war in Afghanistan. Consolidation, if it is done properly, allows you to run a very efficiently managed company. I think it's certainly much more efficiently organized. Even though radio companies are kind of in the doghouse now as an investment, I don't think it was always that way and it won't be that way in the future. I think there has been a tremendous amount of inventory clearing and a tremendous amount of flushing out the waste in the business. I think the business is much more orderly now. We are moving out of the entrenchment period as an industry. We have survived. We have survived so much better than newspapers, TV, direct mail, phone books. None of the other legacy media are going to win in the next 5 to 10 years, but radio will. I am just so proud of the fact that radio as a medium had really kind of held it's own, in what is such a fractionalized media world. We are fortunate. It is not quite that fractionalized in Atlantic City yet. We know it's coming. For the most part, good old-fashioned, over-the-air, local radio is a valuable resource in Atlantic City. Particularly, given the economy, the fact that it is free, is very valuable.

Reach out and congratulate Gary Fisher for a job well done

(7/25/2013 3:03:53 PM)
Gary Fisher has always been the congenital winner in building sucessful teams that win in combat. Probably Gary will be best known for- before his Atlantic City Ownership days-was his driving the Local & National Sales teams for Malrite's Z100-when it went from Worst to First in New York.

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Nothing On Piolin During Univision Earnings Call


Not a word about the departure of Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo from the Univision Radio Network on the company earnings call Thursday. And, not a single analyst cared enough to even ask about him. That's not too surprising being that Univision is a television company first. TV revenue for Univision in the second quarter was $565.8 up from $508 million. Radio revenue was $89.7 million for the quarter which was flat compared to Q2 of 2012.

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New Sales Meeting Podcast Coming


We have a new sales meeting Podcast coming Monday morning with The Commercial Professor Tim Burt (pictured). One of Tim's favorite lines is, "99% of all advertising is a waste of money." In our podcast Tim explains that position and he discusses why most commercials are worthless and how you can write better copy for your clients. If you want the podcast this weekend so you can prepare for your Monday morning sales meeting, and before everyone else hears it, e-mail

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Mackall New VP Visual Branding At Clear Channel


Longtime MTV executive Kevin Mackall joins Clear Channel as Senior VP of Visual Branding and will report to President of National Programming Platforms Top Poleman. Mackall will oversee the Visual Branding Department, a new segment of the National Programming Platforms division which will focus on visual branding for Clear Channel, local radio stations, and iHeartRadio. Mackall will manage station logos, TV commercials, outdoor campaigns, and brand packages for Clear Channel events such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival, iHeartRadio Album Release Parties, and the iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party. 

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Townsquare Names Gaines Ops Manager In Texas


Scott Gaines is the new operations manager in Tyler/Longview, Texas, where Townsquare has four stations (KNUE, KISX, KKTX, and KTYL). Gaines most recently served as Dial Global?s morning show host of Country Today and Country Today Gold. Market Manager Johnny Lathrop said, ?Scott?s background and passion for the business was a perfect fit for what we wanted in Tyler-Longview to grow our heritage brands. We?re excited to get him in the building."

Gaines said, ?I couldn't be more excited to take on this new challenge as the Operations Manager at Townsquare Tyler-Longview. Townsquare Media has the same vision and drive to move the stations to the next level of success and getting to work with Townsquare SVP Programming Kurt Johnson again is exciting. I am thrilled to be working with Johnny and everyone in the building.?

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A Stellar 40 Year Career

Barb Richards started in radio right out of high school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Five months later she was on the same path most jocks take when they want to advance in radio - she moved to a larger market looking for fame and riches. She spent the next 8 years of her life moving from bigger market to bigger market, winding up in Cleveland in 1983. When the station changed format in 1984 she was fired. To add a little stress on to that, she was 7 months pregnant. Richards and her husband decided to move back to Fort Wayne, have the baby and plot out their next move. That's when she heard from WFWQ, better known as MAJIC, back in Fort Wayne. When her son was only 7 weeks old, she was back in radio working at her hometown station. After nearly 30 years with the station, most of them as PD, Richards announced this month she was retiring from radio. We spoke to Richards this week about her career, how programming has evolved and being a big fish in a small pond.

You've been with the same station for three decades. Why?  
Richards:Fort Wayne was home for me so that was part of it.  But the main reason was that Sarkes Tarzian is a great company full of great people. I learned so much, I moved up from nights, to morning drive and music director. I did promotions for many years, and then became PD. The company allowed me to grow, gave me consistent opportunity and education,d so there was no reason to leave.  I had the best deal on the planet. I was able to do so much through those years. I always used to say I was running a major market radio station, it was just in a small market! I would have put our air staff and promotions up against anyone and I know we would have won.  Yes, we were that good! 

Why did you decide to stay in a small market your entire career?
Richards: Because I like being a big fish in a small pond!  I had done a large market (Cleveland) and was pretty invisible. I came to Fort Wayne and immediately became a star! I could make an impact here with what I was doing on the radio and in the community.   You can really leave a legacy in a small market and that became important to me.
Why are you retiring from Radio?   
Richards: Mostly because I was bored.  Radio doesn't do the things like we did before---we don't have a guy on the street in the morning show, we don't do major promotions anymore because of lack of staff, and the loneliest place in the station is the on-air studio!  The focus is on what we need to do to get the buy and while I understand that and did it successfully for many years, I still wanted to continue to impact my community.  I was not going to move from this market, my husband has a great job and two out of three of my kids are here,.  I could not go work for another radio company because of my contract and due to the fact that I really didn't want to work for anyone else in the market. I was too well branded with Majic.  I have been very high profile here in the community and had been on the lookout for something I could do full time that would hit my hot buttons.  This job was it---still could deal with music, concerts, artists plus market a beautiful facility.
How has being a PD evolved over the years? 
Richards: Well this is a tough question because I think every radio station or group handles their PD position differently.  We are a small company so I could make a lot of decisions and had a lot of flexibility   Bigger companies dictate more with group contesting, imaging, music selection, etc. Through my tenure. I got to program just ONE station! I never could figure out how some PD's can program 3, 4 or even more at a time! That to me is the biggest change for PD's. You are responsible for a chain!
What are you most proud of from the time you've put in at the station?
Most proud of the mile long prayer chain we delivered to Columbine one week after their tragedy. We started the morning after the shootings inviting people to write on a slip of construction paper a prayer, a note, whatever and  we connected as a huge paper chain.  By the end of the first day, you couldn't get into my office because so many people had dropped off chains.  We had to get a private jet to fly us out there.  And when we hung that chain from tree to tree, we held hands with the families of victims and prayed.  A moment I will never forget.   A part of the chain is in the Columbine Museum.  I've helped to raise over $1.2 million dollars for our Children's Hospital through our radiothon.  I won the Bob Lind Award from the Children's Miracle Network for my dedication to the Children's Miracle Network and John Scheider presented to me. That meant a LOT. Being consistently in the top 3 ratings and billing in the market for most of my tenure at the station! Giving away bigger then life prizes, like 25 cruises for two where we actually shut down the phone system in the city due to the volume of calls.  Creating a series of 6 CD's with Sweetwater Sound here in Fort Wayne where there was no cost to us and 100% of the sales were donated to charity.   And working a gazillion hours for years and still raising three wonderful, productive, NORMAL children who have grown into wonderful adults. And oh yeah, I got to meet and hang with JON BON JOVI! 

What advice do you have for others thinking about getting into radio and becoming a PD? 
Richards: It's a very difficult road to get into radio, much like it was when I first started out and had stations that did not want to hire a woman! You will get rejected a lot. But if you have the talent, stick with it until you find someone that hears that talent. Try to find a mentor in the business. Be ready to work long hours that will never seem long because you love it so much If you want to become a PD, observe all you can from others, go to every learning convention you can go to. Take some leadership classes. A lot of PD's are good on air and know programming but they are not a leader. A PD should be a leader for their air staff and for the community. 

What will you be doing?
Richards: I am the Marketing Director of the historical Embassy Theatre, built in 1928.  It's on the National Register of Historical Buildings.It's beautiful. We are a 2500 seat venue.We book concerts such as Alice Cooper  who was here last week and next week we have Steely Dan.We host the Broadway Series, and originate some programming ourselves as fundraisers. Plus the venue is very busy with weddings and receptions in the lobby and the attached hotel that was built at the same time as the theatre. We just announced a $10M Capital renovation campaign to expand. I've been there about a month now and it's pretty cool.

Barb has also been writing a monthly column on consultant Doug Erickson's site about her transition out of radio and into another career at this stage of life. Seems to have hit a lot of people's hot buttons from the first article so she decided to keep updating. She says, "It's hard to start something brand new and take a leap of faith and I think a lot of people are facing that right now. Its been interesting to see people's responses."

Reach out to Bard to congratulate her on her 30 plus years of service to the Fort Wayne community and to

(7/26/2013 6:28:23 AM)

You GO girl!!!

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Performance Tax Legislation Coming Next Week


Democrat Melvin Watt of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet plans to introduce performance tax legislation next week that may have an impact on radio stations across the country. Here are some of the comments Watt made at a hearing on "Innovation in America: The Role of Copyrights." "One area where copyright law has strayed from both our Constitutional foundations and international norms concerns the recognition of a performance right in sound recordings. I, and other members of this panel, have long advocated, and have the scars to show for it, for a correction of this historical anomaly. That is why today I am announcing my intention to circulate to my colleagues and inviting them to join me as original cosponsors of a bill that simply recognizes a performance right in sound recordings before the August recess. I believe that doing so will highlight how the law can take the wrong turn if policymakers fail to embrace the principles embodied in the Constitutional protection of intellectual property."

Here is the entire text of Watt's speech at the hearing:

In my mind, a comprehensive review starts with a fundamental appreciation of the Constitutional foundations of copyright law and policy. By reexamining the first principles that gave life to copyright protection, we can better develop policy that ensures that those principles are honored. Today?s panel represents individual authors and creators from diverse segments of America that rely on copyright. It is not only helpful, but important that we hear directly from creators on how copyright law and policy is working for them.

There can be little doubt that creativity and innovation are at an apex in the 21st century and that many economic interests are intertwined with the interests and livelihoods of creators. But copyright law and policy should not be about preserving existing business models. Nor should it be about accommodating emerging business models. Ensuring that the intellectual labor of our creative communities is appropriately stimulated and compensated will guarantee that the public will continue to benefit from the enrichment the creators provide.

Recognizing that policy should develop around the creator is sometimes easier said than done. We would be na?ve to not acknowledge that there are entrenched interests that cannot be disregarded in this review. But a careful examination of the constitutional and historical underpinnings of U.S. copyright law is a start.

My vision of this comprehensive review also includes an assessment of the international copyright framework. Appreciating that framework in this global, digital environment will equip us with a better understanding of how best to reinforce our constitutional objectives. It also provides perspective on how and why our policies have developed historically and where and why those policies may have gone astray.

One area where copyright law has strayed from both our constitutional foundations and international norms concerns the recognition of a performance right in sound recordings. I, and other members of this panel have long advocated, and have the scars to show for it, for a correction of this historical anomaly. That is why today I am announcing my intention to circulate to my colleagues and inviting them to join me as original cosponsors of a bill that simply recognizes a performance right in sound recordings before the August recess. I believe that doing so will highlight how the law can take the wrong turn if policymakers fail to embrace the principles embodied in the Constitutional protection of intellectual property.

The story of performance rights, although related to the field of music, is instructive in other areas of copyright as well. As we continue our comprehensive review of copyright, I think that story is a compelling one ? one that reflects a departure from centering policy development on the intellectual labors of the artists and responding instead to market forces that, while relevant, should not be in a position to completely extinguish rights recognized and honored internationally.

The real-world impact for American musical artists is not only extreme, it?s unfair. It denies them access to performance rights royalties already earned offshore. These funds sit unclaimed due to our inability to simply afford these artists what they deserve?legal recognition of a performance right. I think as we continue our review, we will see that in other areas as well, when we have robust protections for the rights of the creators, this will incentivize the parties to negotiate in good faith, enter into compensation agreements domestically, and heighten the public?s access and enjoyment of the products of the creative community.

(7/25/2013 6:34:42 PM)
Colleagues....did you notice this line? "...The story of performance rights, although related to the field of music, is instructive in other areas of copyright as well..." This sinister reference is about books, pictures, doodling, sketches, even your moms apple pie recipe. I propose this deal? If we have to pay, then artists pay US a cut of "everything" they make (Forever). Seems fair to me. (7/25/2013 5:48:46 PM)
We are a stand alone AM station that is doing very well and only play about 10 to 14 songs per day and under the new "better" RMLC plan we now have to pay almost double the monthly fees to BMI and ASCAP. It is unbelievable. It is a scam. Nobody cares about the little guy and that becomes more evident every day.
(7/25/2013 5:32:30 PM)
If this continues, small radio stations such as mine will be out of business. Profits are already low, we already pay BMI,SESAC and others monthly fees. The ARTIST/STARS would not exist if it were not for radio. Record reps from the big companies and independent record reps tie up my phone lines every week asking my program director to play their artist. Please stop the bleeding now !
(7/25/2013 5:21:54 PM)
Our sponsor has also been nominated to take over running Freddie & Fannie so he's not even beholden to his own constituency ... a great candidate for guerilla legislation sponsor, eh?
(7/25/2013 5:18:41 PM)
This has moe to do with the latter than the former. It ain't so much about performance as it is tax. Our sponsor has never met a tax he didn't like, "and has the scars to prove it". Too bad he's not as compassionate about good stewardship of the revenue already being collected. But that comment is probably raaaaaacist, right?

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

NAB Quick To Respond


As soon as Watt made the announcement he'd be introducing a new tax, NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton responded, "NAB strongly opposes a new performance tax that would kill jobs at America's hometown radio stations while diverting millions of dollars to offshore record labels. We continue to support private, company-by-company negotiations that are driven by the free market, as is reflected by recent deals between broadcast radio stations and independent music labels." 154 members of Congress have signed on to the Local Radio Freedom Act which is designed to thwart an attempt like Watt's, although there is no timetable for when, or if, that bill will ever come up for a vote.

(7/26/2013 7:07:04 AM)
Mr. Wharton, while I appreciate the quick response, and the fact that a great many on the Hill, at least on the surface, "got our back" out here in small-town radio land.

I don't know how an increase of almost 400% on BMI and ASCAP fees can be considered "fair or free market"...

There was little to no input from stations like ours, but yet we are the ones that get to support the ultimate outcomes on passing of bills, etc.

Sorry, this all smells to me.

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(SOCIAL) Shift How Your Employee Value Is Perceived


The next time you find yourself in a conversation at the radio station with your boss or general manager about social media and digital and if there is any real value for radio in these things, nudge the conversation toward something important to him or her:  Money and their employment.

Ask them if they are aware of the digital revolution that is happening with money. You could mention how BIA/Kelsey suggests that the dominant amount of advertising and marketing will be placed digitally in the U.S. within just a few years and this could mean steep declines in local radio revenue. You can invite them to go to their office (or yours) and Google "digital advertising revenue" and consider the potential impact on traditional advertising (like radio). If they do this, trust me, it is attention-getting and shifts the focus to something important to them:  Their job performance and how they make a living. Just make sure you tell them that they can do something to impact both audience connectivity and local revenue by developing a strategic plan for social media and digital now.

You can then ask them if they have considered the potential impact that mobilizing their sales promotion efforts in social media could have on revenue. In other words, you can point out that having a person on the sales team be the ?point person? and create a blog that focuses on helping local advertisers and potential advertisers with a variety of topics important to the local, small- and medium-size business owners (not just blogs about buying advertising on your stations). This blog should have relevant and helpful information for local business owners and resources to help them improve their outreach and their profit. You can say they should consider including several opportunities to also create full local business marketing seminars to draw new advertisers each year as a part of your social media and sales blogging efforts. These can be cluster events that turn into showcases for your brands with potential new advertisers and revenue opportunities to sign new clients twice a year. This is where you can really also showcase the power of local radio. At this point in the conversation, you can introduce statistics on what is actually happening OUTSIDE of the radio business with respect to digital and social media and businesses:

According to Salesforce Blog (from the Center for Media Research and

? $118.4 billion will be spent on content marketing, video marketing, and social media in 2013
? Marketers spend over 25% of their marketing budget on content marketing
? Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links
? 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing
? 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing
? B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month
? Interesting content is one of the top 3 reasons people follow brands on social media
? Social media and blogs reach 8 out of 10 of all U.S. Internet users
? Organic search leads have a 14.6% close rate
? 79% of B2B marketers use content marketing to achieve brand awareness goals
? Articles with images get 94% more views
? 78% of consumers feel that organizations behind the content are interested in building relationships
? 37% of marketers say blogs are the most valuable type of content marketing
? 58% of consumers trust editorial content
? 68% of consumers spend time reading content from a brand in which they are interested
? Social media and blogs account for 23% of all time spent online
? 87% of B2B marketers use social media to distribute content
? 90% of consumers find custom content useful
Your boss may be wondering a lot of things at this point, but he or she won?t be thinking like they were before. Maybe they will think of you as a person they should pay more attention to in the building. Who knows? You might get a raise. You will be seen immediately as someone who is interested and tuned in on ways to protect and grow the value of the local radio cluster the company owns.

When you reach this point, remind them that you think much more impact can be made by developing and putting a top-down endorsement on social media and digital efforts to engage listeners, and that you think if this is done correctly it could mean higher ratings and higher revenue.

The conversation about digital and social media strategy needs to change for radio. We have to seriously invest and get active in having a real strategic plan for social media and digital for both programming and revenue to impact local listeners and local advertisers. If we don?t, we risk more than not being efficient. We risk radio in the 21st century.

Loyd Ford is the direct marketing, ratings and social media strategies 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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Innovative Leisure Partners With Clear Channel


Clear Channel and indie music label Innovative Leisure have announced an agreement that will enable Innovative Leisure's artists to share in broadcast and digital revenue. The label's artists, ­including Hanni el Khatib, Rhye, Classixx, Nosaj Thing, and others, ­will receive a share of revenue for airplay on Clear Channel's 850 AM/FM stations in 150 U.S. markets as well as on its fast-growing iHeartRadio digital radio platform.

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(SPORTS TALK) Work With Your Sales Reps!


I have to admit something about radio to you: I actually love the executing and selling of radio more than I actually like sports.

Wait, let me explain. When I first got into radio, I came from the playing fields of college and pro football and just thought because I played professional sports that I would have a better understanding as a host on what athletes are thinking, what they feel, etc. Well, a funny thing happened on the way to learning radio. I may have had an understanding of sports, but in no way did that mean I understood how a radio show worked, both in terms of execution and of selling a show.

After 21 years in the business I believe the selling of a show is as important as executing a great show. I was very lucky that I came from a sales background -- my father was an incredible insurance salesman. Dad could sell snake oil to anyone and convince them it could cure cancer. He'd always say to me that "In every rejection on a sale you are that much closer to your next sale." And to this day I have applied that principle in how I go about selling my show.

There has to be a plan in both the executing of a show and the selling of a show. I have a format every single day I do a show and how I am going to be executing it, and I am always looking to improve on-air techniques in getting the most out of PPM. Any host today who ignores the PPM of radio doesn't really see the finish line here. Nobody is trying to change you as a radio host, but radio has changed in how we keep score from the old Arbitron days to the new PPM system. I can hear when a host's ego gets in the way of a station's success by not employing the proper PPM skills you need to win the radio ratings wars.

Like I said, I'm so lucky to have come from a sales background because it has helped me be one of the greatest billers in Sports Talk history. When I was at WDAE in Tampa, I took over a morning radio show and when I left in March of 2012, according to BIA, my show was billing $150,000 a month and getting 8s hares in morning drive for 25-54 men! And I am doing all the things here in SFLA right now that gave me great success in my early years of radio.

Working with any radio station's account executives can be a challenge for any host because of the massive turnover in out business, so it is very important that a host also has a personal relationship with clients. I have formed some of my greatest friendships in life with clients. Not only do I appreciate them investing in me, but I also take advice from some of the people that built billion dollar businesses. My angle has always been "I don't want your money, I want to know how you made it." This is why today I have clients like AT&T that have been with me for over a decade.

Today's radio host has to not only be great on air but in many cases you have to be the top biller at your radio station. After all, who better in the building than you to sell your show?

NOTE: Things are going well at 640 AM sports here in SFLA. Made it through another week and I will be hosting morning drive in Los Angeles on KLAA 830 AM on Aug. 2 & 5.

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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Ruiz To Program WLEY-FM


Cesar Daniel Ruiz has been hired to program SBS's WLEY-FM ?La Ley? in Chicago. Ruiz will oversee all on-air and digital for the regional Mexican station. SBS COO Albert Rodriguez said, "Cesar's broad knowledge and extensive experience in radio programming make him a tremendous addition to our team. His expertise as the executive-in-charge of many successful programs and understanding of our audience will be a strong asset as we build on the success of our programming in Chicago."

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SALES)Beat Your Competitors At Level Four


Most of us have heard sales trainers point out that we have two ears and one mouth because we should listen twice as much as we talk.

A Huthwaite Study of more than 60,000 business-to-business sales calls determined the single most differentiating attribute of high-performing sales people is their ability to ask questions.

So how can you question and listen differently than all of your competitors who use the standard industry Customer Needs Analysis or CNA?

First, you have to earn the right to ask deep and probing questions.

The keys to earning the right to ask deeper questions are: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. Preparation begins with sincerity of intent. If your sincere intent is to deliver value to the client rather than simply getting an order, the preparation and homework necessary will automatically be part of your strategic account plan.

If, on the other hand, you are simply in pursuit of an order, you will naturally default to the same mundane questions your competitors have already asked your sales-weary prospect.

I once had a media buyer say to me ?If I have one more media rep ask me who my target audience is, I?m going to scream!? She went on to say ?I want to deal with marketing professionals who already know who my target audience is.?

In preparing your questions, you must first decide which level of listening is strategically correct for each client interview.

Of the four levels of listening, only two of those four should be considered.

Level 1 is Avoidance Listening and should never be used. You have probably experienced the avoidance listener.
They say ?uh huh? a lot, they don?t look you in the eye, they appear to be pre- occupied, and they are. You know they are not interested and, certainly, they are not really listening.

The Level 2 Defensive Listener is mentally preparing his counterpoints and rebuttals while the client is talking.
Level 2 Defensive Listening is one of the most common mistakes radio account executives make. Level 2 listeners never really get to the heart of the matter because clients detect defensive listeners and in turn begin to give defensive answers.

Level 3 is Problem-Solving Listening and is the highest level most radio sales people reach. Problem-Solving Listening can be the right approach if your prospect wants your solutions.

Problem-Solving Listening is listening to move things forward. Problem-solving listeners listen until they hear a problem they can solve, at which point they offer their solution. This can be the right level if your prospect wants your solutions?but that?s a big IF and the risk is you have not listened well enough to understand the underlying problem or opportunity.

Level 4 listening is called Connective Listening. At Level 4, you are listening to learn. It is listening in the highest order, on the advertiser?s terms, not yours. Connective listening involves understanding where your prospect is coming from in order to establish genuine rapport.

To prepare Level 4 questions, you must first do your homework and answer all of the questions your competitors are asking about the advertiser?s current situation before you meet with your prospect.

Top performers go online. They search for industry and marketing articles about the prospect?s category. They talk to the prospect?s staff, customers, and suppliers. They review their prospect?s advertising, and conduct a competitive analysis of their competitors? advertising and websites. If the prospect has enough potential to become an ?A? client, they will go the extra mile and conduct focus groups, facilitate an online survey, and document their findings in preparation for their diagnostic call.

Level 4 questions focus on the prospect's goals, objectives, and desired outcomes. At Level 4 you will ask questions like, ?What does that mean to you?? ?How do you feel about that?? ?What?s your perspective on, or what do you think about?..? 

At Level 4, almost every answer will spawn another question. You will dig deeper with each question by asking questions like, ?What else comes to mind??

When you have mastered Connective Level 4 Listening, your client has literally written your presentation for you. Making a proposal that clearly achieves the client?s objectives and goals will increase your closing ratios dramatically.

Wayne is President of ENS Media Inc., and producer of the SoundADvice radio e-marketing system and Winning in the New Media Economy advertiser seminars which are converting former print advertisers to a radio/online mix every day. Wayne is a featured panellist at the NAB Radio Show in Orlando in September where you are welcome to meet him.

(7/24/2013 11:27:49 AM)
I don't agree Bob. For newbies in the business, they need a guideline and I believe the article was informative and a great platform for sales improvement for those that flounder more then move forward. I have been in media sales for over 25 years, and the top one in every media outlet I have served. In my opinion, level 4 is an excellent way to operate and the way I strive to outline all my sales calls from National to Mom and Pop.
(7/24/2013 3:16:42 AM)
Continued...This guy is setting you up with the old cookie cutter questions. Be curious about the prospects business. Seriously and genuinely curious on how you can help them and not just a standard list of CNA questions like this guy is suggesting. You are there to partner & help a business grow.This article is telling you to try and be something your are not. Be curious and actually care about that business and you will be a valuable resource instead of another phoney radio AE doing a "CNA".
(7/24/2013 3:06:10 AM)
Plain and simple. I came to sales from on-air 10 years ago. I learn a valuable lesson from interviewing guests on the air... Don't do any prep. That way you can actually learn something by being curious. Where did I learn that from? Listening to Larry King when he did overnights in the 80's. He never did prep for his interviews and neither should a good sales person. I make over $250K a year and most of my income is from local retail/direct clients. They love that I have curiosity. Don't prep.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

SiriusXM Q2 Revenue Up 12%


Sirius XM announced Q2 2013 revenue of $940 million, up 12 percent from second quarter 2012 revenue of $838 million. Net income for the quarters 2013 and 2012 was $126 million and $3.1 billion, respectively. Net income in the second quarter of 2012 benefited from a $3 billion reversal of deferred income tax valuation allowances. The company also reported net subscriber additions of 715,762, up from 622,042 in Q2 2012, marking the largest quarterly gain since Q4 2007. The total paid subscriber base has reached a record 25.1 million, up 9 percent from the prior year period.

CEO Jim Meyer said, "SiriusXM's second quarter results reflect record performance on almost every vital metric: the 25 million subscriber milestone, record revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted EBITDA margin. We grew our revenue at double-digit rates for the sixth consecutive quarter while being very mindful of our costs as we invest in advanced IP and telematics platforms designed to provide more services to our subscribers and automakers."

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Everybody Knows Gary Berkowitz


I don?t know anyone in the radio business who doesn?t know Gary Berkowitz. Whether your background is in AC or CHR, in markets all around the country, it seems people have run into Gary. As the consummate programming guru, Gary has touched many successful stations and it?s his expertise that makes them enduringly successful. Gary has always treated his stations as relevant communications vehicles, giving the listener the one-on-one relationship that makes radio the medium with a connection. Gary has always engaged the industry in a very personal manner, which makes everyone who knows him a colleague and a friend. Gary has taught me how to have fun while working hard, and to earn the respect of the industry by putting forth 150 percent effort and achieving 200 percent results.

Now, in his own words, here's how Gary Berkowitz of Berkowitz Broadcast Consulting got into radio?

I remember the moment I discovered my love of radio, it was the day I was with my parents in NYC's Times Square and I went by the army recruiting booth. Then-Top 40 WMGM was holding a ?radiothon? to raise money for the fight against polio. I stood frozen watching the jock, Peter Tripp, talk to people, talk to the engineer, and talk to the audience.

By the time I started high school, I had spent years listening to WMCA and WABC. The school I attended allowed me to create a radio station, which was really the PA system that covered the school for daily reports. But my friend Lance Sheppard?s father was a staff announcer at WABC, so when the bell rang at 3:00 p.m. Lance and I headed to the studios of either WABC or WMCA, arriving by 3:12 p.m. I don?t know if this was the coolest thing we did or just hearing Lance?s dad once an hour on Dan Ingram?s show announcing ?WABC, New York,? or as we heard it ?double you, A, B, C, New York.?

My first job was at WGBB, a full-service middle-of-the-road, station located in Merrick, Long Island. I was the office intern/schlep who did everything for everybody. The PD was Bob Lawrence who let me sit in on the music meetings, the jock critiques, and all other pertinent meetings regarding programming; I was a sponge. While attending Emerson College in Boston I worked at WERS, the college radio station. During college I applied for a job at Knight Quality Broadcasting, where the president of the company was Norman Knight, a former speech writer for President Kennedy. It was run by his son Scott. They owned many Top 40 stations outside Boston and I got my first real job at WEIM in Fitchburg doing nights and weekends. We had jingles and reverb and I was even paid! Then it was on to WCAP in Lowell and WAAB in Worcester, all while I was at Emerson.

It was thanks to this exposure, during my junior year at Emerson, that I had the nerve to apply to WPRO in Providence. It was a powerhouse Top 40. Jay Clark was the PD. I called the station and asked to speak with Jay and actually got thru. I made an appointment to meet with him to interview for the internship position. One thing led to another and after performing every job at the station I finally got an overnight, weekend on-air shift as Gary Daniels. From there I became the fulltime late night jock. A few years later, I was approached by Jay and GM Warren Potash about taking the Shulke beautiful music WPRO FM and making it a Top 40 station. They looked me square in the eye and said, ?We?ll let you do it with one condition, you change your name on air to Gary Berkowitz." Ten years later I left WPRO and felt as if I had finally made my way into the radio business.  

You can email Gary 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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Santi Deoleo Joins JAM'N Morning Show


Deoleo makes the transition from producer to full-time co-host on Clear Channel's JAM'N 94.5 in Boston. Deoleo is the second new addition to the morning show team, joining former MTV Real World star, Ashlee Feldman. Deoleo frequently made guest on-air appearances on the morning program under the alias of Krazy Kulo.

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Smulyan A Giant Of Broadcasting


The Emmis Founder and CEO will be honored at the 11th annual Giants of Broadcasting event sponsored by the Library of American Broadcasting which celebrates "distinguished leadership or performance in television and radio." The event will be held October 16 in New York?s Gotham Hall. Additional 2013 honorees include Anne Sweeney, Alex Trebek, Barry Diller, Morley Safer, Dick Cavett, Robert L. Johnson, David E. Kelley, Richard E. Wiley, Richard Leibner, and Carole Cooper.

Tickets, reservations for tables, and individual tickets, may be arranged through Jessica Wolin, 212-685-4233, For press, contact Ellyn Fisher, 212-984-1964,

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(AUDIO) From Feeding a Goat to Successful 20 Year Morning Man.


Dave Ryan is in a somewhat exclusive club in the radio industry. He's been on the air for 20 years - in the same city - for the same station. And, he'll be there for at least another three years after signing a new deal with Clear Channel owned KDWB in Minneapolis. Ryan had an interesting start in radio and was fired multiple times from his on-air jobs, before catching on in the Twin Cities. His love for radio and desire to be on the air since he was a little kid kept him motivated to make it big where he has for KDWB. Clear Channel Minneapolis Market Manager Michael Crusham says, "When you work with Dave every day, you understand why he's been so successful for the past 20 years in Minneapolis." Here's our exclusive interview with Dave Ryan about his new contract, his love for radio and his advice to others about how to consistently churn out a successful radio show in a PPM world.

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Whitehead New GM At Delmarva Public Radio


Dana Whitehead begins Wednesday as the new GM of WSCL and WSDL, which is owned and operated as a service to the people of Delmarva by the Salisbury University Foundation. Whitehead has three decades of experience in public radio including Classical station WXXI in Rochester and WSCI in Charleston, which featured both classical music and news/talk. He spent 17 years at KUT, the public radio station at the University of Texas in Austin.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jacobs Joins D.C. Morning Show


Clear Channel's WMZQ-FM in Washington D.C. is adding Aly Jacobs as morning drive co-host on "The Boxer Show." VP of Programming/WMZQ Program Director Meg Stevens said, ?Aly is the perfect fit to join Boxer for the morning ride to work. Her energetic personality, passion, and experience in the market will help take The Boxer Show to the next level.?

Jacobs said, ?I couldn't be more excited to come on board to such an amazing radio family,? said Jacobs. ?Boxer is an unbelievable talent and I'm looking forward to joining him each morning on WMZQ! Many thanks to Meg Stevens and Boxer for the incredible opportunity, this is the definition of a dream job."

Jacobs had been working most recently at Cumulus-owned WRQX in D.C.

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(DIGITAL) Go Digital With Back-To-School Promotions


Do you know how much of an effect digital marketing has had on back-to-school shopping? It has shifted the bulk of back-to-school purchases from August (when I was growing up) to July.

According to research from Experian Marketing, retailers send 41 percent of their back-to-school outreach emails in July. A survey from the National Retail Foundation shows 37 percent of parents will comparison shop online before they make their back-to-school purchases.

It?s not too late for radio to respond to these back-to-school digital marketing trends. Here?s a few digital promotions your station can pitch back-to-school advertisers.

Pin It to Win It Promotion

Create a Pinterest board dedicated to cool back-to-school shopping ideas. Have your audience re-pin items from your board, entering them into a contest to win the items they pinned. Drive interest for this contest with your on-air promotion.

This Pinterest promotion can work for just one sponsor with multiple back-to-school products like a stationery shop, home furnishing store, or electronics store. You can also sell multiple sponsors into this promotion, so each advertiser has exclusivity over their niche like a clothing retailer, grocery store, or a gym.

Slideshow Guide

Every time I see a slideshow on a radio website it always features editorial content like news, weather, or celebrity gossip. Slideshows are a content management tool and your programming department doesn?t have exclusive domain over them.

Imagine creating a 10-image slideshow with back-to-school shopping ideas. The photos and captions would come directly from the advertiser. This is a far more engaging opportunity than online display ads because your users are actively scrolling through all the images from your advertisers.

You could even link directly from the photo to the product for those advertisers that sell some of their products online.

If your website currently doesn?t have a slideshow capability, check out

Deal Promotion

I know many radio stations think their half-off gift certificate programs, group deals, or daily deals are dead. Here?s an idea to revive them. Theme your deal promotion around ?Back-to-school."

The back-to-school buying shift from August to July is being driven by parents and students looking online for deals. Collect special offers from local advertisers for every product and service students from elementary school to college could possibly need!

Remember, the unique marketing opportunity you are selling to back-to-school retailers is the power of radio promotion combined with engaging digital marketing opportunities that convert directly into sales.

Stephen Warley is the founder of, a research and training firm dedicated to helping radio broadcasters use digital tools to generate more qualified sales leads. He is also the founded of in 2008. Have a question for Stephen?  Email him at or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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What Will Piolin Affiliates Do?


Here's one suggestion. GLR Networks was quick to send out a release regarding Ren?n Almend?rez Coello and his morning show called ?El Cucuy de la Ma?ana." A GLR release says, ?El Cucuy de la Ma?ana? currently airs on W Radio 690am Los Angeles (XEWW) Monday-Friday, 5am-10am PST. However, GLR plans on national syndication of the show within the following weeks." GLR says Coello  once had an estimated audience of about 3 million daily listeners.

The Spanish-language program, formatted to specifically target Mexican Regional stations, brings the Hispanic community daily news, interviews, humor, and entertainment.  For details contact Camille Rodriguez at 305.644.6641, ext. 173 or

(7/23/2013 4:45:00 AM)
How convenient... A show that died in radio over 10 years ago, when it moved to KLAX (after having all of the support it needed on KSCA), now offering itself as a solution. I am sure that Piolín will be back. I recommend to all affiliates to not panic just yet. Let the dust settle and look at all AM show options. Remember, Piolín could wake up tomorrow with another network near you.

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Where Will Sotelo Pop up Again?


Although his manager did not return a call to Radio Ink last night you can bet listeners have not heard the last show from Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo. His show is too popular with the exploding Hispanic audience. Some of the speculation surrounding the show being canceled had to do with Sotelo's ratings in Los Angeles, where he is heard on KSCA-FM.  Last month he was beaten in the ratings by Ricardo "El Mandril" Sanchez who's heard on KLAX-FM. One affiliate expects Sotello to be picked up quickly by another syndicator. His show is just too popular to fade into the sunset. Of course, there is also SiriusXM.

(7/23/2013 4:42:43 AM)
I surely doubt that ratings had to do with his departure. In the Los Angeles market, the battle for Spanish speaking listeners is being waged between Piolín, Mandríl, and Don Cheto. They would battle back and forth for the #1 position in 18-34 and the coveted 18-49 demo.

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Ryvicker: "Radio Seems To Be Doing Quite Well


Just ahead of earnings season, Wells Fargo senior analyst Marci Ryvicker has issued a report after speaking with a number of executives in the industry. She's concluded from those discussions that second quarter revenue should be up low to mid single digits. And third quarter trends look "pretty good," although she throws in that "it's starting to fade." Here is what Ryvicker will be looking for when companies start to report...
Beyond Q2 results and Q3 pacings, we think the focus of earnings calls will be on:
? M&A, as just recently, Sandusky Radio was sold to Hubbard Broadcasting for $85.5 million (on 7/16) and NextMedia, a 33-station radio group with a small- to mid-market focus, was put up for auction.
? The potential for further format changes given the many ?flips? we have seen in the recent past.
? Any competitive effects to the ?sports network? landscape post CBS Sports Radio, which launched full programming on January 2, 2013.
? The potential for shareholder returns ? we note that ETM is focused on utilizing free cash to pay down debt rather than enact capital returns; at least until its leverage ratio is within its 4-4.5x "comfort range," which we currently estimate is a 2014 event.
? Competition; especially commentary on Internet radio providers such as Pandora.
? The potential impact of new royalty agreements. (Clear Channel signed agreements with Wind-Up Records, Zojak World Wide Artists, Fearless Records, Dualtone, and Fleetwood Mac in Q2.)
? The progress of NextRadio ? which is the receiver application for FM and HD Radio enabled smartphones announced 1/8/13 with Sprint and the potential upside should it perform well (we think it could).
? The growth of digital radio, and any efforts to further monetize that business.

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McCullough Joins WMCA N.Y. Lineup


Salem's Christian Talker will add Kevin McCullough's local show on August 5. The show will be a return to WMCA by McCullough, who previously hosted a show on the station. He has also been heard on KKLA in L.A. and WMBI and WYLL in Chicago. McCullough said, "There are a mere handful of radio stations in the history of the medium with a past as legendary as WMCA. I'm excited to align myself with the team of (GM Jerry) Crowley and (VP/Director of Spoken Word Phil) Boyce, because I believe it bodes for an even more legendary future that is yet to come."

"Kevin has proven to be one of the true up-and-coming voices in Christian talk radio and we are delighted he will be able to join our team," said Salem VP/Director of Spoken Word Format Phil Boyce. "His afternoon program will be live and local, tackling issues of concern going on locally and in the world with a Christian world view."

McCullough's program will include discussion with local ministers about their concerns and how our listeners can relate to and understand major world events from a biblical perspective. "The addition of Kevin will allow WMCA to truly reflect the attitude of the city we serve, and be more responsive to community concerns," said WMCA Vice President and General Manager Jerry Crowley.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Now CBS Throws A Pool Party Concert


The CBS radio app is the official sponsor of this pool party being held in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan, August 17. Robin Thicke, Jason Derulo, and Sammy Adams will perform at the event being called the "Summer Pool Fiesta." The event will be streamed on and YouTube. CBS stations nationwide are giving listeners complimentary access to the show, with many receiving a trip to Las Vegas including travel and accommodations at the Cosmopolitan.

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Wodlinger Joins Sonoma Media Group


Kevin Woodlinger joins Sonoma as Local Business Development Manager beginning August 12. He replaces long-time employee Jeriann D?Elicio, who announced her resignation recently. Wodlinger is the former market manager for the Cumulus cluster in Grand Junction, now owned by TownSquare. Sonoma Media Group President Michael O'Shea said, ?Kevin is the real deal; a consummate sales executive with a great track record of teaching, coaching, and leading in local business development. We are delighted to have his expertise and leadership in our building.?

Sonoma Media Group operates (and acquisition is pending before the FCC) five market-leading stations in Santa Rosa, including KSRO-AM, Froggy 92.9 FM, 97.7 The River FM, Mix 104.9 FM, and Hot 101.7 FM. Wodlinger said, ?I?m very impressed with Sonoma Media Group?s commitment to local ownership and development of more local customers. I?m very much looking forward to relocating to beautiful Santa Rosa?.

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Townsquare is Movin On Up.


The folks at Townsquare likes to operate below the radar, but there?s no hiding the fact that after only three short years, the company is now 3rd in number of stations owned, with 242, and, per BIA/Kelsey, was ninth in billing in 2012, with nearly $190 million. Continuing his yearly climb up Radio Ink's 40 Most Powerful People in Radio list, Townsquare CEO Steven Price moves from 16th to number 9, after another year of activity growing the company. Price says Townsquare?s story, in its 51 small and medium markets, is live and local for audiences, while for advertisers, the story is to help them grow their businesses. Here's more about one of our biggest movers on the list, Townsquare Media.

Oaktree Capital is the money behind Price?s vision of a media and entertainment company with radio, digital, and live event properties. Most recently,  Townsquare purchased the digital assets of AOL Music and ComicsAlliance and Price says everyone understands the vision. ?Townsquare has been focusing on continuing to build out our product offering and audience experiences within radio and across complementary platforms, integrating the Townsquare Media story into our business practices and culture, and sharing the Townsquare Media story externally with our advertiser and agency partners. We are focusing on creating what we call the ?Townsquare experience,? which is rooted in radio?s strength as a community engagement and activation medium. We attract desirable and scaled audiences through original and live and local content, we get them to lean in and participate with our content, and we motivate them to do something, whether it?s creating a relationship with a favorite on-air personality and following them across platforms or taking advantage of an advertiser?s product or service.

Price believes that getting the radio message out is key to the success of the industry. ?Radio delivers an exciting and needed product to consumers,? he says. ?It is local entertainment, supported by local brands, with human personality and community engagement. It is not a homogenized jukebox. In my view, the industry?s challenges have been less about the reality of our consumer offering and more about the perception of our medium. With that said, I do believe that the radio industry has been telling a much better story recently, both on the local and national levels, and that story is resonating with marketers, advertisers, and consumers alike.?

But telling a better radio story is only one piece of the puzzle, according to the Townsquare CEO. "Telling a bigger media story should be our focus as an industry. We need to stop talking about what we have and talk about what we do. And what we do best is drive demand for our advertisers? businesses and services. This is bigger than a radio story, bigger than a media story, and bigger than a marketing story. This is an advertiser success and survival story. Radio works! We all have to redefine the business we are in. If we focus on our share of the radio advertising pie, none of us will be successful. If we focus on driving successful client outcomes and becoming a flexible, trusted, and indispensable business partner, then we will open up expanded revenue streams for our clients, ourselves, and our category.?

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