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Monday, September 30, 2013

Jackie Montagna Joins AdLarge


Jackie Montagna has joined AdLarge as National Account Manager. Prior to joining AdLarge, Montagna was Director of Sales at TargetSpot. She has also worked for OMD and Google, where she was East Coast Manager of the Audio Account Management Team and Account Executive of the Audio Group.

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Entercom Cuts Gallagher Loose in Wisconsin


He's been with the station for nearly two decades, however, after nearly two decades with WMMM-FM PD Pat Gallagher was on the air for the last time yesterday. Entercom eliminated his position. On the station website, his colleagues wished him well. On his Facebook page, Gallagher said he wasn't sure what he'd be doing next.

(9/29/2013 2:07:32 AM)
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ESPN's Linda Cohn Launches Podcast


It's called "Listen Closely to Linda Cohn," and it launches on Monday. The veteran ESPN sportscaster will be heard podcasting twice weekly. ESPN says, "Cohn?s deep sports knowledge and unfiltered opinions will be on display as she explores various topics through the lens of her everyday life and experiences." Cohn will be joined by different co-hosts, including ESPN?s Todd Grisham and Cassidy Hubbarth. The podcast will be available for download at, the ESPN Radio App, and iTunes.

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Mobile is the Driver


(by Dana Hall) On the mobile front, at the Summit Friday morning, Emmis CEO Pat Walsh cited the just-launched radio ?app? offered on the HTC phone for Sprint as a game-changer.  It?s an FM radio app that sits on top of every Droid and Windows phone ? just like one you?d have for Pandora, where users can listen to a station?s terrestrial signal, not a stream, along with interactive tools and visuals. ?Our growth is in social media and mobile,? explains Walsh, adding that ?30 years ago, Sony sold 40 million Walkmans, in which the FM band was the primary main function. We really haven?t had a mobile device dedicated to radio since.?

The day?s second panel, ?The Future of Radio? continued on the discussion of mobile, social and the connected car, stressing that whatever radio does today, it must take into consideration new technology, yet-to-be commonplace.  Owen Grover, President for content partnerships at Clear Channel Entertainment, including iHeartRadio, explains that while auto makers are saying that analog radio will remain ? it?s guaranteed that the dash will look drastically different in the next few years. ?That impacts our design decisions today.? He also notes that one size design does not fit all, ?what (functions) you have in the mobile and web apps should be drastically different than what?s in a dash/auto app.?

(9/27/2013 4:33:55 PM)
"Emmis CEO Pat Walsh cited the just-launched radio “app” offered on the HTC phone for Sprint as a game-changer."

Just in the nick of time, too. We've never had a portable radio before....

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WUSN-FM Morning Host Ramblin' Ray Stevens


Ray Stevens is one of the funniest people I know, quick as they come with a one-liner and slaying everyone with a rapid comeback. I met Ray via my husband who was doing weather on US99. We spent our first meeting sparring verbally back and forth, and before we knew it we were planning on having dinner together. I soon came to realize that Ray was not just the life of the party, he was smart as a whip and really understood our business. Ray?s ?Chicago macho? style, along with his punchy personality, makes him a talent to be reckoned with; he keeps me on my toes and reminds me every day how lucky I am to know him.

Now, in his own words, here's how WUSN-FM morning host Ramblin' Ray Stevens got into radio?

I guess it all really started at an early age and if I had to credit anyone for pointing me in the direction of radio, it would be my Mom. She was the one who bought me my first Mr. Microphone when I was a child. I loved to talk. I would goof off in school but I didn't do it to be a distraction but rather to get the other kids, attention and be amusing.
Now, fast forward to my senior year of high school; my life consisted of snowmobile racing, cars, and fishing. Pepper that with working for my Dad?s construction company and I was king of the world, at least until I had an epiphany. Working outside on Chicago's buildings when it was 100 degrees or when it was 20 below, and then almost cutting off my hand after a night of too little sleep; it didn't take long to figure out this wasn't the job for me.
So off to college I went. My Mom and Dad had friends in Scottsdale, Arizona, so it was only natural that I tried my hand at Arizona State University. That was a brilliant plan. Why in the world my folks would set me loose in the desert Southwest is still a mystery to me. For the most part, these people were successful, smart parents, until this move! I was at ASU for three months before I made my way to Colorado where I spent the next semester on the Eldora ski slopes where I majored in ?barely getting by.?
After a semester of sun and fun, and another of skiing and sluffing off, I made my way back home to Chicago and the local college, and back to work part-time at my Dad?s construction company. This was exactly what I didn't want to do.
It was clearly time to reset and refocus. The awakening came for me during spring break, nothing like endless cases of cheap Keystone Light to help a college kid get on track. My friend Bobby French and I were set free in Daytona Beach, it was really something to see local radio and club DJs hosting beer parties. It was debauchery at its finest.
My friend and I were hanging around and waiting for a big party at Penrod?s Plaza in Daytona sponsored by Budweiser. The only problem with this epic party was the DJ, who was supposed to host the event but didn't show up. There was no one to host the silly contests that surrounded the MTV-type mid-80s party. That's when I offered my services and stepped in. I hosted that party for Budweiser and Penrod?s for the next two weeks.
When I returned to Chicago to a set of unhappy parents, my Mom said, "Ever think about radio?" A trip to 600 South Michigan Avenue, to Columbia College, and I was ready to be the next Jonathon Brandmeier.
I recall the teachers (who were all in Chicago radio) saying you need to pay your dues and get an internship. So after the first day of school I set up a meeting at 107.9 WAUR in Aurora in the western Chicago suburbs.
I was getting out of my car, a sweet 87 Mustang GT convertible, when the Program Director of WAUR was getting out of his car in the station parking lot at the same time. He introduced himself to me and said "I could use that car for a parade."  I said, " I could use a job on your radio station."
He used my car and, after a few months of interning, I was on the air! That was 1987, and it started a career that has kept me in Chicago radio for over 25 years. That particular PD was Bruce Summers, he and I are still friends to this day.
I may have been a little crazy and really unfocused, and I know I wasted too much time and money on my youth, but that cool car got me that first gig in radio!

Reach out to Ray 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. Read more "How I Got Into Radio" columns by Lisa HERE.

(9/28/2013 2:41:14 PM)
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CBS Sports Network Wants Boomer and Carton


That's the TV side of things, as the number of interested parties increases for the New York City based WFAN Morning Show. According to the Daily News, CBS Sports Network is serious about acquiring the TV rights to the morning show. The YES Network and MSG are also interested. MSG, where the show can be viewed now, has the right to match any bid. The Daily News says, "CBSSN?s interest in ?The Boomer and Carton Show? simulcast has everything to do with network suits trying to beef up ? and bring some buzz ? to the programming lineup of the lightly watched national cable sports network."

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

(SALES) How to Bring Rates Back Up


From the movie Back to the Future (in 1955, TAB and Pepsi Free aren?t invented yet):

Server -- You gonna order something?
Marty McFly -- Ah?yeah, give me a TAB.
Server --  I can?t give you a tab unless you order something.
Marty McFly -- Then give me a Pepsi Free.
Server -- If you want a Pepsi PAL, you?re gonna pay for it!

Cheap rate packages are keeping broadcast stations from reaching their short- and long-term revenue potentials. In markets all across the country, rate structures are cratering, with prices dropping in some cases back to early-1980s levels.

?It?s all about supply and demand in a saturated media environment and a recessive economy,? is the convenient but short-sighted reason for pants-dropping. Because, as we all know, spoiling local clients (and their little blood-sucking advertising agencies) for the short-term also spoils them for the long-term. In other words, selling cheap packages for ?just this one time? is how we create rate-contentious clients for life.

Smart broadcast sellers advise their clients against spending 95 percent of their advertising dollars on sales events, going after the worst, most disloyal three percent of bottom-feeders who will only buy the merchant with the lowest price. Yet, here we are doing precisely the same thing with our ?special packages.?

So, how do we get rates back up? We go ?back to the future.?

We go back to the ?good old days? of professional broadcasting, back when we had to bring good creative ideas to the table because the clients were not capable of coming up with the same quality of creative on their own (they?re still unqualified in the creative area to this day). We show clients how to identify and solve consumer problems in the consumer?s own language, to drive business to the client without having to sacrifice the client?s price. We show the client why it?s in their best interest to get away from ?clown car? clich?-infested, Crapmaster commercials and get back to deep-sell marketing strategies that solve actual consumer problems.

We do detailed return-on-investment calculations with clients, using their gross margins of profit and their average sales against our total CUME numbers, not fragments of numbers, not with CPP, just like we used to do in the Golden Age of Broadcasting, for the following reasons:

-- So that clients know without a shadow of a doubt that doing business with us is a good, calculated risk rather than a gamble. ?Based on your average sale of $___ and your gross margin of ___ percent, we?d have to bring you ___ new customers per week in order for you to break even. Based on our weekly audience of ______ thousand people that means we could fill up ______Arena ______times, and out of all of those people we would only have to sell ____. If we sold ____ people, that would be a 50 percent return on advertising investment. Looks like a good, calculated risk to me.?

-- So that we can manage their expectations about results. If you don?t do the ROI analysis, you and the client are not on the same page about how many new customers the client needs to break even. That?s when you get the surprise phone call, ?Cancel my advertising. It?s not working.? Based on what? That?s anybody?s guess.

-- So that we can double or triple what they feel comfortable spending on your station. Once clients understand return on investment and how few new customers they really have to sell to break even, they may opt to spend much more money with you. We should be establishing the cost, not them. Would you make your decision on what attorney, accountant, or surgeon to hire based solely on who had the cheapest price? I hope not. If your doctor told you that you needed open-heart surgery, would he ever say, ?By the way, what?s your budget for this?? No, of course not. ?Um?could you do me for about $400?? ?Why, yes, we could. Of course the surgery will seem like an Aztec sacrifice to you, with no anesthesia and all, but we could do it!?

-- Just like back in the Olden Days, we steer conversation away from our price and back to the value that we bring to them as professional advertising consultants. When sold correctly, value always supersedes price.

-- We think bigger, not smaller, even in a recession. The broadcasting industry has been through recessions (and depressions) before. There is no question, even in our current economic situation, that bigger proposals get more client attention and consideration than the little dinky ones. Of all of the vendor proposals pitched to clients, ours are usually among the smallest, hence worth the least amount of the client?s valuable time and consideration. No more small-ball.

-- We invest in training our salespeople in the art of creative thinking so that they can use intelligent headlines to get appointments with key decision-makers, pitch million-dollar ideas, handle objections like professional people, and close long-term agreements for more money at higher rates (Hellooooooo!).

-- We stop sales turnover by paying our sellers a living wage so they can concentrate their time and energy on our business, instead spending their time looking for another job just so they can pay their bills.

When clients bring up other station?s cheap rates and packages, remind them that there is a lot more at stake than just the rate. ?Remember at family get-togethers like Thanksgiving, when you had the Big Table and the little table? Well, Mr. Client, they?re trying to seat you at the little table. Their prices and lack of a solid creative campaign reflect that. A business like yours has a lot of potential and I think you?ll get there a lot faster and feel more comfortable seated here with us at the Big Table. Now, let?s move on and talk about long- and short-term marketing strategies.?

We must sell smarter, we must sell bigger. We convince clients that our plan for their success is better than theirs, not that we have the cheapest rate in the market. Can we? Yes, even in a recession. Turning our backs to cheap rates now is the only way to a brighter future. And, if we don?t go back to higher rates, the future doesn?t look very bright at all. Here?s to back-to-a-brighter-future for all of us.

Principal Strickland -- You don?t have a chance. You?re just like your old man. A McFly never amounted to anything in the history of Hill Valley.
Marty McFly -- Yeah?Well, history is gonna change!

Paul Weyland is a broadcast sales trainer, author, and speaker. You can reach him at  or by phone at (512) 236 1222. Find Paul?s books, CDs and software at or on

(9/25/2013 6:38:14 PM)
Does no one acknowledge the brontosaurus in the room - the fact that our commercial production is so lacking in influential and appealing/listenable messages that audiences dislocate knuckles in their hysterical stabs at changing frequencies?

Spot efficacy just might be a factor in advertisers' ROI. Besides, most advertisers have nothing even close to that "one big thing" to which consumers would flock.

(9/25/2013 1:11:48 PM)
I agree with both Larry and Matts feedback. I would add that the spot loads across the industry have to be cut by at least 40%. The industry is at risk by continuing to run spot loads of 12-14 minutes per hour. They are too high, the industry knows it, the listeners are fatigued by it and the advertisers are worried about getting their message "lost" in that kind of environment. We have to have the courage to move forward and do what is right for the listeners and the advertisers.
(9/25/2013 8:07:30 AM)
Ok. The obvious challenges with this article in the real world is that (last I checked):

1. More than 80% of the business is purely transactional where stations are slicing and dicing to secure a rate/share balance that satisfies corporate's favorite performance metrics (which largely center around making budget and delivering share).

2. Local sales management and sellers are largely ill-prepared to influence the spending/price-setting decisions of key accounts in their markets. Much of this challenge speaks to the deficient business/marketing acumen on the part of radio sellers (CSS has been trying to combat this for decades).

3. The "good old days" have gone the way of the VW bus and they ain't coming back. This is the new normal. Our media ecosystem has so dramatically changed that radio spends much of its energy on defense as its share of media spending gets siphoned off by the shiny new kids on the block.

Great article.

(9/25/2013 8:07:30 AM)
Ok. The obvious challenges with this article in the real world is that (last I checked):

1. More than 80% of the business is purely transactional where stations are slicing and dicing to secure a rate/share balance that satisfies corporate's favorite performance metrics (which largely center around making budget and delivering share).

2. Local sales management and sellers are largely ill-prepared to influence the spending/price-setting decisions of key accounts in their markets. Much of this challenge speaks to the deficient business/marketing acumen on the part of radio sellers (CSS has been trying to combat this for decades).

3. The "good old days" have gone the way of the VW bus and they ain't coming back. This is the new normal. Our media ecosystem has so dramatically changed that radio spends much of its energy on defense as its share of media spending gets siphoned off by the shiny new kids on the block.

Great article.

(9/25/2013 5:09:22 AM)
Great article! I think you nailed it. Not talking about roi and expectations upfront is one of the biggest mistakes!!! It shows the client that you are not really interested in them but rather just making a sale. Talking about roi says to a client that you are care and that you want to be a resource!

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Alpha Gets Major Press For Hidden Money Trick


Customers were finding $100 bills in grocery stores and at Wal-Mart in Portland and Southeast Washington. It had them wondering, should I turn the money in or should I keep it? Turns out Alpha Broadcasting's  KUPL-FM was hiding the money as part of a promotion called "Secret Cash Giveaways." The Today Show picked up on the story as did the local Fox Affiliate KPTV. The money was appearing in egg cartons, candles, and groceries of shoppers.

Alpha Broadcasting Director of Programming, Scott Mahalick said, ?We wanted to give everyone a chance to win.  Having a live and local radio station with live on-air talent that live and work in our community means that we can be connected to our listeners on a personal and immediate level.?

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Did You Read What Larry Said? A Radio Legend Returns.


Larry Wilson, who built and sold Citadel Communications to Wall Street investment firm Forstmann Little & Co. in 2001 for $2.1 billion, is one of those rare individuals who?s on a first-name basis with the industry. As DEFcom.Advisors? Doug Ferber, who in 2009 helped broker Larry?s first post-Citadel acquisition, reflects, ?How many people in our business do we know instantly when we hear their first name? Not many. We had Mel for a while, but he?s out of the business. There was Carl, but unfortunately he passed away prematurely. We still have Larry.?

It?s a status stemming from an incredible winning track record, both for Larry and for his investors. It began in 1984, when the CPA and attorney-turned-radio guy and two partners established Citadel Associates Limited Partnership, with two Tucson radio stations. That partnership was followed in 1990 by another, Citadel Associates Montana Limited Partnership, adding Montana stations to Wilson?s growing empire. By 1992, Citadel Communications was incorporated, and within a decade, it had stations in 26 states. Citadel eventually grew to 205 stations in 42 markets, with Larry Wilson holding the reins as president, chief executive officer, and chairman, until the sale to Forstmann.

In the years that followed Wilson?s exit from the industry, a lot happened, to Larry and to the business he had come to love. The economy tanked, operators grappled with new realities and new media, and Larry lost his wife after a long battle with cancer. No longer content to fish, ranch, and ride horses, he decided to get back in the saddle in radio. Along with Portland-based Endeavour Capital, he formed Alpha Broadcasting in 2009, negotiating a sweet six-station deal in Portland with Paul Allen. Since that time a new company, Live and Local, has been established to bring in outside investors. Under the L&L umbrella, Wilson has rolled up about 30 stations across the country, from the Dakotas to West Virginia, Illinois, South Carolina, and Mississippi.

While many 68-year-olds are ready to wind down, Larry Wilson is on a roll, energized by the opportunities he believes continue to exist in radio. A ?local content? evangelist, Larry has this to say about radio: ?I love it, and I love the results it gets for people.? And his goal is to turn L&L into a cash machine, generating $50 million in cash flow every year. To do that, he?ll need more stations. Which is exactly what he spends the majority of his time looking at, reading about, and analyzing. In case you missed it, here's our cover story interview with Larry Wilson

RI: Take us back to 2001. Why did you decide to sell Citadel?
WILSON: Well, it was a great offer. I would like to say I was a genius and saw everything coming, but I didn?t. I saw that business had slowed down. But it really slowed down, mostly after we made the deal in January of 2001. I just felt it was a good offer. I did think that multiples were awfully high. I didn?t see any way they were going up. The only thing I saw that could happen was they could go down. But I never dreamed that they could go down as much as they did.

RI: For somebody who loves radio the way you do, you see those high multiples, how do you separate the two and say, ?I have to do this business deal?? That had to be difficult.
WILSON: It is. Probably just as important, or maybe more important, I loved the people. I hated to leave the people. My wife was ill, so that was another factor. She was very, very ill, and she got worse. Right after the deal was done, she had a fifth brain surgery, and that was really awful. That?s when I really had to leave. I just told Ted Forstmann that I couldn?t do it anymore. I had to stay home and take care of her. It did hurt a little bit. But when you are a public company ? even if you are a private company, you still usually have shareholders. I am not rich enough to just make my own deal. So you have to think of the shareholders. Ted Forstmann?s offer presented us with a tremendous opportunity.

?Larry Wilson is part of a vanishing breed of radio operators who ?get it.? All of us should welcome him back as he hires and grows radio professionals who are so important for the future of radio.? 
Saga CEO Ed Christian

RI: After selling, you watched what happened to the company you built. What did you think?
WILSON: It was appalling. I probably shouldn?t say this, but I saw the money [former Citadel Chairman/CEO] Farid [Suleman] was taking out of there, and it was ridiculous. The shareholders got a horrible deal. It really disturbed me. I talked to a few employees. I knew them all, as far as the Citadel group goes. I felt very sorry for them, because they were miserable. Farid and [former Citadel COO] Judy [Ellis] treated many of them very badly. Both of them went off into the sunset with a lot of money, especially Farid. That?s not right. It shouldn?t have happened.

RI: Did you ever run into Farid or Judy and say anything to them?
WILSON: No. I told Ted I had to go. He said, ?Well, give me a little time.? I said, ?Fine, you?ve got as much as you want.? I retreated to my ranch in Montana to take care of my wife. He called me and asked me to meet him in Vegas. I did. We met at the Bellagio. I met him at the VIP check-in area. He said, ?I want to sit down and tell you what I?m doing.? I said, ?I know what you?re doing.? He said, ?How do you know that?? I said, ?I saw Farid at the regular-people check-in counter.? He just laughed and asked, ?What do you think?? I said, ?Well, it?s your company. I think it?s a bad decision, but it?s your company.?

RI: Did Forstmann ever tell you that you were right?
WILSON: No, he didn?t. That would not be in Ted?s DNA. God rest his soul, I did really like Ted. He had some enemies that I have read about, but to me, he was the consummate businessman.

RI: Is there any way to be prepared for a recession like the one we went through?
WILSON: Well, the only way to be prepared for that was to not have a bunch of debt. And all of us had debt. That was what was feeding everybody, the debt. Myself included at Citadel. My last deal I did was $290 million for Dick Broadcasting. It was a great deal, as long as multiples stayed up. But you had to borrow the money to do deals of that size. That?s what everybody did. The Clear Channel deal is history. That?s what happened there. They borrowed so much money to do that deal. Of course, Cumulus has just borrowed and borrowed and borrowed. The only way you could?ve been prepared to weather it, and a good reason why [Saga CEO Ed] Christian is still around, is he has been very judicious on his debt. He didn?t do a lot of acquisitions. And he?s still out there operating.

RI: You talk about the deals. How do you spot a good one?
WILSON: Oh, boy. It?s 40 years of experience, I guess. These days, I look at tons of deals. A big portion of my time I spend looking at deals. I would say 70 percent I can eliminate in a half hour. It?s not the right cluster, they are bad signals, there are a lot of reasons it just doesn?t click for me. In the old days, we had the luxury of being the consolidators, and you could hand-pick your stations, as I did in Albuquerque, Modesto, Providence, Knoxville. If you didn?t run into Lowry Mays, you were golden.

Mays was an expert at this. He was the best there ever was. Anything Clear Channel owns, for the most part, is pretty darn good. Today, you can?t do that. Clear Channel has so many stations. Cumulus has a lot of stations. A lot of them were Citadel stations, and those were really good clusters. I am really selectively looking for properties that I think are underutilized, that I think our teams could bring expertise to and make them grow.

RI: What made Lowry Mays an expert?
WILSON: He started out the hard way. He did it himself. I learned a lot from watching Lowry Mays. He knew about Class C. He knew about clear channel AMs. He picked great facilities. And he did it himself. He built relationships. That?s the way I did it, or I?m trying to do it today. I?m trying to get to know these owners and let them know that we treat our people really well. Most owners care about their people and who they are going to when they sell out. I felt good about it, when I sold out to Ted Forstmann, because I loved the guy. I think he was a true gentleman and a man of his word, a quick study. But then when I saw what happened, I got very disappointed.

?Larry and I have been close friends for over 20 years. He is loyal and a straight shooter. His handshake is a deal. Double-cross him, and you?ll be sorry. He?s a tough guy, but has a big heart and is very fair.?
Bob Fuller (pictured here with Wilson)

RI: In a couple of years, it will be 20 years since consolidation. Good or bad for radio?
WILSON: I think the concept was good. I think overall, it?s good. It has allowed radio to compete the way it should with television and newspaper and billboards and digital and all of those things. The thing that troubles me the most is that I see it, in some ways, becoming so much less of a people business. I think that is a huge mistake. Overall, I think it?s been a pretty good thing.

RI: Should there be more consolidation, or are we at the right place?
WILSON: I think we are probably at the right place. What do you want to do, let one company own all the stations? That doesn?t make any sense. What you?ve locked in to here, for the most part, with the legislation that was enacted, is three major competitors in each market. That?s what it is in most places. If you compete really well, you could have one person doing 50 percent of the business, but not much more than that. I don?t see how you consolidate any more.

RI: At some point, you decided you were getting back in. Why was it the right time?
WILSON: Well, it wasn?t the right time. 2009 was not the right time to get back in. 2013 is probably the right time. I hope it?s the right time, because I?m doubling down right now. But I did a lot of studying. I did a lot of soul-searching, and just regular searching, of, ?Do I want to get back in this? Is it still a viable business?? And I concluded back in 2009 that I thought it was still very viable. My old partners at Endeavour Capital joined me and encouraged me to do it. We were a little early, but I don?t regret getting back in.

We acquired some wonderful stations in Portland, Oregon [for $50 million]. We have six stations. But we had to do a lot of fix-up on them ? a lot more than we had anticipated. We had to change formats. We had to switch the News/Talk from AM to FM. We did about every gyration you could do in Portland. That was really Bob Proffitt and his team that did it. Yes, I was in the strategy sessions, but they did it. They did a phenomenal job. What we have there now is a wonderful machine. It?s fantastic. It?s doing well. It is live and local at its best. We?ve got a place in that community, and revenues are starting to show it. We?re doing very, very well.

RI: After Alpha in Portland, you kind of went quiet.
WILSON: We totally put our head down and focused on fixing Portland. It was kind of the petri dish to see if this was really still a vibrant business. It?s not quite as vibrant as it was, but it is still an excellent business. The whole proof in the pudding is that it still gets phenomenal results for advertisers. As long as that keeps happening, they will keep buying advertising.

The other thing is, as long as you supply super-good content, people will come to you. There is no substitute for great content. I see a lot of local talent being terminated, and that?s not a good sign. These people in local markets are stars. Come to Portland and go out to lunch with one of our stars, you will find out what big stars they are, because people recognize them and want to talk to them. That?s a big deal. It?s going to continue to be a big deal with L&L and Alpha.

RI: So with Alpha, you had your head down. When did it come back up?
WILSON: Prices kept going down and down and down. In 2012, I finally decided I would start looking again. I knew I would have to put together a new team, because Endeavour Capital?s investment in us was through a fund that is fully invested. I aligned myself with some of my old friends in the radio business, Bob Fuller and Steve Cody, and Kit Snyder at Little Rock. A group of us put up the money and we started L&L.

WILSON: RI: You got a great deal on Triad. Take us through that one.
It was a busted deal. They put it on the market. They had great expectations of multiples. I declined it. Six months later, nothing had happened. I decided to go back and dust it off and take another look. It was obvious they were going nowhere. [Former Triad CEO] David Benjamin obviously did not want to sell. It was a very contentious deal. Fortunately, we persevered. It tried our patience, big time. But we persevered and we got the deal. It was well worth it, especially after we sold Fargo. Our net cost on that was, I don?t even want to talk about it, it was so low. It was a great deal.

They?ve got some superb stations in Peoria and Bloomfield, and even in Fargo. Jim Ingstad knew what he was doing when he bought them. They?ve got great operations down in Gulfport and Biloxi. Savannah and Hilton Head was all messed up, but we think we?ve got that figured out. We are on a course to move forward with that. We are really happy with it. I am not sure exactly how we got the deal. I think we got the deal because we could get the money and nobody else could.

?Larry possesses old-school attributes. He is an astute businessman who is fair in his dealings and whose word is his bond. He is one of those people with whom you feel comfortable to conduct business on a handshake. He is a man of character who knows how to operate radio stations!?
Beasley Broadcast Group Chairman/CEO George G. Beasley

Where do you want to take all this?
WILSON: I thought you were going to tell me. We are little guys, and we are just picking our way. We?re being very selective in what we buy. I don?t have a goal of a few hundred stations, or 500 stations. All I know is I?ve got a team together that knows how to do this. I feel extremely confident in them, and I want to give them resources to let them do their thing.

RI: It?s safe to say you?re looking at deals.
WILSON: No doubt about it. I would like to get this to $50 million to $75 million in cash flow. That?s the only real goal I have. That?s what drives me, the bottom line, and really providing a great operation in a local community, serving that community yet still making a nice profit for the shareholders. We?re going to keep going as long as I can continue to attract equity, attract debt, and borrow more money. We are not going to borrow crazily. We kind of all drank the Kool-Aid, and it was pretty cool at the time. It was a great run, but looking back in hindsight, it was bound to slow down. You can?t do double-digit growth in any business forever. But I think now, the growth is decent.

RI: Do you have an eye on any particular markets?
WILSON: It doesn?t matter where. We are not focused on the little tiny markets. I think that?s a good business. It?s just not one that we want to be in. But if we find a small situation where you?ve got a dominant cluster, we will look at that. Bloomfield is a great example. Bloomfield, West Virginia. We love it there. The guy that runs it is fantastic. He?s been there a long time. It just keeps on cranking. I don?t set out to say, ?I?ve got to be in New York,? or something like that. My wife said, ?What book are you reading right now?? I said, ?The BIA database.? I?ve got three or four books on my desk that I haven?t started. I am totally immersed in this right now. My office is nothing but notebooks. It?s notebooks of potential targets, not that have come up, but things that I would like to own. There are a lot of notebooks.

RI: What is the real multiple in radio right now?
WILSON: I think no matter what they say, the top end for the biggest markets would be 6 1/2-times. You can look at the deal that was just done for Seattle and Phoenix, and those were ?beachfront property,? and I think the multiple was in that area. Then it gets lower as the markets get smaller, in my opinion. I think probably, overall, you would say it is a 6-multiple deal. Some owners are realistic, and some are not.

Some are hoping for higher multiples, and once I get all these bought, I hope they?re right. I?m not sure that if you?re looking to get it on the multiple side, it?s going up much. I don?t think it is. It might go up a little over time. But to me the key is to be a really good operator and produce margins of 30 percent-plus. If you do that and you keep your debt manageable at a 3- to 4-times cash-flow level, I don?t see you getting hurt, and I think you would make a really good return on your investment down the road.

RI: Could you see yourself buying a company somewhere near the top 15 to 20?
WILSON: I would definitely look at that, if that became an opportunity. It really comes down to our confidence in our ability and my confidence in my team. I really want to give them things to work. If there were a bigger one that comes available at the right price, you could buy just about any of them if they had a big multiple, but I am not going to do that. But if I found one that I thought was reasonably priced for what they have, I definitely would take a hard run at that. I have access to a lot of capital.

That would be very interesting. If we did get that opportunity, I could get the money. But I can only get the money if the deal is right. I couldn?t get the money to pay 8-times. No investor in their right mind is going to pay 8-times.

"Every now and then you see someone who has deep experience in an industry, a knack for timing, and an eye for a good deal buck "conventional wisdom" and make a move that goes against the trend. Larry's reentry into the business demonstrates his belief that there is a lot of life (and money to be made ) in the radio business if you buy right and know how to operate. And he's got skin in the game which sends a strong message to his people and fellow investors. I wouldn't bet against him."
..........Dick Ferguson

RI: So L&L stands for ?Live and Local,? not ?Larry and Larry.?

WILSON: Some people think it?s ?Larry and Lynn.? My new wife, her name is Lynn. But it?s not.

RI: You?re basically making a statement with that. Talk about why you picked that name.
WILSON: It?s just the heart and soul of what we believe is important now. Not to say that national programming isn?t good in some instances. It is good. Rush Limbaugh has done really well. Hannity has done well. There are lot of examples of national programming, syndicated programming, that does well. But when I?m talking about live and local, it?s not just on the air. It?s about our people getting involved in the community: being on the board of the Pioneer Square in Portland.

Pioneer Square influences a lot of great things that happen in that community. We?re very much involved with the Rose Festival and the Jazz Festival. That?s what I mean by live and local.

We believe in having live morning shows where it fits, and live all kinds of shows during the day. That really works because if you are syndicated, the difficulty with that is you don?t have somebody who can go out on remotes, or go out in the community and be MCs at concerts. I think all of that is really the heart and soul of radio. You?ve got to be out in the community and be visible and really make life better in these places. That?s what I mean by ?Live and Local.?

RI: Let?s talk about the industry. What happens, in your opinion, to Clear Channel in the five years?
WILSON: The speculation is that they will end up with just the big markets at some point, and sell off the others. I honestly don?t know. We compete against them, but that doesn?t really give me any insight. You can either keep operating the way it is and hope to pay down debt, or you can sell off some stuff and pay off some debt. Or you can sell to a bigger company. I think the latter is probably unlikely in that they are so big,  it would be hard to swallow.

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RI: What about Cumulus?
WILSON: I think their focus appears to be trying to fix the big markets. They?ve got a pretty ugly situation in the old ABC markets. That?s just what I read. I don?t know much about them. I think they are just trying to fix what they?ve got.

RI: Does digital play a role at L&L?
WILSON: It?s very important. In Portland, where we?ve really had some time to let it percolate, we are doing very well on that front. In the other markets, one of the things that we tell the people we will bring to them is some ideas on digital. Frankly, none of them that we?ve bought have been very far advanced in digital. We hope, over time, to change that. I think it?s really important. I think some people write that it?s all over because of digital. I don?t buy that. I think that?s not the correct thinking. What I still see is a lot of texting with young people ? an unbelievable amount of texting. I have a lot of grandkids. They are still fighting over which radio station we are going to listen to when we drive in the car. That, to me, is a very good sign that young people are still listening. Listenership is still very, very good in radio.

RI: How are old are you? How is your health? Do you think you are going to be doing this until you take your last breath?
WILSON: I don?t know. I think that?s a long time from now. I hope it?s a long time from now. I?m 68 years old. I?m in good health. I work out as often as I can. When I?m on the road, I try to make it a practice to walk for an hour every day in the early morning. I plan to do this as long as Bob, [CFO] Donna Heffner, and [Director of Programming Scott [Mahalick] will put up with me. I guess in many ways, I am awfully demanding. I am very impatient. But I try to be good to the people I?m with. I do push pretty hard.

As long as I?m able to keep pushing and driving the ship, that?s what I want to do. I?m very fortunate to have the people I have with me. I wouldn?t want to be doing this quite like I did at Citadel. I?m not saying I?m not involved in operations now, because I am, but I have trust in Bob and Scott and all the others to hit it the right way. I can operate from 30,000 feet and be part of the big decisions, and I am perfectly content. I let them drive the rest of it. I think I am going to do it for quite a while.

RI: Are you saying that in your Citadel days you would call the studio to ream out the morning man?
WILSON: No. I never did that. I might after the show. I was probably on the phone with Bob Profitt more then than I am now. I make the same decisions he makes and he makes the same decisions I would make, when we don?t even talk to each other. I see it over and over and over again. I have developed a trait that I can stand back a little farther. I think that really helps an organization if someone is looking from 30,000 feet. I might see something that nobody else sees, because down in those trees, you don?t see everything.

RI: Is the radio industry in a good place right now?
WILSON: I think it is. I wouldn?t be here if I didn?t think it was. I just hope that this centralization doesn?t run too far. People are what makes this business work. If you don?t treat your people right, or you don?t have enough people, people will wear out. You can only have somebody voicetracking on five stations for so long, and then they are going to get tired and go sell cars or go do something else. That is probably the biggest concern I have ? if things are cut back so far to save costs that the people are getting worn down. We just used LinkedIn to find a manager in Savannah. She reached out to me, I read her profile and told her to call me. We started talking and found a spot for her. People are unhappy in this business, and we?re going to try to capitalize on that.  

Reach out to Larry Wilson at
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As Exepcted Savage Moving to Afternoons


With the contract between Sean Hannity and Cumulus expiring at the end of 2013, Michael Savage announced on his show last night he would be taking over the afternoon drive slot for Cumulus Media Networks starting in January. The move was expected after the break between Hannity and Cumulus and after Savage leaked he would be taking the slot back in August when it was clear Cumulus was only going to sign Rush Limbaugh. Savage says he expects to have five to six times as many listeners. Hannity is expected to be picked up by other stations in nearly all the markets in which he is now heard on Cumulus stations. Then in January, the real story will be which of the two wins in the ratings, Hannity or Savage.

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Connected Teammates: Automakers & Suppliers

Radio famously knows how to build teams -- genuine partnerships -- that get great results for everyone. Today it's time to take those skills and become a real teammate to automakers and Tier 1 suppliers who can make your great audio content an active and successful part of today's connected car. At Radio Ink's DASH conference, set for October 23-24 in Detroit, the "Getting Connected in the Car" panel will feature Brian Lakamp of Clear Channel and Sarah Lumbard of NPR; both these radio companies are already well established and thriving on the new connected dash. AND you'll have the opportunity to hear from Scott Burnell of Ford Motor Co. on exactly what you need to do to earn your place on the dashboard too.

Scott Burnell leads business development and partner management efforts for the mobile industry at Ford Motor Co. Most recently he facilitated the creation and launch of the Ford Developer Program, the first developer ecosystem for in-vehicle connectivity open to all global app developers. Before joining Ford, Burnell had a successful 16-year career in the wireless industry. As the director of mobile content for a wireless developer agency, he assembled and led the mobile apps team at the largest content aggregator in North America. He was instrumental in launching hundreds of apps across dozens of storefronts and coordinating the mobile efforts for brands and publishers such as E! Entertainment, Maxim, and Turner Networks.

Brian Lakamp is president of digital for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, overseeing the company's digital strategy, including iHeartRadio. He also works closely with the company's key partners to develop cutting-edge tools and products for all of Clear Channel's radio, media, and entertainment properties. Lakamp's digital media experience spans business and technology strategy, financial and business modeling, and project development and management. Before joining the Clear Channel team, he served as EVP/digital media at Premiere Radio Networks. In 2007, he co-founded Fluxe, a digital media startup focused on online music; prior to that, Lakamp served as SVP/digital policy at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

As NPR's VP of content strategy and operations, Sarah Lumbard coordinates strategy across the news, programming, and digital divisions. Previously she was executive director of content strategy and operations, and before that role, she served as senior director of product strategy and development and led NPR's digital initiatives on existing and emerging platforms. Today, these platforms include connected cars, the Web, iPhone and Android applications for phone and tablet, podcasts, social media, and a variety of partnerships.

Reminder: The special $159 DASH rate at the Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport ends Friday, September 30. Register today.

October 23-24, 2013
Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Detroit, MI

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Kriegler Named PD At KBEZ Tulsa


Paul Kriegler will join Journal Broadcast Group?s Tulsa Operations as PD for 92.9 fm KBEZ. Kriegler was most recently PD at cross-town KMYZ and KTSO. Operations Manager Brian Gann said, ?We are excited to have Paul join our team. His experience, knowledge of the market, ideas, and enthusiasm make him a perfect fit."

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Audio Forum Today at 2PM


As part of Advertising Week in New York City, the Advertising Research Foundation is hosting a forum called The Future of Audio Research / Where Do We Go From Here from 2PM to 5PM today. The panel includes Larry Rosin from Edison Research, Bill Rose at Arbitron, YMF's Deon Livingston, Amy Vokes from Radio One, John Rosso from Triton, George Ivie from the Media Ratings Council and Dr. Tom Evans from DTE Research.

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Caine Promotes Audio In NYC


On a "Kings of Content" panel in New York City during Advertising Week, Westwood One CEO Paul Caine said because consumers are spending a third of their day "listening," and with more platforms to deliver content, the company has had to think differently about that content. "It used to be creating programming just for radio stations, now we think about creating it for audio multiple-consumption. It can be anything from long form, like NFL games, to short form, like Podcasting, to bite-size content which can be shared with friends." Caine says Westwood One launched a product called Sight Sound which allows users to audio-enable their websites and Westwood One has been growing because they are now able to reach more consumers.

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New Comedy Channel To Launch on SiriusXM


Sirius XM Radio announced the launch of its newest 24/7-comedy channel, Just For Laughs Radio. The channel will feature over 30 years of stand-up comedy from the comedy archives of the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. The Festival's archives include performances from Bill Burr, Greg Giraldo, Dave Chappelle, Dane Cook, Kevin Hart, Mitch Hedberg, Aziz Ansari, and Russell Peters, among other comedic talents. The channel premieres Thursday on Channel 403.

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SiriusXM To Retire $539.6 Million In Debt


SiriusXM announced Wednesday that, on October 25, 2013 it will redeem all of its outstanding 7.625 percent senior notes due 2018. As of September 25, $539.5 million of the 7.625 percent notes remains outstanding. SiriusXM intends to use the proceeds from the issuance of $650 million aggregate principal amount of its 5.875 percent senior notes due 2020 to fund the redemption.

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NYMRAD to Host NextRadio Panel

New York Market Radio will present a special event to unveil Emmis' NextRadio Thursday Night at the Times Center, 242 West 41 Street, New York City, from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM. The event begins with a one-hour panel exploring the agreement between Sprint and broadcasters to make local radio available on mobile phones.

Moderated by David Pogue, Technology Columnist at the New York Times, panelists includes: Jeff Smulyan, Founder and CEO of Emmis Communications, Sprint Product VP David Owens, Joel Klaiman, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Columbia Records and Joe Riccitelli, Executive Vice President & General Manager, RCA Records.

This is NYMRAD?s fourth year presenting radio-centric events at Advertising Week.  Previous speakers at NYMRAD?s events have included Richard Branson, Chris Hughes, Donnie Deutsch, Mary J Blige and more. 

Following the panel discussion, NYMRAD will host a special ?meet and greet? reception with New York Market?s biggest radio stars.  The reception includes cocktails and appetizers.   Attending will be Danielle Monaro from ?The Elvis Duran Morning Show, Z-100; Paul ?Cubby? Bryant, WKTU; Peter Rosenberg, Cipha Sounds, Laura Stylze, Shani Kulture and Ebro from HOT 97 Morning Show, along with Flex Master Flex; Lulu and LaLa, 92.3 NOW Morning Show; Wayne Cabot, WCBS Newsradio 880; Bill Plaxx, FRESH; DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne tha God from ?The Breakfast Club Morning Show?, Power 105; Kelly Ford, Midday Personality on NASH; Race Taylor and John Fox, WPLJ; Madelyn Rodriguez, Speedy and Diane Sanchez, Univision. 

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Friday, September 27, 2013

L & L Closes on YMF Stations in Jackson


This one was announced back in July. L & L picked up WKXI (FM), WJMI (FM), WJNT (AM), WRKS (FM), WOAD (AM), and WJQS (AM) from YMF in Jackson, MS. Media Venture Partners represented YMF Media, LLC in this transaction. The price of the deal was $13 Million.

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Now Bob Pittman Challenges Pandora


Radio's top executives seem to be taking a new stance when it comes to the Pandora numbers being pushed out -- and often believed without question. Perhaps they see an opportunity to splinter the space now that iTunesRadio has entered the fight. Last week at the RAIN summit in Orlando, Entercom CEO David Field took aim at the Internet Pure Play by stating, "Broadcast radio has 20 times the audience of Pandora." Today at the Goldman Sachs Media Conference in New York it was Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman's turn.

Pittman said he wanted to bust a myth that's often believed when Pandora puts out listening numbers. "All of their radio stations added together don't even make the top 10 in New York. That's all of their stations added up. They don't even come close." Pandora has claimed, by adding up all of their listeners in certain cities, it would rank among some of the top stations in major markets. Pittman said those claims are not credible and radio is credible because the numbers come from an outside source. Pittman, as he often has in the past, described Pandora as a music collection while touting radio as a medium that has been remarkably stable and has relationships with listeners. "Listeners have a unique emotional attachment to radio," he said.

(9/26/2013 1:45:14 AM)
Pittman is historically correct, when he states that listeners have an emotional attachment to radio. They used to, but in many markets Pittman and Clear Channel have fired the proven talent, and dumbed down many of their stations with voice tracking. There is obviously no listener attachment to voice tracking. Then again, Pittman and Clear Channel owe 20 billion dollars to investors, so you can understand the urgency to cut costs, but they are destroying good radio stations in the process.
(9/25/2013 7:21:36 PM)
I'm really surprised that the entire radio community is against Pandora. Pandora is here and here to stay. It is a good and entertaining media. It is extremely popular. Pandora is good for radio it is solid competition. It force radio to up it's game. I call it the Tiger Woods factor. You don't see to many fat and out of shape guys on the PGA tour anymore. The crappy radio that I grew up with will all be gone shortly. Most radio has been horrible for a very long time and it's about to end.

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Greater Media Drops Kostan In Detroit


Steve Kostan's contract with rocker WCSX-FM is not being renewed. He's been with the station for 18 years. Kostan told The Detroit News, "This isn?t completely out of the blue. The vibe this year has been for everyone that the glory days of radio have changed a little bit. I?ve had three different program directors in the last few months. It?s hard to get to know someone in that time.? Greater Media has not yet named a replacement.

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Non-Com Hit With $12K Fine And Short Renewal


Gallup Public Radio Station KGLP-FM in New Mexico is hit with a $12,000 fine for missing six years of quarterly issues/programs lists. The station admitted not filing the 21 lists when it applied for its license renewal. The Commission did not go easy on the station, despite the fact it had reconstructed the reports. But the Commission believes the only reason the station admitted the mistake was because it had to during the renewal process. KGLP was only granted a four-year renewal.

The Commission also said, "We believe that the licensee?s violation was a 'serious' violation, as it denied both the public and the Commission any opportunity to review and comment on the station?s programming during much of the past two license terms."

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TALENT)Radio's Last Chance?


There are few challenges screaming back at anyone in this industry who puts forward the proposition that consolidated, corporately owned radio has made of our business ? our vocation ? a shambles and a charade. What?s worse is that, for many, the very idea that things could be so much better and rewarding doesn?t even occur. Grim.

There are, however, a number of broadcasters in a position to make massive improvements ? to their products, services and to their bottom lines. These would be the owners of stations in medium and smaller markets.

Many feel they are obliged to lean on the potential benefits of supplying local content with ?live? locally embedded talent. While laudable, and an improvement of a sort, I must report it is a weak proposal. Many broadcasters argue that implementing more local content would be a boon. I suggest the end result would be surprisingly disappointing.

Meanwhile, I put it to astute readers that owners of stations in medium markets still have, at least, the potential of flexibility in their circumstances. There are fewer, if any, rings to kiss for this crowd. The downside is these owners are also operating with the standard-issue sets of dogmatic, communicative traditions that have been passed along through time like a bad case of the mumps. No wonder so many stations phone in ?sick.?

Although an unstable generalization, I offer another point by suggesting so many medium market PDs are already infected with the equally sinister ?biggie virus.? Here is the bug that rampages in the skulls of those programmers who attempt to emulate major market stations. It?s an insidious little sucker and it drives the ambitious to distraction ? so badly do they want to be just like the big city blowtorches.

I am hoping we can agree on this first element. If not, I?m still going to insist that even the newest, abridged Holy Book of Music Radio Formatics is, a.) a work of total fiction; b.) out of date anyway; and, c.) ineffective. I remind the more junior practitioners of music radio that on-air presenter-formats were introduced as Boss Jocks were being originally cultivated. This, primarily, was a way of disciplining the talent who would, otherwise, be losin? their minds and runnin? their mouths on the radio. But even, in the process, as PDs were becoming under-achieving control freaks, they also acquired the authority to threaten and punish with impunity. The premise caught on and, like the malaria virus, hangs in there forever.

Before continuing, I want to express my appreciation for the circumstances of the managers, PDs, and talent who toil in the environments that are so typical of corporate, radio organizations. These too are people with family, friends, bills, aspirations, and at least a cryptic understanding of ethics and morals. But, like any kids who have ever found themselves in a schoolyard at the bottom of a dog pile, the ability to scamper about, never mind breathe, is severely restricted by the sheer weight of the inconsiderate frolickers stacked on top of them. It?s a pretty good analogy for those managers toiling under the collective weight of their own corporation?s executives.

Here then, is the strategy ? what it is going to take for a medium market radio station to run roughshod over any competing organization while drastically improving their stations? appeal to audiences, effectiveness for advertisers, and its own profitability.

It will be necessary to arrange for personal trainings of key members of the staff ? likely in smaller groups. This is because a station can?t realistically deliver larger groups to the training room and still stay on the air. Also, the training is so comprehensive that a full week is barely enough time to teach the techniques and methodologies for understanding, and to practice them to competency. This approach also allows for these individuals to become the station?s resident, knowledgeable, and skilled in-house trainers. My program is called ?Advanced Communications for Broadcast Professionals?. It could also be called ?How To Influence Radio Audiences Without Burning Them Down.? Either is appropriate.

I require a representative cross-section of station staff, including, 1. At least one senior manager ? an individual who will acquire an understanding of the training and who has the authority to insist on the continuous implementation of the programs covered;  2. One or more PDs are required to attend. Preferably more as they will also have the primary responsibility to re-train the on-air staff and the creative departments; 3. Senior on-air staff ? attending in a staggered sequence; 4. Heads of creative departments and a few writers will have to be in attendance. These are the folks who will also be leading and guiding others while generating far more listenable and influential commercial product and station promos; 5. Representatives from the sales staff will participate and be taking a number of new techniques and commercial strategies to the street. They may, where useful, be educating their clients, and will appreciate the new weirdness back at the shop. One week then, for each, mixed group is the time frame.

Immediate and substantial improvement in any station?s performance is beyond desirable. It is necessary. Radio?s presentation-dogma ? the traditions ? have been on the slab, and should have been declared ?dead? decades ago. The Kool-Aid is losing its potency. Plus, the deck chairs have been shuffled so often and so violently, they have become piles of busted sticks attached only by tattered shreds of material flapping in an icy wind.

Indeed, medium- and/or smaller-market station owners may be the last, but sill best hope for this entire industry. That is, IF they are willing to take the next, logical step ? mandated, comprehensive upgrading through training, implementation, and continuous practice to the level of automatic competency in actual, broadcast communications skills. This constitutes the ?D? part of R&D ? a component utterly lacking in the communicative aspects radio.

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

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(SALES) Groups or Communities -- Which Are you Attracting?


Twice in the last five days I've had very positive experiences at Starbucks. Oddly, neither of them had to do with the product or service.

I placed my order at the drive-thru, pulled up to pay, and discovered my order was paid for by the person in front of me. Instinctively I wanted to return the favor so I tried to pay for the person behind me but was told that as many as five cars back were all paid for. Luckily there was a sixth car and I paid.

The second incidence happened at a Starbucks in O'Hare airport in Chicago when the man in front me turned around handed me a voucher. He said, "I've used as much as I can, they gave me this yesterday because of a flight delay, it would be a shame to let it go to waste, why don't you take it?" The $14 voucher covered our coffee.

Random acts of kindness; both at Starbucks. Coincidence or Brand Affinity? Did I just get lucky this week, or is Starbucks doing something to encourage such behavior? I was moved by both experiences. I tweeted, I LinkedIn, and I posted on Facebook. Now I'm writing about it here. Free advertising for Starbucks; an unsolicited testimonial and positive feelings tied to an experience they really had nothing to do with -- or did they?

Howard Schultz is the CEO of Starbucks. He was interviewed by USA Today. The article was about Schultz not changing the health insurance coverage for Starbucks employees despite greater costs due to the change in laws, and the fact that most other companies are making changes to "protect" their profitability.

The quote from Howard Schultz that resonated most with me was, "I think we have a greater responsibility beyond just the profit and loss of our business, to do the right thing not only for our employees, but the communities we serve... I say this through the lens of being a CEO of a public company, recognizing that I have a significant fiduciary responsibility to make a profit and build shareholder value. But after 30 years, what I've learned is that we can make a profit and perhaps do even greater by also demonstrating that we mean well in the world."

As a salesperson, you have a personal "brand identity." Are you seen as a person who means well in the world, cares about your clients, or is just out to make a buck? What actions do you take daily, weekly, and consistently to strengthen "your brand"?

Thomas Knoll is the Community Architect at Zappos. He talks about the difference between brands developing loyal crowds that follow them and communities of people that interact. "Crowds don't have a purpose" he said, "Communities do. Crowds show up and get stuff, communities like giving. Where crowds want benefits, communities want to belong. Crowds are powered by inspiration, communities are powered by influence. Crowds are sustained by service, communities are sustained by the story."

In a sales world, measuring dials, contacts, and appointments; presentations, packages, and closes, it can sometimes be difficult to keep the "long view" of your sales career. Intoxicating, and pleasing to the boss, is the package of the day or the short sale that gets immediate revenue on the books.

Do you want to assemble crowds looking for deals and stuff, or do you want to cultivate communities that have common beliefs, common values, and common interests? Ironically, both strategies work. The question is, "Which one is more appealing to you?"  Maybe it's true that nice guys finish last. However, they finish as winners, and most importantly they get to the finish line.

Howard Schultz's approach to health care for his employees is indicative of a company culture, a "brand consistency" whose purpose is to mean well in the world. Somehow paying $3.47 for my Venti Americano rather than $1.00 somewhere else, makes perfect sense.

When you mean well in the world, when you provide a business advantage to your customers, price doesn't seem to be an issue. You will also earn more referrals through word of mouth, and you will be creating communities of customers based on value.

The results are clear. Companies that take the "long view" approach, sellers who develop their "brand identity" around giving and being a "business advantage" to their clients, are ultimately more sustainable, profitable, and certainly more fulfilled than companies or sellers that take the short-term approach. I haven't figured out why companies take the short-view despite the evidence to support the long view. Maybe you have some thoughts on that. Comments encouraged.

Think Big, Make Big Things Happen.

Jeff Schmidt is EVP and Partner with Chris Lytle at Sparque, Inc. You can reach him at,, follow him on Twitter @JeffreyASchmidt, or connect via LinkedIn

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

There's Still No Agreement On Ad Insertion


Setting aside, for a moment, the fact that broadcasters have yet to find an industry-wide solution to seamlessly play music and commercials online, they are also far from an agreement on whether or not inserting ads into their streams is worth their time. Internet pure play companies will, of course, tell you its worth every minute of their time because they can target ads, and, because it's their bread and butter. It's their primary source of ad revenue, unlike radio which already has an abundance of over-the-air inventory.

Vendors that provide the technology will tell you radio is missing a real opportunity to make money when they choose not to insert ads. Yesterday, at the RAIN conference in Orlando, it was clear broadcasters are still hesitant to spend money and time on a technology that produces very little return.

Saga Communications has been very outspoken about walking away from ad-insertion. Executive Vice President Steve Goldstein said Saga spent a lot of time discussing it and found monetizing it wasn't easy. "It was difficult. One funeral home in Milwaukee was on during every break. Smokey The Bear commercials is not the way to go." Goldstein said it also became an issue in the traffic department so there were a number of issues that caused Saga to question the effort. "People were telling us they now have a computer at the office, not a radio. We wanted to give them the total radio listening experience."

Greater Media's Tom Bender said at the moment his company is using ad insertion but they are also using a lighter commercial load and filling with music "to create a better expereince for the online listener." That of course begs the question, why does the over-the-air listener have to tolerate heavier spot loads and the online listener doesn't?

Triton's Mike Agovino said that, other than Clear Channel, the rest of the broadcast industry has not monetized digital. "At RAIN #20 there shouldn't be such a panel. It's insanity to me. Your ability to know abot the end user is at your fingertips." He said pure play broadcasters are monetizing digital at a much better rate because they know more about their audience.

Natalie Swed Stone, who is the US Director for National Audio at OMD, questioned Agovino's statement that the panel was insanity. "I don't understand why you say we shouldn't have this panel. We're talking about how pure play continues to win." She went on to say that what used to be one budget for an 18-49 demo has morphed into a request to take that same budget and apply it to eight different segments -- that can now be targeted using online audio -- in that same 18-49 demo.

Saga's Steve Goldstein summed it up by saying broadcasters "are getting hurt because we are still in our own little box."

(9/18/2013 6:59:06 AM)
The panel that we should be having is "how come radio can't sell digital?"

Underneath all of these discussions about ad insertion is the fact that radio isn't doing a good job at selling their digital inventory. We all know what most broadcasters do- they give it away in order to get the broadcast deal. Then load up the psa's... Then complain about quality.

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Smith Urges Broadcasters to Get Behind the Chip


NAB CEO Gordon Smith told Radio Show attendees Wednesday that investing in innovation is crucial to the long-term growth of the industry -- and one of those innovations is the FM chip for cell phones. Just watching people walk the hallways or sit in sessions, it's clear the cell phone has become an extension of the human body. Most agree that if radio had a perrmanent position on the face of every cell phone, that would be very beneficial to the industry as a whole.

Of course, Smith mentioned the importance of local radio being on and available to communities in times of tragedy and disaster, which unfortunately, we hear about every year in this country. An FM chip delivers radio without the need of a stream, so your local station will always be there, over the air, when listeners need it most. Smith said the FM chip technology, now also being referred to as "hybrid FM radio," benefits consumers and provides many opportunities for broadcasters and manufacturers. NAB Labs has been instrumental in helping produce the product that Sprint would eventually buy into and put in its phones.

Smith also gave credit to Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan, who, he said, pioneered the FM chip effort; he added, "and, like many unsung pioneer heroes, he has taken his share of arrows in the back to bring this initiative to the forefront of the radio business." Smulyan, according to Smith, had additional help on the FM chip initiative from Hubbard Radio's Bruce Reese and Ginny Morris and Cromwell CEO Bud Walters. Smith believes that getting the chips in all phones is yet another way to increase the influence of the radio industry.

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Kassan Expands Advisory Role With Clear Channel


MediaLink founder and CEO Michael Kassan is expanding his involvement with Clear Channel, as he becomes a special adviser to Clear Channel Chairman/CEO Bob Pittman. Expanding on CC's current partnership with advisory and business-development firm MediaLink, Kassan will work with Pittman, Clear Channel Media & Entertainment CEO John Hogan, Clear Channel Outdoor CEO William Eccleshare, and Clear Channel President/CFO Rich Bressler on further planning and implementation of strategic marketing and brand development, as well as revenue generation.

Hogan said, "Over the last several years MediaLink has been an important and valuable partner for us, and Michael's expanded role is a testament of his involvement. He has made an effort to be more directly involved in our business, and we of course jumped at the opportunity to have him play an even bigger role with us. Michael has shown a strong interest and a deep understanding of Clear Channel's unparalleled capabilities and will be extremely valuable in helping Clear Channel further capitalize on our unique multi-platform assets and deliver unmatched media solutions to our advertisers. He is strategic, creative and has an incredible amount of knowledge of the media industry. He believes in our company and knows the value we can bring to advertisers -- and he will be a huge asset to Clear Channel."

Kassan said Clear Channel has a "'special sauce' that is sought after in media today: the rare combination of proven experience coupled with intelligent innovation." He continued, "As an organization, it is one of the largest media companies and one of the most nimble in the world. Its assets are truly multi-platform, connecting bedrock offerings in radio and out-of-home, with show-stopping digital and live experiences. And, of course, its people -- with a team worthy of the word 'leadership' that has demonstrated results for both audiences and advertisers across all mediums."

As reported earlier, Kassan will be providing reports, interviews, and features on Clear Channel's WOR/New York throughout Advertising Week, September 23-27.

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KISW, Local Distillery Unveil Worker's No. 9 Vodka


KISW/Seattle and Mischief Distillery have introduced Worker's No. 9 Vodka, "made the for the workingman." A portion of the proceeds from the vodka sales will benefit the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters Benevolent fund. The WSCFF assists firefighters and their families, while the Benevolent Fund also gives money to organizations that help Washington State residents.

KISW PD Dave Richards said, "This new vodka starts at the heart of the Pacific Northwest?s working man. A vodka created in the spirit of a true, honest day's work, and we're proud to support the brave Washington State Fire Fighters, who epitomize  hard work."

KISW also partners with Elysian Brewing on The Mens Room Red Ale, an arrangement that has raised more than $300,000 for VA and JBLM Fisher Houses in Washington. More info at

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Farber Focuses On Digital, Streaming


Erica Farber has been the president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau for just over 18 months now, and Wednesday afternoon she told Radio Show attendees that radio continues to be a healthy industry, taking in $17.6 billion in ad revenue.

The top categories, according to Farber, are communications, financial, automotive, TV/networks/cable, and restaurants. She then advised attendees to keep an eye on President Obama's health care plan as the government tries to inform the public on how this will be implemented. "We have a great opportunity right now with consumer messaging regarding the Affordable Care Act, estimated to reach $1 billion by 2015 according to Kantar Media."

Then Farber turned her attention to digital.

Farber said, unlike some other media, radio has made an aggressive stand and taken advantage of technology to deliver content listeners want, in whatever format they want, and when they want it. Throughout the show there's been a lot of positive buzz about the Sprint phones with FM Chips (see next story) as well as TuneIn and iHeartradio. Farber says, "Advertisers recognize the importance of delivering their ad messages across all of radio's platforms, including radio's fastest-growing segment, digital.

"Reaching a high of $767 million in 2012, digital grew 13 percent to $401 million by the first half of this year -- that's over 80 percent higher than the first half of 2009."

Farber also announced that the RAB is launching a "streaming initiative committee" in the coming weeks. She says this committee will be "rolling up its sleeves and taking a deep-dive look into all aspects of streaming -- definitions, delivery, metrics, etc. And this will be important to radio's future, especially as eMarketer projects that music listening via streams or downloads on smartphones will be used by 33 percent of the population or nearly 108 million people in 2017."

(9/19/2013 9:38:52 PM)
This is reeks of trouble. Dear sweet Erica doesn't know a f'ing thing about digital and is simply clueless beyond belief if she thinks the radio industry is doing a good job with digital.

Pray, and then pray some more.

(9/19/2013 4:04:43 PM)
Erica is good for a laugh, "unlike other media", is she kidding?. Most radio station's online presence is a dated, "website" centric view of the world. Erica is a true shape shifter, I don't think she has much credibility outside of the RAB. Lady take a bow, it's over.

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WSJ: Arbitron/Nielsen Deal Could Be Approved Friday


The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the company's $1.3 billion acquisition of Arbitron could get approval from the Federal Trade Commission Friday. The Journal says the approval would "likely come with conditions including one to ensure Arbitron continues a measurement initiative with comScore." The original deal was announced in December of 2012. Arbitron shareholders approved the deal back in April. It's been stuck at the FTC waiting regulatory approval.

Read the story here.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

FCC To Hold LPFM Webinar


The Federal Communications Commission will hold its second webinar to answer questions about low-power FM and the process for applying for a new LPFM license during the October 15 - October 29, 2013, open-filing window. The webinar will be held Thursday, October 3, 2013, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST. The session will be a Q&A for potential applicants to ask Media Bureau staff questions.

The webinar will be broadcast live over the Internet at Presentations will be available both during and after the sessions at and will be archived. Participants can submit questions by email during the webinar to or by Twitter using the hashtag, #LPFMquestions. For additional information about the webinar, please contact Parul P. Desai, Attorney/Advisor, Media Bureau, at (202) 418-8217, email: For press inquiries, contact Janice Wise (202) 418-8165, email:

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Angela Hill Joins WWL/New Orleans


Longtime New Orleans news anchor Angela Hill (pictured here with WWL personality Garland Robinette) joins Entercom's WWL as of Monday, September 30, taking the 1-4 p.m. slot. HIll retired from WWL-TV earlier this year, and Entercom/New Orleans VP/GM Chris Claus said, "Not only is Angela a household name, she's one of the most respected, popular and beloved personalities in New Orleans and the Gulf South."

Hill said, "Radio allows you to connect with and engage people on a more personal level. When you add the power and reach of WWL radio, we can do great things. My show will be engaging, fun, and attract big-time guests that will keep the Deep South talking. The sky's the limit."

WWL midday personality Garland Robinette called Hill "the world's greatest communicator," and said, "People think she's influential now -- wait until she sits behind that WWL radio microphone."

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AURN hosts 11th Annual Urban Knight Awards At Radio Show


American Urban Radio Networks (AURN) hosted their 11th Annual Urban Knight Awards at the NAB/RAB 2013 Radio Show in Orlando, FL. Pictured are AURN President/Sales Howard Eisen, WWRL VP/Operations Anthony Small, Perry Publishing & Broadcasting Chairman/CEO Russell Perry, recipient of the Sydney L. Small Lifetime Achievement Urban Bishop Award, and AURN President/Program Operations & Affiliations Jerry Lopes.

Among the winners were:

-- Chairman & CEO of Perry Publishing & Broadcasting Company Russell M. Perry, who received the Sydney L. Small Lifetime Achievement Urban Bishop Award;

-- President & CEO of Glory Communications Alex Snipe, who was inducted into the Urban Knight Hall of Fame;

-- VP & GM KJLH-FM, Los Angeles, Karen Slade who received the Urban Knight Award;

-- President/COO SupeRadio, New York, Jack Bryant, who received the Urban Knight Award.

American Urban Radio Networks (AURN) is the only African American-owned radio network company in the United States. It is the largest network reaching Urban America with nearly 20 million listeners each week. 

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What Else Is In The Clyburn AM Radio Proposal?


Up until Cyburn's proposal Wednesday, the Commission had been throwing AM operators a few crumbs.

They were small technical enhancements that had very little impact on how AMs could compete with the sound quality of FM, digital and other forms of clear sounding audio. They simplified licensing procedures and technical requirements -- including allowing ?moment-method? modeling, which can save licensees over $100,000. The Commission also granted experimental authorization for all-digital AM operation and improving protection to AM stations from potential re-radiators and/or pattern disturbances. Nothing on the scale of getting all AMs sounding like a crystal clear FM. Here are the other enhancements Clyburn proposes in her plan to revitalize AM.
-- Relaxing the AM daytime community coverage rule to allow existing AM broadcasters more flexibility to propose antenna site changes.

-- Relaxing the AM nighttime community coverage standards, which will also provide broadcasters, who may have difficulty finding suitable sites, relief for towers, and
directional arrays.

-- Eliminating the AM ?ratchet rule,? which requires an AM station to ?ratchet back? its nighttime signal to reduce interference to certain other AM stations. The rule, while
intended to reduce nighttime AM interference, has instead discouraged service improvements and has apparently resulted in a net loss of interference-free, AM nighttime service.

-- Permitting wider implementation of Modulation Dependent Carrier Level, or ?MDCL? control technologies, which allow broadcasters to reduce power consumption and allowing AM stations to implement MDCL operation by simply notifying the Commission, rather than having to seek experimental authorization or waiver. Modifying AM antenna efficiency standards by reducing minimum effective field strength values by approximately 25 percent, thus allowing the use of shorter AM antennas.

Clyburn did not give specifics on what happens next other than the commission would be taking comments.

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How The Car Industry Has Driven Audio Consumption Trends


A message from Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads

According to the New York Times, 2015 will be the biggest new car sales year in the history of America. The average American is driving an 11-year-old car, and those will need to be replaced. Car companies are counting on this boom, which some predict could have a whopping 60 percent of Americans buying new cars that year.

Will this new-car boom affect the radio broadcasting industry? One can assume it will impact car dealer spending as they compete to be chosen as the place to purchase a new car. But how does it affect radio listening?

Enter The Connected Car
If you haven't yet heard the term "the connected car," it's all about your car being connected to the Internet and to your smartphone. Every new car today has connected-car strategies, and the level of sophisticated integration for 2015 new car releases is way beyond what you'll see in most cars today. If you read my recent missive about the Tesla, you'll get a better idea of what to expect. Your car becomes a portal to all your entertainment preferences, all the apps on your tablet or phone, and connectivity to everything you need as you drive, including much more sophisticated integration of weather, traffic, and GPS.
Audiotainment: The New Buzz
The new buzzword in Detroit is "audiotainment," the part of the dash radio currently dominates. In most cars today, the audiotainment is AM, FM, maybe SiriusXM, and your own music source, either a CD player or a link to your phone or MP3 player (unless you're driving a fairly late model). New cars are all about audiotainment, and Detroit has discovered that the audio choices in a car, and how seamlessly they can be integrated into the driver's life, can be a major factor in a consumer's decision to buy one brand over another. Automakers have hired several thousand high-tech people, because the battle for the car comes down to its tech features, many of which are dedicated to audiotainment. Every car company has a different theory about which approach will be best embraced, and they are spending deeply to make sure you pick their system. If you have not seen this promotional video for Cadillac's CUE, watch it and see if you can count how many times you see AM or FM and how many times you see iHeart or Pandora.

Audio Has A Historic Role In The Car
Audio has mattered in the car since 1932, when Blaupunkt installed the first radio in a Studebaker. Cosby made the first factory-fitted car radio in 1933. In the 1950s Ford came out with a radio called the Town and Country that had a switch for listening in town or at a distance, in the country -- it actually moved a rotor on the tuner to let it receive distant AM signals. In 1955 Chrysler was the first with an all-transistor radio (a $150 option), and in 1956 Chrysler introduced an in-car record player that played 16 2/3 rpm discs known as "Highway Hi-Fi." Later in 1959, the automaker introduced an in-car 45 rpm record player.
In the 1960s, the 4-track tape was introduced, and later the 8-track was launched, to compete with the 1964 Phillips launch of the Compact Cassette. The first car in which FM was a standard feature was the 1972 Lincoln Continental, which also had an in-dash 8-track.

Most car buyers wanting FM had to use an Audiovox FM converter, a receiver that connected and played through the AM radio -- early FM rock stations gave them away as promotional items. It was not until about 1983, however, that the car market was 100 percent saturated with FM radios (new and used car market) -- and FM listening shares surpassed AM shares for the first time in 1985. Most of the first new car models that had new XM or Sirius receivers built in are now in the used-car market.


Unintended Consequences
Until recently, I never really stopped to think about how the decisions made by Detroit impact the history of the radio broadcasting industry. Yet when you read about the history of radio in the car, you start to understand that the car companies have always used audio devices as a selling point or point of differentiation. Ultimately, the car companies are a major distributor of radios, and they are seeking new and exciting things to talk about. Their decisions today will affect the future of the radio broadcasting business.

What do they say about history? Yes, you need to understand it so you don't repeat it. As you know, I wrote a piece last spring after hearing auto company representatives talk about a possible world of cars without AM/FM receivers, cars that could get radio only over the Internet. Our industry jumped on the issue, and Radio Ink was able to get at least two major brands to issue statements that AM/FM receivers will remain in their cars. I was pleased to see the new Tesla will be home to AM and FM as well. Yet Detroit has a mind of its own, and automakers are going to do what they think will sell the most cars. They want to provide consumers what they want, and they hope to be ahead of their wishes to offer cool things they didn't know they want or could get in their car. As I mentioned in an earlier note, the car is the new home to AM, FM, SiriusXM, plus TuneIn, iHeart, Pandora, Spotify, and pretty much any other audiotainment app you prefer.

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

FM Translators For Everyone


Acting FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn came to the NAB/RAB Radio show in Orlando with breaking news. And it was news well received by attendees, especially those who operate AM stations back home. Wednesday morning Clyburn circulated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, she says, "will represent the next major step in the commission's review of AM service." The proposal includes six points, many of them technical in nature, but one that caught the ears of many in the audience: The FCC will be opening a one-time filing window for AM licensees to apply for an FM translator in their service area. That means it's possible that every AM operator could eventually rebroadcast their programming on an FM translator.

Clyburn showed she clearly understands the challenges AM broadcasters face, reeling off most of the problems they've been dealing with for a long time. "The migration of AM listeners to newer, higher-fidelity, media services. The number of stations is decreasing, AM listenership is dwindling, and young people just are not tuning in. Many stations are unable to broadcast at night or must reduce their power due to the nighttime propagation characteristics of AM signals. Reinforced buildings and structures with steel frames or aluminum siding can block AM signals, leading to poor AM reception in many urban areas. And AM radio is particularly sensitive to interference from electronic devices of all types, including TV sets, vehicle engines, fluorescent lighting, computers, and power lines."

However, until now, it appeared only Commissioner Ajit Pai was onboard with some sort of AM revitalization. Clyburn made it clear Pai isn't the only friend AM broadcasters have. She's all in.Clyburn said the FCC needs the help of the broadcasters to make this happen, because it won't be easy. She said, "This is proposed rulemaking invites comment on additional proposals or rule modifications that could help to revitalize the AM band. I am eager to hear all of the well-thought-out ideas that you can provide, and I know that my colleagues on the commission are as well. There will be challenges ahead. But working together, we can ensure that AM radio and all radio can flourish going forward, allowing your businesses to prosper while continuing to deliver tremendous benefits to the American people."

Cromwell Group CEO Bud Walters told Radio Ink immediately after the speech that the FM translator window is a great idea. If AM broadcasters were all granted an FM translator, that would solve the problem. The big question is when this would happen. How long will it take to get through the process? Walters has been waiting for a response from the commission for nearly a year now regarding his Tell City, IN proposal to have WTCJ-AM rebroadcast on an FM translator, and he been given no explanation why it's taken so long for the commission to approve or deny his request.

Ben Downs, VP/GM of Bryan Broadcasting, also told Radio Ink he thinks the Clyburn announcement is  encouraging. "That was some very good news for small- to midsize-market AM operators today," he said. The AM NPRM addressed a lot of technical issues that will help when stations need to move, but that one-translator-per-AM window will solve the problem of daytimers and low-power operators. Now, when they get their translator, they will find themselves able to operate 24 hours a day and with coverage that can cover their cities of license. For a large percentage of AM broadcasters, this will be sufficient to keep them economically viable while long-term solutions are found. I think the work that Commissioner Pai has done to get things this far deserve a lot of thanks from this industry."

(9/19/2013 7:49:22 PM)
AM SYNCHRONOUS BOOSTERS (Synchronized by a 10 Mhz. satellite signal) have been very successful in PUERTO RICO.
WISO-AM operates three synchronized transmitters on 1260KHz. and WAPA-AM operates two synchronized transmitters on 680 kHz. for many years.
Continental broadcasters are welcomed to experience how great they work. It's a great tool for AM revitalization.
(9/19/2013 6:30:46 PM)
3. The flawed idea that the FCC is obligated to fix something that was caused by evolution of technology and the market. Are you still clinging to dialup modems and claiming you should still be able to dial into your AOL account when broadband technology has replaced it? No? So why is it the government's obligation to preserve outdated technology? I'm betting most of you would decry bailouts and "big government" - until it suddenly props up your business.
(9/19/2013 6:28:04 PM)
Couple of points:

1. many AM broadcasters now were more than happy to cash out their FMs during rounds of consolidation craziness. The fact they surrendered these signals for a quick payoff shouldn't entitle them to be bailed out now.

2. The illusion that AM is some sort of nirvana of localism is simply false. Yes, we all know the really local AM station with high school sports and the swap shop - but for every one of those, I can find you ten that are simply satellite repeaters.

(9/19/2013 3:09:27 PM)

I very much like the proposal offered FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.

Based on the comments made by contributors, it's not perfect but it's a great step in the right direction.

This will definitely help many AM stations!

(9/19/2013 2:12:19 PM)
In response to Chris Stevens, I hardly would say it's the fault of AM owners and blame it on a lack of "oversight". Broadcasting is expensive! A lot of AM owners that offer excellent programming would've loved to join the FM crowd, however without the big bucks backed by corporate or multiple shareholders, it's not been possible. New media combined with expanding FM service is a lot to blame, too. When a full service FM is granted 3 translators in one market -- it's a bit ridiculous! And HD too!

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