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Sunday, March 31, 2013

(LEGAL) FCC Protects You From Yourself April 1st

Broadcasting is a unique business.  After all, in what other business would it be deemed funny to play April Fools jokes on customers.  Think if you were the butt of the joke while eating a restaurant meal (surprise, it?s not really edible - barf!), or fueling your car (boom!). 

Yet radio stations in the past on April 1st have treated their listeners to pranks that have caused significant distress, diverted police resources from legitimate crises, and posed a substantial threat to public safety. 

The FCC?s broadcast hoax rule (Section 73.1217) prohibits the broadcast of false information concerning a crime or a catastrophe when: (1) the broadcaster knows the information is false; (2) it is foreseeable that the broadcast of the information will cause substantial public harm; and (3) the broadcast of the information does, in fact, directly cause substantial public harm.

Rather than writing the usual ?Groundhog Day? type of column that appears every year at this time from communications attorneys warning against April Fools Day stunts that violate the FCC?s broadcast hoax rule, I would rather take the approach of what is allowed on April 1st.  Such an approach, however, is difficult.  Even if the broadcast hoax rule itself, which is paraphrased above, is not specifically violated, there are many other April 1st stunts such as joke contests, or use of EAS tones even if to warn of sunshine and blue skies, that would violate FCC rule sections and policies. 

The FCC?s broadcast hoax rule, adopted in 1992, is specific.  The prohibited ?public harm? that occurs as a result of the broadcast of false information concerning a crime or catastrophe must begin immediately.  Further, it must cause direct and actual damage to property or to the health or safety of the general public, or diversion of law enforcement or other public health and safety authorities from their duties. 

The FCC says that ?the public harm will be deemed foreseeable if the licensee could expect with a significant degree of certainty that public harm would occur.?  Further, the FCC states that a ?crime? is any act or omission that makes the offender subject to criminal punishment by law, and a ?catastrophe? is a disaster or imminent disaster involving a violent or sudden event. 

The broadcast hoax rule was adopted expressly to prohibit broadcast hoaxes that are harmful to the public.   A radio broadcast that is harmful to the public also invariably exposes the station to potential civil and criminal liability. 

Interestingly, the FCC, in adopting the prohibition against broadcast hoaxes, gave as an example of a broadcast that would not be covered under the rule, a broadcast about amoebas invading the city, stating that this was an ?obvious hoax?.  On the other hand, the FCC noted that the broadcast of a mock nuclear attack on the United States with a siren sounder, was not an obvious hoax and merited a $25K fine.  Likewise, a false report of a nearby volcanic eruption merited an admonishment to a radio station prior to the adoption of the actual hoax rule (this was a Los Angeles station ? perhaps if the station had been in the middle of Kansas it would have been obvious?). 

In adopting its hoax rule, the FCC stated that it was not its intent to ?restrict harmless pranks, or to deter broadcasts that might upset some listeners but do not pose a substantial threat to public health or safety?.  Unfortunately, these words of the FCC come as close as anyone can come to saying in today?s regulatory environment what is acceptable for a radio station April Fools Day prank.  If a station is wrong and receives an Enforcement Bureau inquiry letter as a result of a broadcast hoax, the joke will be upon it.  

John F. Garziglia is a Communications Law Attorney with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Washington, DC and can be reached at (202) 857-4455 or Have a question for our "Ask The Attorney" feature? Send to

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Clear Channel Flips to Alternative in Atlanta


It was a rhythmic CHR but now 105.7 in Atlanta is Alternative. Clear Channel announced the flip yesterday, saying the station will now be called "Radio 105.7." Market Manager Matt Scarano said, ?Our goal is to offer Atlanta listeners a different genre of music while providing the best programming and listening experience available. The area is home to Talk, Hip Hop, Country, Top 40 and Classic Hits formats, but Radio 105.7 will bring fresh alternative music back to Atlanta ? which is something our listeners are currently missing.?

The new format will include Foo Fighters, Muse, Mumford & Sons, Green Day, Dave Matthews, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Keys, Linkin Park, The Lumineers, Coldplay, Weezer and more.

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Cable Operators Adding TheBlaze Network

TheBlaze, Glenn Beck's 24/7 Network,  has entered into a carriage agreement with Blue Ridge Communications, the nation?s 21st-largest cable operator. In addition, TheBlaze has also entered into agreements with BEK Communications, Sweetwater Cable Television, and Atwood Cable. Glenn Beck's TheBlaze is a multiplatform news, information, and opinion network with programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Premiere Launches Urban Weekend Show


Weekends with The Breakfast Club will be nationally syndicated by Premiere. The new program originates from New York?s Power 105.1 featuring DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God. The trio does a weekday morning show on Power 105.1 and they are extending their brand across the country with this weekend show. It's already heard on 30 stations including, WGCI-FM/Chicago, WUSL-FM/Philadelphia and WJLB-FM/Detroit.

Stations interested in Weekends with The Breakfast Club should contact Martin Melius at Premiere Networks, or 818-461-5453, or visit for more information. Weekends with The Breakfast Club is available to urban radio stations for air Saturday or Sunday between 6 a.m. and midnight local time.

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"We Can Improve HD Technology"


Technology company Digital PowerRadio, run by former FCC Chairman Mark Fowler, says its invented a technology that will significantly improve the coverage and deployment of HD Radio. Dr. Brana Vojcic (pictured), who invented the technology, is a George Washington University professor and an expert in advanced radio techniques. Vojcic will make presentations at the NAB Show in Vegas. Beasley Broadcasting CEO George Beasley says, ?This can be a game changer for radio broadcasters and we?re very excited about this new technology." Beasley has invested in the technology.

The company says what they have will significantly improve the performance and coverage of currently deployed HD Radio systems through enhanced receiver processing techniques. "The technology requires no changes in existing transmission formats or infrastructure; the coverage gains are achieved through changes in radio receivers? baseband receiver chip."

Fowler says ?The DPR technology offers a superior HD Radio system that achieves maximum performance, and drives greater consumer adoption and use. It provides a growth vehicle for the broadcast industry into all kinds of radios, including mobile handset platforms, such as smart phones,? Fowler added.

The presentation will be held from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Room S 224 on April 8th and on April 9, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, in Room S 224.

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(TALENT) Making The Case


I ask my radio colleagues ? even when they aren?t bothering anybody: What do the aerodynamic principles of sailing have in common with radio? After some consideration, the quizzed often request an easier category or a different show. I can report the most common answer from those who do reply consists of two parts: 1. ?That?s a dumb question.? and, 2. ?Nothing.? I hit the buzzer and exclaim, ?Incorrect!?

In seemingly unrelated news, radio folk ? leadership, on-air, creative, and sales ? continue to maintain a death grip on the unsubstantiated, yet powerful assertion that radio is a direct, personal, one-to-one medium. This position still exists because of a lack of knowledge of contradictory evidence or a refusal to consider evidence that is available. Further, a conclusion that acceptance of a contrary understanding could negate an entire career of paying homage to radio dogma on the matter. This is also a position that sabotages any possibility of future learning.

Broadcasters who hold the position point to the fact that when a person hears a radio station, they do so as an individual. This proposition-as-proof gets delivered with what, I suspect, is the same certainty as those who only centuries ago insisted the world was flat and that any who ventured too far out to sea were assured of dropping off the edge ? based on no evidence whatsoever. Those who came back, it was explained, did so only because they didn?t venture out far enough. The logic was held sacred by those who espoused it. Nevertheless, it was drawn from a lack of information. Radio, similarly, built its models of communication well before most of the evidence had arrived.

Likewise, while it is true that listeners do hear the station as individuals, the one-to-one proposition is still hung out there on a single, thin strand. Of course people hear the station as individuals! Are there any human experiences where that is not the case? Even those who are a part of a group are experiencing as an individual. That subjective reality, I have never challenged. The distinctions, nevertheless, do not yet seem to have caught on with broadcasters:

1.) Even as broadcasters insist on the ?one-to-one? premise, can they also identify, specifically, who that ?one? is? No. (No allowances here for ?the personal listener? ? a universally accepted, self-induced, and tragically destructive, delusional concept.)

2.) Is there a direct connection with a feedback loop between the speaker and the radio listener like, say, that provided by a telephone? None.

3.) Are there listeners who accept that whatever being said is directed at them ? exclusively? Not any stable ones. The exceptions are the addled and confused listeners, of which there are some. (?When I listen to you, I know you are talking only to me.? This is a deeply disturbing admission.)

4.) As the second-person term (?you?) is being applied, does that get the attention of individual listeners? Yes. Every time.

5.) Is what being said pertinent to or true for every individual listener? No. Almost never.

6.) Does this practice (?you?) challenge the immediate, subjective reality of just about every listener? Almost always.

7.) Does this exercise on the part of broadcasters do more to generate credibility with the listener? Or, does it challenge an audience member?s credulity? Our credibility is at risk of being seriously wounded every time we open a microphone.

8.) Does a listener being interrupted with a ?you? and then plied with innocuous, useless, or utterly irrelevant material get anything useful? Nope ? just pisses ?em off.

9.) Is isolating a listener through applying the ?you? and then telling them what to do a good practice for fostering the advertiser's/talent?s credibility or aid in developing an ongoing, loyal customer/listener? No.

10.) Is this practice (?you?) a well-considered broadcasting strategy or a holdover from some other experience, perhaps like that of the original telephone ? a device that allows for at least some semblance of a direct connection. Alexander Graham Bell spoke into the first telephone and said, ?Mr. Watson. Come here. I want you.? Watson, who was named, specifically, understood the message could only be for him ? exclusively. That was the first electronic, vocal, one-to-one message. Radio has never been able to do that.

Meanwhile, back in the glory days of sail-driven, sails and rigging were designed to accept the force of the apparent wind on the sails, and the boats were pushed along. There were severe limitations on the directions and speeds at which a craft could navigate.

Later, when triangular sails were introduced, amazing things became possible. Among them were quicker rates of speed and the capacity to sail in a greater range of courses off the apparent wind direction. A low-pressure area was created on the leeward side of a sail and what resulted was a pulling or sucking phenomenon that, in combination with the pushing, increased the performance of any vessel under that design of sail. Some research into ?Bernoulli's principle? could be handy ? and relieve me of the more detailed lecture, which I am unqualified to present.

Radio, unfortunately, is still caught up in an epoch similar to those days of the square-rigged ships. We only push. We have, however, every opportunity to join a modern era by learning how to pull, as well.

Maintaining our status quo will assure us of remaining adrift while waiting for advantageous wind conditions. Radio is an indirect medium. This distinction is only the first of many that broadcasters are invited to learn and apply. Our current state will continue until we acquire superior communication techniques ? how to pull as well as how to push. Otherwise, we remain a medium that just ?blows.?

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

(3/28/2013 1:14:38 AM)
Let me be a little more accurate here, Radiomike.
By transferring from Second Person ("you") references to Third Person references, our communications become consistent with what radio already is - an indirect medium.
Besides that which is the most important element, Third Person references are unlimited in number where there is only one "you".

The detailed explanations can be found in a number of fields including Transformational Grammar - a real snoozer for all but the keenest of afficianados. Fortunately, we (radio-types) don't have to know all that to execute the principles any more than a slugger needs to understand physics in order to put bat on ball.

(3/27/2013 4:32:56 PM)
"Suck" is what we already do, Radiomike.
The principle, meanwhile, is quite simple to articulate, but somewhat difficult to execute... at first.

It is as follows: By trading in all Second Person ("you") references for Third Person elements, radio becomes an indirect medium.
And that's it for today's freebie. :)

(3/27/2013 1:44:11 PM)
So you want us to "suck" too? Is there a concrete principle to apply here?

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

I Cannot Imagine Not Doing Radio


You would think after 25 years of extraordinary success Rush Limbaugh might want to focus more on his golf game. In an exclusive interview with Radio Ink Magazine (release date April 8) Rush says he does not have an exit plan. "I cannot imagine not doing this, not having this to come to each day." A very strong argument can be made that Rush Limbaugh is the most successful broadcaster radio has ever seen. At age 62, with 25 years of syndication under his belt, Rush is still going strong. Rush launched into syndication on August 1, 1988, on 56 stations. Today, and for years, he's been heard on nearly 600 stations, by up to 20 million people each week, on the highest-rated national radio talk show in America.

Fellow conservative talker Glenn Beck tells Radio Ink there are no adjectives too big to describe Rush's accomplishments over the past 25 years. "He is an innovator, a trailblazer and a pioneer whose sustained success is unmatched. He essentially created the medium 25 years ago and is still doing it better than anyone else. In this age of media fragmentation, Rush proves the power of radio - he talks to more people every single day with his microphone than essentially anyone else in the country."

Consultant Ed Shane reflects on Rush longevity and successful career. "There?s something to be said about being first; however, first is not enough. Being good is the first rule of longevity.  Rush is a good communicator with an engaging voice. Rush knows that stories are the essence of the medium.  Stories well told engage listeners. Notice that I haven?t mentioned politics. Rush?s success is based on politics, but his rise was not.  From 1969 through 1992, there were only four years without a Republican in the White House. When Rush started, there was no need for a political voice from the right."

"What he tapped instead was the politics of the unheard. Aging baby boomers, mostly white, felt they had no voice against something troublesome that Rush detected: A country besieged by left-wing journalists, environmentalists, feminists, and others Rush could paint with the label ?wacko.?  He gave his audience stories that reflected their beliefs and made himself a cultural phenomenon.  He has repeatedly said that his principal job is to hold an audience, not to champion causes.  Rush also knows that repetition creates belief."   

Rush says, "I'm REALLY lucky. I knew what I wanted to do when I was 8 years old and I am doing it on my terms. I am doing what I was born to do and I don't think anyone can be more fortunate than I have been. The key is having fun. I had to make it fun. For anyone who wants to succeed in broadcasting, that?s an important lesson. Remember that your audience is who makes you successful, not the media that may cover your success."

To order Radio Ink in time to receive our NAB issue with an exclusive interview with Rush GO HERE or call 561-655-8778# If you'd like an opportunity to receive one of our digital issue free, contact Ed Ryan at

(3/28/2013 2:56:36 PM)
It's a travesty the this lying sack of poo-poo is deified by publications like Radio Ink...he should be run out of town on a rail.
(3/28/2013 6:10:27 AM)
Lash Rambo is the central purpose of the deregulation ans serves as THE VOICE of big money and the love of it. He has served it well!
If anyone believes otherwise than they are simply believing "the Prince of the Air" and the Father of All Lies.
(3/27/2013 6:30:53 PM)
Its easy to have a story everyday when you dont have to fact-check anything and demonize 53% of the population. He has no audience under 40 and he will be extinct soon. What a joy that will be!
(3/27/2013 3:17:44 PM)
The most successful broadcaster we've ever seen?

Does the name Paul Harvey ring a bell?

(3/27/2013 12:30:37 PM)
No question, Limbaugh has made a lot of station owners a lot of money. But one of radio's biggest problems is, there is Rush Limbaugh and numerous Limbaugh wanna-bees like Glen Beck,and none of these older right wing talk hosts have any appeal to the under 40 age group. ...Where are radio's new emerging national or local rising star personalities? There aren't any!

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iHeartRadio Festival Number Three Announced


No artists were announced, however, Clear Channel says the iHeartRadio Festival will return in 2013. The two-day music event will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 20 and 21. Clear Channel also announced its continued partnership with Macy's to bring back Macy?s iHeartRadio Rising Star, a campaign designed to spotlight America's emerging musicians and find one lucky artist or group to perform at the iconic iHeartRadio Music Festival. 

The Macy?s iHeartRadio Rising Star campaign, back for its second year, will again conduct a nationwide search for new music. Clear Channel's industry experts and Macy's have selected 25 up-and-coming musicians to present to fans across America, who will then vote for an emerging artist who will be given a chance to perform alongside music's biggest stars at the iHeartRadio Music Festival 2013 and at Macy's Glamorama events this summer. Clear Channel listeners, iHeartRadio fans and Macy?s shoppers will select their favorite emerging talent and vote online at or at The artist with the most votes will perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Voting begins April 1 and will run through May 12. 

?We are excited to once again partner with Clear Channel for the Macy's iHeartRadio Rising Star campaign," said Martine Reardon, Macy?s Chief Marketing Officer. "From up-and-coming fashion trendsetters to rising music talent, Macy's has a long history of providing major platforms for the next generation of stars to shine. Macy?s iHeartRadio Rising Star is a fantastic way to engage our fans in that star-making process, adding an exciting layer of entertainment for customers to enjoy."

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NBC Sports Network. Ready For Launch


Not only is Monday the first day of a full slate of 2013 regular season Major League Baseball games (there's one game Sunday night), it's day one of the new NBC/Dial Global 24-hour sports network. That means the radio field is full. NBC/Dial joins the CBS Sports Network which launched on January 1st, ESPN Radio, Fox Sports and Yahoo/Gow all offering radio stations a chance to be part of a very popular format, which targets a very lucrative and rabid demo. We spoke to Dial Global Executive Vice President/General Manager Chris Corcoran about the preparation for Monday's NBC/Dial Global launch.

RI: What's everyone going through now that you are so close to the official network launch?
We are pumped up and ready!  This has been a huge work in progress, with great effort and teamwork through multiple phases.  We?re finally here and ready to share our creation with sports fans everywhere.

RI: How ready is the team you'll put on the air Monday?
I?ve played sports all my life; if you?re not prepared, you?re toast. That goes for everything in life if you want to be successful. Everyone on this team has been and will continue to be prepared each and every day. To use a sports analogy, practice makes perfect, and we wouldn?t put anything on the air if we didn?t feel it was ready to be heard.  Everyone from talent to programming, and from operations to affiliate and ad sales, has given their all every day to make sure we deliver to our stations, our listeners and our advertisers.

RI: What was the biggest challenge putting this network together?
Patience!  The biggest challenge is always making sure that we take the time to get it right, throughout the entire process, and that nothing is forced or rushed. We don?t react to what others do or say; we?re thinking through and listening to everything very carefully. Nothing is a throw-away decision.  Everything is carefully weighed so that we are confident in our choices and we stay focused on our mission. 

RI: What can listeners expect when they tune in to the network on Monday? 
Even though it?s an overused phrase, it?s entirely accurate; content is king. We want listeners to not only enjoy each show on NBCSR, but to learn something every day, to hear unique perspectives and to feel like they are listening to fresh, intelligent sports talk radio.  Everyone covers the main headlines, like the Tiger Woods comeback, the Heat's winning streak, and so on. But, how can we go in-depth and offer a different perspective, or a  different angle, without sounding like everyone else?  If a team GM gets fired, for example, we don?t want our hosts to just complain about it, but to find the story behind the story, to track and follow the story and to offer more insight.  That?s what we?re aiming for and that?s our goal.  Great content delivers loyal listenership and stand-out sports radio.  In addition, we?re excited to announce that we?ll be launching an NBC Sports Radio App that?s being created for Apple and Android devices and available to consumers next week.  We are also redesigning our website, which will be ready on April 1.  NBC Sports Radio will be accessible across multiple platforms, between the app, the revamped website, a big station lineup and station streams?all coming together on launch week.  We are honing a strategic on demand platform and we are heating up our social media presence.   It?s a fully-integrated 360 approach.  We look forward to growing all aspects of NBC Sports Radio and giving sports fans a great listening and interactive experience, wherever they are. 

RI: Why do you think listeners are going to choose the NBC sports network over any other product? What will make you unique?
Sports listeners are extremely loyal. There is no doubt that there are a lot of choices out there.  Even if we were the only national sports radio network, our goal would be the same--to deliver great content and to keep listeners tuned in and talking.  You don?t achieve success overnight, but we are ready to compete and attract a wide demo.  That being said, we have an incredible, recognizable brand and partner in NBC Sports.  We care greatly about serving our affiliates and advertisers.   We have a dynamic mix of elite national sports radio talent and contributors, like Erik Kuselias, Brian Kenny, Stan Van Gundy, Bobby Valentine, Chipper Jones and others, along with the next generation of top national sports radio talent, like Eytan Shander, Chris Mannix, and Newy Scruggs.  We also deliver former star players like Donovan McNabb, Rodney Harrison and Amani Toomer, all of whom have naturally transitioned from player to broadcaster.  They are going to raise the bar for former athletes in radio.

RI: What has been the response so far from the advertising community?
We had a launch party reception in our NYC office this past week, attended by all of our talent and advertisers; there was a lot of excitement and buzz in the room!  We are happy to offer the ad community a new home for brand extension.

RI: Are you worried at all that you are last into the pool or has it helped that you've been able to see what you are up against?
If we were worried, we wouldn?t be doing this. We?re proud of what we?ve built, nothing was rushed to get on the air, and we?ve been patient with each phase throughout the process.  Come Monday, we?ll be ready to suit up, take the field and play the game!  

To learn how to make money from this exciting format join Radio Ink in Miami on May 14 and 15 at The Biltmore Hotel for our 2013 Sports Radio Conference

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How to Successfully Execute a Format Flip


Changing formats can be an agonizing decision for a GM. How many listeners will we alienate? How bad will they beat us up on social media? Do we have the marketing budget for a new launch? What will the advertisers think of our stability? Do we have to fire anyone? When companies own multiple stations in one market, it's rare all of them are top performers. Connoisseur was running into this challenge at its Long Island cluster at 94.3 on the dial.

That all changed when CEO Jeff Warshaw decided he wanted to enter the Rock battle, a format WBAB-FM has dominated for three decades. As a result, "The Shark" was born. Nearly one year after its launch, the brass at Connoisseur  are all smiles about "The Shark." Early ratings have been very strong. Marketing of the product has created a nice buzz on the island. And, most importantly, revenue is up, according to Market Manager Dave Widmer. The station mixes classic rock music with newer rock music, which according to the research Connoisseur paid for, works with the younger demo.

Coleman Insights President and COO Warren Kurtzman who helped Connoisseur with the launch said, "Jeff Warshaw, Mike Driscoll, David Bevins and their team at Connoisseur continually demonstrate that ?doing radio right? generates ratings and revenue, with the launch of the Shark simply serving as the latest example of that.  We are proud to contribute to their success."

Widmer says the numbers are so tremendous, so good, it almost borders on unbelievable. But, he adds, we've done our homework. "It's not a fluke. This is a radio station has some legs to it. Listening occasions are high, 6-8 a day. That's a good sign. It's more than buzz. As a GM, I want to know what I'm working with here. We're out on the streets selling this. So we tell the story of how we got here by telling advertisers here's what the problem was, here's our research and here's what we've executed. Connoisseur is not afraid to spend money on research and marketing."

In addition to the research, Connoisseur has made a significant investment in marketing and promotion, according to Widmer. The station vehicle certainly gets noticed, Television campaigns have been running and artist concert fly-aways are part of the on the air. Amazingly, The Shark has accomplished all of this early success without a live morning show, giving some credence to the notion that consumers want more music and less talk. It also puts Widmer in an interesting position. How long does he go without a live morning team?

Listen to our Podcast with Connoisseur Long island Market Manager Dave Widmer on how to execute a successful format flip HERE.

You can listen to The Shark HERE

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Where Do I Start? Who Do I Call? BHAG!


There I was in the moment of having made a big decision. I felt called to make it public. To make, in the words of one of my favorite writers Jim Collins, a BHAG?A Big Hairy Audacious Goal. I decided to post it on Facebook.  ?I?m making a BHAG! Within three years, I will own a radio station!? That was in November of last year. 
In that next moment, I experience fear. I thought, ?What in the hell do I know about buying a radio station?? I didn?t know where to start. Heck, I didn?t even know what an STL was. (I found this out later. I know, I know. Laugh it up!) I didn?t even know what I didn?t know, but I knew it was a lot! 

Coming from my sales background, I decided to address this as if it were my biggest client of all time. I needed to do some serious CNAs to figure out what I didn?t know. I needed to build the best proposal of all time?my business plan. And, I needed to ask a bunch of questions, first from a bunch of people that I didn?t know. 

My first step was to reach out to the circle of people that I did know that had knowledge in this area. Upon discussing my goals with friends Mark and Holly Levy, they directed me to have conversations with a couple of brokers and owners about the process. And from there the circle continued to grow. I spoke with engineers, business consultants, station owners, programmers, programming consultants, prior station owners, bankers, lawyers, and of course my ladies in the MIW.  

I remembered being smitten by a panelist at the Radio Show in Dallas that owned and operated Ohana Media Group which holds stations in Washington and Alaska, Trila Bumstead. She was exactly what I wanted to be?a woman owner/operator who had a healthy group of stations and a family. I found her on LinkedIn and asked her if she would be willing to visit with me. Trila graciously agreed, and we had a great conversation. The biggest piece of advice from her was that I submit an application to the NAB?s Broadcast Leadership Training Program. 

I compiled pages and pages of notes, each meeting presented me with a term I didn?t know or an issue that I needed to solve. Google became my best research buddy. As I was talking to someone, if I didn?t recognize a term, I would Google it. It is amazing what you can find out at your fingertips! 

What I learned from this phase was that, without fail, everyone I talked to either had the heart of a teacher and was excited about passing on wisdom or was a connector and wanted to help me by sending me on to someone else they knew that could help. This was increasingly encouraging and confidence building to me in what could otherwise have been an intimidating and scary process. 

The surprising thing to them was that a young broadcaster was even interested enough to ask. The thought seems to predominate that there is a lackluster next generation of broadcasters where any talent has been sucked up by the big companies, leaving little to keep the foundation of independent broadcasters strong and healthy. I hope they are proven wrong. 

While this process continues to be challenging, and at times scary, my hope is that those of my generation who are reading along have the courage to start asking the questions you have. Ask someone you respect to mentor you and connect you. Ask someone you don?t know to mentor you or connect you. It?s just one LinkedIn or Twitter message away. Explore what it might take to make that nagging dream on the far horizon of your future become closer and more achievable. Who knows? If you do, it might lead you in to a banker?s office as it did me. 

Next week, I?ll tell you all about the search for said banker. 

Erica started her radio career in 2003 working for Zimmer Radio Group. She began as a sales assistant and worked up the ranks to AE then D.O.S. in 2010. She started her own consulting company, The Ruckus Group, in 2012 and now works with other radio companies helping them to grow their sales teams. She's pursuing her dream of radio ownership and she'll be chronicling her journey - in real time - every Friday.

Have any advice for Erica? You can reach her at
Follow her on twitter @epeff
Or leave your comments about your ownership journey below.

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Radio Team Makes Dream Come True


Magic 92.5?s MAGIC Mornings with Jagger & Kristi in San Diego helped make a little girl?s dream come true. On March 21, World Down Syndrome Day, 10-year-old Marisa Cox, who has Down Syndrome -- and a huge Justin Beiber fan -- learned she would be a VIP guest at a Justin Beiber concert in San Diego. Marisa, who also suffers from a life-threatening kidney disease, will also get to meet Bieber backstage. Jagger and Kristi surprised Marisa with the tickets and news along with other Justin Bieber-themed prizes.

Marissa's mom submitted the Bucket List request through
You can listen to it HERE

Kristi Jagger said: ?It?s wonderful to be able to grant the wishes of people in our community who reach out and share their dreams with us through Jagger & Kristi?s Bucket List and this is especially meaningful. It was very moving to see Marisa smile from ear-to-ear when we told her she would be meeting Justin Beiber. We?re so excited to be able to make her dreams come true.?
Magic 92.5 PD R Dub said, ?Jagger and Kristi are incredibly dedicated to their listeners, and this is just one way they give back to the community they love and serve. We look forward to sharing Marisa?s concert and backstage experience with our listeners on the morning show and on, so stay tuned to be a part of the excitement.?

This is the third Bucket List item that Jagger and Kristi have facilitated for their listeners this year. Every month, San Diego radio?s popular morning show team asks listeners what they want to cross off their life?s ?Bucket List.? People submit everything from learning how to drive and skydiving to completing a marathon.

Follow Jagger and Kristi on Twitter @jaggerandkristi
On Facebook

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Friday, March 29, 2013

(SOCIAL) Bring Listeners Back To Your Brand


It?s funny when you think about social media and radio. Radio has always been a social media. Highly skilled radio personalities of the past were good at working crowds with real engagement, remembering names (validating listeners) and encouraging listeners to participate in local charities and join their radio station in doing good things in the local community and for causes like St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital.

So all this talk about social media being new is?.not so new to radio. However, because so many people are focused on digital development with consumers (listeners), social media in the digital world can seem intimidating. It shouldn?t be. Consider these ideas:

1. If you went to a social business party or even high school reunion, you would know the difference between someone who was really engaged, interested in others, able to connect and share interesting stories, or be helpful to other party guests, and someone who was just passing out business cards and talking about themselves. Your listeners can tell the difference in social media, too. Social media done right requires that you ?put yourself out there? and that you try to be interested in others. Like being at the real party, this is a digital one where those who really engage become more connected and valuable to everyone. That spreads influence and it isn?t simply promotion.

2. If you went to a party and stood in the corner, not many people would know a lot about you. The party would come and go and everyone would leave. What would the benefit be for you or for them in your being at the party? None. Instead, what if you were entertaining? If you brought value to the room and every conversation with pictures on your iPhone or other smart phone, a few funny stories, you listened to others and ?brought them out? by being genuinely interested in the story of what is happening in their life right now? Well, you would be a hit. Memorable. Connective. In this same way, you should think about social media as a place for brief stories that are sometimes told with entertaining pictures or video. Bringing the ?fun? of radio into social media environments can be engaging for listeners; listening to them and validating them can help them warm to you in social media and follow you back to your platform ? radio. That should be a goal of your social media.

3. When you drop into a party, you may notice that some people have a more service-oriented heart. That means that they are the ones who ask if you would like a drink refill or they offer to get you a drink at the bar. Perhaps they greet you and start the conversation and you notice they do this a lot. In social media, that could be you. In other words, you can be the person who offers assistance and you can engage people on the grounds of being helpful to them. Start the conversation. Bring some fun into someone?s life. In our disconnected society of reality TV, longer work hours, more stress, and often living in neighborhoods where you don?t know the guy three houses down from you, social media is a way people reach out and try to feel connected, important, engaged. If you know this and work to help validate local listeners by focusing on helping them, you will be the hit at this party. Every time.

Social media does not have to be complicated. It is about connecting with people by showing them who you are and making it clear that you are there for them if they need it, you help others and you open yourself up so you can be seen as a real person. People react fastest to authenticity. Don?t kid yourself. Listeners can feel it when you are being real. This is especially true in an environment like social media when so many businesses (and individuals) can sometimes try to fake it to manipulate you. Be real, be helpful, be entertaining, and bring some fun to the party and see if you are not the hit on the social media platform of your choice. More than this, you will be able to engage and bring these listeners back to your radio station to continue the party!

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

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(SOCIAL) The Art Of Social Media


We talk a lot about the science of social media -- the strategy and the measurement of our efforts.

What we don?t talk about enough is the art -- the philosophy of social media that drives our presence.

Strategy is important. The functions of social media within your company or show; how often and when to post on each platform; which types of content receive the highest reach and engagement; those are all key pieces to an effective strategy. 

But without a philosophy of social media, none of that matters.

So what?s a philosophy? Your philosophy is the answer to the question, ?Why are you on social media?? When you develop an answer to that question, your strategy becomes more focused with every post, tweet, upload, and comment. It will become the "spirit" of your social media presence.

Regardless of your philosophy, your strategy should be driven by it. Your philosophy determines which goals your strategy should measure. Here are a few examples:

If your philosophy is to engage and super-serve your social listeners, your focus will be on giving fans what they want. You?ll measure the engagement on each post to determine fan favorites, and you?ll post content based on what you think the audience wants. Before you create and publish content, you?ll ask yourself, ?Will the listener love this and be moved to action??

If your philosophy is to use social media to drive website traffic and revenue, your focus will be on writing inciting teasers and creating a strong website, blog, video, and podcast content to drive listeners to your website. You?ll measure website traffic to determine how much is referred from social media platforms. You?ll develop opportunities for advertisers to get involved.

If your philosophy is to use social media to increase tune-ins, you?ll plan posts around on-air content and teasing.

If your philosophy is to gain new listeners through social media and increase cume, you?ll be mindful to create content that is universal for your demographic, and not entertaining exclusively for the P1 listener.

When thinking about your own philosophy, consider your company and management team. What are the company?s overall social media goals? If you like your job (or just want to keep it!), this is key. If your beliefs are different than those of the company, you will need to compromise enough to ensure you meet company goals with the station?s platforms.

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

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March 21 National Sales Meeting Podcast


Yesterday, we held our weekly national sales podcast on the topic of developing superstar salespeople. Our guest was Wayne Ens, President of ENS Media, a company that focuses on helping salespeople sell more radio. Next Thursday at 11 a.m., our special guest will be Jon Horton, the author of the brand new book "The 22 Unbreakable Laws of Selling." Here's a link to this week's PODCAST.

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Pew: "We Stand By Our Research On HD"


Earlier this week, the Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism released its annual report called The State of The News Media 2013." In the audio portion of that report, Pew was very critical of HD Radio, calling it a beleaguered attempt to draw people back to radio. We reached out to Pew's Acting Director Amy Mitchell (pictured) to find out if, perhaps, the Center had some bad information. According to iBuiquity, the number of stations turning on HD is up and integration into vehicles is strong. In our interview HERE, Mitchell said from all the data we look at, it cannot be disputed, more stations are dropping HD than are adopting it and there aren't a lot of positive signs for HD.

(3/23/2013 10:52:55 AM)
Speaking as a listener living in a multipath-plagued apartment on a low floor at the north end of Manhattan, HD is a wonderful signal-cleaner. The secondary channels are also nice, but not a must-have.
(3/22/2013 10:56:44 PM)
Please tell me she did not say "eck-cetera". And that you did not use the moldy cliche "reached out".
(3/22/2013 5:36:52 PM)
So who are all these broadcasters dropping HD? I've built two out and could use more gear to build out a few more. I mean, if they're not using it anymore they might as well sell the expensive hardware for pennies on the dollar or give it up to a good home anyway. Tom Hodgins - Broadcast development specialist.
(3/22/2013 1:56:13 PM)
HD Radio sounds great! However, unless you're a stockholder in iBiquity, adding IBOC to your station is a losing proposition. Who--other than a major radio group stockholder--would agree to pay a portion of their gross revenue forever? Not THIS broadcaster...not EVER! And one more thing: we HAD an AM Stereo system that worked--IBOC AM still doesn't and probably never will. So, who's willing to pay forever for something that'll probably never work? Time for something else!
(3/22/2013 12:43:28 PM)
The truth shall set us free from iBiquity's stranglehold! Take back our free airwaves from these airwaves thieves!
iBiquity fraudsters and scammeers!

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DIGITAL)Online Tools for Quality Leads -- Part 2


Last week I shared some online research tools to help you track news about your prospects, as well as monitor their social media conversations using Google Alerts and Social Mention.   These tools can help you identify the optimum time when your prospects are most likely thinking about buying advertising.

This week we?ll take a look at some online tools to help you build quality lead lists more quickly.


Manta is a cross between a business directory listing and social network for small businesses.  The primary mission of Manta is to provide a platform for small businesses to promote themselves and to support one another. According to a survey of their 90-plus million members last year, 42 percent of small business owners say they get most of their business advice from other small business owners.

How can Manta help you get more quality leads? As you search for small businesses in your area, Manta provides additional filters, so you can target businesses based on their number of employees and company revenue. 

Here?s one quick search tip when using Manta, first search by type of business like ?restaurant? or ?car dealer." After your search results come up, scroll all the way to the bottom to filter your search by location or advertising category.

Angie?s List

If you are seeking to build a quick list of quality leads for home service advertisers like ?plumbers? or ?dentists,? is your best bet. Unlike other business review websites, Angie?s List does charge a small monthly fee based on local rates, but it?s worth it for the leads you can gather. 

Qualify your leads by looking for businesses that have the most reviews, are promoting special offers or have newly created profiles. 

Those with special offers are indicating their desire to market a bit more aggressively. When you call on them, remind them that their pool of customers on Angie?s Lists is very limited. There is a much larger audience seeking their services who didn?t pay for Angie?s List, but can be reached by advertising on your radio station.


Think about all time and money you spend on getting people to come to your website. It?s probably one of your greatest unrealized sources of qualified leads. You probably have an ?advertise with us? on your website, but the majority of the people visiting that page are completely anonymous to you. enables you to identify businesses visiting your website. Your visitors? IP addresses are analyzed and matched against business information sources from Dun & Bradstreet and LexisNexis. DemandBase will identify the names of companies where your visitors work and then sell you leads to those companies for as little as $1.80 per lead.

This tool has a lot of promise, but for a radio station to realize its true capabilities, it would need to create content to attract businesses because most radio websites target consumers. A station could create a separate website, blog, or business directory targeting local business owners only. If you already have popular business content, then a tool like DemandBase might be worth your consideration.

The Web is one of the greatest sales research tools ever created and, at the same time, it is one of the most under-utilized research tools in radio sales. At the very least, before you call on any prospect, visit their website. Think of their homepage as a virtual billboard describing all of their marketing needs, priorities, and opportunities. 

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

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

(SALES) The GM Dozen

If you're a new general manager, I want to give you 12 things to do that will help insure your success. Take these to the bank!

1. Communicate regularly with your boss. Two or three calls per week is smart, but every Friday give them a re-cap your week. Having to leave a voicemail is fine. Just remember over-communication is better than not communicating enough. By all means, report the progress, the best sales that week, the great hires, and the homeruns. Your boss needs to hear the challenges and the things with which you need help, but being the manager that always has some good news is very smart.

2. Remember, there are no dumb questions.

3. Having a problem is okay, but always bring at least one well-thought-out solution to the table.

4. See the warning sign always posted right in front of the quick sand. NON-SALES ISSUES. The single greatest killer of managers is spending time on things that have nothing to do with revenue. The more time a manager spends on things that have nothing to do with growing revenue, the higher the quicksand rises. One day you?re knee deep. In 60 days it?s above your waist. In six months you?re fighting for breath and then, you?re gone. Never forget this warning sign.

5. Reduce sales turnover. Hiring them is one thing. Keeping and growing them is another entirely.

6. Asking for permission is always better than begging for forgiveness.

7. Don?t try to do everything yourself. If you don?t have people you can trust to get the job done, get some you can.

8. Sometimes it?s tough trying to get a decision from your boss. It?s okay to be a pleasant pain in the neck.

9. Remember the two unforgiveable sins in radio: Not protecting the license and being sold out and short of budget.

10. Leave programming up to the programmers. Be informed, learn it, understand it, and make the final decisions, but remember (with all respect), no one can screw up a radio station quicker than a GM who climbs in the programming cockpit and starts turning the knobs.

11. Dedicate personal time every week to recruiting.

12. You can control expenses, but you must grow revenue. So get out the office and sell, every day!

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

(3/22/2013 3:16:31 PM)
Very Good Suggestions - thanks.

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FCC's Rosenworcel And Pai Heading To Vegas


FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel (pictured) and Ajit Pai will be featured in the session "Straight Talk From the Top ? America?s Communication Regulators" on Tuesday, April 9 at 10:30 a.m. during the NAB Show in Las Vegas. NAB COO Chris Ornelas will lead a discussion with the commissioners on regulatory issues facing broadcasters. As previously announced, Commissioner Pai will also lead a session on AM radio revitalization at NAB Show on Monday, April 8 at 3:00 p.m.

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NAB Career Day Set For April 10


The NAB Education Foundation and the Broadcast Education Association, will host the annual NAB Show Career Day on Wednesday, April 10, at the Las Vegas Hotel. NABEF President Marcellus Alexander said, "Career Day provides broadcasters with exposure to media companies from across the country. It?s ideal for job seekers looking to work in the broadcast communications space." Representatives from this year?s recruiters include Clear Channel, ESPN, Fox, Gannett, Production Hub, Sencore Inc., Star Radio Group, and more.

In addition to the Career Fair, job seekers will have access to one-on-one career coaching sessions as well as informative sessions focused on career development. This year?s sessions will be:

Social Media in the Job Hunt
10:00 - 10:45 a.m.
This session will provide attendees with tips and insight on how to better incorporate social media into a successful job search.

Moving on Up Through Networking
11:00 ? 11:45 a.m.
This session, meant for new and seasoned professionals looking to brush up on networking skills, will provide insight into the networking process including tips on how to ?work the room,? approach key individuals, establish meaningful contacts and master the art of small talk.

Dress for Success ?Fashion Show? by Laura Rubeli
12:00 ? 1:00 p.m.
Image expert Laura Rubeli will give the do's and don?ts of professional attire during interviews and at the job, providing insight on how attendees can make sure image and aspirations are one and the same.

Negotiating Your Best Salary
1:15 ? 2:00 p.m.
This panel will explore the elephant in the room ? how to prepare for, talk about, and get the best salary possible.

Pre-registration for Career Day is available for attendees, and admission is free with the registration code CF13. Both registrants and non-registrants of NAB Show may attend.

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(SALES) Observations From The Road


Since the beginning of the year, I have been on a whirlwind tour of the United States and Canada doing seminars, consulting for clients, and attending Convergence 2013. I have noticed some common threads in my travels, and I wanted to share some of those observations.

1. Referrals. Why won?t media reps ask for referrals? I cannot figure it out. Media reps know that they should be asking for them, but they just will not do it. Every account that is active can give two or three qualified referrals. The two best places to get referrals are from satisfied customers and people who say no.

2. Trust the gut instinct. Luce Performance Group conducted an open house recruitment campaign two years ago at one of the media companies where we consult. A candidate was identified that we wanted to hire. We did not move quickly enough to hire the potential media rep and lost her to the competition. We recently got another chance and hired her away. Hire slowly is a good rule of thumb. We were guilty of dragging our feet. 

3. The majority of media reps still do not do a complete Customer Needs Analysis (CMP). We are well into the next millennium and still flying by the seat of our pants. I see reps attempting some version of a customer needs analysis -- if they use any at all. Why? Some are lazy, have no structure, and no accountability. When should the closing happen? It should occur on the CMP call when the rep quantifies and qualifies the prospect. Reps are not setting expectations and objectives as thoroughly as they should.

4. Little measuring, sourcing, and tracking of the advertisement in above-the-line media (radio and TV). We live in a measured media world. In most cases, the sourcing used by a customer is them asking, ?What brought you in today?? That method is not sourcing. Usually, when asked what brought them in today, the last point of contact in the consumer?s mind will get the credit. For example, the sign that they saw when they were driving up, or the friend who told them about the business. Good internal tracking by the radio and TV stations should have an element that is asking, ?Have they been exposed to the advertising on WAYZ 104.7 or the specific program on the TV station or news slots?? A media rep must tie in their Air Force (radio and TV advertising) to the customer?s Ground Force (POS/POP materials, cash register cards, ceiling hangers) or anything else that is triggering recall where a rep can get the credit for the increase in sales. The Internet acts as the "Special Forces" and is needed on all advertising buys, in my opinion.

5. Only 10 percent of my audiences are using ROI. Incredible! Incredibly sad! I do not know what to say. How does a rep set expectations with the retailer or business owner? Are the reps crossing their fingers, selling the package, and running out the door? I think so. It is no wonder that the attrition rate is killing us in radio and TV sales. Holy cow! How does someone sell like this, or why do they sell like this? No expectations are implemented on the campaign, so why track it? I suppose that there is nothing to track. Good chances are that the rep will not be there anyway since the first 24 months for sales rep attrition is above 50 percent. To the credit of those in management and sales who utilize the ROI, well done! It is no surprise that they are taking over 50 percent of the advertising dollar in the marketplace.

6. Package sales are like crack. The reps feed the clients the crack, and the client keeps asking for it. The client then becomes addicted to package sales. The only problem is that media sales do not offer a 12-Step Program for recovery. Instead, the reps keep offering them the packages of choice. Then, one day, they expect the client to magically take our long-term, expectation-driven, return-on-investment, results-oriented marketing solution. It just does not work that way. I believe that we have created a generation of package addicts.

I cannot close without saying that during my travels I saw some truly great reps that I have previously trained. I know that they are cleaning up in the markets. I also met quite a few reps who want to change the way that they are selling. Half of winning in media sales or anything else in life is about attitude and how to react to things. Winning is about the enthusiasm when selling and the belief in oneself. Remember, it is 80 percent about you and 20 percent about the product. Are you going to ?bring it? today?

One more observation from the road: I did not think that it snowed much after spring. Ten inches of snow is coming down in St. Louis this morning. So much for what I thought I knew about the weather. I think I'd better stick with sales!

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

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Stations Back On The Air After Fire


Miller Media Group President Randal Miller tells Radio Ink his three radio stations are back on the air following a fire in the stations' former transmitter building Friday afternoon. As a result of the fire, all three signals went off the air. Transmission cables for WHOW-AM 1520 and FM 92.3, as well as WEZC 95.9 FM, all ran thru the building formerly used as the three stations' transmitter building, located next to the stations' 325-foot tower. Transmitters were moved to the main studios inside the Big Red Barn in August 2010. The stations serve central and northwest Illinois

Engineers Wayne R. Miller and Jeremy Ruck, along with tower climber Brian Baker of Baker Antenna Service, were on the scene Saturday morning to begin the work to get the three signals back on the air.

WEZC 95.9 FM came back on the air Saturday morning at 11:45, at low power covering about a 20-mile radius, instead of its normal 40-mile coverage, while station officials replace its main transmission line to get the station back to full power. WHOW's 92.3 FM repeater came back on the air at its full power, covering all of DeWitt County, at 2:40 Saturday afternoon, and WHOW-AM 1520 returned to the air at low power at 4:30 Saturday afternoon.

It's expected that WEZC 95.9 FM will be back to full power within 30 days, and WHOW-AM 1520's 5,000-watt regional signal will be back to full power within 60 days. Both stations will require replacement of transmission cable.

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The Future of HD Radio is in The Hands Of Independent Operators


The following opinion piece is from Kelly Wallingford. Wallingford is the President of Wallingford Broadcasting Company and the Immediate Past President of the Kentucky Broadcasters Association. He submitted this editorial in response to our Pew Research Center/HD Radio story which ran Friday.
Reading something in black and white, even if you really already knew it, can have a shocking effect. I suppose it's because you realize that now everyone else knows. As broadcasters, the lackluster appeal of HD Radio has been one of those things we "just don't speak of."
I knew HD was doomed from the start. I was part of a large group gathered at our State Convention in 2006 at Lake Barkley State Park to hear a KBA-assembled panel of experts do a seminar about HD. When iBiquity and the equipment reps got to the anticipated cost for HD, I could see they had lost the audience. It was the same look referenced when headlights catch a deer off guard. I boldly rose to my feet and asked the panel if they realized they were asking broadcasters for an investment in an unproven technology that would rival or exceed the original cost of a whole radio station. I then asked the question that sent the entire room into a frenzied standing ovation and propelled my name into Kentucky broadcasting infamy: "Why so greedy?"
The truth is, Clear Channel and Cumulus aside (both got far better "incentives" and deals to launch HD), the broadcasting world said "hell no" to the cost of HD. To this day the failure of HD rests with iBiquity's and manufacturers' refusal to engage the "non-corporate" broadcasting world with an affordable pathway to HD Radio.
Instead of exciting us, they priced us out. Instead of getting us on board, they turned an apathetic ear. Instead of every radio station in the country touting HD and encouraging listeners to be part of radio's great digital evolution, the public has heard virtually nothing about HD and has little understanding of it. They alienated a large segment of the stations that could have been their greatest allies. Here's the cold hard truth: Radio doesn't even like HD. I have said it all along and will say it again: Until all of radio starts getting excited about HD, no one will be excited about it.
As broadcasters, we currently have advantages and opportunities with Web-based services, podcasting, streaming etc. Many stations are branching out in these arenas and doing well as we migrate our localism into new areas. Do we even need HD?
Maybe. Since there is nothing else available to migrate radio to the exciting new digital world, HD could still have some merit for broadcasters. But far too much valuable time has already been wasted. The time to act is now. Look at it this way: Radio and HD have a tumultuous relationship. There may be an attraction there, but we just can't seem to get it right. So do we work on getting it right, or do we break up for good and forever wonder "what might have been"?
It appears that if we want a digital future for radio, we must save HD from itself, from those who seem hell bent on making sure it fails miserably if we don't give in to their demands ? a business model that, to be kind, is working like a glass eye at a keyhole.
I offer this: Every state broadcasting association should refine and adopt an offer to make to iBiquity and the equipment reps for a "startup" package deal we can live with. The offer would include what we will pay to make the conversion, with the number of stations on board and a timeline for how soon we will do it. Imagine, thousands of new stations excitedly touting HD! Encouraging listeners to get the next greatest technology for radio and join our evolution! Millions of consumers hearing daily about this "new" HD thing! It happened with FM in the '70s, and broadcasters can do it again for HD.

Make no mistake, HD's future has always been, and remains, in the hands of independent broadcasters. I'm sure iBiquity would love to sell some licenses, that all that dust-covered HD equipment at the plant would be better off "in line," and that broadcasters would love to have something new and exciting to crow about. This is your wake-up call. Somebody has finally said it. HD is dying a slow death. Unless radio intervenes.

Kelly Wallinford can be reached at

(3/25/2013 6:48:54 AM)
It's all about lies, deception, and greed. You get what you deserve!
(3/25/2013 6:45:40 AM)
The first half is about how much denial radio had about IBOC, the second half is about how much denial radio still has about IBOC. It's dead in the water and has done about as well as any half baked technology could have done. Face it radio, it's O-V-E-R.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Genachowski Makes It Official


FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski gathered agency employees Friday morning to announce he would be stepping down. Genachowski  said, ?Over the past four years, we?ve focused the FCC on broadband, wired and wireless, working to drive economic growth and improve the lives of all Americans. And thanks to you, the Commission?s employees, we?ve taken big steps to build a future where broadband is ubiquitous and bandwidth is abundant, where innovation and investment are flourishing."

In a statement, President Obama thanked Genachowski for his service. "Over the last four years, Julius has brought to the Federal Communications Commission a clear focus on spurring innovation, helping our businesses compete in a global economy and helping our country attract the industries and jobs of tomorrow. Because of his leadership, we have expanded high-speed Internet access, fueled growth in the mobile sector, and continued to protect the open Internet as a platform for entrepreneurship and free speech. I am grateful for his service and friendship, and I wish Julius the best of luck."

The NAB, which has not been exactly working partners, especially on the TV spectrum issue, sent out the following statement. "NAB salutes Chairman Genachowski for his years of service at the FCC. The FCC chair is arguably one of the most difficult jobs in Washington, and yet Julius consistently performed with dedication and focus. We may have disagreed on occasion, but America's broadcasters wish him well in his journeys ahead."

(3/25/2013 7:16:06 AM)
Oh to have an FCC chairman who is a friend to broadcasting... Not one hell-bent on destroying it.
(3/22/2013 12:45:15 PM)
Two Commissioners down, means more iBiquity arm-twisting!

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(Superstar Spotlight) Emmis' Donyshia Benjamin


From sea to shining sea the radio industry is made up of superstars destined for broadcasting greatness and preparing to lead the industry. Our mission is to find those people and brag about them, bring you their stories, and seek their advice for others breaking into the business. Donyshia Benjamin is the marketing director and "keeper of the Brand" for Emmis' WQHT (Hot 97) in New York City.

Marketing Director/Keeper of the Brand
WQHT (Hot 97)/New York
Years in Radio: 16

MY GOAL: To continue to expand the Hot 97 brand, building upon the new innovations and mobile technologies available to our industry. My personal success comes from my focus, hard work, dedication, and the competitor within. However, I would not have achieved my success if it wasn?t for my relationships with my team at Emmis. Creating healthy work relationships with driven people is the key to success in any industry. A company is like a machine: You need all the parts to work well together to succeed, and, thankfully, my counterparts are just as focused and dedicated as I am.

Radio has been a part of my life and my ?Where were you when?? moments for decades. Working for amazing radio brands has built upon my passion for the radio and entertainment industry. We are able to turn nothing into something, by providing listeners with multi-media that make me proud and honored to work in this ever-changing industry. I?m part of a team that is able to touch the lives of millions of people with just one song. Our audience doesn?t have to wait for a print issue to hit the stands or a show to come on TV; with radio, we?re breaking news, announcing events, and capturing the listeners? imagination with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

My advice to someone trying to break into radio is simple: Listen, learn, and have fun! There are so many components that go into running a successful radio station, and it?s important for a newcomer to be open to learning the various jobs, and to be tenacious. Radio is a lot of grind, hustle, and long hours. Radio is a passion, and not for the weak. In the end, you really have to enjoy the radio experience in order to succeed in this industry. It can be chaotic and confusing and always changing, but it?s worth the ride because you?ll achieve a sense of accomplishment and pride you won?t get anywhere else.

Reach out to Donyshia and congratulate her on her dedication to radio and HOT 97 at

Do you have a superstar working for you? Call Radio Ink Editor Ed Ryan with all the details. 561-655-8778.

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Bosso New Afternoon Host/APD At WASH-FM


Clear Channel's WASH-FM in Washington D.C. has named Matt Bosso new Afternoon Drive Host and Assistant Program Director. Bosso will host weekdays from 2-7:00 p.m. EST and will assist in overseeing all on-air and digital programming efforts for the station. Bosso is a New York City native and began his radio career at 103.5 KTU in New York.  

?I am beyond excited to bring Matt to D.C.,? said Bill Cahill, Program Director of WASH-FM. ?His on-air talent combined with his impressive programming and digital skills make him the perfect addition to the WASH-FM family.?

?I?m excited to join Bill Cahill and the team at WASH-FM. I am truly humbled by the chance to be a part of such a legendary station,? said Bosso. ?KTU has given me a lifetime of memories and I look forward to building on them in this new and exciting chapter.?

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My Journey Into Radio Ownership


Many times, once a young broadcaster catches the radio bug, it leads to a dream. A dream of ownership. That's exactly what happened to Erica Pefferman who's been sharing her highs and lows with us as she tries to purchase her first radio station. We thought it would be very educational for her to write about her experiences as she gets closer to accomplishing her dream.

It hasn't been easy, and it's very risky. She's only one person looking for one station in a radio world dominated by big company's filled with buckets of stations. Along the way she's had a lot of help from many people whose names you'll recognize. Every Friday, starting today, you'll hear about Erica's journey.

Erica started her radio career in 2003 working for Zimmer Radio Group. She began as a sales assistant and worked up the ranks to AE then D.O.S. in 2010. She started her own consulting company, The Ruckus Group, in 2012 and now works with other radio companies helping them to grow their sales teams, while she works on purchasing her own station. She explains how it all started.

?What?!? or ?Really. Why??  or just plain stunned silence were the answers I received a lot at first. When I told people that I was going to buy a radio station, it was definitely not what they expected to hear. Although my family, friends and clients have all known me to be bold, taking on a project of this magnitude seemed incredibly bold even for me. After all, I was just a small town girl from Missouri, not even 40 years old yet. What did I know? 

Where it all started was in a small retail store in Joplin, MO.  My grandparents owned and operated a western apparel store since 1953. I grew up there. Some of my earliest memories are of watching my grandparents with their customers. Since then, I?ve always known that I wanted to own my own business and be successful, growing a heritage to be left to my family as my grandparents and father have done before me. 

I entered the radio industry a bit by chance and later found out that I was a skilled salesperson. I quickly realized that my passion for small business and my desire to problem solve intersected nicely in the radio industry. I?ve grown to very much love the radio broadcasting industry over the last decade and have pursued learning as much as I can about the entire process of running a station.

My big break came when I was chosen as a mentee in 2012 by the MIW. At this time, ownership was still very much a distant dream to me. Something that I would accomplish ?someday.? I received Erica Farber as my personal mentor. Erica immediately set about connecting me with people that I needed to know and could ask questions from. 

People like Valerie Blackburn with CBS taught me how to read station financial statements. Kay Olin spoke with me about how she started her own company and what her journey was like. And one day I received an email from John David that pointed to an article that said:  ?There are many incredible opportunities for first-time buyers? by Sandi Bergman

Reading that article was a moment in time that I will never forget. That was when I went from thinking ?someday? I would try to buy my own station to ?Today is the day I start trying.? Little did I know that I would begin a very educational and amazing journey, one with twists and turns that I wouldn?t expect.

Next Friday I'll tell you about one of those twists.

Have any advice for Erica? You can reach her at

(3/22/2013 1:20:37 PM)
Met Erica @ Convergence. What a wonderfully talented person! Keep an eye on her progress!
(3/22/2013 1:20:27 PM)
I have the privilege of being Erica's baby sister. My entire life I have looked up to my her as such an inspiration. She has a drive and focus that sets her apart from so many others. She sets her sights on something big and goes at it full gusto. She does not know the word 'fail'. From time to time, her path may be redirected, but it never ends in failure. She chooses to focus on problem solving and solutions and she practices this in all areas of her life. I'm very proud to call her my sister.
(3/22/2013 11:09:07 AM)
Erica is a wonderful example of how wit, will and a vision drive success! She has accomplished much in her career with much more success to come her way. I could not have built Local Focus without the invaluable mentors and support of the MIW's. It is a delight for all of us to pay it forward and see success stories like Erica and numerous other unfold! Kay Olin President/Local Focus
(3/22/2013 8:14:14 AM)
Erica came to the MIW organization as a mentee to gain knowledge and inspiration from our members. But she has become an inspiration herself. She is a dynamic and driven woman. I look forward to reading her Friday articles. You go girl!
Lois @ Radio INK

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Hubbard Puts Music Back On AM


The Washington D.C. dial position that was carrying Federated News Radio is now broadcasting "The Gamut,"  the brainchild of WTOP engineer Dave Kolesar. Kolesar has an extensive music collection and experience with college radio and local music. The Gamut is a mix of old and new, mainstream and homegrown. The Gamut debuted on 103.5 FM HD-3 in December 2011.
GM Joel Oxley says, ?With over 10,000 songs in its music library that it plays, we are pretty sure The Gamut has the largest playlist in the country for a local radio station. Our hope is that by being on 820 AM listeners will sample The Gamut and then want to listen on our HD signal at 103.5-3 as well.? Broadcast consultant Sam Brown aided WTOP in the establishment of programming techniques and station format.

The Gamut will continue to simulcast on on 103.5 FM HD-3 as well as all other WTOP HD channels, 107.7 and 103.9.  The station?s original 4,500-song playlist has been expanded to 10,000 songs and features an array of recorded music types that span from Pre-WWII to present day. A sampling of artists includes Scissor Sisters, Doris Day, Mumford and Sons, Devo, Elvis Presley, Boney M, and Johnny Cash. The Gamut will also serve as a platform for up-and-coming local artists looking to bring exposure to their music. 

In addition, The Gamut will take artist submissions and serve as a backup station for sports aired on WTOP?s sister station Federal News Radio 1500 AM. Sports coverage aired on The Gamut will include the Washington Capitals, Wizards, and Nationals, the Baltimore Ravens, George Washington University Basketball, American University Basketball, and Navy Football.   

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How I Got Into Radio – Rod Zimmerman


In 1978, I returned to Chicago and started working for McCann Erickson. Although a native of Chicago, I barely knew anyone in the advertising business. One of the first salespeople to call on me was Rod Zimmerman, then an account executive for WBBM-AM. He was a striking-looking, 20-something guy who dressed like a general manager. He carried himself with a ton of confidence and was initially very intimidating. At our first obligatory Buyer-Rep lunch, Rod?s humor slipped through his power image: perfectly fitted suit and immaculately coiffed hair; and behind ?Mr. Perfect? was a funny, funny guy who made me laugh. Now, 30-plus lunches later (Rod ran off to run KMOX for a few years), Rod still makes me laugh and I still enjoy working with ?Mr. Perfect.? As much as he tries to be tenacious and the toughest manager in radio, he is one of the nicest guys I know, just ask his kids.

Now, in his own words, here's how Rod Zimmerman, SVP/Market Manager CBS Radio Chicago, got into radio?

I grew up in Pekin, Illinois, which is about 10 miles south of Peoria and equidistant from both St. Louis and Chicago. I became a fan of the Cardinals and not the Cubs because I loved listening to Harry Caray and Jack Buck broadcasting the games on KMOX Radio. And of course, the Cardinals won World Series Championships. But my real passion was listening to the disc jockeys on WLS and WCFL: Larry Lujack, Fred Winston, Bob Sirott, John "Records" Landecker, and all the rest.
My father was a 7Up distributor, meaning he drove a truck and sold all different brands of soda. I worked the routes in the summers during my college years, filling in when the drivers were on vacation. There were many long days of much harder work than I ever imagined for myself but with all that driving from store to store, I listened to a lot of radio. I knew I wanted to be a disc jockey. I first went to Western Illinois University to play basketball, but when that ended I knew I had to go to a good school for broadcasting...Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. To my surprise and enjoyment, also a great party school at the time.
I worked as a disc jockey for three local radio stations during my three years in Carbondale: Country, Soft AC, and Top 40. A few months before graduation, I spent days in the studio putting an "audition" tape together, carefully editing every word, every song and every intro. Before sending any out, I gathered a number of my friends together for a serious listen and evaluation of my work. It was unanimous. I sucked! No one would hire me. I would starve.
Soon afterward I saw an ad in "Broadcasting" magazine for an Account Executive position at WISM in Madison, Wisconsin. I figured if I could sell 7Up to grocers, bars, and convenience stores, surely I could sell something I was passionate about, radio. So I called the station. They liked SIU and had actually been to the campus for some recruiting trips in the past. It was a highly respected radio-TV department back then. They agreed to give me an interview. So I went to a Robert Hall store, bought a bad suit, polished up my Dingo boots, and drove eight hours straight to Madison. The meeting was with the General Manager, GSM and LSM, who was Chris Lytle.

Either they didn't like my B- grade point average, my bad suit, or just me, but it did not go well. They were unimpressed and said they would call, but never did. After waiting a week, I started calling them. Two or three times a day for three weeks straight. Finally, I think I wore them down and they gave me the job. It worked out. Another salesman named Mike Hillstrom was hired a year later, also from SIU, and in a matter of a few hours we became fast friends. He now is a very large client of ours (Chevrolet Dealers and Chicago Auto Trade Association). We worked hard and played hard for about three months when he announced he was moving to Chicago to join the sales team at WBBM Newsradio. Amazing!  He eventually helped me get hired in the sales department at WBBM, March 1978. I've been with CBS Radio ever since -- including six years as GM of KMOX with Jack Buck as Sport Director, priceless!

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's HERE

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

(SALES) How To Be Super Confident About Selling


Sales managers often tell their salespeople that the best time to make a sale is right after they?ve just made one. While I can?t prove a statistical correlation between closing one sale and then, quickly thereafter, closing another, I can tell you that it makes sense to me. There is no doubt that after making a sale, salespeople typically experience a significant increase in their level of confidence. And it would be logical to believe that amplified self-confidence would make it easier to sell.

Of course, the opposite holds true as well. A salesperson in a slump finds it harder to sell than ever! So, if confidence has that much impact on sales success, how can a salesperson increase his or her sales confidence?

 Here are six things you can use to increase your sales confidence (or the sales confidence of someone you manage):

1. Know your product. While it is critical that you know your customers? needs and challenges and understand their business so you can help them, you can?t let that keep you from being the expert on your product as well. Your sales confidence will skyrocket if you are, hands-down, the true expert on all of your product?s capabilities. Challenge yourself to not only know what you can do to help your clients, but also understand how you can use your product to help them achieve the ROI they need.

2. Know your process. Become an expert in your sales process. The more you know, the more confident you?ll become. Many salespeople are ?unconscious competents,? unaware of exactly how they make the sales they make.
Become conscious. Study the sales process, and look for ways to improve in each step along the way. Increase your awareness, and focus on what you are doing right. Then find ways to do those things more often, and increase
your sales confidence and grow your productivity while you?re at it.

3. Show that it works. It?s a lot easier to have confidence in something when you are certain it will do what you say it?s going to do. If you are serious about increasing sales confidence, then you need to commit resources to building case studies and showing your clients that your product gets results. There are many ways to demonstrate this effectiveness. You could develop printed collateral material, video testimonials, or success-focused podcasts. You could also invite a client that is getting results to a sales meeting for everyone to learn more.

4. Practice, practice, practice. One of the very best and easiest ways to build confidence is to practice. Remember back in your elementary school days when you were given the assignment to learn all 50 states? Then you had to stand in front of the class and recite them all. Just like every other kid in your class, you were probably nervous that you?d forget some states and get a bad grade ? or, even worse, embarrass yourself. This elementary assignment likely taught you that to ensure success, you need lots and lots of practice. When it was your turn to present to your peers, you may have had a few butterflies in your stomach, but if you?d practiced enough, you likely also had a good deal of self-confidence. Sales is no different. Practice is key. If you?re serious about increasing your sales confidence, you need to commit to practicing at that level. Role-play every scenario that you might encounter, and don?t stop after one time. Practice enough to increase your confidence, and you?ll see that it works.

5. Know your industry. Beyond knowing the capabilities of your product, you should take time to know the industry in which you work. What new technologies are coming that will make what you can offer better for your
customers? What are the key statistics that make your products important to your customers? The more you know about the big picture in the industry you serve, the more respect you will garner and the more confidence you will have when you sell.

6. Know your customer. Take time to know your customer before you start to sell them anything. Dig deep to understand their needs. Learn about their challenges and opportunities. A true understanding of your customer leads to significantly more confidence in the ideas and solutions you present. Confidence without talent or training will never lead to sustained success. But that success is rarely reached without it.

Matt Sunshine is EVP of the Center for Sales Strategy.

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Change Doesn't Mean Much For Radio


Much of what the FCC is focused on these days centers around broadband and Television spectrum. Radio has been under the radar, which many broadcasters always look at as a positive. The less government involvement the better. With both Genachowski  and Commissioner McDowell stepping down, we asked broadcast attorney John Garziglia about the one major radio issue the Commission was starting to deal with,  ownership regulations.

"For most radio broadcasters, the current FCC ownership proceeding has little relevance.  There is no suggestion that any of the radio ownership limits would be modified, nor was any change to the AM/FM sub-caps being considered.  The proposed ownership changes might allow some radio broadcaster to get into the daily newspaper business.  But at least with the radio broadcasters I work with, the prospect of adding a daily newspaper to an ownership portfolio does not inspire excitement.  Therefore, I see the Chairman?s resignation as a non-issue with respect to the effect of the ownership proceeding on radio broadcasters."

Here are the five "greatest hits," during Genachowski's time leading the Commission, according to PC Magazine. 
#1) Net Neutrality.
Net neutrality is the concept that everyone should have equal access to the Web.
#2) AT&T/T-Mobile Merger
In March 2011, AT&T acquired T-Mobile for $39 billion.
#3) Incentive Auctions
The FCC in 2010 proposed allowing broadcast TV stations to voluntarily sell some of their spectrum for mobile broadband purposes.
#4) Verizon Spectrum Purchase
Verizon Wireless paid $3.6 billion to buy spectrum from three cable firms.
#5) Is Wireless Competitive?
The FCC is required to present a wireless competition report to Congress every year, and in the first 13 years, the FCC consistently found that sufficient competition existed. But to the chagrin of wireless supporters and detractors alike, the commission opted not to make a definitive statement about competition in 2010 and 2011.

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Beck Expands Reach on Sirius


Reuters is reporting that Glenn Beck and Sirius have signed a deal to carry a new channel produced by Beck's company that will feature conservative talk shows and news programming. The channel will carry Beck's show as well as talk shows by other conservative personalities such as Jay Severin and Doc Thompson. The company will provide hourly news updates on Sirius XM's conservative news network.

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(MANAGEMENT) Pulling Your Best Client Off The Air


It?s a subject that?s been discussed almost ad nauseum recently, especially in the context of the election and the entire political dialogue we?ve heard since. Debt. Too much debt. Who?s going to pay the debt? Serious stuff, actually.

How about another kind of debt? The kind when somebody, specifically an advertiser, owes you money. This may  be a mundane and boring subject to talk about when you?re focused on exciting things like new formats, new business, and digital convergence. But this version of debt is very serious stuff because, at the end of the day, you need to get paid for your goods and services so you can pay your debt.

So what do you do before, during, and after a transaction to make sure you minimize bad debt and maximize your cash intake? Here are a few things I?ve found helpful.

Media?s Curse
Somewhere along the way, a certain portion of businesses, agencies, and the like put ?paying my advertising bills? at the back of the priority line. Maybe it?s the intangible nature of what we sell. If you can?t touch it, it?s harder to put a value on it. Maybe it?s the competitive nature of our business. Sometimes we?ll do anything to ?get the money.? Maybe it?s just better cash management on their part. Most radio companies do that too these days. But, for whatever reason, getting paid in 15 days has turned into 90 days, or 120 days, or worse. The bottom line: They all pay their electric bill before they pay us. I make this point to frame what needs to be the mindset about this whole subject. Simply put, our getting paid is not as important to them as it is to us. Start with that in mind, and you?ll build better processes to deal with this very impactful issue.

It all begins in your business office. Credit checks, business analysis, and so on. Sounds simple, but it?s amazing how inadequate many companies are in this area. Even if they have effective ways to assess an advertiser?s ability to pay, they deviate from the smart business decision. I?m all for judgment calls, and we?ll deal with that later. But more often than not, if someone has a bad credit history or lacks the assets to pay for what they?ve agreed to, you are going to have problems collecting. I?ve always gotten a kick out of prospective advertisers acting ?insulted? when they?re asked to go through a credit check. If that?s not a sign of what?s to come with respect to payment, I don?t know what is.

A lot of slow payout from agencies is due to discrepancies. If you have a philosophy of always running schedules as ordered and the infrastructure to make sure that happens, you?ll get faster pay over the long term as fewer invoices
get thrown into the ?problem? file. I?ve seen more than one research study that shows that advertisers put a higher premium on running schedules correctly than even price. Follow that rule, and everybody will be happier.

When Your Core Clients Run Into Problems
If you have the kind of relationships with your key clients that you should, you should be able to have candid, constructive conversations about issues regarding paying their bills. Again, this is about doing the right things up front so you have an easier time navigating any tough waters later. There are a multitude of options to get through this if you think creatively, and exploring those options with the client is the better way to go and helps you make smart judgment calls that can be very critical for your long-term business relationships.

When you have to make the decision to pull someone off the air, especially when it?s a long-time customer, it?s the GM?s job to pull the trigger. The sales manager and the business manager have different agendas, and that?s what you pay them for. The buck stops with the GM on this one. This is another reason for the GM to have relationships with key advertisers, and another reason to do due diligence on the client?s credit capabilities ? so you can make a decision based on data and not just emotion.

In some way, shape, or form, sellers, sales managers, general managers, and business managers should face financial penalties or have the ability to reap financialrewards based on the status of their receivables. I?ve seen a thousand systems to handle this, but whatever you do, make sure everyone who ?owns? a part of the sales process
is financially accountable.

Sales Based On Solutions Pay Better
If you have an advertiser who bought you because of solutions that generate ROI, as opposed to someone who bought you based on ?commodity-based? criteria like how many no-charges they get, the solutions customer will pay you first and will most likely never be a problem. Make yourself indispensable to their business and they can?t afford to lose you.

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

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