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Monday, June 30, 2014

The Advertising Shift to Digital Continues


According to a new report from eMarketer, U.S. industries will spend about $50 Billion on digital advertising in 2014, up from $42.7 Billion in 2013. That number is expected to grow to $80 Billion by the end of 2018. The retail industry continues to be the single largest spender among the 10 industry groups, making up 22.1% of the $50 Billion total this year, according to the report. Financial Services and Automotive follow Retail at about 12% of the total with Telecom (11.2%) and Consumer Products (8.4%) rounding out the top five. Read more about the eMarketer digital advertising report HERE

(6/27/2014 11:27:23 AM)
Meanwhile, I am also reminded that every Thursday we get a body of advertising flyers delivered to our door - so many, they could sing a battleship.

Besides the digital threats, what is radio doing to counteract the "hard copy" gang? Short answer: Dick.

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(SOCIAL) Social Media Steps For Right Now


According to Monday?s Wall Street Journal, major companies are finally altering their social media strategy away from capturing the most ?likes.? The smart money is on moving to a model where they judge engagement as the real benefit of being involved with social media. For a local radio station, it is the same. The goal should not be getting the most people to like you. The true goal for radio is, and should always be, to validate those we most want to attract, engage them, and to be their authentic and local source for entertainment and companionship.

To do that effectively, we should:

1. Develop a specific social media content strategy that has involvement and buy-in, from the top local management to the individuals responsible for daily execution.
2. A focus on visuals because we want to be a part of ?The Visual Web.?  Do you know why Google originally purchased YouTube? It?s because they were concerned that people would stop using words. Sounds crazy, right?  It isn?t. It?s people. They might. People respond to light and visuals. So, be both. Often in your social media.
3. Do yourself a big favor and figure out how to produce small and intimate video because it will help you in the long run. Don?t say, ?What would I use video for?? Radio is very entertaining and much of your social media should strive to be entertaining. Video is the future. Embrace it. You don?t have to be a famous movie director. Authentic, fun, entertaining, local. That?s it.
4. When you develop your social media content strategy, put some time and effort into what percentage of different types of content should appear weekly, as well as which channels you will want to use for your radio station, morning show, or sales department (yes, your sales department should have an effective social media strategy).
5. Spend some time trying to do the difficult. In other words, try to eliminate you from your posts. Make this about ?them? (the people you most want to attract and grow a relationship with). If you work very hard to eliminate the word ?I? or ?we? or simply focus all content on ?them,? you are much more likely to have a stronger level of success.
6. Want people to share your ?stuff?? Make your content helpful, entertaining, funny, or simply make your ?listeners? look smart for sharing whatever you are posting in social media. (Again, this is putting yourself in their shoes to think about why people would share what you post.)
7. Be real, yo. Yes, it is true. As society pulls further and further away from the real in real life, people crave authenticity (even if they don?t know it). So, be real. Be vulnerable. Show yourself and be human. People respond well to this because?that?s what they are. When you do this in social media, people can be drawn directly to you. Just always be careful with your content to understand your target audience and know that whatever you post is public forever. So, make good judgments and make sure you are representing the company as the company would like to be represented.

Social media offers a dynamic opportunity to reach new people, engage people who know of you, foster relationships with the people most likely to mean the most to your ratings, and stable revenue over the next 15-18 months and beyond. Why not invest time and energy into being the best in your market at social media and tying it directly with your on-air and local marketing.

We?re 14 ? years into the new century. The world is changing at a faster pace than it ever has. Learn the new, open yourself to new opportunities, and grow your career. You?ll become more valuable and that is worth doing anytime. Good luck.

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

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(PROGRAMMING) Developing A Great Morning Show


Steve Reynolds is owner of the Reynolds Group ( He?s a former morning show host and program director, and today ? as it has been for the past 15 years ? his specialty is developing strategies for morning show teams and talent all over the country. A lot of his clients are in major markets, where a 10th of a ratings share means huge money to the bottom line ? or out the door. We asked Reynolds to share some of his thoughts on what makes a winning morning show.

What are the elements every successful morning show must have?
The tenets of great morning shows are critical and universal, regardless of format. They are, first, having a content strategy that is unique to you and reflective of the personalities of the people on the show. Television gets plots. The difference is that the plot of Two and a Half Men, Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld, All in the Family, any iconic or successful TV show, is fake. You hire great actors and superior writers, and you have an entertaining 30 or 60 minutes of television. No one can copy the plot because we know copycats don?t work.

We have to have the same principle in radio. So the first thing is having a content plot. The difference between TV and radio is that in radio, it needs to be reflective of the values, sensibilities, sense of humor, and perspective of the people on the show. If we are going to believe the bonding process can happen, it has to really be who these people are. The content plot has to be unique to you, one that no one can replicate ? turf you own.

You also teach mornings shows about ?images.? What do you mean by that?
There are four very important images a show must own. The first image is fun. People want to have a good time in the morning, unless the news or pop culture cycle compels us to not be fun on that day. For instance, 20-plus people are killed at a grade school in Newtown ? you can?t be funny. But by and large, there is no successful morning show in the country that does not have significant humor or fun in its image.

The second image is authenticity. We develop relationships with listeners the same way we do in real life. The people closest to you or me are the people we are deeply authentic around; we can be who we are, we can be very honest, and they are accepting of us. Inside authenticity is just showing your humanity, being honest with the audience and also being vulnerable, letting them in. Talent should be sharing their lives, or those universal parts of their lives, with the audience, so the audience walks away and says, ?I feel like I know them.? That?s a very important image of how intimate our medium is, against all other things people can have a relationship with in the morning. People do not have that relationship, necessarily, with television. But they do with radio, and we really need to work that to build loyalty.

The third image is innovation. It?s not the topics you are on, it?s what you do with the topics that makes you memorable. That is not code for ?Let?s do wacky radio bits.? But let?s do stuff with topics so that it?s not just a four-hour conversation. I can?t tell you what to do. You have to come up with what to do, because it has to be a reflection of who you are as a person, and your take on it. Then you will be seen as inventive or innovative, and you will capture the imagination of the audience to hook them to want to come back the next day.

The fourth image is an image of relevance. The audience understands that there is a value system shared between you and them and that you, as a talent, understand the topics they are interested in and bring them your own perspective, where the circles intersect and they say, ?They are just like me.?

Talk about benchmarks during morning drive.
Have benchmarks that define your show, that define your sense of humor, that become a moment of cume urgency, where people say, ?Every morning at 7:30, when I?m driving to work and I?m in front of the Home Depot, my favorite morning show is doing this thing.? I sometimes have a bit of a difficult time convincing talent to do benchmarks. So I ask them this question: ?Any idea what will happen if David Letterman retires on September 15, 2015??

This is how I explain the value of a benchmark. I say to them, ?If Letterman wraps up on September 15, 2015, he will have done 30 years of the Top Ten List, a feature that debuted on September 15, 1985.? That is his signature feature. If you see a Top Ten List in the newspaper, on television, online, wherever you might see it, you immediately associate it with David Letterman, and it?s never as good. If Letterman can make a commitment to one signature feature in a one-hour show, five nights a week, for 30 years, there?s no reason we can?t in a four-hour show every day.

If you do those critical things: a plot, accruing these four very important images, and having that signature feature, I think all should be right with the world.

Steve Reynolds can be reached at or 919.821.4700.

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(SALES) Why It's Time To Restart Your Sales Plan


Almost all of us spend quite a bit of time on our computers, tablets, and smartphones. It?s common knowledge that it?s a good idea to turn them off and restart them every now and again, right? Give it a chance to completely shut down, just for a moment, and then start it right back up. The experts tell us that by doing this, we will increase a device?s performance level and be more satisfied with the output.

It?s also a good idea to restart your sales strategy from time to time. The goal of the sales restart should be to help the sales effort to achieve maximum performance and reach the desired sales output.

One of the challenges of sales these days is that there are so many things you have to do in order to be truly successful. Most sales organizations start their year off with solid plans that have been looked over and presented up the line for approval. These plans are well thought out and typically have in them the key performance indicators, with next steps that should have you prepared for almost every thinkable situation. With all that preparation, it seems impossible that you could ever get off course. But it happens.

The problem: The sales plan is now six months old.
The sales plan you built was created six months ago, and since that time a lot has happened. Not everything is playing out exactly the way you built it into the plan. For example, your competition has become more intense, there are new competitors that have entered your format, and you have suffered from some unplanned account attrition. Now you find yourself putting your plan off to the side because you are focused on the urgent matters at hand.

It?s time to restart your sales plan. Because you have become so focused on the urgent, you?ve paid little or no attention to the important. In general, one of the difficulties with not paying attention to the important is that it doesn?t hurt your revenue performance in the short run. It might not even affect you this quarter, but it will in the long run.

It?s kind of like never taking the time to turn off your computer and restart it at the end of the day. The fact is that it won?t hurt performance today, or even tomorrow. But after a few days, your computer is not running as fast as it normally does, and from time to time the entire thing is locking up and freezing. You start to become concerned that things you are working on could get lost and you will have wasted a lot of time. Now go back and read the last sentence again. Hard to tell if I?m writing about restarting your computer or the need to restart your sales plan, right?

Everyone knows that there is never a good time to restart your computer. You?re always too busy to take this important but not urgent step.

Today is the perfect day to restart your computer, and the same is true with your sales plan. I encourage you to find the time today to pull out your sales plan and look at it closely. See what is in there that you are still doing and that is actually working. Determine what you are not doing when you know you should. Take a look at where you might need to make adjustments ? and then make them.

Don?t fall victim to the urgent and forget about that sales strategy you built. As the saying goes, more of the same will just get you more of the same. So what?s stopping you from doing it today?

The Next 90 Days
Once you have restarted your sales plan, you?ll want to make sure you set a date on your calendar in about 90 to do another sales restart, or perhaps just a minor reset. Commit to evaluating what is working and what needs to be adjusted. It?s this type of commitment to restarting that will ensure that your sales machine performs consistently at a high level for a long time to come.

Matt Sunshine is EVP of the Center for Sales Strategy.

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Tony Bruno Out In Philly


We can only speculate that Bruno simply didn't like what he was being offered or was asking for more than the company was willing to commit to. During contract negotiations with Greater Media, Bruno abruptly resigned. He had been co-hosting the 10 a.m to 12 p.m. weekday slot on the Fanatic (WPEN) with Harry Mayes. Mayes will continue to host the show, now with Nick Kaya who has been doing nights.

Here's the statement from Greater Media: "Tony Bruno has chosen to resign his position at 97.5 The Fanatic. We thank him for his contributions and wish him well." No word about the resignation on Bruno's Facebook or Twitter page as of Thursday night.

The 62-year-old Bruno is a Philadelphia native. He started out in radio at WCAU-AM. When they dumped their Talk format in 1991, Bruno moved to sports and got a gig with WIP, where he worked with Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti in morning drive. He moved on to work for ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio, and Sporting News Radio.

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Jelli Kills User-Controlled Radio Platform


Jelli co-founder Michael Daugherty says the company's revenue is growing faster than ever before, however that's due to its programmatic ad platform, not user-controlled radio. And as a result, Jelli is retiring user-controlled radio, social radio and its station apps on Sunday, June 29 at 11:59pm Pacific. Daugherty said, "Two years ago we pivoted our business and developed a programmatic radio platform for networks, advertisers and radio stations.   Today, we?re operating at a blistering pace with hundreds of radio stations now using RadioSpot to buy and sell ads programmatically and continue our mission to help terrestrial radio become a 21st century medium."

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

(PROGRAMMING) Fewer Commercials. We Already Do That.


By John Ostlund

In light of the big announcement from Entercom in Seattle that it would be reducing spot loads at one of its stations, I wanted to share our story with Radio Ink readers. It's a story of: been there, done that, reaping the rewards. K-Jewel 99.3 was launched in 1994 as an Adult Standards format. It was an exclusive sound, with unique features and steady promotional support, and within 18 months was Top-5, 12+.  For 20 years the station enjoyed revenues that exceeded market share. By 2008, demographic conditions changed, which led to the rebranding and launch of ?Jewel FM? on April 26.

For years, listeners have been telling radio stations what they want, but as an industry we continued to do just the opposite. Which explains why terrestrial radio is becoming less relevant with a growing segment of the audience. Listeners want fewer commercials, but radio airs a dozen spots in a single break. Listeners want more music, but stations play nine songs an hour. They want authentic and new music but what they hear is non-stop hyperbole and the same 300 songs over and over.?

The objective of Jewel FM was to be enterprisingly original and do striking things that would help the station own the five most important attributes listeners are interested in. These are the ingredients we came up with:
-- More music: 55 minutes every hour.
-- Fewer commercials: Five minutes per hour.
-- Shorter breaks: Never longer than 60 seconds.
-- No unnecessary chatter: Never utter an unimportant word.
-- New Music: Play four new artist/songs each hour.

The Jewel FM music library currently contains over 800 songs, including Bruno Mars, John Mayer, Maroon 5, and other pop/folk/rock singer/songwriters, although the station adds 8-10 songs each week. Jewel FM also plays dozens of new artists not heard on local radio such as Andrew Duhon, Ben Harper, Lenka, Joshua Radin, and many others.

The process of selecting music and fine tuning every aspect of how we present content was much easier because our General Manager Layne Ryan is an audiophile with a better feel for the format than me. If it wasn?t for Layne, we would not sound like we do. Cutting commercial content by 70 percent was the most obvious and risky move.  The reduction required a significant increase in the average cost of each commercial, something the advertising community has been receptive to.

Months before making changes, we presented our ideas to several local agencies. The funny thing was that media buyers immediately recognized the value of being the only commercial in a break. Our increase in rate was actually less than the increase in value perceived by the buyers ? that was the moment we knew we were onto something. Jewel FM has retained 95 percent of our advertisers after the rate adjustment and music change and is projecting an increase in revenue in 2014 over 2013.

John Ostlund is a partner with One Putt Broadcasting which owns Jewel FM, KYNO, 940/790 ESPN in Fresno, CA. He can be reached at John Ostlund

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Pandora Hires David Gerbitz as EVP of Revenue


The company also announced General Counsel Delida Costin will be leaving at the end of September. Mr. Gerbitz will lead Pandora?s Revenue Operations team, which includes Sales Operations, Pricing & Yield Management and Advertising Operations. He's worked for Microsoft and Amazon, and was most recently Vice President of Global Mid-Market and Small Medium Business Sales at Yahoo.

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Koenigsberg Headed To B&C Hall Of Fame


The 24th Annual Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame ceremony will be held Monday, October 20, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. Bill Koenigsberg, who is a great friend to radio, will go into the B&C Hall of Fame on that night. Koenigsberg  founded Horizon Media in 1989. Today, with more than $4.3 billion in billings and 800-plus employees, Horizon Media is the largest and fastest-growing privately held media agency in the world, representing clients including Geico, Capital One, Burger King, and A+E Networks.

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Cumulus Names Steve Shaw President of Westwood One


Shaw is currently Senior Vice President of Cumulus National Sales, a position he has held since March, 2013. Shaw will expand his role as head of national spot sales for Cumulus? owned-and-operated stations to include all national and digital sales for Westwood One. In Steve?s new role he will oversee Westwood One Networks, Westwood One Sports, and Westwood One Digital, including Rdio and Cumulus National Sales, which will be renamed Westwood One Media Group. Shaw was previously President of Katz Radio Group and President of Cox Digital Solutions.

Lew Dickey, Chief Executive Officer of Cumulus, said: ?Steve will drive the integration of our large stable of national media assets and advertising products under the Westwood One brand. His track record of success in both broadcast radio and digital media will be instrumental as Cumulus and Westwood One combine to provide a compelling new set of ad packages designed to meet the rapidly evolving needs of our advertisers.?

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It's Tough Being in Programming These Days


18 months after recovering from a stroke Mitch Henck was fired from his on-air job at WIBA-AM in Wisconsin. The 52-year old spent over 12 years as a talk show host on the station, not really taking a right wing or left wing position. ?It was general talk. I was not cookie-cutter left or right. That turned me off. I?m not going to walk lock-step with anyone.?  Henck tells the Wisconsin State Journal Clear Channel let him know yesterday that the decision was budget-related, not ratings, and says he's not sad or bitter about the firing. Read the full story HERE (picture courtesy Wisconsin State Journal).

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Kantar: Q1 Ad Spend On Radio Was Mixed


On Monday, Kantar Media reported national spot radio in Q1 was up 6.7 percent. The firm said English-language stations saw a spending decline of 4.7 percent and Hispanic radio was down 10.8 percent. Both segments, according to Kantar, were hit by lower spending from the retail, auto dealer, and restaurant categories. Every measured type of television saw an increase in Q1. Network TV increased 14.5 percent with about one-half of this growth coming from the Winter Olympics. Higher spending on the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl also contributed to the gains.

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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hacket Joins KVIL-FM Dallas


As of July 1, Christopher Hackett will provide traffic and weather updates weekdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will be a weekend jock for the CBS station. Hacket was most recently a midday jock/traffic reporter at KDMX-FM.

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HD Radio Standard in the New Audi A3


iBiquity announced today that Audi now includes standard HD Radio receivers in their all-new 2015 A3 model. The 2015 A3 is now available at dealers across the U.S. and Canada. HD Radio receivers are also available on 2015 Audi A3s being sold in Mexico. iBiquity Digital COO Jeff Jury said, ?Audi continues to introduce technologically advanced vehicles, offering their drivers the best of all digital media. Making HD Radio receivers standard on the new 2015 Audi A3 demonstrates their commitment to digital radio and moves us closer to an all-digital future for AM & FM broadcasting across North America.?

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Beasley's Natalie Conner Retires


Philadelphia Vice President and Market Manager Natalie Conner in retiring. Conner joined Beasley Philadelphia back in 1991 as national sales manager. She worked her way up to VP/GM of WXTU-FM in 2004 and then added Wired 96.5 WRDW-FM in 2009. Connor began her career in Little Rock and her career included stops in Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma and ultimately Philadelphia.

 Beasley Broadcast Group Chairman and CEO George G. Beasley comments, ?We?ve been privileged to have Natalie Conner with our Company for the past twenty-three years, all of which were in sales management and general management. Under her guidance, WXTU blossomed into a vibrant community-minded station and a dominant Northeast country music radio powerhouse. When asked to add extra management duties overseeing Wired 96.5, Natalie brought that same level of professionalism and enthusiasm to the younger Rhythmic-formatted station each day. We thank her for a job well done.?

The company is actively pursuing a replacement for Ms. Conner, who will remain with Beasley Broadcast in her current role until a new general manager is named and then as a consultant.

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CRE Adds Several Radio Execs


The Council for Research Excellence, an independent research group created and funded by Nielsen, has added several new members, including Greater Media's Buzz Knight (pictured) and the RAB's Andy Rainey. Greater Media Chairman and CEO Peter Smyth said, ?We are very proud of Buzz for being named as a member of the Council For Research Excellence. His vast knowledge and experience in the radio industry will serve as a valuable asset for the Council.?

The CRE says it is, "dedicated to advancing the knowledge and practice of audience measurement methodology and comprises senior-level industry researchers representing advertisers, agencies, broadcast networks, cable, syndicators, local stations, and industry associations. Here's a complete listing of the CRE's newest members...
?         Buzz Knight, Vice President, Program Development, Greater Media
?         Andy Rainey, Senior Vice President, Research, Radio Advertising Bureau
?         Kathleen Bohan, Senior Vice President, Local Research, Univision Communications Inc.
?         Tony Marinaro, Corporate Director of Research, LIN Media
?         Stacey Schulman, Executive Vice President, Strategy, Analytics and Research, Katz Media Group
?         Joseph Abbruzo, Executive Vice President, Chief Exploration Officer, Havas Media
?         Howard Shimmel, Senior Vice President, Advertising Sales and Research, Turner Broadcasting
?         Susie Thomas, Senior Vice President, Partner, Research, Universal McCann. 

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Calta - Formerly Cowhead - Signs New CMG Deal


Cox Media Group in Tampa has re-signed afternoon drive talker Mike Calta to a multi-year deal at 102.5 The Bone. Calta has been with 102.5 The Bone since 2007. Originally from Staten Island, NY, he moved to Tampa in 1989 and has been a local radio host ever since. CMG Director of Branding and Programming John Brennan said, "This announcement shows CMG?s commitment to providing its communities with the most compelling content and personalities.?

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Friday, June 27, 2014

WCTG Brings On Full-Time Staff


GSB Broadcasting's WCTG, located at the beach along the coast of Virginia and Maryland's Eastern Shore has hired a slate of full-timers after starting out with part-timers. Greg Fentress is added to CTG's Big Breakfast Morning Show. Gary Edsall takes the 10 a.m.-3 p.m. shift, coming over from WCEM-FM in Cambridge, MD. And, Benjy ?Doc? Holloway, will be on from 7 p.m. to midnight. Steve Branly has also been added to the WCTG sales team (Pictured left to right: Fentress, Holloway, Branly).

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The Home Depot Goes Heavy Again


After a week of running only 44,446 spots on radio, (which was still good enough for first place), The Home Depot was back running over 67,000 commercials this past week to retain the top spot in the Media Monitors weekly spot chart. Berkshire Hathaway ran over 34,000 commercials to promote insurance and kicked GEICO out of the top five. Macy's stayed in the top five running 34,116 spots, followed by McDonalds with 27,127, and Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge jumping from 57th place to number five.

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Cox Launches Alternative In Atlanta


Country is out and Alternative is in for CMG in Atlanta. The new station is "X107.1 FM, Atlanta?s New Alternative." Like most new launches these days the station will kick off with 10,000 songs in a row. The format will feature alternative artists such as The Tantrums, Imagine Dragons, Passion Pit, Avicii, The Black Keys, The Lumineers, Vampire Weekend, and many more. CMG VP of Programming Steve Smith says research shows Atlanta is ripe for an Alt40 radio station like X107.1.

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Sparrow Moved to New Orleans as D.O.S.


Clear Channel is moving Nicky Sparrow to New Orleans where she'll become Director of Sales overseeing sales for all eight Clear Channel stations in that market. She joins the New Orleans team  from Clear Channel Memphis, where she was also D.O.S. The 15-year radio vet joined Clear Channel in 1999 and since then her career has taken her from Mississippi to Florida to Tennessee, serving in a variety of sales positions including AE, LSM and GSM. In 2005 Sparrow was named GSM for Tallahassee and in 2006 she was named D.O.S.

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Entercom Seattle Drastically Reduces Spot Loads


"107.7 The End" in Seattle could wind up being a test model to finally determine whether or not listeners are tuned out by lengthy commercial stopsets and turned on by hearing more music. The unanswered radio industry question has always been, "Why not just play fewer commercials and charge more?" Not only does that theory reduce clutter -- which is defined as anything not music -- it helps an advertiser stand out, as opposed to being the 5th commercial in an eight-commercial pod. On another note, these shorter stopsets -- along with targeted ads -- have been Pandora's strength as it comes after radio's advertising revenue. So what's this all about at "The End" in Seattle?

The station announced a "2-Minute Promise" on Monday. The details of that promise are that the station, which, at times, was running two six-minute stopsets will now only run three two-minute commercial blocks every hour. GM Jack Hutchison said, ?We are proud to be the first station in the United States to offer this bold, innovative approach to radio. We know our listeners will be more than excited about this change and we are just as excited we can provide our clients an incredibly unique platform to showcase their message to our End listeners.?

After requesting feedback, not surprisingly, listeners told the station they played too many commercials on the radio, and the commercial breaks take too long. What was the station's response? "We heard you, and we?re going to do something about it. Starting now, we will take half of our commercials off the air, and we?ll never play more than two minutes of commercials at a time. We call it the 2-Minute Promise ? we promise to get you back to the music faster and play more music every hour." PD Garett Michaels says, ?The End?s ?2-Minute Promise? gives our listeners exactly what they?ve asked for, more music with fewer breaks, and is a groundbreaking new way to showcase our advertisers with less clutter and more music.?

(6/24/2014 3:31:16 PM)
We adopted a similar policy over 20 years ago. The commercial environment on our stations is fantastic. Advertisers and listeners win and win big. No-Brainer.
(6/24/2014 2:25:24 PM)
There's a station that does have long breaks that tries to hook the listener with "Here's the next three songs..." followed by a five second snip of each. That trick backfires often, as I may not be interested in those songs, and I tune away before the commercials even begin.
(6/24/2014 2:18:19 PM)
A station in our area has been doing 1 minute commercial breaks recently. First time I realized it I had actually tuned away to find something else to listen to thinking it would be a long commercial break. But after scanning the dial and finding nothing but commercials, I went back and found they were playing a song I wanted to listen to. Then I realized I had only driven about a mile so it could only have been a 1 minute break. Now I know the breaks are short and don't tune out.
(6/24/2014 12:10:45 PM)
Steve Warren is dead on. Also forget the 2 minute promise. Just do it and it will work. The 2 minute promise only promotes that commercials are bad. They are not. They are part of the whole station experience. If they are written well they can be entertaining and informative. I have never understood why radio has promoted commercials as negative when it is the commercials that make radio money.
(6/24/2014 12:03:26 PM)
Wow! Bold move to do radio the way it used to be done. 20 years ago if you brought up the idea of running 8 to 10 minutes in one stop set you would be considered stupid and crazy. Now in an attention deficit disorder world it has become standard. Of course this is going to work. It is the proper way to program. Raise the rates. I have been conditioned to turn off music stations the minute they start a commercial because I know that they are going to be in the stop set for 10 minutes.

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(SALES) 20 Commandments For Success


After watching that heartbreaking draw tonight with Portugal in the World Cup, maybe we could use some positive reinforcement, especially for USA soccer fans. That was one of the best soccer matches I?ve watched on TV. Hats off to Portugal -- they didn?t give up and they reinforced the mantra that it?s not how you start, it?s how you finish. Great job by team USA; they looked like a Euro soccer team and played like one, in my opinion.

I don?t know where this list of gems came from, or for that matter who wrote it, though from time to time it?s been there to remind me of what it takes to be a success in any endeavor. I hope it ends up somewhere in your home or office and does the same for you as it?s done for me.

1.     Work only half a day. It makes no difference which half. It can be either the first 12 hours or the last 12 hours. (This especially holds true in media sales where you might clock-in six to eight hours though you?re thinking about your work another four hours a day.)
2.     Work is the master key that opens the door to all opportunities.
3.     Mental attitude plays a far more important role in a person?s success or failure than mental capacity.
4.     Remember that we all climb the ladder of success one step at a time.
5.     There are two ways to get to the top of an oak tree. One way is to sit on an acorn and wait; the other way is to climb.
6.     Do not be afraid of taking a chance. Remember that a broken watch is exactly right at least twice in every 24 hours.
7.     The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.
8.     Eliminate from your vocabulary the words, ?I don?t think I can? and substitute ?I know I can.?
9.     In evaluating a career, put opportunity ahead of security.
10. Have confidence in yourself.
11. A person has to take risks to achieve.
12. People who take pains never to do more than they get paid for never get paid for anything more than they do.
13. The more steam you put into your work, the louder you can whistle when your work is done.
14. Opportunity comes often. It knocks as often as you have an ear trained to hear it, an eye trained to see it, a hand trained to grasp it, and a head trained to use it.
15. You cannot procrastinate. In two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.
16. Sell your wristwatch and buy an alarm clock.
17. A successful person realizes his personal responsibility for self-motivation. He starts himself because he possesses the key to his own ignition switch.
18. Do not worry. You can?t change the past, but you can sure ruin the present by worrying over the future. Remember, that half the things we worry about never happen, and the other half are going to happen anyway. So, why worry?
19. It is not how much you have but how much you enjoy that makes happiness.
20. Believe in God and obey the 10 Commandments.

Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group International and can be reached at or Sean?s new book The Liquid Fire can be found on

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kajzer Joins WSOU As Sales Manager


Seton Hall University's WSOU-FM has hired Jennifer Kajzer as its new Underwriting Sales & Marketing Manager. Kajzer comes to WSOU from CBS Radio in New York, where she was an Integrated Media Manager for WWFS, WNOW, WCBS-FM, and other CBS properties. Kajzer graduated from Seton Hall back in 1999.

GM Mark Maben said, ?I am thrilled that Jen is returning to WSOU. She brings with her tremendous experience in sales and marketing and a deep knowledge of commercial and noncommercial media. She not only will help sell underwriting and digital for us, but will also be a wonderful mentor to our students as they learn the business side of our industry.?

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WBBM's Eric Brown Dies at 58


Brown passed away early this morning after a long battle with cancer. Brown was a continuous sports voice at Newsradio 780 and 105.9 FM for 25 years, starting in 1988, and having to leave the air last fall to fight his battle with cancer. CBS Chicago Market Manager Rod Zimmerman said, Brown was the consummate professional, a polished broadcaster and a great teammate. "He was always willing to go above and beyond to get the story. A friend to everyone he met. We will miss him very much on the air and in the office at Newsradio. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.? Read more HERE at WBBM.

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(SPORTS TALK) Dealing With Death


This week in San Diego I learned so much about radio, my career, and how to present a tragic situation to listeners as a new host in a market.

Last Monday, the great Padre Tony Gwynn passed away. I was in the middle of my regular show when the news broke around 8 a.m. My great assistant program director Joe Tutiono was given the news of Gwynn?s passing. Joe has been in the market his entire life and was given the news by Gwynn?s agent. He was very affected by it.

All I knew of Tony Gwynn was from the many baseball cards I had collected over the years -- some 14 of Gwynn?s cards. It?s funny: There are two sides to a card, the statistics and the face. That?s all I had ever known of Gwynn.

I?ve had Gwynn on my show in the past and knew of his greatness, with eight batting titles and 3,000 hits. But as Monday unfolded, I learned more. After my horrible 8 o'clock hour, my PD Mike Shephard asked me to pre-empt Jim Rome and do a three-hour show taking calls listening from Padre players and fans so they could talk about a man they so loved. Stories of meeting him at a burrito shop or seeing him in a hospital. ?There was a 9-year-old kid named Noah who called Gwynn his hero.

I decided this past week not to do what every radio host would do and try to be part of the story. Instead I chose to listen to former teammates and people like Pete Rose talk about what a great person and player Gwynn was. I learned so much as a host this past week. My first notion was to somehow take all my experiences and apply them to the story. But I realized that is wrong: It?s better to let the fans and people who live in the market tell me their thoughts and help me grow in the market. Let the market come to me. They want to tell you how they feel.

I must say it was probably my best week of radio in my 22 years in the business. Many folks told me how much they appreciated me just letting people talk. Talk. Funny, that?s what i do for a living, but I realized the listeners here wanted to help me become part of their love affair with a man who meant so much to people.

Radio host. The biggest mistake most hosts make is they want to be part of the story. I say go old school. Let the local people pull you into the community. I have been doing so well in San Diego and Southern California, having tripled ratings over what they were a year ago. But after today I actually felt part of San Diego and Southern California.

In the end, let the market come to you. Most listeners want Talk radio folks to be part of their community. I say, sit back and listen instead of talk.

Dan Sileo is a former professional football player with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Reach out to Dan at

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(WIZARD) The Magic Word That Melts All Fear


I?m going to do four things, if you?ll let me.

1. I?m going to teach you a magic word. 2. I?m going to teach you a magic truth. 3. I?m going to teach you offer packaging. 4. I?m going to melt your fear.

The magic word is ?experiment.? I?ll tell you when and how to use that
magic word a few paragraphs from now.

The magic truth is that advertising doesn?t fail. Ads fail.

A really good ad will work on just about any radio sta?tion. Believe it or not, there are surprisingly few stations out there with ?the wrong audience.? So if your sales presentation is mostly you telling advertisers that you?ve got ?the perfect audience? for them, you need to ask your best friend to tie you to a chair and slap the hell out of you until you promise to quit saying that.

Really good ads pay off in ways your clients can see. And when they can see that your ads are working, they quit saying things like, ?We?re all out of budget.? You?ll laugh out loud at the piles of money your clients can find when they?ve seen that your ads are clearly paying off.

The bottom line of the magic truth is this: You?ve got to make your client give you a really good ad.

And offer packaging is what makes an ad really good.

Now is the time to use that magic word. 1. Look at your client and say, ?I?d like to do an experiment.? They?ll say, ?What kind of experiment?? 2. You say, ?I want to make an offer so attractive that people feel like they have to take advantage of it.?

Two things will happen in that brief exchange. First, you?ll sharply reduce your client?s resistance when you use the word ?experiment.? Tell a client that something is true and they?ll go into ?judgment mode? to decide if they believe you. But you don?t want your client to be your judge; you want them to be your partner. And nothing makes them so clearly your partner as doing an experiment together.

Second, that word ?experiment? promises four things: 1) limited risk; 2) limited time window; 3) the excitement of adventure; and 4) ?We?re going to know something at the end of this experiment that we do not currently know.?

That?s a lot to pack into a single word, isn?t it?

Offer Packaging
The lowest possible cost of acquiring a new customer will not be achieved until you?ve packaged an offer that?s hard for the customer to refuse.

Note: ?Free? is no longer a magic word. If you allow a chiropractor to offer ?a free examination? and act like it?s a powerfully attractive offer, I?m going to tie you to that chair again and call your friend. Your listeners know that ?a free examination? is just another way of saying ?a free sales pitch.?

Powerfully attractive offers are usually based on A) a guaranteed flat rate for a service that?s usually priced according to the degree of difficulty, such as, ?We?ll open any clogged drain for $99, even if your clog is in the main line.? Or B), a series of impressive things that are included ?at no extra charge? after you?ve made your offer and named your price. The more surprising and attractive your list of things included at no extra charge, the more impressive your package will be.

Do the math with your client and you?ll both see that the cost of a powerful offer is much lower than the cost of ads that don?t work very well. It all comes down to the price of customer acquisition. Your client knows that the cost of convincing a customer to do business with them a second time is only a fraction of the cost of attracting that customer the first time.

So quit talking about your radio station. Start talking instead about the kinds of offers your client can make to your audience. Walk in their door and say, ?I?d like to do an experiment.?

There?s nothing scary about that.

In fact, it?s exciting.

So why are you still sitting there? Stand up. Go make some calls.

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

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Will We Allow Pandora To Take Over The World?


By Dave Hill
Now that we publicly called out Nielsen about the L.A. ratings debacle -- where two households needed to be extracted from the sample with data that had already been released -- what?s next? The point has been made that ratings can be swayed by a couple of heavy-use households. What about the public opinion that Pandora is going to take over the world? Two different things I know... but stay with me.

After my initial jumping around and pointing to the differential in the re-released L.A. Nielsen data, I started to think of what the aftermath might be. Then I thought maybe we are going about this the wrong way. When you speak to most station GMs, they will tell you ?we sell more than the ratings.? That may be true in some instances but if that was really the case you would not see people freaking out because the PPM data slides down in double-digits over a couple of months. Have no doubt about this: What we are doing is selling ratings. What we should be doing is selling the influence we have over our fans. The problem is the looming fact that we have failed in adequately measuring the influence factor we have over people.

Over the past couple of decades, the ability for an advertiser to reach a larger audience has become much easier. Of that increased audience, some of them want to be sold, some don?t. I would imagine if you ask the audience, most of them would tell you they have limited or no loyalty to much of the advertising that is out there.

This seems like a good place and time to introduce the influence factor. You will have to dig deep into the new-media landscape to find the brand loyalty that radio gets. Radio is overlooked every day in the mad dash to reach more people. 

That loyalty is the overlooked key for advertisers. You think we are in trouble? Consider the fact that, if you are Pandora, you are completely devoid of personality. You certainly don?t see people going to buy a car because the Led Zeppelin station algorithm told them what a great car it is. It?s the dirty secret that people get bored with Pandora and is a good example of pedestrian advertising. What Pandora wants is brand but they don?t have the personality to do it. As soon as the marketing directors figure out there is no loyalty or influence involved in Pandora, watch them put down the shiny new toy and start to seek out true influences. That is our opportunity, and we had better be ready to prove ourselves when that happens.

But how do you gauge influence? And what are we doing as an industry to find the answer to this riddle? We need to go beyond reach and frequency and figure out how we can assess the influence of our brand loyalty.

Nielson may be making an attempt with the introduction of buying patterns linked to station exposure, but that is not enough. We need to figure out the metric issue of passion and influence, and then we win. I?m just pointing out the problem. It?s up to us as an industry to figure out how to fix it.

Dave Hill is the Program Director for WBAL-AM & WIYY-FM (98Rock), Baltimore.
He can be reached at and on Twitter @Radiodave98

(6/24/2014 10:32:29 AM)
It's not that your points were not clear, Dave. It's that nobody who is a G.I.C. (guy in charge) is willing to come out of their holes and get it on.

I kinda appreciate that as very few are willing to get into a tussel armed only with a limp spaghetti noodle and a damp sponge. When it comes to defending whatever ridiculous positions they might be sporting - that's all they have.

(6/24/2014 9:17:28 AM)
I don’t think I was clear on the point I was trying to make. The challenge is not on Pandora or its listener base. It’s on AM/FM radio and the fact that 15, 30, and 60 second spots are not the only effective tools. AM/FM Radio relies on a rating system that doesn’t measure passion or influence and similarly Pandora uses big data to represent audience. Radio has all of these tools to influence people outside of forced spots and we have done a poor job demonstrating that to our advertisers.
(6/24/2014 7:21:43 AM)
Howard Stern still broadcasts a radio show?
(6/23/2014 7:24:25 PM)
Save the self abuse for a more pleasurable activity, David. Still, you ain't wrong.

Our leadership, meanwhile, absolutely refuses to admit to how so very poor, shoddy, incompetent and sleazy we are at what we do - and, in some cases, get away with charging money to do it.

Meanwhile, might as well continue to enjoy your alternative sources. Someone will get a hold of you when we figure this thing out.

(6/23/2014 7:20:28 PM)
Unlike Nielsen, Pandora's audience #s are not estimates, they are the actual number of people listening. Compare 2013 to 2014 and you'll see Pandora is growing. Growth doesn't = "boredom".

With online radio soaring (160m this year, mostly not to FM/AM), broadcasters are investing little in the space while the AQH of PUR has collapsed. Denial of radio's crisis is a huge opportunity for its competitors.

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Ed Lover Joins Radio One In Philadelphia


Old School 100.3 has given the Hip-Hop icon, best known for his days on Yo! MTV Raps, two weekend shifts, Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Lover worked for HOT 97 in New York in the 90s and Power 105.1 in New York in the 2000s. VP/GM Shawneen Thompson said, ?Moments like this make broadcast radio very exciting and having the opportunity to hear an iconic talent like Ed Lover, live and local in Philadelphia is a great win for our city! He is an architect of hip-hop and is the perfect choice for Old School.?

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Top Advertisers Spend Record Amount In 2013


Despite flat revenue reporting from most of the radio industry, it appears businesses do have the money to spend on advertising, and they are spending it. Advertising Age reports total spending among the 100 leading national advertisers hit a record $108.6 billion in 2013, passing the previous record set in 2007, before the recession. Spending increased 4.4 percent last year and an average of 4.0 percent over the past three years.

Those 100 advertisers make up about 42.2 percent of all U.S. measured-media spending in 2013. Measured spending for the top 100 rose 3.2 percent in 2013. 68 of the 100 advertisers increased total spending in 2013; 32 spent less; 39 advertisers spent more than $1 billion on advertising. The companies that grew their advertising spending the most in 2013 were Microsoft (61%), AsrtraZeneca (40%), Expedia ( 30%), ConAgra (29%), and AbbVie (26%).

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We Finally Hear From David Another Lawsuit


DuBose is the Birmingham executive who helped Carl Parmer put together Summit Media, which purchased the seven former Cox stations in that city. One year after the Cox purchase, DuBose was mysteriously gone from the company, without explanation, and he was unreachable. Now we know why. has the details of a lawsuit (READ IT HERE) DuBose has filed against Palmer, someone he says he trusted enough to be his son's godfather. DuBose claims Palmer conspired to fire him and he did most of the legwork putting the new company together while Palmer was off playing golf. Summit denies the allegations.

Summit attorney David Marsh tells that, "Summit Media denies the allegations set out in Mr. DuBose's lawsuit. We believe that the evidence will establish that there is no factual or legal basis for his claims. Summit looks forward to presenting all of the evidence, including evidence of how Summit tried to work with Mr. DuBose and treat him fairly, to an impartial Judge or jury at the proper time."

When Summit was formed DeBose was named COO, Palmer CEO. Summit closed on the purchase of the 27 Cox stations at a price of $66.25 million. says DuBose verbally agreed to a 5-year deal as COO at $318,000 per year. DuBose says he did not sign a contract because he was told one was in the works and he trusted Palmer because he was the godfather to DuBose's son, and in his will, DuBose made Parmer a co-trustee for a trust provision for DuBose's son.

Then, last month DuBose was, according to the lawsuit, told the company had decided to go "in a different direction" and did not need "someone with your skill sets." DuBose was asked to sign a document saying he had resigned from the company, which he did not sign. The lawsuit also says Parmer emailed DuBose a statement that he wanted DuBose to send to his staff saying that he had "decided to pursue opportunities in station ownership and management on my own." He also received a final paycheck of $26,000 which he has not cashed.

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(SALES MANAGEMENT) The Untouchables


You know who they are. Every business has them. They are sellers but their titles often begin with ?Senior.? Their tenure with their employer is typically longer than most and, owing in no small part to attrition, they have accumulated an impressive account list. As a result, their billing is at or near tops in the building every month.

At most companies, these senior sellers operate by a different set of rules than everyone else. They pay little more than lip service to management initiatives for new business development. Their unit pricing is below the company average and their activity reports are turned in late or incomplete. The ?special? rules that govern these elite account executives are unwritten but they are, nevertheless, very real. To management, they are ?untouchables.?

What would happen to the revenue flow if a ?super seller? decided to quit? The truth is that most managers just don?t know. And, understandably, they are unwilling to risk losing these ?special? account executives by holding them to the same standard of accountability as the rest of the staff. Management would prefer to accept the negatives that may result from their tolerance of the ?untouchables.?

And there are many potential negatives. Examples include:
? The atmosphere in the sales department suffers. Lower-ranking sellers notice and resent the preferential treatment accorded senior account executives;
? In spite of producing substantial revenue, ?untouchables? often underperform, failing to deliver an appropriate share of budget from major accounts. Tepid management can never be sure; and,
? Because these senior sellers corral so many meaningful billing clients, managers often lack the flexibility to reward promising young account executives with additional active customers. After being well trained, new talent departs for the competition.

As an on-site consultant, I?ve often been given ?hands off? instructions for these senior sellers. Since I don?t face that constraint in this forum, here are the top five thoughts I would share with ?untouchables?:
1. You are good but you could be better. If you aren?t moving forward, you are certain to be passed by;
2. The best way to measure the quality of your work is through the eyes of your peers. Do other sellers frequently ask for your help? Are you a well-used resource for everyone in the sales department? If so, you should take pride in your role. If not, it?s time to get busy?again;
3. Your work will suffer when you operate in a vacuum, but to earn critical help from peers and support staff, there must be a ?U? in ?team?;
4. You won the approval of management by displaying passion and superior performance, but that respect must be constantly renewed; and,
5. Past performance earns you a place in history but it is today?s performance that keeps you from becoming history.

These Horton-isms have value for sellers of all stripes ? managers might consider copying my remarks for their entire team. I would, however, suggest you do so without additional comment. Should one of your ?untouchables? take offense, better to let me be the heavy.

Jon E. Horton is the author of The 22 Unbreakable Laws of Selling available in both paperback and Kindle versions from For more of his blogs, please visit Comments to

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CEA's Gary Shapiro To Keynote DASH Conference


Gary Shapiro is the president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association. He will be one of the keynote speakers at the second DASH Connected Car Conference, to be held in Detroit, October 15-16, 2014. "Gary is a beacon in the consumer electronics industry, and one of the most powerful men in that arena," Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads says. "We are honored to have him as part of our conference." DASH is the creation of Radio Ink, Jacobs Media, and SCG, LLC. The conference's goal is to bring together leaders from the radio broadcasting and automotive industries in order to foster collaboration and chart a course for the future.

Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs says, "We are thrilled to have a national leader and visionary provide his unique insight to DASH attendees. This year's conference will focus on a deeper understanding of the possibilities that lie ahead and identifying concrete solutions, and Gary is the perfect person to set the table."

"DASH is a unique conversation at the intersection of consumer products, entertainment, and the automotive industry," adds Valerie Shuman, principal of Shuman Consulting Group. "Gary will bring valuable perspective about the rapidly evolving in-car entertainment experience."

As head of the CEA, which represents more than 2,000 consumer electronics companies and owns and produces the International CES?, the world's largest annual innovation event, Gary Shapiro has testified before Congress more than 20 times on technology and business issues. He is an industry leader, having successfully led key initiatives including the transition to HDTV and protecting home recording rights as chairman of the Home Recording Rights Coalition. He's been the recipient of numerous awards, including the IAEE Pinnacle Award, and wrote the New York Times best-sellers "Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World's Most Successful Businesses" and "The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream."

"I'm excited to deliver the keynote address at the DASH Conference, a great mashup of broadcast radio, the automobile industry, and consumer electronics. As the home of global auto industry and an emerging hotbed of startups and technological innovation, Detroit is the perfect location for this meeting of the minds," Shapiro says. "At CEA, we are witnessing an amazing time of change and cross-industry collaboration affecting the auto industry in general and car infotainment systems in particular. Many industries are working together to map out the car of the future, and all of the players need to make sure they have a seat at the table."

The DASH Conference will be held October 15-16, at the Westin Airport Hotel, embedded in Detroit's Metropolitan Airport. Leaders from broadcasting and automotive industries will be sharing their insights.
Register today!

DASH 2014
October 15-16
Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport Hotel
Detroit, MI

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CMG Turns On An Alternative Translator In Orlando


Cox has launched a new Alternative format in Orlando on a translator using the FM dial position 107.3 FM (WCFB HD2). The new station, which launched Thursday at noon will feature 10,000 songs commercial-free. Cox is aiming directly at the 18-34 demo, featuring Alternative artists such as Imagine Dragons, Lorde, Bastille, Black Keys, and more. X107.3 will be the seventh station for the Cox Orlando cluster including WDBO-FM, WDBO-AM, WWKA, WMMO, WCFB, and WPYO.

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WKQX Chicago PD Inks Multi-Year Deal


Cumulus has signed WKQX Chicago Program Director PJ Kling to a new multi-year contract. Kling has served as Program Director of WKQX since 2012. He was Interim Operations Manager of WLUP from 2011-2012, and prior to that, was Director, User Insight for Tribune Interactive. He has held PD positions at WLDI in West Palm Beach and at KKRD/KZCH in Wichita. Kling also worked in programming for Clear Channel Corporate.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Huge Drop For Mandril


Nielsen re-issued the April weekly data for Los Angeles yesterday. And, while a rogue Univision Program Director has been the focus of attention (Univision confessed to the sin and immediately fired the employee), it appears as if the original household that caused the ratings delay was skewing heavy toward KXOS, which is owned by Grupo Radio Centro. Many in the market speculate there is some sort of cheating going on, however nobody has been able to prove that and Nielsen has said the problem household "failed to meet quality compliance standards."

KXOS' "El Mandril" morning show took a major hit in the new Nielsen numbers, thanks to that one early household being pulled from the panel. Can one home have a big impact? It can if it has several meters - although that has not been confirmed by Nielsen. Nielsen does allow homes to have several meters, you might have one home with over five PPM's. In the case of the one L.A. household pulled from the panle #not the Univision employee#, here's what we were shown yesterday. For week one in April, Mandril lost 43% of his audience from the original numbers released. In week two the show was lower by 56%. In week three Mandril was off by 44%. And in week four the drop was 52%.

We reached out to Francisco Aguirre Cranz, Grupo Radio Centro's Board Chairman for comment and we expect to hear more from him today. "As you can imagine we were waiting for a few things to develop before commenting on the situation."  We also left a voicemail on the cell phone of Mandril's attorney who did not return the call. The new Nielsen numbers from yesterday dropped Mandril from the 4th ranked morning drive show to number 10 in week one. In week two he goes from being #3 to #14. In week three the show drops from #5 to #15. And in week four he goes from #2 to #10. One would assume that the Univision emplyoyee accused of manipulating a meter was not listening to Mandril so it would appear that the other household in question was a heavy Mandril listener.

At the least this has been bad for the Hispanic-radio community, especially in Los Angeles. Overall it's bad for radio when one household, whether someone is cheating or not, can have such a dramatic impact on ratings, especially in the number two market in America, especially when so much money rides on tiny movements in the numbers. There are just about 2,800 PPM's in the City of Los Angeles, a city of over 12 million people. It also highlights how difficult a job Nielsen has, after all, the company does have to make sure over 2,800 people are being 100% honest. And that's just one market.

(6/20/2014 3:20:34 PM)
Fernando. if Mandril bring 5,000 people and UNV 101.9 only 200 in the same time with equal opportunity. and you have video to prove it. This is a huge Law suit case against Ratings system. because the Mundial of futbol show every 4 years what Radio have the real mexican popularity. This thing have RED FLAG with business working with numbers And PPM
(6/20/2014 12:00:32 PM)
What will it take to stop the big lie?
In Texas, there is a consumer law called "The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act". The ratings system is so flawed that it could violate these strong laws. Something must be done to stop the lie. It may require a class action law suit filed by non subscribing stations against ad agencies who use the "numbers" to place their ad budgets with subscribers only. The big lie simply shifts all agency revenue to a chosen few who then fight over the spoils.
(6/20/2014 11:29:44 AM)
Finally!!!!!!! This has been going on forever. At least with Nielson the information have not been buried but brought forward.
Guess what!!!! And all you hear today buy all buyers is...WE GO BUY THE NUMBERS!!!!
LAZY, INDIFFERENCE AND IGNORANT. That is who is really spending clients dollars. (6/20/2014 11:25:16 AM)
Mandril invited his audience to come and watch the Mexico/Brazil soccer game live at Plaza Mexico. Univision-KSCA (from where the executive was fired) did the same at a different location. Mandril got a crowd of 5,000 people. KSCA got 200 people. (We have the video) But according to Nielsen readings, the KSCA morning show beats Mandril and it’s the #1 morning show in L.A. I rest my case.
(6/20/2014 10:29:19 AM)
What it really highlights is what a scam Nielsen/Arbitron perpetuates on the Radio industry and how the move to PPM from Diary only exacerbates the low sample size/flawed methodology they have. Why not go with Eastlan for a third of the cost? If you are going to pay for toilet paper, you might as well buy cheap.

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Smyth Among Giants to be Honored


Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth, along with Pablo Raul Alarcon Sr. and Raul Alarcon Jr and several others will be honored this year at the annual Giants of Broadcasting luncheon on October 16. The Giants of Broadcasting event recognizes individuals "who have for the past century been the creators, the innovators, the entrepreneurs, the performers and the journalists who have brought the electronic arts to the prominence they occupy in the United States and the world today."  The Giants Honors were established in 2003 by the Library of American Broadcasting on the campus of the University of Maryland.

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It's "Blondie & Nugget" In The Morning


L & L Broadcasting in San Antonio has picked Blondie & Nugget to take mornings at KTFM starting July 14. The station was previously playing all music. Blondie joins KTFM from WABD?s morning show in Mobile. Nugget was most recently doing mornings at KHTT in Tulsa with stops in NYC at WNOW and WHPP and WJFX in Ft. Wayne. Consultant Randy Lane has been signed on to help structure and guide the new show.

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Metheny The New Man At KGO And KSFO


Cumulus is bringing in veteran Kevin Metheny as operations manager at KGO and KSFO in San Francisco. Metheny currently serves Cumulus as program director of WJR in Detroit. Metheny is a career content creator whose other recent work includes the launch of CBS Radio?s Country KMNB, ?BUZ*N @ 102.9? in the Twin Cities; Program Director of WGN, Chicago; and 13 years with Clear Channel in various roles, including Regional Vice President of Programming. Cumulus is engaged in a nationwide search for Metheny?s replacement at WJR.

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Ebbott To Program CBS' K-EARTH


Chris Ebbott will take over PD duties at the Classic Hits station in L.A. on July 16. He succeeds Rick Thomas who recently took a similar programming position with CBS New York. Since 2010, Ebbott has been programming CKFM in Toronto. Ebbott is returning to L.A. where, from 2004 to 2010, he helped launch CBS' JACK FM (KCBS) as operations manager. Prior to that Ebbott was a senior research associate at Pinnacle Media Worldwide, PD at Mix 95.7 (WMWX) in Philadelphia and KZON-FM in Phoenix, and the marketing director at KFI in Los Angeles.

CBS L.A. Market Manager Dan Kearney said, ?While we talked to many talented candidates, Chris?s track record of success with the Classic Hits format, success in developing on-air talent, and past history with our cluster made him an excellent choice. I fully expect K-EARTH to continue to grow under Chris?s leadership and vision.?

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(TALENT) The Precision Decision


It was an extraordinarily beautiful thing ? almost fragrant. And, like so many other beautiful things, it was also extremely rare. I had been called in to voice a TV spot for a national advertiser. I was being shown the video and the music track was in my cans. The producer then said, ?Voice it however you think it might work.? I had to look around to affirm that I had not inadvertently passed through some pearly gates.

It was so easy. There was lots of room in the copy to be expressive and the video cuts were such that there was space for the spot to breathe. There were no demands for behaviors ? what the agency weenies refer to as ?calls to action.? There were no attempts at a forced intimacy ? the arbitrary and thoroughly bogus ?one-to-one? experience. Further, the actual product was on-screen for about five seconds, tops.

Later, after waiting a few minutes for approval, there was a question from the client about there being no mention of the brand in the copy. It was explained that the video carried a ?super? that covered that off quite nicely. The client was slightly concerned and insisted the brand name be mentioned in the copy, as well. (?Some nerve,? I say.) I read a tag as an unimportant afterthought; one of those ?void where prohibited? thingies. The client found that quite acceptable. Satisfied grins, high-fives, and a few knuckle-bumps later, we adjourned for smokes, coffees, and a chat out on the balcony.

And yes, I get it. This was an agency-produced spot with all the cowbells, horns, banners, and multiple, ballooned, production invoices inserted forthwith. Since the producer was also the writer, I quizzed him on the concept for the project and, more specifically, on the lack of product-content.

As it turned out, the client was pretty sophisticated on these matters, and had charged the agency with developing an emotional connection with the target audience. The product was of the high-end variety. Nothing was going ?on sale.? This was top-quality product being offered at full-pop retail. Practically, going for an emotional connection was the only viable strategy. Even while one feature of the product was offered in the copy, any other distinctions that might exist between it and the competition were hardly worth the mentioning.

Meanwhile, out on the balcony, the producer/writer revealed that, once the creative premise was put to bed, the copy, pretty much, wrote itself ? an intuitive exercise. Plus, he was, after all, an experienced professional. That?s when I mentioned the two main points that were (fortunately) missing from the copy. Those being: a lack of direct instructions being pressed on the audience and the lack of any attempt to connect directly with any particular viewer.

He was considering those points and made a couple of mild attempts at countering them. However, to his credit, and after a few more examples were provided, the fog dissipated and the light of realization popped on. He said, ?That was just this one spot. There have been a few others. But, most of the time we write and include both of those elements you just argued against.?

In the meantime, I thanked him for the opportunity to voice the piece in a way that I thought would be more effective and appealing. That?s when the conversation shifted to the now-decade-old practice of having many more adult males who sound like 15-year-olds voicing an overwhelming number of spots ? the ol? ?guy next door? dodge. I asked him if he had any interest in considering the rationale for such an arbitrary practice. He slurped his coffee, took a long, relaxed pull on his imported Camel Filter and said, ?Sure.?

?Most radio and TV copy?, I began, ?is written from an authoritative position while attempting to make a direct connection to a single listener/viewer. ?I agree,? he said. ?Most of it is.? ?So,? I continued, ?when those positions are already embedded in the copy, engaging an authoritative-sounding, deeper, male voice for the read tends to drive a level of discomfort in the listener to an ever-higher magnitude. It?s almost always an imperceptible phenomenon, yet broadcast-media types still recoil as if something weird and disconcerting is going on. Thus, the guy-next-door rationalization and application.? ?I?ll go along with that,? says he.

Although a reminder could be redundant and unnecessary, it may serve to point out the obvious: No guy next door ever speaks in the manner in which they are portrayed in spots. Nor do they replicate the content across the fence that they do in the body of broadcast commercials. In these cases, everybody involved comes off sounding/looking like idiots ? a surefire strategy for crippling appeal, credibility, and motivation.

These are elements that demonstrate a drastic need, particularly in commercial radio, for content providers to start paying attention to ?Clarity and Precision in Communications.?

This is the element that constitutes a first priority for any broadcaster who needs to drag their sorry butts out of the glue that has been bogging radio down for decades. Radio?s salvation will not be rolling down the techno-highway and it won?t be as a result of adding more ?live and local.? I am also sorry to report, as much as I agree that, although still required in the mix, it won?t come about as a result of arbitrarily attempting to cram more ?creative? into on-air and commercial presentations.

Radio has been the go-to medium for demonstrations of the worst possible examples of so-called ?professional communications? for decades. This has been the status quo for so long that most participants don?t even recognize the issue for what it is: that which has already killed the radio star, and that which will be killing much of the rest of radio.

While there is still opportunity, it is well past the time to make a decision for precision.

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

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Monday, June 23, 2014

L.A. Ratings Problem Could Date Back A Year


Nielsen says it has removed the media-affiliated household from the Los Angeles ratings -- but the situation could be more damaging than originally thought. The household in the survey had been part of the PPM panel for "an extended period of time," according to Nielsen. An investigation is now underway that will have Nielsen examining data as far back as a year.

That was one of two households removed from the Los Angeles ratings; one of those households caused the much-publicized delay in the ratings. That household was not media-affilated; it was removed, Nielsen says, because "it did not meet our quality standards." Both that non-media related household and the Univision employee household have been part of the L.A. PPM panel for an extended period of time, so the damage could extend over more than just one book. Nielsen says it will conduct an impact analysis extending back over the last year and will provide the market with that analysis.

The official Nielsen release says, "The behavior of a media-affiliated household not self-reporting is a serious violation of data integrity standards." The company is planning several changes as a result of the L.A. incident, although Nielsen did not specify what those changes would be. "We will be taking a number of actions to minimize the risk of reoccurrence and ensure users of Los Angeles ratings data are adequately and prominently notified. Additionally, Nielsen will be implementing an immediate and aggressive review of our policies and procedures to protect the integrity of our panels. We will be transparent with the industry and share our plans as quickly as possible."

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What Happened to Joe Walsh in Chicago?


The talk show host on Salem's 560-AM The Answer was apparently pulled off the air during a commercial break. Mail Online reports the former U.S. Congressman from Illinois says he was kicked off his own show for trying to have a frank and honest discussion about race in America. Walsh took to Twitter as soon as he was pulled off the air. 'Found out if I said Redskins or Cracker or Redneck Bible Thumper, I could stay on. But if I said N***** or S***k, they cut me off,' he wrote. He'll be off the air today and has a 5PM meeting with his producers. Walsh's show was recently expanded to three hours on the station because of its popularity.

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Remember in the old days, when it was a given that if you wanted to grow in your career, you needed to relocate to move up the ladder? One simply uprooted the family and often moved numerous times as their positions grew within a company or joined new ones.

Today it is much more difficult to find candidates willing to relocate. That doesn?t help you when you are in need of a new manager, on-air talent, PD, or any other department head. Between employees demanding a better work/life balance and wanting to be near family (which sometimes can work to your advantage), dual-spouse careers and being rooted in a community, they just won?t move.

What are your options or solutions to this? You can try to up the ante and make huge concessions, higher compensation, and creative benefits to lure them to your market, but chances of them staying are not great. If you are OK with a few years and then more turnover, this could be a solution for you. Most companies aren?t willing to spend the money to bring in someone for the short term.

When you have exhausted your search locally, what can you do to attract and keep those candidates that match your qualifications but live elsewhere? Here are some tips that we find useful when we are relocating candidates to our open positions:
? Have a solid relocation plan ? include trips back and forth until family is settled. It is OK to include a clause that if they leave within a pre-designated time period that a prorated portion of their move will be deducted from last pay period. Temporary housing for up to 90 days is a good amount of time to locate more permanent housing.
? Interview the family ? find out what is important to them, do they like certain activities, such as sports, wine, theater, etc. that are available in your area? Do they have family in the area? Are there better schools or medical facilities in your community? What career opportunities are available in your community for the spouse? Is this a place where they could see themselves living for several years if not until retirement?
? Be prepared to sell your opportunity to the family! Invite them all for a visit and have activities planned such as meetings with realtors, information from the Chamber of Commerce on key facts such as cost of living and average cost of home. Invite them to dine at popular restaurants, offer tickets to events or attractions. Set up school visits. Have them meet key staff members who can show them around. If necessary, have some informational interviews set up for their spouse.
? Review the position and think about the possibility of having someone either work flex-time in the market while commuting or working virtually. If you are in need of a local manager or seller, this probably is not the best solution for you as you really need the commitment to the community. If it is a regional position where the person is traveling most of the time, or if it is a behind-the-scenes position, then this could work for you.

Remember, not only is a new job exciting, it?s also intimidating and overwhelming when relocating. When it is done with an entire family, it is in the company?s best interest to help them all make the transition. The sooner they are settled and happy, the better your new hire will be able to flourish.

Laurie Kahn is Founder and President of Media Staffing Network and can be reached at 480-306-8930 or via e-mail at Visit the Media Staffing Website

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WGN Named Station Of The Year


The honor was bestowed upon the Jimmy de Castro-run station by the Illinois Broadcasters Association at the 2014 IBA Silver Dome Awards. For the seventh year in a row, the IBA recognized WGN Radio as the Chicago Market Station of the Year. WGN also took home six additional awards including Best Radio Series/Documentary and Best Play-By-Play team. de Castro said, ?We are thrilled to have taken home seven awards and to be recognized by our peers at the Illinois Broadcasters Association.?

The radio station competition is divided into three market classifications, allowing stations in similarly sized markets to compete on a level playing field. Out-of-state broadcasters do the judging for the Illinois competition. Entry fees collected for the competition help fund the IBA's College Endowment and Minority Internship Programs.

In addition, WGN Radio earned first place honors in six categories:
-       Best Play-By-Play Team for Chicago Blackhawks broadcasters John Wiedeman and Troy Murray.
-       Best Radio Series or Documentary for ?Beyond Bartman: The Story of the 2003 Cubs,? produced by David Kaplan, Trey Elling, and Dan Levy.
-       Best Radio Feature for ?Halloween Rescheduled,? with Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder.
-       Best Station Website for
-       Best Use of New Media for the ?Graveyard Shift Tours? video with Nick Digilio and Dan Sugrue.
-       Best Non-Humorous Commercial for ?Des Plaines Golf Center,? produced by Jason Skaggs.

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The Things Employees Do

by John Garziglia

The Los Angeles Nielsen PPM ratings were delayed for over a week, all because a media?affiliated household took part in the Los Angeles sample.  In other words, a radio station employee likely did something that was against the better interests of his or her employer. 

Every industry has unique aspects in which employee misjudgment can cause headaches for the employer and possibly even the industry.  The automobile industry is currently embroiled in federal safety proceedings because of an ignition switch issue which was apparently well known within the manufacturer.  In our radio industry, an employee was just terminated for apparently failing to report to its employer that he or she was related to a Nielsen Audio sample participant. 

Rather than re-stating the obvious about the Nielsen Audio issue, let?s take a quick look at some of the other unique and often stupid things employees in our radio industry can do to harm an employer, the industry and themselves. 

The FCC has a grab-bag of regulatory requirements it expects that licensees, and its employees, will be aware of.  While a full listing would fill a book, let?s look at a few of the unique ways radio station employees can keep radio station managers awake at night. 

The local public file has to be near the top of the list.  If someone requests to see the local public file, do your personnel know where the local public file is located?  Do they know that the local public file must be available during business hours, without an appointment, to any requestor, and no one should be told to come back when the manager is there?  Do your employees reliably compile the quarterly issues/programs list, and put it into the local public file, no later than each January 10th, April 10th, July 10th and October 10th?

FCC EEO compliance is also near the top of the list.  EEO non-compliance can generate large fines or worse for employment units with five or more full-time employees.  Do your employees responsible for hiring know that FCC EEO recruitment procedures must take place for each full-time hire or promotion?  Have your managers recently reviewed your employment unit?s EEO outreach to confirm that employment vacancy information is being distributed to diverse sources, that such sources are actually sending interviewees for openings, and that your employment unit is not simply relying upon internet outreach, radio ads or word of mouth?  Is a link to your most recent EEO Annual Public File Report somewhere on your website?s home page?

Radio station towers and other technical matters are a safety-of-life issue with the FCC.  Compliance with FCC rules is taken seriously.  Do your technical employees know that tower gates should never be left unlocked?  Do your employees timely notify the FAA of any tower light outages?  Does your engineer take seriously FCC tower painting requirements and is AM tower fencing in good repair? Are all your air personnel aware of EAS responsibilities and compliance?  Is your AM station changing patterns and powers as required? 

The internet, while not unique to radio stations, brings its own set of headaches.  Are employees who create and post content for station websites aware that most photographs available on the web are copyrighted and consent must be obtained for use?   Are your employees generally obtaining releases for photos taken and audio content produced that may be used as part of station promotions?   Are your domain names registered to your business entity, and not simply under the technical and administrative control of one techie who may or may not still be your employee?  Are you sure that the radio station owns the creative content on the website, and not the individual creating the content?

No listing such as this would be complete without indicting air personalities.  Do your air personalities have at least a passing appreciation of what constitutes libel and slander?  Are your managers fully aware of any contests or promotions that may be created by your air personalities?  Are the FCC?s contest rule requirements being followed even if only for a pair of tickets to a local show? 

Do your more edgy air personalities understand why Howard Stern is no longer on terrestrial radio, and that prior to leaving he left behind a very large trail of FCC fines?  If you are running non-English programming, do your air personalities understand it is not OK to curse or tell off-color jokes on the air in the mistaken belief that the FCC cannot understand them?   If your jocks do telephone call-out bits, do they know it is not OK to broadcast a telephone conversation, or record it for later broadcast, without first informing the called party that he or she is doing so?  Are hoaxes and the like cleared with management first, no matter how much it ruins spontaneity?  And finally, does your air staff understand that anything given to them by a third party in exchange for programming is either payola or plugola absent a sponsorship identification, and that the FCC still takes payola and plugola very seriously?

This is by no means a complete list.  Creative employees can come up with any number of ways to unwittingly create nightmares for a licensee and its managers. But many issues can be avoided through timely questions to management.  Just think how differently the LA ratings data issue would have played out for the now-fired employee if that employee has simply said to management months ago, ?I think one of my family members is signed up by Nielsen Audio as a PPM participant ??.

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(SALES) What I Learned At The WAB


I learned that Banff, Alberta, Canada is absolutely one of the most beautiful places on earth. Most of the time when you travel you get ?locked inside the room.? In this case I was able to get out and see how beautiful Banff is. If you are ever planning on going on a vacation to Canada, besides Kelowna, you?re going to have to visit Banff.

Lloyd Robertson -- there is nobody like him. For 41 years, until 2011, Lloyd Robertson co-anchored CBC and CTV. Lloyd started, believe it or not, in radio. For 15 years, as I?ve traveled to Canada on an extensive basis, Lloyd was the one I watched and he made me feel like I was home.

I think Lloyd is about 80 now. I spoke in the morning at the Western Association of Broadcasters last Thursday and Lloyd was also one of the speakers. To share the stage with this broadcasting icon was one of my dreams. Dream fulfilled! This is not an everyday thing. By the way, Lloyd was dead-on with his stories, and did something I respect greatly: He was in every session.

I spotted him right away in mine. He doesn?t have to attend every session and he even called me out during his session. Why? Because he was at my session first thing in the morning. Kind of reminds me of the late Radio Wayne Cornils. Radio Wayne was at all of the sessions at the RAB, even if it was just poking his head in to see you even after he introduced you.

I learned that I needed to make sure I hit the ?breaks??meaning not run over in the break for the next speaker. Rarely have I ever done that. (Sorry Lesa!) I typically finish right on time. I think all sales meetings should also end at the given time the sales manager says you will be out of there. I broke one of my cardinal rules that one time. Won?t happen again.

One of the top things people took away from my seminar -- and this was a management seminar called ?The Liquid Fire: The 10 Steps To Management Success? ? was the question a sales manager asks upon first seeing the applicant in the first five minutes of an interview. The credit for this one goes to one of my sales managers, Steve Sandman. You have to pick an unfamiliar sport that the candidate will probably not know. If you?re in Canada, you probably wouldn?t ask them who just won the Stanley Cup. Pick a non-traditional sport to ask the sales candidate about. What you are trying to do is find out if the candidate is listening. So you interrupt them somewhere in the first five minutes of conversation and ask them, ?Do you know who won the Stanley Cup last year?? Yes, the LA Kings just won the most recent one -- maybe you can ask who won a year ago. Most of them won?t know at least in most parts of the USA. When they don?t know, remind them it was the Chicago Blackhawks. At the end of the interview, the last question you want to ask the sales candidate is, ?Who won the Stanley Cup last year?? If they don?t know, they were not listening to you. The top skill of high-performing sales reps is?listening! In the cases where I?ve personally hired people who couldn?t answer that question, they didn?t make it. The ones who did, most always made it.

I learned, even after all of this time, my little Pomeranian Ajax still carries a lot of branding equity with his yellow-and-black reward-rescue sign. Top colors in the outdoors are? Yellow and black. Yes, Ajax is still alive today.
For some reason, 95 percent of that all-Canadian audience picked the circle of the three choices determining if you are, a) intelligent (those who chose the square), b) creative (those who chose the triangle), or c) your mind is constantly pre-occupied with booze and sex (those who chose the circle). Needless to say, we had a fun seminar with all the circles in the audience.

I found one Greek in the audience. It was the first time for me, speaking outside of Greece, that somebody actually recognized me speaking Greek: I throw a few words out in Greek to see if anybody understands Greek. I use this as an illustration of having the audience realize that if you are just speaking your language of broadcaster or digital maven, and you don?t know how to talk the retailer?s language of profit margins, mark-ups, forward buying, and accruals, and really understand the language of the retailer, you are speaking Greek and they are speaking retail. It?s pretty hard for your reps to gather good information to bring back to you and do a good Return On Investment calculation for them to see what the desire expectations are going to be for your campaign. Unfortunately, we rarely ever set up expectations, which is why we never have to go back and ask the question, ?Is it working??

Believe it or not, we did start out with everyone clapping and we did finish up by having all the broadcasters in Alberta holding hands and repeating the phrase ?Kiazen? at the end of the seminar. That was a very smart group of broadcasters and one of the toughest groups that I have ever spoken in front of -- they had so much experience. You can?t just drop a line on them and head to the door ? you?d better explain it. Since the competition is really outside the conference room, ?on the streets,? in terms of newspaper, direct mail, yellow pages -- anything but what we had in the room: radio, TV, and digital.

A special thank you to George Leith from Vendasta Technologies who put in a good five minutes explaining how broadcasters can help local businesses with their virtual doorway to their business. He even held their attention after I went long into the break. Truly a captivating speaker, that George Leith.
I love you Alberta! What a great group! That was my first time speaking in the Alberta province and I won?t forget it.

Sean Luce is the Head International Instructor for the Luce Performance Group International and can be reached at or  You can also find Sean?s new book The Liquid Fire on

(6/19/2014 9:05:38 PM)
Thank you Ronald. I loved it there. They were very nice and receptive to me.
(6/18/2014 8:44:20 AM)
Glad you enjoyed Banffff, Sean. During the 30 years we were in Calgary, the locals had a saying: "There are no bad days to go to the mountains."

We also said to newcomers: "Hope you can enjoy 9 months of winter and 3 months of hard sledding." :)

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