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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Connecting The Dots On The Connected Car

( Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads)

Perhaps you recall a moment when I leapt from my chair to challenge the panel of automotive experts at our Radio Ink Convergence conference, when they stated that AM/FM radio could potentially disappear from the auto dashboard. That was followed up by a blog with an urgent message indicating that automakers were considering dropping broadcast radio at some point in the future. Reaction to that blog was the strongest I've ever received. It made a lot of people angry, I had calls to retract it (which I did, but only correcting the time frame that had been stated), angered a lot of my friends in the broadcasting business, and even got picked up by hundreds of other blogs and press. I knew it was a giant issue when I got a call from a national TV news reporter wanting me to go on camera. I declined.

That blog came out in June of 2013, and since that time so much of what was predicted would happen has already begun. In response, Radio Ink started the DASH conference with Jacobs Media and connected car expert Valerie Shuman in order to address these concerns and keep radio in a dialogue with the auto companies so that radio remains a high priority -- and doesn't disappear.

Radio's Biggest Issue
I daresay the connected car is radio's biggest looming issue. Though my blog received a response from the chairman of General Motors stating that GM had no intention of removing AM and FM radio from the cars -- qualified with "in the near future," which was a bit disquieting -- the connected car issues have become huge even if AM and FM are still in cars. BMW just announced that one model will be removing AM radio entirely, citing an electrical interference issue. Porsche has done the same with one model.
Radio's Great Disappearing Act
Whether or not the auto companies are actually declining to install radios is not really the biggest issue. The issue is consumers and how easy it is for them to use AM and FM on a digital dash. As we revealed at last year's conference, consumers are having trouble even finding AM and FM on many of these new connected cars. A recent blog post from Saga Communications Steve Goldstein states that maybe I was right. After purchasing a new car, he discovered there was no AM or FM -- or so he thought. Ultimately he found broadcast radio after scrolling through screens of options. Will consumers go to that much trouble?
At last year's conference we showed videos of consumers who got into their new connected cars and were instructed to find the radio. Many could not find it, could not figure out how to make it work, or, worse, found other options so much easier these self-proclaimed loyal radio listeners said they had stopped using radio and started using services like Pandora, which they'd never expected they would do. It was discomfiting when they said they wouldn't buy a car for one of those services, but since it was there, decided to use it and found they liked it better than radio. Ouch.
Changing How Radio Is Discovered
We also learned that anyone who drives a new connected car has to control the radio differently, often with voice commands or complex multi-step touchscreens that are difficult to use when driving. The video shows several frustrated consumers trying to get the radio to find their favorite stations, but discovering it couldn't recognize voice commands when they cited the station name, frequency, or slogan. Unless the command was stated exactly as programmed -- such as "find WXXX 94.7 FM" -- the system couldn't find it. Even simple commends like "Go to 95.5 FM" will get no results on some systems. This -- and other things we discovered about how consumers use radio -- were a red flag that programmers need to train their users to use radio differently.
Two Giant Players Enter the Car Audio Battle
I wasn't sure how long this connected car buzz would last, but based on the level of activity and the people coming into the space, I think this is the birth of a new age, and a sector that will evolve rapidly for many years to come. Since last year's DASH conference, two NEW major players have decided to try their hand at dominating the audio and app portion of the dash -- and they're both accustomed to winning. The entry of Apple and Google shows just how important in-car audio is and how this battle for dashboard presence and ownership will impact your world. Chances are their interests are not in consumers spending time with AM or FM but with iTunes radio or Google Play.
Playing Packed Rooms
Fred and Paul Jacobs, Valerie Shuman, and myself are receiving invitations to speak about the connected car all around the world, and rooms at these events have been packed. Advertisers, radio people, and even tech companies are very curious about what they can do with this changing dashboard, how to respond, and, for radio, how to maintain its dominance in the car. Our DASH connected car conference is designed for people who need answers and solutions.
Anger ? Resentment ? Rage
Many broadcasters are angry at me, as though my discovery of this issue was my fault. I just happened to stumble into it when I put these car manufacturers on the stage at my conference so we could get an update on the space. Never did I imagine I would hear some saying they thought radio would eventually disappear completely.
The Critical Role of the DASH Conference

I could not stand by and let this happen to the industry I have participated in for the last 45 years. Speaking loudly about it was not enough -- and it was being met with deaf ears by those who didn't want a dose of potentially very unpleasant reality. By starting this conference with Jacobs and Shuman, we have already achieved some moments when the auto industry has stood up and said, "Wait, maybe we should listen to these guys."

We managed to get executives from major auto manufacturers into a room and even orchestrated a lunch, which we hosted, with top-level auto people and top radio CEOs to create a dialogue. But that is not enough. It's just a start. Radio as an industry needs to make a show of commitment. The room at DASH is filled with auto people, OEM people, car dealers, and others who care most about selling cars that people love. Radio must again become top-of-mind with the auto industry players, some of whom who have been led to believe broadcast radio is less relevant than it once was.

You need to be there to reinforce your story in your town, and talk about how you interact with your audiences. Last year we had lots of feedback from people at the automotive level who told us they never had any contact with radio before and were excited to learn all the good things they weren't hearing about. This needs to continue.
How Professionals Respond to Change
The challenge in this rapidly changing world is that we have to know about changes in order to be a valued resource to our advertisers and our own survival. Anyone running, programming, or managing radio stations today has to be up to speed fast. Since in-car makes up at least 50 percent of all radio listening, this issue of the connected car is of paramount importance to you and your stations and your future. You not only need to understand what changes are coming down and how to respond to them, you need to know what else is being offered in the auto world, how it's being sold, and what your new competitors for the car audio space are planning. Professionals know that ignoring these trends, or failing to understand them, is not an option. Professionals learn obsessively and respond to change fast. It can mean life or death in this rapidly changing world.
Relevant to Radio
The DASH conference is relevant to your world today. Your eyes will be opened to things you probably never could have imagined are possible, things your advertisers will get excited about, things that will change the way radio reaches people in the car, and information on what car dealers are doing now to sell cars and the role radio does (or does not) play. You will be in the room with dealers, automakers, and OEM people who hold the future of the car dashboard in their hands. Your attendance can not only make a difference in your future, you'll take home relevant information to help you sell more automotive advertising in your market. Guaranteed.
To sign up for the DASH conference, call 561-655-8778 or visit

Eric Rhoads
PS: I just responded to an e-mail from a wonderful, successful small-market radio broadcaster who accused me of being melodramatic about changes so I could sell more magazines. But if I'm being dramatic, it's because there is major change happening around you and this is the once chance we as broadcasters will have to keep radio front and center on the dashboard.

If you think it's a sure thing, you probably did not attend DASH last year, where those in the room met with the realities we face as an industry. My "drama," if you will, is not about selling magazines, it's about keeping radio strong, relevant, and viable in a changing digital world. Shooting the messenger only makes sure the message does not get through. The auto is turf we must protect and fight for, and it's in the hands of people who are willing to join us in Detroit to dialogue about it and keep an open mind. Your role, your story could be critical. We hope you'll attend.

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

(8/28/2014 12:18:05 AM)
"AM and HD Fading from Some Vehicles"

"It would also seem that something similar may be happening with HD Radio. General Motors has removed HD functionality from a wide array of 2015 vehicles, including the Chevy Traverse, Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Chevy Impala, Buick Enclave, and Buick Regal. Many (but not all) of these makes and models will have wireless broadband connectivity added to their infotainment stacks. Earlier this spring, Consumer Reports highlighted HD Radio as a feature to avoid when buying a new car. Presumably GM is reacting to market demands—and if so, it does not portend well for the malaise that is HD adoption. There’s been no reaction yet from iBiquity or the NAB on these developments."

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WIP Radiothon Starts Tuesday


The Philadelphia Eagles and SportsRadio 94WIP in Philadelphia will begin their annual 2-day Radiothon at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Through an auction, listeners will be able to bid on exclusive sports and entertainment prizes with many involving Eagles players and WIP personalities. All proceeds will benefit Eagles Youth Partnership?s vital health and education programs that serve over 50,000 low-income children in our community every year.

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Who Are The Best Managers in Radio?


General Managers and Market Managers have a lot of responsibility at Radio stations across America these days. In addition to high revenue expectations, there's the constant challenge of selling radio in a world shifting to digital, managing multiple staffs and stations, finding and keeping good salespeople and keeping their stations strong in the community. Those that execute those tasks do it flawlessly and make it look easy. They are the best in the industry and it's time to recognize them. Radio Ink is now accepting nominations for the 2014 Best Radio Managers in America. MAKE YOUR NOMINATION HERE.

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The Best Of Beasley

Beasley Broadcast Group handed out its 2014 Company Operating Awards during its annual management meetings held this week in Naples, Florida. CEO George Beasley said, ?It is a sincere privilege each year to honor our company?s highest achievers. The level of professionalism within Beasley Broadcast is tremendous. The ladies and gentlemen we recognize for 2014 worked very hard to earn this recognition, and for that they have also earned my respect. I am very proud of each of them.? Here are the 2014 honorees...

WXKB-FM ? Radio Station of the Year /  Fort Myers-Naples, FL
Brad Beasley ? General Manager of the Year  / Fort Myers-Naples, FL
Donna Williams ? Business Manager of the Year / Augusta, GA
AJ Lurie ? Sales Manager of the Year / Fort Myers-Naples, FL
Tee Gentry ? Program Director of the Year / Augusta, GA
Lamar Smith ? Engineer of the Year / Las Vegas, NV
Natalie Conner ? CEO Award of Excellence/ Executive Vice President 

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NAB to FCC: Go Slow With Radio

As we all move to a completely online world, when it comes to filing public and political files online, the NAB is asking the FCC to take it slow. In recently filed public comments the NAB has asked the FCC to consider limited staffing and resources some stations have for such a massive undertaking, limited access to the Internet stations might face and the strain it would put on the Commission when over 15,000 stations attempt to upload the information to the FCC database all at once. The NAB proposes a phase-in for radio to make the transition to an online system and exemptions from any new requirements. Read the NAB's comments on the issueHERE

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ESPN Radio Easier to Access on New App

Radio Ink Magazinefunction fbs_click() {u=location.href;t=document.title;''+encodeURIComponent(u)+'&t='+encodeURIComponent(t),'sharer','toolbar=0,status=0,width=626,height=436');return false;} Advertisement: Sign Up Radio Ink - Radio's Premier Management & Marketing Magazine

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Editor-in-Chief Deborah Parenti: VP/General Manager Brida Connolly: Managing Editor A Lifeline For AM Radio?A Lifeline For AM Radio?

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ESPN Radio Easier to Access on New App 8-30-14
ESPN released an update to its SportsCenter app. with new features just in time for the start of football season. The update includes new on-air navigation that allows one-touch, in-app access into live national ESPN Radio streams (including live game audio coverage) and WatchESPN content (for fans with access through their TV provider), including SportsCenter and all other available programming. ESPN?s SportsCenter app has been downloaded more than 53 million times since launch.



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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bonneville Rebrands KTAR Phoenix


The changes at the 92-year-old KTAR-FM (and include several weekday programming changes and a new website designed for mobile users. Market Manager Scott Sutherland said, ?This rebrand and website relaunch lets the community know that our commitment to live-and-local news has never been stronger. And it also signals that KTAR News is a multi-platform media brand that distributes audio news and talk show content on FM Radio,, and the KTAR App, as well as written, audio, and video story content online across all devices.?

The new KTAR News Programming Schedule:
5 a.m. ? 9 a.m. Arizona?s Morning News
9 a.m. ? noon Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes
Noon ? 2 p.m. Arizona?s Noon News and Karie Dozer
2 p.m. ? 6 p.m. Mac and Gaydos
6 p.m. ? 7 p.m. Arizona?s Evening News

As part of the rebranding, KTAR News has also launched a new website designed with the mobile-user experience as the top priority.

Bonneville Phoenix VP of Content and Operations Ryan Hatch said, ?Our ?mobile first? design will deliver a powerful, multi-media user experience on smartphones, where our online audience continues to migrate. Using the very latest technologies, the site also seamlessly adapts to tablets and desktops to deliver the same quality experience across all platforms.?

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Politician Quits Show After Poor Sales


The Great Falls Tribune has the story about Rick Tryon who will broadcast his last show today on  KINX-FM called ?Politics Montana with Rick Tryon.? Tryon's political show was on the air for 2 1/2 years. Tryon tells the paper he was able to sell some advertising for the program, but not enough. He said it was similar to asking property owners as a political candidate whether he could plant a sign on their property and people are wary about buying advertising when politics is involved. He added selling advertising for commercial radio isn?t easy, and his show was up against a three-hour Rush Limbaugh broadcast in Great Falls. He said he would love to keep doing the show as a public service, but ?the huge time commitment? led him to shutter the show.

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Lopez Locks In With Clear Channel


Clear Channel and Mario Lopez have agreed on a new and expanded long-term agreement. As part of the agreement, Lopez and his wife/co-host Courtney Lopez will continue hosting On with Mario Lopez, a 4-hour program which Premiere began syndicating back in 2012 and is now heard on nearly 60 stations. Clear Channel will also expand the iHeartRadio Countdown weekend program to reach Hot AC stations with Lopez as host. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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Houston To Program The Bull In Boston


For the past year and a half, Lance Houston has been PD at WPOC in Baltimore. Prior to that, he spent six years as APD and PM driver at WUBL in Atlanta. He'll now take over programming duties and host middays at Clear Channel's new Country station in Boston, WBWL-FM, "The Bull." Houston said, ?I?m ready to lead the team in Boston into a battle, much like we did successfully in Atlanta. America?s greatest city deserves a young and hip Country station.?

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Radio Wayne Award Finalist Spotlight - Director of Sales - Judy Lakin

On Wednesday September 10th at the Radio Show Advertising Luncheon in Indianapolis, for the 22nd year, Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads will recognize radio's most successful people at the Radio Ink Radio Wayne awards. Starting today we'll be highlighting some of our 2014 finalists. Judy Lakin is a 30-year radio veteran, now serving as D.O.S. for CMG in Houston. Lakin started as a sales assistant for Selcom Radio, a national radio sales rep firm in Dallas. Although Lakin loved working the national side, she knew her passion was in local sales. "I admired many of the top radio reps in Dallas at the time and appreciated their love for sales. That ? combined with the thought of helping businesses prosper and grow - inspired me to pursue a career in radio sales." Lakin was recruited by a small, privately-owned station in Austin and her career took off like a rocket. She went off her guarantee the second month she was selling and never looked back. "I loved the risks and rewards of radio and 100% commission compensation drove me to financial success early on in my radio sales career." Here's more of what drives Lakin, what makes a D.O.S. successful today and what keeps her up at night.

What is the key to being a successful D.O.S. today?
Exemplary sales leaders must demonstrate a variety of qualities simultaneously, including:
?         Strategic in planning for their respective organization and the future.
?         Be passionate about developing their mangers and account managers. 
?         Lead by example - be unafraid to get in the trenches.
?         Multi-task on a daily basis. 
?         Effectively communicate with any internal or external partner.
?         Maintain strong relationships with Key Accounts in their markets.
?         Always remain visible and available to clients.
?         Excel at yield management to properly price products to maximize revenues. 
?         Show an ability to be fair and consistent with all team members. 
?         Be empathetic with their teams. 
?         Exude high positivity and balance ? no matter what the scenario.
.          Know how to produce positive results in both a healthy and weak economy.
?         Have a strong understanding how to leverage strong emotional intelligence to build a productive team.
?         Effectively collaborate with other leaders and department heads.

What are the challenges?
My challenges include the ongoing mission to build a strong bench for the next generation of talent. Additionally, I continually strive to ensure we remain competitive with our pricing so we can take share when it makes sense and drive rates when the demand is hot in the market.

What keeps you up at night? 
Achieving delivery of budgets and or forecasts to meet corporate expectations is typically the main topic on my mind. I?m also highly-concerned about the well-being of my team members at any given time- making sure they are effectively navigating through personal and work challenges.

How do you successfully manage so many people?
I have a great leadership team that works with me.  We collaborate often and there is a tremendous amount of trust amongst these managers.  We have strong systems in place and there are metrics for accountability as well. Plus ? we are all strong multi-taskers and know how to move swiftly on any timely business decisions.

Give us an example of a success story you've had with one of your SM's? 
Alana Thomas worked as an AE for me for five years in Houston. At a turning point in her life, she moved to Austin to support her fianc? as he accepted a new job there.  While I was instrumental in transferring Alana to Cox Media Group (CMG) Austin under the Austin American Statesman arm, when they decided to move back to Houston one year later ? I was able to change the fate of her career at CMG Houston once again. I knew she was a high potential employee as an AE with leadership potential even back during her first run in Houston. So when I was hiring for a Local Sales Manager at that time of her move back to Houston, I knew she had the right skill sets and competencies to lead our local sales team. Since then, Alana has already been promoted to our lead General Sales Manager.

Alana is open to coaching and guidance.  She often seeks me out for direction. We meet weekly for talent development.  As a result ? she has flourished as a sales leader in our organization. She?s also earned the respect from her team ? individuals who were once her peers ? a tough feat in this competitive industry.

Additionally, I?ve helped guide her to participate in key initiatives within CMG Corporate like the Cox Corporate Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. She is also the purveyor of our Sales Apprentice program, responsible for hiring and training our up and coming millennial AEs.  She?s also a key reason why we continue to win from a revenue perspective in our market. While the rest of the Houston market is up 1% through July, our cluster is up 23%!

Alana is well on her way to a Market Manager. I am proud to be her mentor and am blessed to have her on my team.

Congratulate Judy on being a 2014 Radio Ink Radio Wayne Finalist

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Jewell To Oversee Memphis Sales For C.C.


Eric Jewell is the new director of sales for Clear Channel Memphis. He'll be responsible for the revenue at the company's seven stations in that market. Jewell has over 20 years of experience in radio and broadcasting. He returns to Clear Channel from Entercom in Gainesville, where he most recently served as D.O.S. since July 2011. Prior to that he was director of sales for Clear Channel Tallahassee. Jewell has also worked for Rocket City Broadcasting, Pamal Broadcasting, and Gillen Broadcasting Company.

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Clear Channel Launches ALT 98.3 in Nashville


ALT 98.3 (WNRQ-HD2) will feature artists like Nashville residents The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, Jack White and other superstars including Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Green Day, Imagine Dragons and The Lumineers. The station will be commercial free through Mid-September, with a local on-air talent lineup to be announced soon. Additionally, ALT 98.3 will be the official FM home for Vanderbilt Football, beginning August 28, when the Commodores kickoff the 2014 season against Temple.

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Juliano Named Detroit D.O.S. For Greater Media


Mike Juliano was most recently the D.O.S. for Entercom in Boston until taking this new position with Greater Media in Detroit, where he'll lead the sales effort for WRIF-FM, WCSX-FM, and Detroit Sports 105.1. Prior to Entercom, Juliano was regional VP for Westwood One/Metro Traffic. He's also worked as GSM at WKTU-FM in New York, LSM at WLTW-FM, and LSM at WHTZ-FM, all in New York City.

?In our business, there are very few companies like Greater Media and very few leaders like Chairman & CEO Peter Smyth and Market Manager Steve Chessare,? said Juliano. ?From the top on down, the leadership in this company is as solid as it gets. I am looking forward to working with the Greater Media Detroit team to put the assets that we possess to work providing results-oriented solutions for our clients.?

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Fook And Mishell To Middays In Salt Lake City


ALT 94.9 KHTB in Salt Lake City debuted its new midday show FML with Fook and Mishell today. Fook has worked on the air in Chicago, Albany, and Tucson. Mishell is a model, actress, and comedienne. PD Sue Kelley said, ?This team is 'Fooking' great! After an extensive national search we are excited to welcome FML with Fook and Mishell to ALT 949 in Salt Lake. It is evidence once again of what an amazing Cumulus rock leadership team we have in Mike McVay, Troy Hansen, and Derek Madden, who continue to support and set up ALT 94.9 for success in SLC.?

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NFL Weekly Countdown Launches On Yahoo!


Yahoo! Sports Radio announced the launch of Sports Kings? NFL Weekly Countdown, which debuts Saturday, August 30 from 7 a.m.-8 a.m. ET. Hosted by MeanGene ?The Sports Machine? and Sports Host Ronnie Brooks, the Saturday morning show counts down to each weekend?s games and covers major topics in professional sports. The Sports Kings program, which has aired in Phoenix, Tampa, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Chicago, will now be distributed nationwide via and Yahoo! Sports Radio?s affiliate network, including: KGOW-AM/Houston, WCAR-AM/Detroit, and WCLT-AM/Columbus.

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Adams Joins The Hubbard Seattle Family


Lisa Adams is the new PD at Click 98.9 (KLCK- FM) in Seattle. Adams was most recently the O.M./P.D. of KCIX (Hot AC), KWYE (Hot AC), KXLT (AC), and KAWO (Country) in Boise for Townsquare. She's also worked for CBS in Portland, Oregon and spent many years in Seattle where she worked for Sandusky (now Hubbard), Infinity, and Entercom. Adams said, ?I'm so incredibly excited and blessed to be able to return to a city I love, and work with such a talented team at Click 98.9. Here's to an amazing and successful journey with a wonderful company, Hubbard Radio."

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Englehart Hired Back By XTRA In San Diego


The title for Kyle Englehart at Clear Channel's San Diego Fox Sports Affiliate (KLSD-AM) is executive producer. He'll work with PD Brian Long on vision and daily show development, and oversee San Diego Chargers broadcasts. Englehart began as an intern at XTRA while attending San Diego State University. He was later promoted to producer where he was involved in Chargers and Aztecs football broadcasts. Englehart accepted a position with 95.7 The Game in San Francisco as producer for their afternoon drive show where he worked alongside top talent like Ric Bucher, Eric Davis, Brandon Tierney, Damon Bruce, and Chris Townsend.

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GEICO Holds Strong At Number One


Airing nearly 36,000 commercials on radio stations across America, GEICO was again radio's number one advertiser (for the week of 8/25). TrueCar came in second, running 32,136 spots. The Home Depot was third with 29,408, followed by The U.S. Department of Transportation with 28,384 and McDonalds airing just under 27,000. The biggest jump was made by Rite Aid which finished 6th for the week after being in 16th one week earlier.

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KGO's Ron Owens has Parkinson's


Owen's tells the San Francisco Chronicle the news was a total shock. "I thought, 'Well, my life's over.' I was calm about it, but all I knew was that Parkinson's was this horrible disease, it was a progressive disease, there's no cure for it. What I didn't know was that you can manage it." The 68 year old, who's been hosting for nearly 40 years, was diagnosed in 2001 and he decided to go public after it was reported that the late Robin Williams also had Parkinson's. "I felt it was important to tell people that you can have it like I have for 12 1/2 years and not be severely impacted by it. It's possible, and it's not a death sentence." Picture courtesy San Francisco Chronicle.

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Adams Radio Group Hires Mike Scott


Scott takes over morning drive for Adams Radio of Fort Wayne at Soft Rock 103.9. Scott brings over thirty years of major-market programming, operations, talent coaching and on-air experience from Detroit and Cincinnati. He most recently served as PD/Afternoon host for Cumulus-Cincinnati's WNNF NASH FM 94-1. Prior to Cincinnati, Mike spent twelve years as Assistant Operations Manager/Assistant Program Director-Music Director and midday talent for powerhouse country station WYCD (CBS) in Detroit. Adams recently acquired Soft Rock 103.9 along with WBTU, WJFX, WXKE, WGL AM, WLYV AM and translators 103.3 and 96.9.

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Kassan To Co-Chair Forecast 2015


MediaLink founder and Chairman/CEO Michael Kassan will serve as advertiser co-chair for Forecast 2015, set for November 19, 2014, in New York. Kassan joins co-chair Katz Media Group CEO Mark Rosenthal. "Advertisers have become a critical part of our annual Forecast conference, and we are pleased to continue our history of attracting the very finest in the industry," said Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads. "Michael Kassan has a brilliant mind. As CEO of MediaLink, a company that strategically connects the dots between Silicon Valley, Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and Wall Street, he can provide powerful insights as well as some great changes to our format this year."

Kassan said, "I?m excited to be co-chairing the Forecast event with Mark Rosenthal. As a longtime part of the ad industry, I've worked across different forms of media and am convinced of the huge value of radio -- so much so that I do a monthly radio show, MediaLinked, where I talk with thought leaders in the advertising and marketing community. Radio has evolved over the years, but it certainly remains an important and vibrant way for marketers to reach consumers. I'm thrilled to help bring agencies, advertisers, and radio executives together to discuss the landscape of the radio industry and its future.?

Kassan founded MediaLink in 2003 as a transformational partner for leading media, marketing, and technology companies. MediaLink guides its clients through an ever-more-fragmented media landscape. As its CEO, Kassan led the strategic advisory firm's expansion into executive search, agency benchmarking/review, and marketing optimization. Kassan himself is a special adviser to numerous CEOs on issues from corporate strategy and partnerships to mergers and acquisitions. He is also a noted blogger and an in-demand speaker at industry conferences, and hosts MediaLinked: Inside Advertising and Media with Michael Kassan on WOR/New York and iHeartRadio.

Radio Ink EVP/GM Deborah Parenti said, "It's always a challenge to up the game, but Forecast 2015 has every indication of delivering the broadest-ranging, yet most strategically focused, agenda in its 12-year history. Michael Kassan understands not only the importance of tomorrow's platforms, business models, systems, and processes but how they will impact the business of radio over the coming years and how the industry should be prepared to take advantage of them."

Register for Forecast HERE

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Tamika Mallory Joins Cumulus New York


The civil rights activist has been appointed Community Affairs Director at R&B station, Radio 103.9 in New York City. Cumulus launched the station last month. Cumulus says Mallory will work with the station's local management and on-air hosts to help deepen the station's relationship with local listeners and connect the station with the community through citywide community-service-oriented programs and events.

Mallory said, "It feels great to be a part of the Radio 103.9 family. Radio has played a critical role in my activism over the years and joining the Radio 103.9 team is an amazing extension of that. As the community affairs director I have been given a tremendous opportunity to connect the station directly with its audience and to help highlight positive activities happening within our community. My job is to help people find the resources and tools they need in order to be successful, something to which my entire career has been dedicated.?

Market Manager Kim Bryan said, ?I am proud to be working with somebody like Tamika Mallory who is so respected and involved with the community. I look forward to her positive influence on our station, community, and Cumulus as a whole."

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

(SALES) The Enemy In The Shadows


That was the message at the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters summer convention in Murfreesboro/Nashville, Tennessee last week.

During the convention, my company rolled out a full-day of the Liquid Fire Double Oh! 7 seminar. We started out with a video from the most recent James Bond movie, Skyfall. M (Judi Dench) quotes a stirring passage from Ulysses by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (thanks to Eon Productions/Sony and Universal for the clip from the movie Skyfall):

Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

In the video, the British Government was threatening to shut down the double 00 department and M was detailing how relevant the double 00 section is to the Ministers in the British Cabinet. M was quoted as saying how our enemies are in the shadows. I agree. Our enemies are in the shadows today versus 10 years ago. Specifically, how competition to radio is coming from of all places ? and one of them is newspapers. That?s right, the newspapers? digital divisions are taking more from radio than you?ll ever know. The newspapers? digital teams are in the shadows and we are not taking them seriously. Time to take them seriously!

One of my guest stars in the Liquid Fire seminar was George Leith, VP of sales for Vendasta Technologies. George helped us cover some of the most important things happening in digital and what he is seeing on the road. Here is George: ?Radio salespeople are on the frontlines. Radio, above all other media, is actively calling on clients in their respective local marketplaces and this puts them in the perfect position to sell and deliver digital solutions to businesses. I am not talking about banner ads on the station website when I refer to digital. I am talking about the wide array of digital services businesses need and have to be addressing to stay relevant in today?s Internet age.?
During my sales seminar, I spoke of the digital sales opportunity that radio has and here is a look at what every station in North America should be selling in their digital toolkit today.
1. Listing management is the single biggest pain for businesses to manage and improve their accuracy across the 300 plus-places where a business needs to be found with correct data.
2. Online reputation monitoring: What are customers of the business saying on Facebook (now the largest review site for businesses, btw), Yelp, and Google+? There is also a multitude of vertical-specific sites that businesses need to be aware of in terms of the customer comments, and have an automated solution to deliver these reviews to the various management team members who need to know about these comments in a timely manner to help manage the business better.
3. Review-response strategy: Monitoring what is being said online isn?t enough. Business people need to respond to reviews, both positive and negative. Media companies are finding that selling review-response services is big business for their digital agency arms. Helping their clients carry out this customer service practice online is imperative.
4. Social Media channel creation: Getting businesses started with social media channels is the first step ? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, Foursquare, and Google+. Just setting these up correctly is a challenge for most businesspeople and I have found they are more than willing to pay a provider to create robust solutions for these channels.
5. Social Media planning and execution: Once created, these channels need content. Rich, engaging content that captures the attention of the followers of the various channels. This content can position the business as an industry leader with information about the various products and services the business offers. Once established as a channel for information and relevancy, these channels are then effective promotional channels for the business. But too many times the business just posts ?buy my stuff,? thus the need for a trusted marketing team to prepare content for these channels on the business?s behalf, and that?s where radio comes in.
6. Websites: It is astonishing how many businesses do not have a website and/or have a website they hate! By ?hate? I mean they have a site that is not up to date or is not mobile friendly. A user is five times more likely to leave a website that is not mobile friendly, and businesses need a provider that can help with content creation for websites as well.
7. Social Media lead generation is hot on Twitter: Solutions exist that can show when consumers declare their intention for a product or service just through a tweet. When someone tweets, "OMG I just locked my keys in the car,? there are listening services that can find these leads online using geo targeting and then responding to the potential customer with a virtual coupon or carry on a conversation with the potential client, driving new business.
8. Targeted display advertising online is a huge opportunity for radio sales. Ad networks and data service providers can provide deep information on how to target a campaign of banner ads, mobile friendly ads, and video pre-roll messages. These targeted campaigns use the inventories of many of the websites we travel to every day. Many media companies selling this inventory in concert with their legacy avails, helps clients fill that need for digital ad penetration.
9. Multi-location opportunities. Every market has them, large companies with 100s of locations or the local brand made good with five or 25 locations in a single DMA. Listing, reputation, and social solutions exist for these businesses as well, and they are more likely to deal with the trusted radio company in the market than the guy on the phone from NYC or LA.
10. A digital agency to look after these various campaigns and services. The real opportunity is in the street salesforce that the collective radio companies have. You actually make calls face to face. BIA Kelsey Local Commerce Monitor Wave 17 Q3/2013 shows that of SMBs that advertise, the importance of an ?on premise? salesperson to sell them digital products and services was either very important or extremely important. I like to refer to it as the client wanting ?someone to yell at!? The customer has a multitude of questions on digital, and the best strategies. Also they have a ton of people phoning them to offer these services ? they want someone they can count on and who is transparent and accountable.
The opportunity is massive and the race is on. All media, from agencies, YP, newspaper, and TV are after these dollars and the relationship that comes with being the digital agency of record for the cleint. Radio has a firm relationship with many of the SMBs in their markets and is perfectly positioned to deliver these services to their clients.
Thank you George!
Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group International and can be reached at or

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Employee Accused Of Stealing Concert Tickets


According to The Rensselaer Republican, Brothers Broadcasting employee Skipper Austin (pictured) was arrested and charged with felony theft for allegedly taking promotional tickets and selling them for personal gain. Brothers Broadcasting, located in Indiana, filed the complaint. Police were told approximately 1,500 Indiana Beach tickets the radio station had received for promotional use had gone missing. The face value of the tickets was $36 each, for a total loss of $54,000.

(8/25/2014 6:42:48 AM)
You take maybe two or three pair, not 1500.

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The Score Taps Into Fantasy Craze


Fantasy football is huge with NFL fans and WSCR-AM (The Score) in Chicago has figured out a way to tap into that. Beginning tomorrow, WSCR will conduct this year?s search for the ?Bud Light Fantasy Football Expert? through a series of live auditions. The winner will be the station expert, providing insight when it comes to strategizing fantasy football teams throughout the 2014 regular season. This expert will get to host a one-hour weekly show that will air on Sunday mornings from 8-9 a.m. CST and will provide content regularly on

PD Mitch Rosen said, "For the first time, 670 The Score is launching a search to find the next fantasy football expert. Giving someone the chance to host a fantasy football show on our digital platform is something new and exciting. The fantasy football industry continues to be of high interest to our listeners and I look forward to finding the right candidate to fill this role with the station.?

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(SALES) Your Prospect Says "No"…Now What? – Pt. 2


In my last blog I said you would probably rather endure a root canal than hear your prospect say, ?We like your presentation but?? However, understanding why a prospect says no is one of the most valuable steps towards ?yes? in your entire sales process.

In this blog, we?ll explore the first five of 10 things you can do after your client says no, not counting taking hostages until they say yes.

Step 1: Never take ?no? personally.
Structure your presentation so that no means no to this particular presentation, this idea, or at this time ? not no?to you personally. I?ve always felt that if the client said no, they are the loser not me, because I?m simply offering to solve their problems. Never let your tone or body language convey disappointment after no. Change your posture and demeanour to one of curiosity and sincere interest.

Step 2: Take responsibility for the no.
Generally, when you get a no, it means you missed a no earlier in the process. After no, you need to retrace your steps to find the no you missed along the way.

Take responsibility for the no with questions like: ?Did I misunderstand your goals?? or, ?Can you help me understand why my proposal isn?t appropriate at this time?? Perhaps you misread the prospect?s goals or budget. Did you establish rapport? Did you build your brand and credibility before making the presentation? Did you relate to the buyer?s style? Or has something changed since you conducted your initial C.A.N. (customer needs analysis)?
Never argue, never try to prove the prospect is wrong, and always ask questions to discover where you missed the mark. To take responsibility for no, you must understand the root cause of all no?s.

Your prospect did not agree to sit still for your presentation because they had no interest.

What would you guess is the number-one reason advertisers advertise? Our survey of 540 locally owned and operated businesses revealed that the number-one reason businesses advertise is to increase sales. The root cause of no is always that you have not convinced your prospect that you will increase their sales.

So, the ?no budget? excuse, or any other excuse for no, is always a cover for the real reason: You have not convinced the prospect that you have the best solution to increasing sales. Business owners are entrepreneurs by nature and seek to minimise the risk in every investment. Entrepreneurs will sell their car or borrow from their mother if your presentation convinced them their investment will pay off.

And a no can only be turned into a yes when your prospect wants to achieve the goals you have identified and when they believe your solution is cost effective. You made your proposal because you believed it was good for the prospect and now you need to take responsibility to learn why it missed the mark so you can make a better presentation the next time.

Step 3: Be prepared to negotiate.
Some buyers say no as a negotiation tactic to capture a better deal. Always build enough into your presentation to leave room to maneuver. Never offer so much value-added or other perks in your initial presentation that you have no room to sweeten the pie.

Again, ask questions to determine if this is a negotiation tactic. Questions like, ?What would we have to do to make our proposal work for you? And, be prepared to practice our ?Negotiation One-O-One?: Never give one without getting one. If your prospect asks for a lower rate, you can?t concede without changing the rotation, asking for a longer commitment, or some other concession.

Step 4: After no, always leave the door open.
If you have not been able to turn the no into a yes, get agreement on next steps, again through questioning. Questions like, ?Now that I have a better understanding of your situation, may I make an appointment to make another presentation that addresses your concerns and achieves your objectives??

Always try to get agreement on a specific timetable for next steps.

Step 5: If the no is a veiled no, like ?I have to think about it? or ?I have to talk to my partner or accountant,? ask questions to remove the veil.

Questions like ?What is it in our proposal that requires more thought?? or ?May I have the opportunity to meet with you and your partner to explore this further??

In my next blog, I?ll address the rest of our 10 things to do after your prospect says no.

Wayne ENS is president of ENS Media Inc He can be contacted at

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Virginia Tech Extends Partnership With CBS


The Virginia Tech IMG Sports Network and 106.7 The Fan have agreed to a multi-year extension for The Fan to carry Virginia Tech football and men?s basketball game broadcasts through the end of the 2018 season. Along with game broadcasts, The Fan will continue to carry ancillary programs such as weekly Tech Talk Live! shows, featuring Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer and men?s basketball coach Buzz Williams.

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Napa Stations go Down Briefly During Quake


Sunday morning?s 6.1 magnitude earthquake took out Napa radio stations KVON and KVYN for about a half hour until backup generators kicked in. KVYN Afternoon host Mindi Levine tells Deadline in Hollywood that, ?Some book cases fell over, and some computer equipment and files were smashed, but no one?s been hurt, thank God.? Once the power was back up the stations were back on the air reporting live about the worst quake in that area since 1989. The stations are owned by Wine Country Broadcasting.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Philly Radio Legend Don Cannon Dies

Cannon was known as ?The Dean of Philadelphia Radio,? hosting morning radio in Philadelphia from 1969 until he retired in 2004. The Cannon in the Morning show began on WIBG and was also later heard on WIP, WFIL, WIFI, WSNI, and WOGL. WOGL Music Director Tommy McCarthy tells, "Don was the kind of guy who, when he walked into a room, just took it over." Cannon had been ill for a while and had been receiving treatment at the intensive care unit at Lankenau Hospital for the past month. He was 74.

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Charging for news coverage? How would the FCC look at that?


by John Garziglia 

Charging for news coverage -- dollars for stories ? sounds like something that shocks the conscience.  A Nogales radio station is alleged to have charged its Nogales city government for positive news interviews about its municipal performance.  What, if any, might be an FCC violation here and does the city of Nogales have any valid FCC complaint because the radio station levied charges for paid news interviews?

This is a sponsorship identification issue.  Simply put, any radio station content for which a radio station or someone associated with the station receives compensation, whether it be for news stories, commentary, music, appearances or mentions, must be identified as sponsored.  If such paid-for content is not so identified, then there is a significant FCC rule violation. 

Several years ago, television stations became embroiled in issues with video news releases (VNRs).  Television stations were fined by the FCC for using corporate VNRs in news broadcasts without stating that the VNRs were supplied by outside entities that just happened to have an interest in the content and points of view stated in the VNRs. 

Payments for radio news content or coverage without sponsorship identifications are similar to corporate-supplied VNRs.  Such payments for content or coverage, if not revealed on the air in clear sponsorship identifications, are significant violations of the FCC?s sponsorship identification rules. 

Notably, the sponsorship identification requirements of the FCC are criminal laws.  When the FCC and feds in the past have dealt with payola and plugola which are the extreme forms of sponsorship ID failures, there has been the potential for huge fines and even possible jail time for some violations.

Here is what the FCC says about sponsorship identification on its website:

Section 317 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. ? 317, requires broadcasters to disclose to their listeners or viewers if matter has been aired in exchange for money, services or other valuable consideration. The announcement must be aired when the subject matter is broadcast.

As for anyone who takes money or proffers money for radio broadcast airtime (the payola/plugola rule but could also easily apply to non-recorded music content), the FCC states:

Section 507 of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. ? 508, requires that, when anyone provides or promises to provide money, services or other consideration to someone to include program matter in a broadcast, that fact must be disclosed in advance of the broadcast, ultimately to the station over which the matter is to be aired.  Both the person providing or promising to provide the money, services or other consideration and the recipient are obligated to make this disclosure so that the station may broadcast the sponsorship identification announcement required by Section 317 of the Communications Act.  Failure to disclose such payment or the providing of services or other consideration, or promise to provide them, is commonly referred to as ?payola?' and is punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year or both.

Say a radio station wants to sell a segment called ?good news? or ?happy news?, and takes money for running the segment.  Provided the news segment including the content is identified as sponsored, the radio station is in compliance with the FCC?s sponsorship identification rules, no matter how journalistically repugnant such a news segment might be. 

Let?s take a specific look at what is alleged to have taken place at the Nogales radio station in question.  This discussion is not an attempt to comment upon whether the radio station did anything wrong, but rather to discuss what is alleged and the applicable FCC rules.

Payments from the city for ?news interviews? with city officials:  This is a simple answer.   Without any comment upon the journalistic integrity of doing so, paid news interviews, if clearly identified as sponsored by the municipality, do not violate FCC rules.  A city purchasing sponsored radio time to disseminate a point of view is like any other entity, person or group doing so, and radio stations may run or reject such sponsored time as the station sees fit provided that the required sponsorship identification is broadcast. 

Allegation that news coverage and listener commentary turned negative after payments for ?news interviews? stopped:  Here, it is not clear whether there was simply a lack of the positive-viewpoint paid interviews that created the alleged imbalance, or a change in the journalistic tenor of programming content took place due to the city no longer being a good client. 

There are fairly ancient FCC policies about news slanting which, if there was a deliberate distortion of facts, might come into play.  Those policies, however, have questionable current validity given the abolition of the fairness doctrine and related FCC policies.  With respect to the sponsorship identification rules, as there is no allegation that anyone was paying or otherwise providing consideration for the broadcast of bad news or negative viewpoints about city administration, there does not appear to be any violation there. 

Sometimes radio advertising brings good results far beyond the fact of the sponsored message itself.  Possibly listeners who called into the station were previously enamored with the city?s municipal performance due to the positive information given in the sponsored messages.  When the paid positive messages ceased, listeners stopped being so smitten with the city.  Maybe without the sponsored positive messages, the only actual news about the city was bad news.  But, without an allegation that anyone was paying for bad news to be broadcast, there is no failure of sponsorship identification and no FCC violation. 

Commercials about the city?s library services and use of recycling containers:  Kudos to the city for recognizing the effectiveness of radio advertising!

Allegation that the radio station ignored positive news like road improvements, youth baseball tournaments and Chamber of Commerce announcements:  Maybe the radio station got it wrong and its listeners really did care about the repaving of a road, a Little League game, or a Chamber of Commerce luncheon speaker.  Or maybe not.  Decisions on such coverage or the lack thereof are the exclusive province of the radio station licensee and its management.  The only ostensible FCC review comes every eight years at license renewal time when one of the license renewal requirements is that the station identified the issues of concern to its community, and on a quarterly basis put a listing of programs addressing such issues into its local public file.  

In Nogales, it appears that the city is asking the FCC and the state attorney general to investigate the radio station?s programming in a governmental attempt to interfere with freedom of the press, a.k.a. the First Amendment.  It is instructive to ask if the city?s complaint regarding unfair news coverage would sound deserving of governmental censure if the allegations were against a newspaper.  Radio stations arguably have the same First Amendment protections as do newspapers with the caveat that sponsored content must be identified as such to the listening audience. 

It is my view that actions of a municipality invoking the heavy hand of governmental regulation upon the broadcast of adverse views does not belong in this country.  Provided that the radio station properly identified sponsored content, the actions of Nogales to attempt to influence the radio station?s content through complaints to the FCC and the state?s attorney general is thoroughly un-American.  

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

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KCBS Radio Goes Wall-to-Wall


CBS' San Francisco News Station KCBS went into live coverage of the quake as soon as it happened, according to S.F. blogger Rich Lieberman. It was even reported by The San Francisco Chronicle that KPIX Television carried the radio broadcast of the coverage briefly until the station could get out of infomercials and staff up. Check out the KCBS website HERE where you can read about the quake and still catch some coverage of the quake. 

(8/25/2014 5:22:41 AM)
Bravo for KCBS. It was lunchtime in London when I got an AP bulletin on my phone saying a 6.0 quake happened near San Francisco. So I fired up the TuneIn app, went to KCBS/740, and listened to the live coverage, which was very well done. Lots of call-ins, interspersed with words from authorities. Great radio. BTW, KCBS also did great work during the '89 Loma Prieta quake.

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WGNA In Albany Surprises Boy With Autism


It's the kind of community event only radio could pull off. And it's another sign of how country music artists always go the extra mile to take care of their fans. Townsquare's WGNA in Albany, New York and Luke Bryan pulled off a surprise for a 4-year-old name Riley, who has Asperger syndrome, that he will remember for the rest of his life. Riley loves Luke Bryan and he was able to talk to the superstar on the phone while visiting the station.

Riley's mom Marjorie wrote a letter to the station that said, ?When Riley pretends to be Luke, he is a whole other person. He not afraid or shy. He has confidence and feels free." WGNA invited Marjorie and Riley to come to the studio to talk about country music and autism along with being surprised by getting to talk to Bryan who even sang Riley's favorite song "Play it Again" to him on the air. Watch the video of the surprise HERE

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Is it Appropriate to Charge For News Coverage?


In Nogales, Arizona there's an interesting dispute going on between city officials and the management at KOFH-FM (Maxima 99.1). There's a new administration at city hall that's unhappy with the negative news coverage from the radio station. Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino says his administration is receiving that negative coverage because he refuses to pay for it, as the previous administration had. Garino has asked the FCC to investigate the matter. General Manager Oscar Felix told The Arizona Republic that while it's appropriate to charge for news interviews, the station's financial arrangements with the city have no influence on news coverage and commentary. Charge for news interviews?

According to the paper, the city paid the station $24,095 for news interviews, commercials and for entertainment during a city event over a three-year period before Garino took office. $4,925 of that total was for interviews with city officials, including former Mayor Octavio Garcia-Von Borstel, who was released from prison in March after serving 2? years on a felony corruption charge for soliciting and accepting bribes from a towing operator.

Garino told the paper that he was leaving the radio station following an interview once and the GM told him, "Next time you come to the radio station, Mayor, bring a check." Felix denies that conversation ever took place. The paper quotes Felix saying the station covers plenty of local news at no charge. "But when it's political campaigns, I have to charge everybody. "And, of course, when somebody needs the radio station to let the people know something, I do charge for them." The 14-year GM says he's disappointed only $800 has been spent by the current leadership. "It's peanuts, you know, because any hot-dog stand, he pays more than that," Felix said. "Any taco stand, any hot-dog stand, he pays more than $800 in three years."

Have you ever charged a local political figure to be covered by your news or morning team?

Picture courtesy The Arizona Republic

(8/22/2014 12:10:09 PM)
Pay for news coverage? Totally unethical and I was surprised one response even felt it was okay. If city hall merely wants to promote something then decide if it's a PSA or not or perhaps a news story but not ask for money. If city hall has some sort of money making enterprise, i.e., owns the local gas utility, then it's a commercial and charging to air "buy our gas" is fair.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid we'll see more of this without closer FCC oversight and self-policing by stations.

(8/22/2014 8:28:21 AM)
Charging for news coverage, news interviews, any quid pro quo is utterly ridiculous and symptomatic of what is happening to our once proud broadcast medium. Ethical? No way. What would Edward R. Murrow think? What would Walter Cronkite say? If you don't recognize what either of those gentlemen stood for, don't bother reading the rest of this comment. Have we lost our soul? Our collective minds? I recently read an online article on making radio "cool" again. This way ain't it.
(8/22/2014 5:55:28 AM)
Charging for interviews? Absolutely not. Not on matters of local government or, I would argue, even a campaign, so long as you're giving equal time to all sides. Entertainment at city events and advertising? Absolutely, by all means, charge money for that. But actual interviews and news coverage? Entirely unethical.
(8/22/2014 5:13:40 AM)
Common border practices.

My personal opinion is that the practice is ethical, but there is a fine line between promoting and extorting.

Local government is and should be treated like a business, any other business you would be doing business with. Local government buys tv spots, banner ads, billboards, radio should be the same.

With this said, the sales force and the news desk should never cross paths, we all know that.

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Can Your Station Help Target Women?


If your station is female focused and female friendly, here's something you can package up and take to your local car dealer. The Wall Street Journal reports that more and more women are making the final decision to purchase a new automobile. Nissan's Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn tells the Journal that "women are making the final decision on more than 60 percent of new car purchases." Ford has created a program called "Live.Drive.Love," offering women 24-hour test drives, so they can "experience the product on their own time, in their own environments, and show it to friends," according to Ford's Director of U.S. Marketing, Chantel Lenard. Ever hear of or research the website

The Journal says is an automotive matchmaking website for women featuring a panel of female experts. Those experts could include auto executives, magazine editors, and even race-car drivers. They give women advice on buying, maintaining, and insuring cars. And, wisely, sells services to auto companies targeting female customers. There's also a new company called It's a place for women to discuss the experience they had at specific car dealerships. found that women visit an average of 1.9 dealerships before buying. And 47.5 percent of women who bought a new car went to the dealership by themselves.

And here's a great stat from the Journal story regarding millennials?53 percent of car buyers are female. A 2013 study also projects U.S. millennials will be the wealthiest generation ever. Here's a link to the entire article which should help you understand the change taking place with auto purchases and how you can address that with a proposal for your local dealer.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

(TALENT) Harsher Realities


In recent editorials, respected Radio Ink publisher Eric Rhoads offered a pair of admonitions about radio needing a massive PR campaign in order to ?tell the story.? He also suggested radio cut back on its now-common practice of airing large numbers of commercials in single clusters. Even as I contribute at the pleasure of Eric and editor Ed Ryan, I am obliged to submit a ?not yet? to the former and a ?not enough? to the latter.

Eric is, indeed, a well-known and appreciated cheerleader for radio. Yet, even the worst team in the NFL can field a squad of attractive and highly skilled cheerleaders and the team can still get waxed during play ? often on national TV ? in front of everybody. That has been radio?s experience. Great PR and marketing will not change the score. Nor will tinkering with the design of the uniforms put any more points on the board.

Trying to cajole radio?s ownership and management into taking on new behaviors is like applying ?reason? to dissuading crack-heads. They aren?t listening; they don?t care and they will consider only those changes that suit them. Cutting back a smidge on that ?crack thingie? is a concept that only moves the tragedy a little further into the future.

Yes, when the planets do align, radio can be extraordinary for audiences and advertisers. However, since aligned ?planets? are made up of a properly targeted and loyal audience, superior presentations of content, an effective time-buy, and exceptional commercial messaging, the chances of planet-synchronicity on any regular basis are slim indeed. In fact, were it not for the innate, embedded power of the electronic nature of radio, and given the incompetence regularly demonstrated by programmers, commercial developers and on-air presenters, we wouldn?t have audiences to under-serve or clients to mercilessly abuse and exploit. We get lucky every day despite our best attempts at sabotage.

Our friend Roy H. Williams contends that everything that needs to be said about how to generate more-listenable and effective commercials has already been said. He is mostly correct. However, all of that ? and more ? needs to be said again and again. Maybe Roy is just tired of saying it. He could base any fatigue on the tawdry ignorance (as in ?ignore?) of the people to whom he has been constantly and enthusiastically addressing.

I mention that as a precursor to the notion that no matter how fewer spots get loaded into phusterclucks of commercials, the results and subtle retaliatory responses from audiences and advertisers will not be encouraging. Poop can be piled and it can be spread out. Either way, it?s still crap. We (trainers and coaches) are going to have to thoroughly, expertly, and quickly educate, train, and demand demonstrations of abilities from a staff on how, specifically, to generate more listenable and more effective commercial and on-air content. Any radio organization providing extraordinary and consistent results from those efforts will, only then, be able to start piecing together a legitimate ?story.?

In the meantime, I urge Eric, and others who participate as the influential personalities who make up the cadre of radio?s leadership, to consider and respond to different, more important, and harsher realities ? none of which have anything to do with distribution platforms, lipstick placement, whiz-bang technologies. or more content.

Radio has become little more than just another (relatively) easily available distribution platform ? one with extremely questionable content. No surprise here, as radio has systematically and cynically eliminated from its ranks ? with extreme prejudice ? those very folk who used to generate much of the programming and commercial content.

This is not to suggest that those writers and presenters who are now among our departed, discarded, performing brothers and sisters could be re-engaged, and be able to thwart the downward trending of radio as a desirable advertising medium. Nor could they operate as generators of enthusiasm and loyalty from audiences. They do not have the knowledge or skills required for today?s viciously competitive radio environments.

With respect, I suggest that to follow through on the suggestions provided by Eric (and others) is to ignore the more critical and fundamental issues. Like metastasizing tumors seething under the surface, gradually corrupting the capacity of radio to attract and hold audiences, and to influence those audiences on behalf of advertisers, these are issues that cannot be ignored.

If radio is to rise and prosper again, fundamental changes are going to have to be implemented. Unfortunately, there are very few of us who can fully demonstrate, educate, train, and coach a staff to inject these new and necessary strategies and methodologies into their behaviors. This means there are radio organizations who will discount, disregard, and delay introducing that which is required, fiddle around with already-failed approaches and, in due course, suffer the consequences of their reticence and inactivity.

I believe firmly that managers refuse to have this conversation with me (or others who might also be in a position to perform the required interventions) for but one reason: If I am convincing enough after an intense and lengthy discussion, it would be incumbent on management to go, ?Oh, s***! Now we have to do something!?

Unless definitive steps are taken ? things will only get worse. No change in the color scheme of team uniforms is going to change that. Nor is any big-city PR firm going to be able to pimp radio out as a legitimate and powerful, self-generating, self-sustaining entertainment/informational and advertising medium. Today, it is not.

As there are numbers of people in radio?s leadership who are astute and thoughtful individuals, I strongly urge them to think hard and long on these matters, with an understanding that a useful ?reality? is one that is more than just perceived. It is demonstrated! Harsh, but true.

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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