This may be a theme we hear a lot of at the Radio Show next month, especially with the show in Indianapolis...HQ for Emmis...the creator of NextRadio. Many Radio CEO's and managers believe NextRadio is the solution to making radio cool again. They say the digital interaction NextRadio provides listeners with their favorite local station, without sucking up data, will bring young listeners back into the radio tent and make radio cool again. Digity President and CEO Dean Goodman, who has been on a radio station buying tear of late, and who appears on the cover of Radio Ink magazine this week agrees with the assessment that radio has lost its cool factor.
"I think the biggest downfall we have right now is not being cool and not attracting the brightest of the bright that have that creative fire. When I was doing mornings in Gainesville, I would be up at 1 a.m. doing show prep for a 5 a.m. show. I think a lot of that creative fire has moved to some digital environment instead of coming to us. I think that's a tough situation for the industry. If you take a look at some of the best morning people maintaining that creative desire and fire is really hard to sustain through a whole career. There are a few that do and they are self-evident.
Goodman also says to improve the industry overall, radio can do a better job at helping their communities. "We can do that better at Digity, and I think most others can too. There was a time when radio was very FCC-ish, and you were here to operate in the public need and focused on your ascertainments, etc. We are broadcasters, which is a unique position. Every employee of a radio station should understand they are not running a Dry cleaner. When you work at a radio station, you get a different degree of respect because people listen to your product. To them, you are part of the life of the station and the fact that you?re there is important to people. Radio can do better at taking that responsibility seriously. We can be more entertaining and be more community-service focused. We have a tremendous vehicle for good, and the good can come in a variety of ways, but largely, it can help the community economically. That, to me, we can do better. In doing, that the whole industry rises."
Goodman plans to get his company as big as he can, as quickly as he can, and take it public. "Bigger allows us to have the type of quality support that?s hard to afford singularly, to benefit each radio cluster in all areas ? from programming to sales and so on, operationally. And bigger provides better access to capital, capital that can really only be accessed when you have significantly more cash flow, and less expensive debt. Going public gives us a viable way to [make money for] people who have helped us along the way and not have to sell the company. To reward employees for doing a good job in that environment. I think the public ultimately rewards good companies with a higher value. That?s sort of the aspiration."
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Reach out to Dean by e-mail at Dean@digity.me
(8/21/2014 5:42:37 PM)
Radio is no longer "cool", to some, for many reasons. One is because those of us with creative fire go to platforms (the internet being one) where we are allowed to (try to) be creative.
I also do hours of preparation before my radio shows...regardless of the daypart or shift. And, for the internet (streams/vodcasts/podcasts/blogs), I continue to...(8/21/2014 3:28:56 PM)
The general position of most commentators is that radio is well-provisioned, well-armed and completely prepared to saddle-up and ride to glory.
The facts, however, include: We have half a bag of beef jerky and a partially-eaten Twinkie and 20 rounds of mismatched ammo. Unless some might have missed the arrival, our horses were brought to the corral in veterinary ambulances.
We're not ready to even take on each other, never mind other media, and I suggest that info be seared into our brains pans - right smartly.... before anybody rides off, full of the bluster of Custer.
Might not want to get too cocky about McDonalds and Walmarts of the world - the more sterilized and nationalized society becomes, the more people will crave something different - something local, flexible enough to respond to their needs and pique their curiosity. Works both ways.
(8/21/2014 1:16:15 PM)
Can we please stop the self-loathing in our business?
Invite a blogger or even (gasp) a podcaster to appear on your station and see how fast they jump at the chance.
We as broadcasters are actually envied for our ability to capture, hold and motivate a loyal audience,not to mention our dependability in emergencies.
We just don't seem to be envied among ourselves.
(8/21/2014 9:47:16 AM)
The mere fact we are in a discussion debating "cool" is an indicator about how far off course radio gets. "Cool" is a dead word in today's vernacular. Young people DON'T use it. Middle aged people don't use it. In this age of vulgar hyper-statement and verbal "one-upsmanship" what we say really does not have much impact. Radio needs to "DO"! DO LIVE and LOCAL BROADCASTS. DO HIGH-TOUCH IN COMMUNITY EVENTS. DO PUT OUR SIGNALS ON OTHER AVENUES OTHER THAN TERRESTIAL TOWERS. The bane of radio is we're an industry based on TALK that sells basically an ABSTRACT rather than a "concrete" product and service. In closing, I salute Radio Ink because through all the years you have in fact communicated rather than talked. And with that said, after years of lapse, I am now going to re-subscribe to this publication.
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