When Jefferson-Pilot's Rick Jackson talks, I pay attention. For one thing, he is the only GM I know who hosts is own weekly country gold syndicated program, primarily because he has a passion for country's musical heritage. At the same time, he oversees "AC talk" WLNK (which calls itself an adult top 40, but plays very little music during daytime hours) and news-talk WBT, Charlotte and brags that although WBT ranks #7 and 'The Link' ranks #11 25-54, they rank #2 and #3 in Miller-Kaplan revenue rankers.
He told Carl Marcucci of RBR:
"To progress in coming years, radio will need to innovate at every level, and that includes radio sales. As we move away from 'the music box' sponge radio has so effectively squeezed these many years and move toward more innovative programming, the sales staff will also need to reposition themselves.
"TV has certainly experienced change in programming and sales - just ask anyone who works for cable these days. They're having a lot of fun and tremendous success with their 'niche' innovations.
"We boast that they learned it from us (radio) and some of that is true but it's time for radio to take it to the next level. I think our most effective innovations will start be downsizing our scope. Radio will continue to niche and splinter and smart operators will see this as an opportunity to adjust and prosper.
"Much of the value will come from the product. Radio can't produce the same kind of results with 'background'-based programming. Foreground (talk) radio functions very differently for the listener and our clients."
Are you a part of the 'music box sponge' which radio has been squeezing? If so, it's now time to think very differently about what you do between the songs, at the very least. Does anyone really need to hear what you are saying right now?
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