Friday, April 29, 2005

Mother/Daughter

Circulating on the internet, with the subject heading "other mother.."

Time is running out for my daughter. We are sitting at lunch when she casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family." What she means is that her biological clock has begun its countdown and she is being forced to consider the prospect of motherhood.

"We're taking a survey," she says, half jokingly. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say carefully, keeping my tone neutral.

"I know," she says. "No more sleeping in on Saturdays, no more spontaneous vacations..."

But that is not what I mean at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her.

I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes. I want to tell her that the physical wounds of childbirth heal, but that becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will be forever vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never read a newspaper again without asking "What if that had been my child?" That every plane crash, every fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will look at the mothers and wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think she should know that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will immediately reduce her to the primitive level of a she-bear protecting her cub. That a slightly urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a souffle or her best crystal without a moment's hesitation. That the anger she will feel if that call came over a lost toy will be a joy she has never before experienced.

I feel I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might successfully arrange for child care, but one day she will be waiting to go into an important business meeting, and she will think about her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure he is all right.

I want my daughter to know that everyday routine decisions will no longer be routine. That a visit to McDonald's and a five-year-old boy's understandable desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's room will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in the rest room. I want her to know that however decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give it up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not so much to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish his. I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor.

My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, I know, but not in the ways she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is always careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play "bad guy" with his son. I think she should know that she will fall in love with her husband again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my modern daughter could sense the bond she will feel with other women throughout history who have tried desperately to stop war and prejudice and drunk driving. I hope she will understand why I think rationally about most issues, but become temporally insane when I discuss the threat of nuclear war to my children's future.

I want to describe to my friend the exhiliration of seeing your son learn to hit a baseball. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real that it hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret it," I say finally. Then I reach across the table, and squeezing my daughter's hand, I offer a prayer for her and me all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this holiest of callings.

Mother's Day Music

Thanks to JRN VP/Programming Ken Moultrie (ken.moultrie@jrnseattle.com), Jak Bruce, Executive Producer "Lia" (jakbruce@radiolia.com), Kevin King, PD of WYCT, Pensacola (kking@catcountry987.com) and Neil Haislop (Neil@countryforever.com) you are now more than ready for Mother's Day, musically...

Martina McBride - In My Daughter's Eyes, This One's For The Girls, Blessed
Lee Ann Womack - I Hope You Dance
Trace Adkins - Hot Mama
Reba - Is There Life Out There
The Wilkinsons - 26 Cents
Blake Shelton - The Baby
Trisha Yearwood - Walkaway Joe, She's In Love With The Boy
Pam Tillis - Let That Pony Run
Dolly - Coat Of Many Colors
Sherrie Austin - Streets Of Heaven
Lonestar - Front Porch Lookin' In, Mr. Mom
The Jenkins - Blame It On Mama
Clint Black - Spend My Time
Trace Adkins - Then They Do
Garth Brooks - Two of a Kind

Others:

Ricky Skaggs "Thanks Again" (Top 20 circa 1988) is powerful, with reaction guaranteed. There is also Steve Wariner (and/or Glen Campbell from the same era) "Hand That Rocks The Cradle" and more recently "The Baby" from Blake Shelton. Billy Dean Let Them Be Little, of course, is on your current playlist.

Jesus and Momma - Confederate Railroad
I'm the Only Hell My Momma Ever Raised - Merle Haggard

(Roll On) 18 Wheeler Alabama
Alabama It Works
Anderson, Bill Mama Sang A Song
Anderson, John & Marty Stuart Mama Tried
Anderson, Liz Mama Spank
Andrews, Jessica Who I Am
Arnold, Eddie Mamma And Daddy Broke My Heart
Arnold, Eddie Mama Come And Get Your Baby Boy
Bogguss, Suzy Letting Go
Brad, Chad Ordinary Life
Brooks & Dunn Mama Don't Get Dressed Up…
Brooks, Garth Somewhere Other Than The Night
Brooks, Garth Papa Loved Mama
Byrd, Tracy When Mama Ain't Happy
Campbell, Glen & Steve Wariner Hall Of Fame For Mamas
Carpenter, Mary Chapin He Thinks He'll Keep Her
Carter Family Song To Mama
Cash, Johnny Send A Picture Of Mother
Chesnutt, Mark She Was
Coe, David Alan Coe You Never Even Called Me By My Name
Collie, Mark Even The Man In The Moon Is Crying
Collie, Mark Hard Lovin' Woman
Commander Cody Mama Heard Diesels
Confederate Railroad Jesus and Mama
Conlee, John Mama's Rockin' Chair
Dean, Jimmy I.O.U.
Dexter, Al Pistol Packin' Mama
Diamond Rio Mama Don't Forget To Pray For Me
Diffie, Joe Home
Forester Sisters Mama's Never Seen Those Eyes
Gilley, Mickey I'm The One Mama Warned You About
Gilley, Mickey Sweet Mama Goodtimes
Haggard, Merle Mamma Tried
Hill, Faith You Can't Lose Me
Jackson, Alan Home
Jennings, Waylon & Willie
Nelson Mamas Don't Let Your Babies…
Judds Mama He's Crazy
Kershaw, Sammy Don't Go Near The Water
Ketchum, Hal Momma Knows The Highway
Kilgore, Merle Dear Mama
Lawrence, Tracy Time Marches On
Lawrence, Tracy If The Good Die Young
Loveless, Patty How Can I Help You Say Goodbye
Lynn, Loretta Coal Miner's Daughter
McCall, C.W. Roses For Mama
McEntire, Fancy Fancy
McGraw, Tim Indian Outlaw
Monroe, Bill Shake My Mother's Hand
Orbison, Roy Mother
Overstreet, Paul Daddy's Come Around
Paisley, Brad Two People Fell In Love
Paul, Joyce Phone Call To Mama
Paycheck, Johnny I'm The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised
Pinkard & Bowden Mama She's Lazy
Raven, Eddie Sweet Mother Texas
Robbins, Dennis Home Sweet Home
Robbins, Marty My Woman My Wife
Sawyer Brown Thank God For You
Shenandoah Mama Knows
Skaggs, Ricky Vision Of Mother
Snow, Hank Music Makin' Mama From Memphis
Sons of the Desert Leaving October
Strait, George So Much Like My Dad
Thompson, Hank Mama Don't 'Low
Travis, Randy The Box
Tritt, Travis T-R-O-U-B-L-E
Tritt, Travis Looking Out For Number One
Tucker, Tanya What's Your Mama's Name
Twain, Shania Man! I Feel Like A Woman
Twain, Shania Honey, I'm Home
Walker, Clay Chain Of Love
Wariner, Steve Holes In The Floor Of Heaven
Wells, Kitty Mommy For A Day
Wilkinsons 26 Cents
Wynette, Tammy Mother (You Make Me Want To Be A..)
Yearwood, Trisha Everybody Knows
Yearwood, Trisha XXX and OOOs
Yearwood, Trisha She's In Love With The Boy

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Serving Your THREE Sets of Customers

If you've read my 2004 article Serving Our Two Sets of Customers on the Albright & O'Malley website, I must now admit "WHOOPS, I forgot one!"

Jeff Baird, Director of Programming, Magic 94.5, 105-5 BOB-FM in Eugene, OR (541 484-9400) caught me: "I just read your article from last year on the Two Sets of Customers, great read. I propose it's THREE sets of cusomers: listener, advertiser and co-worker. Just a thought!"

And, an excellent one at that! Thanks, Jeff, for taking time to express it.

KLUC, Las Vegas: the “Britney’s Prego” weekend

KLUC PD CatThomas had staff OB/GYN, ‘Dr. Goodfinger,’ perform ultrasounds on Britney’s belly all weekend and listeners won whatever was found inside (including a weekend in the Hard Rock Hotel room where she allegedly got pregnant as the grand prize).

Somehow, I don't think any country stations were doing promos quite yet as Emily & Charlie Robison along with big brother Gus, age 2, welcomed the healthy arrival of two new (TWINS!) additions to the Dixie Chicks...

PS: in case you hadn't heard, Julianna Tex was born at 9:19pm on April 14th weighing 6 lbs 10oz, followed ten minutes later by the arrival of Henry Benjamin at 6lbs 14 oz. Babies and mom are all doing very well. The arrival of Julianna and Henry into the Robison fold brings the Dixie Chick’s baby count to seven, including a set of twins each for sisters Emily and Martie.

Hopefully, the next birth from the Chicks will be a great new album sometime this year that is so "country" and so terrific that even their worst detractors on the political right wing finally forgive and forget so we can all get on with our lives.

The Question That Always Works With Celebrity Guests

Heard on Big John & Ray's morning show at US-99.5, Chicago: what are your pets' names .. and what do those names say about you?

Survival Info - for your audience (and for you!)

Mike McVay is currently working on an update to his 2004 "Reinventing Radio" presentation and he shared his first draft with A&O clients this week. Here's a key point from it:

The list of threats, to terrestrial radio, is long. There are the obvious threats like satellite, the iPod, WiFi, Internet radio providers like Yahoo, video games, cell phones, PDA’s and more. One competitor that has been overlooked of late, or taken for granted, is Television. Yes. Television. It’s true. Radio and TV both use pre-World War II technology, and yet we both compete. Television is our most immediate threat. We have research and rating proof that clearly shows that Television is taking away our morning cume. They’re robbing us, and it’s happening while we’re looking to the skies for that meteor.

Radio’s most listened to hours used to be 7:00am, 8:00am, 6:00am, 4:00pm and then 12:00pm weekdays. That’s changed. Check your own station’s ratings. The MLT hours for many radio stations are now 4:00pm, 5:00pm, 12:00pm; and then either 7:00am or 8:00am. Morning television is robbing us.

The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox, CNN and local TV shows are competing with music radio, and winning. Think about it. Matt & Katie are a “morning team.” Then you add in Al Roker and Ann Currie, and you have an ensemble morning show.

Several of the stations we consult also have relationships with television stations. In talking to these people, and friends of mine who anchor news at local Cleveland television stations, and they have confirmed that their TV stations have made a conscious effort to present a show that you can listen to while you get ready for the day.

The temperature and time are continuously visible on the screen. They have fabulous guests. Superstar celebrities. And they’re designed for local news and weather inserts. Listeners have TV access in their bedroom/dressing area and in the kitchen.

We’re relegated to the bathroom and the car. Some new model homes even have a flat screen TV in the bathroom. We could soon be an “Auto Only” medium for morning drive. WTVJ/Miami isn’t waiting. They, and other channel 6 stations, are heard on 87.7FM; and WTVJ sells Dunkin’ Donuts a sponsorship of this coincidence, as they invite you to “take NBC 6 with you in the car today.”

Really sharp music radio programmers understand the need to embrace elements from Talk Radio. Certainly Talk Radio will change and fragment further during this period of radio renaissance. I’ve begun crafting morning shows so that the elements of News/Talk are applied.

Listen to your own market’s best News/Talk station. Notice the forward momentum, cross-promotion, vertical recycling and the way they make sure that you’re never more than ten-minutes away from survival information.

Mike can be reached at 440-892-1910 or at his company's website: http://www.mcvaymedia.com/

Monday, April 25, 2005

Tony & Kris Campaign For Ten Hour A Week Listeners

In a marketing twist, FOX has set up a grassroots online petition campaign to keep their beloved cult series Arrested Development on the air. Visitors to www.getarrested.com are encouraged to sign an 'Arrested Development Loyalty Oath' are also urged to invite their friends to join the 'Arrested Nation'. The hope is that this word-of-mouth effort will give the show enough new viewers to come back for a third season.

PS from Jaye@radioconsult.com: "in the most brazen attempt to do something rather like the above to hype ARB TSL for their show, take a look at what KUSS, San Diego's Tony and Kris are doing right now: http://www.us957.com/TK1Club.html.

It will be fascinating to see of ARB allows this tactic, which appears either right on or OVER the line, as far as I am concerned..

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Your Listeners Are A Creative Resource

Jeff Stone saw this item in his local Sunday paper:

Meet 37 year old, Green Bay East High School and UW-Oshkosh graduate DEAN JULIAN. He still loves the Packers, bratwurst and musky fishing, and especially loves the fact he has one of the hottest scripts in Hollywood. A futuristic thriller entitled "UTOPIA".

After Graduating from College, Julian left his hometown of Green Bay to pursue his dream in the entertainment capital of the world. He then did voice over work for radio, and television programs, including MTV Beavis & Butt-head and VH-1 Illustrated, Julian has found his true calling through his writing. "As a writer, you get to create a whole universe...I've always had quite an imagination, and I can't imagine a more enjoyable way to make a living." says Julian. The Story takes a glimpse 25 years into the future: Global democracy is finally achieved...but the US Military---reluctant to share it's power---Stages a coup and becomes the most feared terroist organization ever to exist on the planet. Bill O'Riley has a small cameo role as an 80 year old, and is the "Voice of reason" in the scary post 911 world created by Julian. "it was pretty cool......I was actually on Bill O'Riley's radio Program last week. The guy just makes sense on so many social issues...and UTOPIA deals with the heaviest of them, so I decided to write his character into the script. "

Stone says that this same Dean Julian was on his Green Bay radio request line 15 years ago: "He was in college and it was late and he decided to call the station I was working and he was doing these crazy character voices...So of course I saw a way where I could use this guy and I talked him into coming in and recording some drops for me.

For the next 9 years he was my voice and comedy guy....he was amazing....His talents definitely get me some jobs! Just With his Clinton Voice alone through the early 90's was very helpful.....Just wanted you to see what happens when you talk to your listeners...you can find some talented people...His movie by the way will star Mel Gibson the way it looks....I will let you know more when I know more....it is a great story....I have the script... he sent it to me and it is awesome!"

MORAL: be extra nice to those voices on the phone. They can make your content better right now, and also you never know what they may "grow up" to be!

Contact Jeff at stonevo@doorpi.net, call 920-256-9537 or click on http://www.jeffstoneproductions.com/.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

'All News, All the Time' Turns 40

Radio World is always a fun read, yet I find many managers and programmers never take time to open it because the CE usually grabs the station copy the moment it arrives. Check out the latest one online:

"Got 22 minutes? They'll give you the world. Infinity station WINS(AM) in New York, known there as 1010 WINS and identifiable by its familiar old-style newswire sound effect, is noting its 40th anniversary as an all-news station.

"Among its promo activities is a "top 40 newsmakers" poll on its Web site. After two weeks of voting in several categories, the station will air several weeks of profiles from its station archives based on the votes. An event in the fall will benefit the New York City Adopt a School program."

Friday, April 22, 2005

Tiny Tot Idol

John Michaels of Montana's (KDBR) "The Bear" did Tiny Tot Idol for 4 Wednesdays in a row:

"We pushed it by saying...Hey parents if your child is 11 or younger & ya think they have talent then call in...we will give em 30 seconds to show their stuff on the Bear morning country club tiny tot idol stage...we took calls between 7 & 8 & after 8 we selected the top 2 or 3 & from 8 to 8:30 listeners could call in & vote for thier favorite...The response was great...parents, teachers, everybody was calling in to vote..when we chose the winner we would call thier school & the teacher would get the class to cheer....I felt the bit was very family friendly & fun..the kids were cute..."

Gown Town Extravaganza

Ace & TJ are in the midst of their Mother's Day promotion this week, but in spite of that they filled a Charlotte mall with some 200 women last weekend who wanted a free prom dress.

It was their sixth annual Gown Town extravaganza. They invite listeners to donate dresses they no longer need to area high school girls who couldn’t otherwise afford prom attire.

Their press release on the event says: “Women donated bridesmaid and prom dresses that they’ll never wear again — the mall gives us an entire store for a day, and we set everything up with the dresses racked by size and a section for accessories and another for shoes. These people got to come in and have the whole shopping experience."

Thursday, April 21, 2005

How's Your "Return on Listener" Investment Doing?

In their upcoming book, Return on Customer, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., answer today's foremost business question: What's the right balance between current profit and long-term value? Excessive focus on the short term has led not only to a rash of business scandals, but also to a culture of bad management and poor corporate governance. Nevertheless, current profit is still important, and investing now to achieve long-term value is hard to reconcile with the need for immediate results.

Read more in Peppers & Rogers Group's "Return On Customer". Want to see more? Register now or Login to P&R's website.

The ROC metric for us = TSL. One more thought for you to ponder as you think about how a programmer can tabulate your 'response rate' from your listener customers: is your TSL trending up (satistaction with the product) or down? How are your exclusive cumes (loyalty) trending?

If you have any doubt about what drives those two metrics, let's talk.

As Peppers & Rogers postulate in their open letter to Wall Street that starts their new book, the underlying value of a radio company is trending downward no matter how good our financials look, unless their TSL and the exclusive cumes are at least 'flat' or, even better. trending upward.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

If You Target Anyone Under 24..

You must read this article. Yes, it's on education (and certainly, since most of us have kids in school, that's one reason why you should care).. but roll the ways 'they' consume media (very differently than YOU do!) around in your mind too as it relates to our youngest listeners...

The book is called "Digital Natives and Immigrants" by Marc Prensky: Today’s learners represent the first generations to grow up with this new technology. The numbers are overwhelming: over 10,000 hours playing videogames, over 10,000 hours talking on digital cell phones; over 20,000 hours watching TV (a high percentage fast speed MTV), over 200,000 emails and instant messages sent and received; over 500,000 commercials seen—all before today’s kids leave college. And, maybe, at the very most, 5,000 hours of book reading.

As a result of this ubiquitous environment and the sheer volume of their interaction with it, today’s students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors. “Different kinds of experiences lead to different brain structures, “ says Dr. Bruce D. Berry of Baylor College of Medicine.

Substitute the word 'teachers' with air personalities over 25, and 'students' with young listeners in the following paragraphs:

Digital Immigrant teachers typically assume that learners are the same as they have always been, and that the same methods that worked for the teachers when they were students will work for their students now. But that assumption is no longer valid. Today’s learners are different.

The people sitting in their classes grew up on the “twitch speed” of video games and MTV. They are used to the instantaneity of hypertext, downloaded music, phones in their pockets, a library on their laptops, beamed messages and instant messaging. They’ve been networked most or all of their lives. They have little patience for lectures, step-by-step logic, and “tell-test” instruction.

If you need to read more before running out to buy this book, click here.

Save The Payphone

Sara B. Miller, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor, wrote a report that has appeared in numerous newspapers this week:

"Long gone are the phone booth's golden days when Superman metamorphosed inside and anonymous informers called in tips from the street corner. But even as the plastic cracks, the cords are snipped, and wads of old chewing gum jam the coin returns, a modest movement to preserve the phone booth is rippling through state legislatures. To the phone booth's defenders, it is more than a matter of simple nostalgia: It cuts to the roots of social equality, public safety, and common sense..."

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the number of pay phones in the US dropped to 1.5 million in 2003, down from 2.1 million five years earlier - as the number of cellphone users surged.

Phone topic: pay phone stories. If payphones could talk, what stories would they tell?

Children's Miracles in Winnipeg

PD Janet Trecarten sends this release: For the first time ever Standard Radio Inc. radio stations Hot 103 and QX 104.1 Children’s Miracle Radiothon will broadcast live from Children’s Hospital (840 Sherbrook Street). Ace Burpee and Chrissy Troy from Hot 103 and Ron Able and Caroline Hunter from QX 104.1 along with Dr. Goodbear will spend all three days in the main playroom at Children’s Hospital. Each year the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba commits over $2.6 million in support of child health and pediatric research, programs and equipment at Children’s Hospital and the Manitoba Institute of Child Health.

I love the way QX-104.1's website puts it: "be part of something life-changing."

CHAM: “We’re Heard Everywhere”

820 CHAM, Hamiton’s Mike Naburrs, Co-Host of the Legendary Morning Show and Traffic Specialist, re-wrote the song “I’ve Been Everywhere” by Hank Snow as a promo piece for the station. But, it took George Fox, who recorded the song years back, during the station's "Legend Launch" week in January to do it justice.

http://www.milkmanunlimited.com/tunedin.htm reports that Mike offered up the lyrics and asked if George could take a run at it, fully understanding if the answer was no. Months went by until CHAM Production Manager Matt Bazinet got a call saying the track was done. 820 CHAM The Legend now has a one of a kind GOLD promo piece for the station, the kind that stations used to pay top dollar for, presented courtesy of country artist George Fox. Visit www.georgefox.com.

It always pays to ask. The worst than can happen is that they say NO.

As CHAM found out, if the request is unique and creative they often also say "YES."

Gretchen Wilson Meets American Icon In Ireland

It took traveling to Dublin, Ireland for Gretchen Wilson to meet the American music icon that left his heart in San Francisco.

Prior to her performance at famed club The Village, Tony Bennett came in tomeet her and wish her well on stage that night. She was so thrilled to meethim, she dedicated the Billie Holiday song "Good Morning Heartache" to him.

Gretchen is on her way back to the U.S. after performing last night in London on her way to hooking backup with Kenny Chesney's sold-out tour in Sioux City, Iowa on Thursday.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Standard Radio Toronto Makes World Fundraising History

The Toronto area community has shown its overwhelming support of The Hospital for Sick Children by donating a Radiothon world record amount of $ 3.2 million dollars during the Have a Heart for Sick Kids Radiothon.

Have a Heart for Sick Kids is the largest Radiothon in Canada with Standard Radio stations; Mix 99.9, Newstalk 1010 CFRB and 97.3 EZ Rock broadcasting live from the atrium of Sick Kids April 13th – 15th, 2005.

More than 200 patients, families and staff told their amazing stories and experiences during the three-day Radiothon including the mother of 5 year old Inara Amarsi - the "miracle" girl who survived a 15-metre fall after being thrown off an overpass by her father. Inara's mother Shamsha Amarsi credits the Hospital for Sick Children for "giving a new life to my child".
Last year, Standard Radio Toronto and its listeners raised $2.3 million and broke the record for the most money raised by a Radiothon in North America. The money raised during this three-day event will be used for the highest priority needs of the Hospital for Sick Children.

All three stations created radio history when Newstalk 1010 CFRB and sister stations MIX 99.9 and 97.3 EZ Rock simulcast live for the final hour of the Radiothon with hosts; CFRB's Ted Woloshyn and John Moore, MIX 99.9's Humble & Fred and Steve Anthony and 97.3 EZ Rock's Mike, Christine and KJ as they joined forces for this historic simulcast of the final hour.

"Being able to stop the world for three glorious days and simply do good for others is a tremendous priviledge for our staff and our listeners. At the end of the day, that's what this is all about; helping others and expecting nothing in return except a good warm personal feeling. To know that these monies will absolutely save Children's lives makes it that much more magical"
-- Pat Holiday - Vice President and GM -Standard Radio Toronto.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Morning Show Boot Camp - The Battle of the Bits

MSBC is having their first annual Entertainment Awards. There's only one way to win: ENTER.

GMA Week -- We’re all in this together!

The Gospel Music Association’s annual seminar, GMA Week took place April 9th-13 at the Nashville Convention Center. It’s a large event, with “tracks” for radio, retail, and “MAPS” (Managers, Agents and Promoters). Our friend and production/voice whiz Glenn Nobel attended and since many of our clients share as much as 25% of their audience with Christian radio, he provided us with this report:

You don’t have to be a Christian Broadcaster to learn here. GMA Week started with a full morning of sessions with the legendary “Broadway” Bill Lee (afternoons - WKTU, New York).

Broadway Bill started each session by doing a live talk-up over the ramp of a song. These ad-libbed intros featured his well-known rhyming patter and served to get the audience in the mood for some great content! Lee said that while most jocks think “show prep” is sitting in front of the internet or a bunch of newspapers thinking about things to talk about, his belief is that you have to think about your listeners’ lives and make that your content. The real “prep”, in Lee’s opinion, is in editing, “Edit, edit, edit...all the way up until you actually speak into the mic. Keep thinking of ways to say it shorter and better.”

Running at the same time as Lee’s sessions were panels on promotions (with Jones Radio’s Donna Britt -- formerly of country “The Mountain” in Bend, OR) and sales.

Saturday afternoon featured more powerful talent-focused panels, including one with some of the top Christian jocks in the country, WPOZ/Orlando’s Lisa Williams, WCVO/ New Albany OH’s Jake Sommers, KTIS/St Paul MN’s Chuck Knapp and AIR 1’s Mike Schaeffer. All of the panelists focused on the fact that their success came from learning to be themselves on the air -- real people with a real interest in their listeners and their lives.

Sunday at GMA Week featured roundtable “mini-sessions” over breakfast. Topics included everything from setting up remotes to selecting music to putting together winning promotions -- information that could benefit ANY broadcaster, regardless of format.

Monday’s radio seminars featured more highly usable information. Brian Wright from Audience Development Group led “Building TSL.” Wright’s premise: we can’t expect listeners to listen longer. No one is going to be late for work on purpose just to win a CD. To a listener, LIFE is much more important than radio. However, we CAN, through good content and purposeful recycling get listeners to tune in more OFTEN -- and remember that they did. And, in the current Arbitron-driven landscape, that’s what translates to higher TSL -- more listening occasions. In fact, Wright thinks we should refer to TSL as “TimeS spend listening.”

Wright also broke down TSL to a goal any air personality should be able to reach: convince just 6 people to listen 2 or 3 additional times each. That’s all you have to do during the course of a ratings period. According to Wright, “When we open our microphone we envision many thousands of people out there. It makes it really hard to focus…having to set appointments for 200, 000 people. You don’t have to. With a total or 200,000 people in the market, the total Diary Holders equal 700. Broken down by month, there are only 233 -- or about 58 per week. Or those, your station probably gets mentioned 35 times. From the people in you target, you get mentioned 12 times. Success happens, Wright says, “If you can convince just ½ of these target listeners to listen on just 3-4 more occasions PER WEEK it’s a mathematical certainty that you will see enormous ratings growth. So your real primary goal to rating success is to convince 6 people to listen 3-4 more occasions per week. That all.”

In “Stationality 101” McVay Media’s Daniel Anstandig stated that “stationality” is nothing more than the personality of your radio station. How do you want to be perceived? As fun? Relaxing? Focus your stationality around those adjectives that stand for your radio station. But saying it isn’t enough. You can just run liners saying you’re “the fun station” and have listeners believe you. You have to actually BE fun. The session was named “Stationality 101” according to Anstandig because, “Your stationality is based on a One on One connection with the listener.”

More on reflecting the needs and desires of the listener came later in the afternoon when Brian Wright returned with his session “Branding your station takes more than a hot iron on the butt.” When you say “cola,” people automatically think of Coke. Same thing happens with shoes and Nike. But if you ask someone in your market about “radio,” what comes to their mind? If it’s not your call letters, you haven’t done a good enough job of branding. Wright goes on to explain that you have to make sure your station name is attached to everything you do...and that you have something you’re famous for. That “thing” can be as simple as “The 10 minute weather guarantee,” but make sure when listeners need weather information, YOU are the station they go to (because you’ve “branded” well).

Other GMA seminars included time with promotions genius Doug Harris from Creative Animal, leadership lessions from Curt Swindoll of Cool Strategies, and “What You Don’t See in the Future” with Eric Rhodes of Radio Ink. Radio stations spend a great deal of time and energy worrying about the station “across the street.” But today, we’re losing more listeners to ipod, satellite, and all the other electronic media than to other radio stations. Opportunities to learn from each other become more and more important every year.

There’s another radio seminar in Nashville besides CRS -- and it has a lot to offer every broadcaster. But BYOB. No open bars at GMA (which probably helps with the learning!)

4/19: Ten-year anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing

WUBE, Cincinnati's Bill Wyte and Amanda Orlando are looking for the custom mix that country radio played in 1996 of Garth Brooks' "The Change" in commemoration of the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing. bill.whyte@infinitybroadcasting.com writes: Amanda remembers a Garth song with audio clips produced for the OKC bombing. Do you have that…or anything like that on file? If so…could you shoot it to us in time for tomorrow’s show? (Tue)

From Google: Where is the home of Garth Brooks?
Q: I've heard of a statue that shows Christ weeping. Can you tell me where this is?
A: St. Joseph's Old Cathedral Church in downtown Oklahoma City erected this statue as a result of the Oklahoma City bombing that occurred in 1995. The church is located at 307 NW 4th Street, just south of the Oklahoma City National Memorial. You will find the statue of Christ weeping behind their church, which is open to the public 24 hours a day.

From: http://www.planetgarth.com/news/article.php?cid=01015:
Garth Brooks' 1996 single "The Change," remembering those who died in the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995, but the song also addresses how this world has changed. Brooks said his tour was in Miami on April 19, and he and his wife at the time (Sandy) held hands at 10:02 a.m. eastern time, which meant it was 9:02 a.m. in Oklahoma, and said a prayer. "We didn't get the honor to be in Oklahoma on that day," he said. "But we sent a message -- they will not be forgotten."

If you have any audio that might be helpful, please let me know.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Are You Interesting, Peculiar, A Story-teller?

"If radio news is to survive, it will be because of story-telling. If we can continue to tell compelling stories better than anyone else - which is what's behind the current surge in the popularity of talk radio - we will all remain viable.

"My high school aged son doesn't have a radio. He can't give you radio station call letters or dial positions. He finds radio to be kind of quaint and old. Meanwhile, he plays an iPod like a violin. So, I know if I am going to reach this young man, it's going to have to be through a different technology, such as podcasting or downloading the news to him on demand.

"I remember when radio news was full of peculiar people. Paul Harvey, John Cameron Swayzee, Edward R. Morrow. Peculiar is interesting. Different is interesting. Storytellers who fascinate me are interesting.

"Interesting is what will attract my son and his generation. Just being good, but vanilla, I don't think that cuts it anymore."


-- Jack Swanson, PD, KGO-KSFO, San Francisco at the R&R Talk Radio Seminar

2,000 Audio "Drops" for $500 Cash (not barter)

Radio Phil has gone from longtime morning guy to small businessman. I'm impressed by his wares, on display at www.dropinhear.com. Check it out.

Another Clear Channel "US" Country

US 103.5, "Tampa Bay's Best Country" launches, and rather like happened in San Diego when KSON's morning show "Tony & Kris" crossed the street to a brand new country station early in 2004, WQYK morning guy Skip Mahaffey becomes the new station's first employee.

If you love your morning show, do they KNOW it?

Blink

From Vallie-Richards' Radio Focus monthly newslette, a review by my old friend (and former boss at EZ Communications) Dan Vallie of the biz book BLINK:

“Ever wonder how certain managers have the ability to make the right split-second decisions? Or how certain programmers have the right intuition to focus or adjust a station product? If so, you may find BLINK an interesting read. It’s written by Malcom Gladwell, who also wrote The Tipping Point. Malcom reveals that great decision makers aren’t those who process the most data or take a lot of time deliberating, but it’s those who have perfected “thin slicing”.

"Having the ability to filter the very few factors that matter from overwhelming data. He also talks a lot about how the best instincts belong to those with experience and that the ability to make a successful snap decision is largely a function of years of training, knowledge and experience---all kinds of things that allow people to educate their unconscious. He warns to be careful of people who have instincts but no experience.”

Dead Radio

Deadline is May 15 for entries in Oink Ink's "Dead Radio" Contest. The agency wants "frustrated copywriters across America" to send in "their best radio scripts that suffered heart-wrenching deaths on clients' conference tables." The agency will produce the winner for free and send the winners to New York or California for the recording session. The company has been doing the promotion for eight years. It says two of its past winners went on to become Mercury Finalists and winners of National Addys.

ENTER THEIR CONTEST

Frightening Fact To Challenge Your Assumptions

Melissa Lavigne at Youth Intelligence (212-277-5208/mlavigne@youthintelligencecom) reminded me this morning: "According to a recent study conducted by research group Nielsen Entertainment, men spend more money on video games than they do on music."

If you're still back selling music by saying "that's the latest single from..." who are you talking to and WHO CARES?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

KGNC, Amarillo, Audience On Reality TV Show

Tim Butler, OM/morning guy at Morris Radio in Amarillo writes:

If Any Of Your Stations Are Following The New "Reality" Show On CMT "Popularity Contest"....They Filmed The Show Last Fall In Vega, Texas Which Is About 40 Miles West Of Amarillo On Interstate 40. I Watched Last Night's Episode 1 And Actually Knew A Few Of The Towns People In The Show. A Bunch Of Them Listen To KGNC-FM. I Tried All During The Fall To Get Someone To Talk About The Show And Everyone Who Participated Signed A Letter Of Agreement Not To Divulage What Happend.

Here Are A Few Contact Numbers If Your Stations Want To Talk To Several Of The People In The Show.

Oldham County Sherriff.................806-267-2162
Oldham County Judge's Office.....806-267-2607
Groneman's Service Station (Groan-A-Manz) 806-267-2206

Maybe That Will Help Someone, -- Tim

Classics - BUT Still Worth Reading

It has been a couple years since I posted these, but if you haven't seen them, I bet they prove helpful even now:
- SampleOpsManual.html
- MorningIdeas.html
- TargetingandBranding.html

Maine Heroes Parade

Portland, Maine held a community parade last Friday, during which 30,000 people showed up to pay tribute to America’s war veterans.

The parade featured veterans of every war since WWII, bands, floats and six of the World Champion New England Patriots and owner Bob Kraft, with all three of their Vince Lombardi trophies in tow! The Pats made it clear that they were there to salute Maine’s heroes — not to be saluted themselves.

Two Jumbotron screens with a live satellite hookup for a family reunion with area soldiers in Baghdad and a personal greeting from President Bush added to the festivities.

America Idol Update

American Idol 4, April 12: They Were Just Babies Then!

Ousted finalist Nikko Smith: "After being voted off twice, I have no regrets."

If you have AOL, you can watch replays of all performances.

Click here for updates on all Reality Shows every day.

Nashville Star Weekly Recap

For a full synopsis, visit http://nashvillestar.yahoo.com

NASHVILLE STAR 2005 - Episode # 7 - April 12
Sara Evans was guest host, filling in for LeAnn Rimes, who was sidelined this week by a broken blood vessel in one of her vocal cords. Rimes has had to postpone several personal appearances and performance dates. Rimes' illness is the result of a severe case of viral bronchitis. Although there is no timetable for her return to the stage, her doctors expect a speedy recovery. LeAnn plans to return to 'Nashville Star' in timefor the April 26 finale.

Seven weeks into the season, Jamie O'Neal kicked off the show with her hitsingle, "Trying to Find Atlantis." Backstage correspondent Cledus T. Judd (sporting outrageous pink rimmedglasses!) moved to center stage -- co-hosting with Sara Evans.

Justin David was eliminated from the competition. Next week: highlights from contestants' hometown concerts. Tuesday, April 19, on USA Network at 10 PMET/PT/9 PM CT.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Idaho Radio Works Together on PSA Campaign

If you heard it, you will likely never forget it, and you are not alone. Thursday at 5:04 p.m., dozens of radio stations across the state played the same public service announcement, a "radio roadblock" geared to alert people about shaken-baby syndrome, a devastating form of child abuse (read more - Idaho State Journal)

CMT Video Music Award Winners

Loretta Lynn faced an arena-wide standing ovation as she accepted the Johnny Cash Visionary Award from presenters and admirers Gretchen Wilson, Martina McBride and Reba McEntire.

Lynn was also honored by friends and family in a moving pre-taped tribute, featuring Elvis Costello, Crystal Gayle, Faith Hill, Sissy Spacek, Keith Urban and Wynonna.

* Breakthrough Video Of The Year
Gretchen Wilson - "Redneck Woman"

* Collaborative Video Of The Year
Brad Paisley featuring Alison Krauss - "Whiskey Lullaby"

* Female Video Of The Year
Rascal Flatts - "Feels Like Today"

* Most Inspiring Video Of The Year
Tim McGraw - "Live Like You Were Dying"

* Hottest Video Of The Year
Toby Keith - "Whiskey Girl"

* Male Video Of The Year
Kenny Chesney - "I Go Back"

* Video Director Of The Year
Rick Schroder - Brad Paisley featuring Alison Krauss - "Whiskey Lullaby"

* Video Of The Year
Keith Urban - "Days Go By"

Monday, April 11, 2005

CSI KYGO

Denver's KYGO is tying in listeners' love for country concerts and the TV series "CSI."

At KYGO the letters stand for "concert scene investigators."

PD Joel Burke reports that winning listeners are "sworn in" as CSIs, then fly to different locales to watch country concerts and "file a report" on them on air with the station's morning team Kelly, Jonathan and Mudflap.

The idea is for the morning show to "debrief" them so KYGO listeners can get a preview of what they'll see when these concerts come to Denver. One winner each week gets to see Reba McEntire in Tampa, Fla.; Alan Jackson in Virginia Beach, Va.; or Kenny Chesney in Washington, D.C. (All qualifiers also win tickets to the tour stops in Denver too)

Florida College Students on Family Values Radio

Mind Fodder, found in the campus newpaper amidst news of more than 2,500 people gathered to hear first-year UF football coach Urban Meyer speak at “The Rally:”

Telling people they can’t curse on the air is not something that we can or should complain about. The airwaves that radio and television stations broadcast on are public airwaves, and it’s a very scarce resource. Thus, those airwaves must be used in a way that is of the greatest use to the public. That’s why they’re called “public airwaves.”

A broadcaster telling people, “They can just change the channel if they don’t like it,” is fine, but they had better be serving the greater good of the public in some way. The problem is deciding what the greater good of the public is (read more - Alligator Online)

How To Burn A Bridge

Q: Gotta get me some scoop on why Sam Malone isn't at KRBE anymore! Waz up with that??? -- Karen Winkler, Houston ...

A: Malone quit KRBE suddenly — on the air — to take a job with the Clear Channel group of radio stations. He has to sit out a few months, but then he'll be back on the air. It was quite a shocker when Malone announced he was leaving, but I still give the edge to Channel 11 news anchor Marlene McClinton's leaving in a public huff. She closed a newscast by basically saying, "I don't like what TV news has become, and I'm not going to take it anymore. I'm out of here."

I was so outraged and appalled (wink wink) by McClinton's action that I offered $100 to any other anchor who would quit on-air. People like me need people like her (read more - Ken Hoffman-Houston Chronicle)

"Jacking Up" Hot AC

The arrival of Gen Jones and Gen X-driven anti-hype formats like "Jack FM" and "his" many cousins has the rest of us scrambling not to seem out-dated and over-hype/bogus in our stationality.

PD Barb Richards at WAJI, Ft. Wayne has just renamed their workday kickoff all music hour with something with more attitude: The New 95.1 WAJI now starts the workday at 8 am and ends it at 5 pm with two "shut up and play the music" hours.

How do your images, positioning, benchmarks and stationality stack up? Authentic is 'in.' Simpson's and 70's TV show drops don't send the same message they did a decade ago, unless your target is now ten years older than it was then.

In the country format, you don't want to be so weird in chasing younger fashions that 45-54's scratch their heads in wonder, but it's also important to remember their 'attitude age' isn't at all like your parents were at the same age. When in doubt, let real listeners speak for you in their own words.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Radio's Funniest Bits of the Past Year

A great idea from www.newradiostar.com's Bob Hamilton: THE NEW RADIO COMEDY COMPETITION CD IS OUT...AND READY TO SHIP TO YOU IMMEDIATELY!$14.98 plus $6 shipping. Click here to see and hear more

Friday, April 08, 2005

Does Your Station Have A Mission?

What do you stand for? Do your listeners know? Check out what San Diego's KBZT has on their website. Go to http://www.fm949sd.com/home/index.cfm and click on the words "Here are 11 ways we strive to be different" and watch what pops up.

Shouldn't you do something like this?

Now?

Learning From Fox News

USA Today's Peter Johnson has a fun (if not 'fair and balanced') profile of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes portions of a recent media breakfast, who says Fox News has no agenda. His charge to his reporters and anchors is simple: "If you make a mistake, get on the air as fast as you can and admit it. ... Do your homework. Make sure you reach out to a point of view you don't agree with to be sure you have some balance in your piece, because journalists, despite the public perception, are not empty-headed fools. They actually come to the job with some ideas and biases."

Ailes certainly practices what he preaches in his late 80's book, "You Are the Message." Fox News' success is proof that it works. If you haven't read Ailes' "Identity-Based Communications" philosophy, I highly commend it to your attention.

Pet-A-Palooza

KMXB, Las Vegas, (Mix 94.1) just had their sixth Annual “Peta-palooza.”

PD Charese FrugĂ©: “This one was our most successful yet. Over 15,000 people and their dogs showed up for a day in the park. It was truly an amazing event, and the icing on the cake was our celebrity guest host, Gilbert Gottfried, who made light of the fact that there were so many dogs in the park and not one pet owner lost their dog — but at least 30 parents had to be summoned to the stage to find their lost children. His outlook on it was, ‘Don’t worry, just pick up one of the lost ones here on stage; they’re probably much cuter than the one you originally had in the first place.’”

The event featured acoustic performances by Better Than Ezra and Lifehouse.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Arbitron Answer Man

Whenever I have a question, I turn to John Snyder at ARB for the answer.

For example, a client PD asked...


If I were going to rank the metro counties based on how they impact the ratings, would it be done strictly by population? Does each county count XXX amount based on the number of people in it?

JS says "the bigger the county (in population) more diaries should go there. Thus if county A has 20% of the metro population, 20% of the diaries should go there, if not those diaries will be weighted up or down depending on the diary return to equal 20%. The diaries are weighted geographically based on return. Diaries in HD areas are weighted separately but so are diaries in any sampling unit ( for example a split county). If we under sample an HD area (or any sampling unit) those diaries will be weighted up, meaning one diary might equal 450 people instead of 350 people."

Lorna Ozmon Tips

From CRS 2005: 7 TIPS TO CREATING MORE COMPELLING RADIO

CISN's 100 Days of Tim McGraw

Edmonton's 103.9 CISN is giving away a small city. 1oo pairs of tickets the see Tim = "the largest ticket giveaway for the city’s hottest concert."

Two Big Levers

Denver-based personality coach Doug Erickson found and forwarded the following link, accompanied by this thought:

Ever wonder what the marketing budget of the original KHJ was? How about WLS at its zenith? As long as there have been Program Directors, there's been moaning about a lack of marketing. And these days, I'd have to agree most of them are right. But have you ever thought about what your listeners experience IF you actually get them to try your station, if the marketing actually works? Because if they get a very ordinary experience from your station -- and let's face it, we're all more average than we'd like to believe -- how effective will your ads be with those listeners in the future?

When's the last time YOU were amazed at what you were hearing when you tuned into your own station? Why do we expect our listeners to feel any differently?

As this piece from Branding Blog, posted by David Young (Permalink), points out, maybe it's time we applied the same BS meter to our marketing as we do to the spots we see for other products:

In the Advertising Performance Equation, there are two giant factors that will make the difference between a poor-to-middlin' ad campaign and a campaign that will amaze you with its effectiveness. Unfortunately, you cannot necessarily count on your advertising reps or your agency for either of these.

First, is the Personal Experience Factor. Others call it the delight factor, or the wow factor -- the amazing things you do for your customers. In short, if the ACTUAL customer experience exceeds the expectation created by the campaign, you can likely expect repeat business and referrals. HOWEVER, if the experience delivered by you and your staff fall short of expectations, expect us to tune out your subsequent advertising and tell everyone we know that you're "not all that."

Second, once you get your customer experience tuned up, the Impact Quotient of your message is what will cause us to perk up and pay attention. I'm not talking about the kind of schtick usually spouted by the average car dealer. You can yell to get my attention, but once I figure out it's an ad (and a poorly written and executed ad at that) my BS filter kicks in and you never even get to whisper to my prefrontal cortex where buying decisions are made. It's not as simple as just getting my attention. You must keep it. Ah, now that's the hard part.

If you can wrap your arms around both of these principles, your advertising will exceed your expectations.

If you ignore one or the other (or both) the only way to compensate is to spend more money. Lots more. And be prepared to keep spending more, because over time your campaign will diminish in effectiveness as more consumers tune out your ads or figure out your poor experience.

Dreaming of HD Radio

Be watching next week's Airplay Monitor for an article that sounds like a lot of fun being written now by Phyllis Stark. She's asking folks, "With HD Radio looming, I thought it would be fun to touch base with some prominent industry executives for a light-hearted look at you'd do with a second (or third, fourth or fifth) channel if you had one to program now."

Here's my response to her questions:

PS: If you had an additional channel or two complementing your current stations, what would you do with it? Any niche music or type of programming that doesn't work in today's competitive terrestrial radio environment that could work as a bonus channel?

JA: Every single terrestual country radio station will have more digital side channels than either of the satellite radio companies .. and we'll be LOCAL as well. If we're smart, our formats will be much more interactive and personal than anything we can offer now. Hopefully, once we have six or seven times the current available space for commercial inventory, we'll recognize it as an opportunity to cut down the amount of commercial clutter compared to today's levels on all of them.

PS: Also, what kind of programming do you secretly hope someone else may sign on in your market that you'd listen to as guilty pleasure? Mariachi music? Celtic lullabies? Polkas? All bagpipes all the time? Some niche talk format?

JA: The John Phillip Sousa, Kent State University, Ohio State University, University of Washington marching bands channel. The Broadway show tunes channel The "songs Jaye Albright thought were going to be hits but aren't" channel.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

PR Fuel - "Blog Rules," a White Paper

Ben Silverman is currently Director of Development and a Contributing Editor for FindProfit.com (http://www.findprofit.com), an independent investment research service. His personal weblog is BenSilverman.net(http://www.bensilverman.net). Previously, Ben was a business news columnist for The New York Post and thefounder/publisher of DotcomScoop.com:

PR giant Edelman and market research firm Inteliseek have released a white paper, "Trust MEdia: How Real People AreFinally Being Heard - The 1.0 Guide to the Blogosphere for Marketers & Company Stakeholders."

The version available to the public is a good primer for PR, marketing and advertising professionals who are looking to get a better understanding of the blogosphere and how to deal with it (and not deal with it)."

Blogs represent a paradigm shift that presents new challenges and opportunities for the advertising, public relations and marketing communities - challenges and opportunities that require quick responses, protocols and policies," the paper states.

One of the more interesting sections in the paper highlights how automaker Mazda dropped the ball when it attempted to use blogs as a marketing tool and instead created a PRproblem. There also are some handy tips, such as, "Are you willing to enter the world of blogging with honesty, frankness and humor? If you cannot get past 'marketingspeak' and defensiveness, then do not blog."

I am actually pleasantly surprised by the content and tone of the paper (just when I thought the big agencies had their heads in the wrong place, I'm proven wrong), which I believe most people in our profession will find useful. It's worth noting that organizations that utilize either Edelman or Inteliseek's services are given a list of the most influential bloggers.

Links:
White paper -
http://www.edelman.com/image/insights/content/ISwp_TrustMEdia_FINAL.pdf
Press release -
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/050404/nym225.html?.v=3

Ben can be reached via email at bensilverman@gmail.com.

Papal overkill?

"I have seen the future of the blogosphere, and I'm out of breath. Before I get to that, though, I want to reassure those of you who think the pope's passing has been the most heavily covered story in western history that you're not crazy.." - (read more - Howard Kurtz-Media Notes)

Monday, April 04, 2005

"Wikicities"

Trendcentral.com reports that Wikia Inc., the company behind the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia, has launched Wikicities.

On the company’s first ad-supported site, Internet users can create their own free websites on a specific topic and other visitors can change the site’s appearance or information using tools included on the site. While each topic is overseen by an administrator, pretty much anything goes here. Look out for more open-source communities to form.

Country Music Radio, at its very best, the original open-source community. How are you doing in the daily challenge of connecting with your target listener?

Ouch!

"Commercial radio is trying to keep listeners from tuning out." One has to laugh at that statement in Sean Piccoli's March 27 article. Listening to the radio, one hears DJs who say incredibly stupid things, commercials that scream at you, songs that are repeated every two to three hours and ridiculous contests that try to get you to listen longer. All of which make me want to tune out (read more - Sun Sentinel)

You know that there's truth there and we who can do something about it need to act now.

Defining "Stationality"

Be watching www.mcvaymedia.com for an upcoming article being written right now by AC boy genius/McVay Media consultant Daniel Anstandig.

One of the folks he asked to contribute perspective was A&O's Jaye Albright:

1. In a few sentences, how would you describe STATIONALITY?

JA: Bringing your unique brand values to life in a way that target listeners feel (and I do mean FEEL, emotionally) like the station has been built (perhaps even by them) for them.

2. What radio station(s) come to mind when you think DISTINCTIVE STATIONALITY? Note: These stations don't still have to be on the air today.

JA: Alliance's Young Country stations in Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco and Seattle as designed by Rick Torcasso. In reality, I think their stationality was superior to their programming, which is why none of them exists anymore. The best recent one for country was KPLX, Dallas's relaunch as "99-5 The Wolf" several years ago. One of the architects of that project was Brian Phillips, who is now doing equally innovative things at CMT.

Before that, it was "KFRG, Kay-Frog" in San Berdardino when Keymarket launched it. It was so distinctive that it's being copied now, but few of the copies are as good as the originals.

Some of the best ones that I have ever been associated with were: "Bob 100 FM, in Minneapolis," "Kay-Duck," the very first Young Country station in the world, which went from nothing to almost a ten share in just two books and Froggy 99.9, which took KVOX-FM from worst to first in two books in Fargo because the entire air staff - all of which had been with the station before the rebranding - really embraced and executed the concept flawlessly. They didn't even change the call letters, yet the audience almost immediately 'got' Froggy 99.9 FM and still does, thanks to brand continuity and great personality training and consistency.

3. What one or two things do you believe contribute most effectively to creating a unique stationality? Why?

A totally unique brand name and a creative plan to make that NAME come to real life listeners can hear almost immediately by personifying the values the name stands for.

4. Is there a format that you believe has done a better job than the others in creating "formatality?" :-) If so, what has helped them?

I think that there have been great examples of formatality in literally every type of station.

Rush Limbaugh brought it to AM radio, WEBN and K-Rock do it in rock. KIIS, LA has evolved very successfullt in CHR. Jack in pop rock. KVIL in Dallas under Ron Chapman. Smooth Jazz, classic alternative, Hot Talk to Al Hamm's Music of Your Life, Chick Watkins' AM Only and many more have created target-specific stationality. Cluck Blore, Bill Drake and Rick Sklar were masters of the art.

Bonus Question: Is there a brand outside of radio that you believe has a distinct personality?

Ben & Jerry's, Starbucks and Amazon.com

I'll bet Daniel would welcome YOUR responses to his questions too! Click on his name and send him an email.

Want to hear some examples? K-Rock, New York's new "Ours is Bigger" campaign. Or, click on http://nickmichaels.com/ and go to "philosopy" to read how Nick does it and then "radio" to hear some examples of "a whisper becomes a scream" created for The Drive in Chicago (artist ownership and station imaging), WFLA in Tampa and several others. Call (Jaye) 206 498-6261 or (Mike) 732-937-5757. We can recommend LOTS more stationality pro's.

The "Word of Mouth Marketing Association"

WOMMA is a one year old organization that just wrapped up its first national summit in Chicago this week.

Big companies and major ad agencies are taking this stuff seriously and incorporating word-of-mouth into sophisticated marketing programs.

LEARN MORE AT: Tremor BuzzMetrics

Their watchwords come from Oscar Wilde: "There's only one thing worse than being talked about .. and that's NOT being talked about."

BUZZ in the wake of the conference: it's time for a bit of discipline and professionalism to enter the blog and street team biz. WOMMA is working on formal 'best practices' for the budding industry.

What Ever Happened To..?

Ever wonder what happened to: Eddie The Eagle? The chick who shot Andy Warhol? That 'Mikey' kid from the Life Cereal commercial?

Here's a website with all the answers to the question "What Ever Happened To?"

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Great Guests and Interviews

It's more important than ever right now to have impressive celebrity and/or expert guests on the morning show. Reality is in, and having fun with it is a powerful image-builder in competitive situations.

Some ground rules..

First, watch out for 'trained responses' (boring): http://www.anniejenningspr.com/pages/mediatraining.htm. Get them out of that 'media training' mode.

Great interviews arise from careful groundwork. You can ace your next interview if you:

1. Enter into a state of relaxed concentration. This is the state from which great basketball players or Olympic skaters operate. You'll need to quiet the negative self chatter in your head through meditation or visualization prior to sitting down in the meeting. You'll focus on the present moment and will be less apt to experience lapses in concentration, nervousness, self-doubt and self-condemnation. LISTEN! Then, respond for your heart and emotions.

2. Act spontaneous, but be well prepared. Be your authentic self, professional yet real. Engage in true conversation with your interviewee, resting on the preparation you did prior to coming to the meeting. Conduct several trial runs with another person simulating the interview before it actually occurs. It's the same as anticipating the questions you'll be asked on a final exam.

3. Set goals for the interview. Stick to them.

4. Know the question behind the question. Ultimately, every question boils down to, "Tell me something interesting and revealing about yourself?" Find away to address fears if you sense they are present.

5. Follow up with an effective "thank you" letter. Don't write this letter lightly. It is another opportunity to market yourself. Find some areas discussed in the meeting and expand upon them in your letter. This gets the next one and will make it even better

6. Consider the interviewee's agenda. These as well as other questions will be heavily on the interviewee's mind. Got those things out of the way fast, edit them out later if you don't want to use them on the air, then get to the 'real' good stuff.

7. Avoid the question, "Tell me about yourself." This is a pet question of prepared and even unprepared interviewers. Try to keep them out of 'auto-interview' mode.

8. Watch those nonverbal clues. Experts estimate that words express only 30% to 35% of what people actually communicate; facial expressions and body movements and actions convey the rest. Make and keep eye contact. Walk and sit with a confident air. Lean toward an interviewer to show interest and enthusiasm. Speak with a well-modulated voice that supports appropriate excitement for the opportunity before you. Pick up on and bring up any non-verbal cues your interviewee is using.

9. Tease the interview the day before and ask listeners to call in with their questions for the person. Then edit those down to the question only and make it sound like folks are calling the guest live with them.

10. Don't hang out dirty laundry. Be careful not to bare your soul and tell tales that are inappropriate or beyond the scope of the interview. But, if the interviewee's body language communicates that they are OK with the question area, GO for it. If you get a scoop, be sure to do PR releases about it to local and trade media.

OK.. now, how about your interview secrets?

Radio Must Expand Its Reach In Order To Compete

Jim Boyle of Wachovia Securities: "Broadcast has always faced competition, but what is different today is the speed at which consumer habits are changing vs. the pace at which nontraditional media is keeping up."

Boyle's report singles out the expanding popularity of technologies like digital video recorders and video-capable cell phones.

While certainly true, content and context, not technology is what will pull the ears to new media when they go. I believe that there's a solid future ahead for those of us who recognize that we're not in the radio business. We're in the entertainment .. information .. companionship .. dependability .. trust, "values" business.

The Papal Passing - A Suggsted "Plan"

Thanks to Dave (President) and Mary Hoxeng (GM) and also Kevin King (PD) at WYCT, Pensacola for sharing their plan of action for when the Pope dies:

Pre-record the "scripts" below and record it until it soundsnatural. Be watching CNN or CNN Headline News.When we get confirmed word that the Pope has died, Fade out the song that is playing, and read this cold-(No, do not wait for a "break".)

We just heard from the Vatican that the Pope has passed. So, in respect for this man of God, beloved by billions, we pause to reflecton this great man's life and all that he has done for humanity.

Do 15 seconds of silence. Then, play this cold:

His Holiness Pope John Paul the Second was born in 1920 near Cracow (CRACK-OW), Poland. He was ordained a Priest in 1946. He becamePope in October of 1978, at the age of 58. As the Father of the Catholic Faithful, Pope John Paul the Second published five books, and has completed over 100 visits outside Italy. He was very involved with the youth of the world. We join millions of Catholics in mourning his passing.

5 seconds of silence

Then, play: "Go Rest High on the Mountain" (by Vice Gill). Follow it with (no jingle): "That's What I Love about Sunday" (by CraigMorgan).

After you start the Vince Gill song, call your PD to decide if you should take calls on-air about the Pope's passing. (Depends on who's on the air and if they can handle it tastefully)

For the following two hours, please mention the Pope's passing every 15-20minutes. Here are two "scripts" that you can work from:

If you haven't heard the news, the Pope passed away at__________ (time). He will be remembered as God's Ambassador who did great things for mankind.

OR

If you haven't heard the news, the Pope passed away at__________ (time). He was beloved by millions and was a great man of God.

These comments can be made over a music "bed", but use care in the selection of the bed.

Memorializing the Pope

Check the news (Full Coverage) for the latest, of course, but Saturday morning's (4/2) New York Times has these quotes and updates:

"This evening or this night, Christ opens the door to the pope."
- BISHOP ANGELO COMASTRI, vicar of the Vatican.
MORE: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/02/international/europe/02rome.html?th&emc=th

Millions of Roman Catholics around the world interrupted
their routine to stand vigil and offer prayers for Pope John Paul II.
MORE: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/02/international/europe/02vigil.html?th&emc=th

Jay Thomas, Acting PD at WWYZ, Hartford reports that "Country 92.5's Bosh and Cory will have some folks on the show Monday from a local Catholic church to talk about the Pope's impact locally.

"Also, Connecticutt has several large Polish neighborhoods, so we'll have a leader in the local Polish community on the air as well.

"I saw a report on last night’s 11pm news on NBC30 of a church in New Britain, CT where the Pope visited in the 60’s when he was a cardinal. We'll ask listeners to talk about it."

Email Jay at JayThomas@clearchannel.com. Check out Bosh & Cory's web page. WWYZ streams from its website.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Battle of the 'Burbs

Karen Dalassandro, Scott Dolphin and Radar (The WMIL Moo Crew) are in the midst of a fun parody of March Madness as they qualify 16 players, each one representing a different Milwaukee area suburb, neighborhood or town in a 'tournament' to find out which "'Burb"'s team knows the most about the area. The Moo Crew comes up with an evocative team nickname for the contestant, which then answers trivia questions in an elimination tournament. For more, email Karen Dalessandro, Scott Dolphin, Radar (aka Tony Hess).