Saturday, August 30, 2008

9/8 Country Weekly Spotlights Jimmy Wayne And Sara Evans

Wayne is back on the charts with a Top 5 hit, “Do You Believe Me Now,” a song that he considers life-changing.
“We’d already decided on the first single [from his new CD],” Jimmy tells Country Weekly. “But I fell in love with this song and was willing to fight for it.” The label agreed to make “Do You Believe Me Now” the debut single. “That one song catchin’ fire like that is the best thing, because that one thing changed my life,” he says. Jimmy also talks about his traumatic childhood in North Carolina and the time he spent in a place “where the county kept delinquent kids.”

has recently partnered with Libby’s to record the company’s famous commercial jingle (click the link to hear her update of it) and promote family dinnertime. “The whole concept is to bring people back to the dinner table,” Sara tells Country Weekly. “And I have always been a big believer in family dinnertime. So, teaming up with Libby’s on this campaign was perfect for me.” Sara’s version of the famous jingle kicks off Sept. 1 on radio stations nationwide.

More: Kirt Webster, Webster & Associates Public Relations 615-777-6995

Future Look V: The Target Has "A. A. D. D."

.. advertising attention deficit disorder.

Prediction: behavioral measurement of our audience in motion and the push for greater accountability, already a factor in the decline in our traditional revenue sources, will either improve the customer service and divisibility of our product or our commercial loads/revenues will be pushed down to acceptable limits by the marketplace.

Commercial interruptions won’t maintain audience in a world becoming accustomed to permission marketing. Radio’s commercial creative is going to improve, radio’s localism, relevance and content is going to become compressed and much more creative, imaginative and emotional.

It has to. We have no other option.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tim's Greatest Hits, Coming Faster And Faster

McGraw's previous greatest hit packages, 2006’s Tim McGraw Reflected: Hits Vol 2 and Greatest Hits released in 2000, have collectively sold nearly 8 million copies and both debuted at #1 on the country chart. Curb Records will release Tim's Greatest Hits 3 on October 7, 2008. Meanwhile, you can also look for him in the children's section of your library or bookstore too!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

CMA Awards Finalists

The announcement of the final nominees for the 2008 CMA Awards will be carried live Wednesday, Sept. 10, on network and cable television from the “Good Morning America” studios in the heart of New York City’s Times Square on the ABC Television Network, and from the Sommet Center in Nashville on a special edition of CMT’s “CMT Insider.”

“The 42nd Annual CMA Awards” will be broadcast live from the Sommet Center in Nashville Wednesday, Nov. 12 (8:00-11:00 PM ET/delayed PT) on ABC.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Pre-Fall Book Programmer's Action Plan

1. Focus on fun. This is why they listen and how we'll keep them. Calling yourself 'fun' doesn't make you 'fun.' Creativity and originality in content is the path to a more fun image and perception. Ask yourself every day what you created today to make the station more engaging, interesting, up-to-date and more fun for listeners to experience.

2. Relevancy. Talk about things that interest country listeners and provide a sense that the station is current and up-to-date. Listen for 20 minutes. How often are your personalities relating relevant content? More is better.

3. Improve unaided awareness. Eliminate silent cume by continually reinforcing your branded identity with creativity, humor and freshness, thus being consistently top of mind on the air and by being visible "everywhere" in the community. Repeating position statements and call letters over and over no longer works. Now, the key is to hook the listener in the first few words as many times per quarter hour as possible. Doing and saying lots of very memorable things is the best way to be memorable.

4. Improve usage. Create more specific occasions of listening per day and days per week by building strong 'reasons to listen.' Real radio usage is driven more by what the listener is doing at any given time, less by what YOU are doing. Understand where, how and when they are available to listen to radio and get in synch with that. Stop incessant teasing with lists of artists, songs and benchmarks which are "coming up later." PPM has demonstrated that the average listener is on to these tricks and either ignores them or, even worse, hears them as a warning that commercials are coming up immediately.

5. Improve the morning show. Create a presence in entertainment value, weather, traffic, news/sports/celebrity gossip that's fresh, full of interesting story-telling. Communicate feelings, not facts.

6. Increase listener interactivity. Provide an outlet for the passion new country listeners have for the music and the lifestyle which resonates with core values. Use listeners to SELL your key impages, not your "big" station voice.

7. Use the morning show, once it is fully developed and ready for the exposure, to market the station. Build credibility for your morning talent, then use them as marketing salespeople for the station. They should personify all the desired elements, but especially FUN.

8. Make the morning a launching pad for other dayparts, especially at work listening. Create regular "at work" daily benchmarks shortly after 8 am, 10 am, 1 pm and 3 pm that will remind ARB diarykeepers in the station's audience that they start their day with the station and then listen at work at those "memory posts" that involve all three weekday dayparts.

9. As time permits, once the above objectives have been accomplished, recycle to weeknights and the weekends. Goal: get at least 35% of your total week cume into each of these dayparts.

Seven Highly Effective Email Habits

David Baker riffs on Stephen Covey's "7 Habits" and their application to thoughtful email marketing (click to read the entire article):

Habit 1: Be Proactive.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind.
Habit 3: Put First Things First.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood.
Habit 6: Synergize.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw.

Come to think of it, this isn't just about email; it's about all the content we do on the air and off.

PS: David Baker is vice president of e-mail solutions at Avenue A/Razorfish.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Future Look (Part IV): Radio 2.0

Another stab at looking through the crystal ball: the best companies will look for inexpensive and easy ways to create really good and relatable content, simple ways to distribute it and a popular way to access it.

Prediction: if you think the last decade has been a roller coaster ride of rapid change and adaptation, get ready for more speed and intensity, as we learn to create and monetize blogs, podcasts, downloads, analog meets digital, social media, mobile video, citizen journalism, texting, RDS, HD.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Radio Outpaces Ad Market Growth In Canada (Again!)

Stats Canada: Private radio broadcasters' advertising revenue advanced 6.0% to $1.5 billion (current dollars), outpacing advertising market growth as a whole for the third time in five years.

The industry's financial success during the recent past was due largely to economic growth and industry restructuring. Among other things, regulatory changes in 1998 allowed for greater concentration of ownership, which helped radio withstand the competition from other media. The industry also rationalized its operations by transferring AM stations to the generally more popular and more profitable FM band.

FM radio played a predominant role in the industry's results. In 2007, it generated 78.3% of advertising revenues and 94.6% of profits before interest and taxes, which is a little more than in 2006 in both cases.

The size of the market has also been a key factor for radio broadcasters' profitability. In 2007, radio stations operating in the five largest census metropolitan areas generated almost twice as much profit before interest and taxes per dollar of revenue as stations operating in smaller markets. Large markets have had this advantage for several years.

Hey, American radio owners: maybe it's time to look hard at what's different about radio in Canada. Canadians have been watching American business for many years, and it shows, EH?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Taylor Swift's "IM-mature Sense Of Humor"

Swift is featured in this week's Country Weekly and reveals how family and friends have helped her in her rise to fame, and the lessons she’s learned along the way.

The 18-year-old superstar notes that her parents keep her grounded in the midst of the whirlwind of fame, but have no interest in managing her career.
“They are just very supportive of my career in making sure that all the decisions are right. I’m not opposed to falling in love,” she confesses, while adding that there is no one special in her life right now. “I seriously think there is a complete perfect Prince Charming out there for me somewhere, someone who has great hair and a completely immature sense of humor and everything that I want. I just haven’t found him yet.”

In the story, a typo had Taylor saying “a completely mature sense of humor”—but she actually said “immature sense of humor.”

For Further Information Please Contact: Webster & Associates Public Relations at 615-777-6995 (Kirt Webster)

Friday, August 22, 2008

ARB Diary Distortion Isn't New, But In The Internet Age, We All Live In Glass Houses

.. and, when you live in a glass Arbitron household, everyone talks about it, you (and even your possible impending firing?): "DePetro's wife blamed in radio ratings scandal"

Honesty has always been the best policy just because it is (especially, if like me you have a bad memory!). Now, in the age of chat rooms and blogs, politican or radio performer, it's always your best option.

Once the bad buzz begins and it's out there, it's OUT THERE, big time
! (click to read today's latest posts about John Depetro)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Future Look (Part III)

Here's another (educated?) guess on the future of media and our business: Keep an eye on Oaktree Capital and Howard Marks’ investments through Triton Media. He’s putting together an impressive team, aggregating multiple platforms all across North America (and possibly ultimately beyond) to integrate customized technology and an aggressive multi-platform selling strategy.

Google, Apple, Microsoft, CBS, Tribune and Clear Channel, among other enlightened corporations (click on the image to see more of them) – many of which we don’t even know about as yet - have also tried to put together equally-strong assets to aggregate the only part of media today where revenues are growing with their existing resources.

Prediction: it won’t be too long before we find out if one or more of today’s highly-leveraged, debt-ridden radio companies is too big to fail or not, in spite of their continuing ability to bring 40-50% of revenues to the bottom line.

Unless the banking liquidity crisis ends soon, cost-cutting will continue not just in radio and media, but throughout the American economy. The winners will be the ones who best judge how to keep a strong local image, driven by unique non-duplicable content.

Rascal Flatts, Tim and Keith Urban News

Rascal Flatts have added additional dates to their “Bob That Head Tour” that will take the tour through November 2, 2008 with opening act Taylor Swift. Shows set for this upcoming weekend include sell-outs at Hartford’s New England Dodge Music Center and Hershey’s Giant Center with 50,000 fans in attendance. Remaining dates in 2008 include:

8-22 Hartford, CT New England Dodge Music Center
8-23 Scranton, PA Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mtn
8-24 Hershey, PA Giant Center
8-29 Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center
8-30 Pittsburgh, PA Post Gazette Pavilion
8-31 Syracuse, NY New York State Fair
9-11 Virginia Beach, VA Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
9-12 Philadelphia, PA Susquehanna Bank Center
9-13 Mansfield, MA Tweeter Center
9-18 Louisville, KY Freedom Hall
9-19 Peoria, IL Peoria Civic Center
9-20 Detroit, MI The Palace
9-25 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
9-26 Bossier City, LA CenturyTel Center
10-9 Omaha, NE Qwest Center
10-10 St Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
10-11 Green Bay, WI Resch Center
10-23 Columbia, SC Colonial Center
10-24 Knoxville, TN Thompson Boling Arena
11-2 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun
11-3 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun

Tim McGraw heads back to Rayville, Louisiana on Saturday, September 13, 2008 to host Swampstock 2008 presented by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s Neighbor’s Keeper Foundation. Net proceeds from the activities will benefit the Neighbor’s Keeper Foundation’s local initiatives.

This year’s event will host a new location for the nightly concert on the steps of the Richland Parish Courthouse and will feature performances by Catherine Raney, Halfway to Hazard, Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean, Faith Hill and McGraw.

And for the first time Habitat for Humanity of Ouachita will be an additional partner with Swampstock on a community build beginning September 9 and wrapping Saturday, September 13 to refurbish the Rayville Recreation Center.

“We are anxious to return this year with an amazing line up of artists,” says McGraw. “In addition to supporting Rayville Youth Baseball and the Steve Colvin Scholarships, it’s a great to add Habitat for Humanity of Ouachita and keep the focus on helping the local community. I’m encouraging everyone to help us make this one of the most successful Swampstock’s ever.”

KC Masterpiece and Kingsford, recent sponsors of McGraw’s “Live Your Voice Tour,” will also help “fire up” Swampstock as a sponsor and support the Habitat Build.

CMT.COM reports that Keith Urban will duet with countrywoman, Olivia Newton-John, on her forthcoming album, Olivia Newton-John & Friends: A Celebration in Song.

The two will sing "Sunburned Country," a song they co-wrote for an earlier album of Newton-John's "Olivia (2)." Royalties from her new project are being donated to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Center, a comprehensive center for the treatment, care and research of all types of cancer. The album, comes out Sept. 2, is important to Newton-John, 60, a breast cancer survivor herself, and will also include pairings with musical friends such as Sir Cliff Richard, Barry Gibb, John Farrar Delta Goodrem and Richard Marx.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Larche Brings Country To FM In Sudbury

"There has been a long gap in this market for an FM country station for more than 18 years. Now, we're going to fill it."
Sudbury's Star reported the sign-on: Look for "Jack and Diane" to be front and centre with everything that goes on at the northwest corner of Elm and Durham streets starting Monday morning.

"Everything that you have to make or do has to relate to Jack and Diane," explained Mick Weaver, station manager and general sales manager of KICX 91.7 FM, Greater Sudbury's new FM country music station, of the approach the station will take. Jack and Diane refers to the rural, working-class teen couple in the John Cougar Mellencamp song of the same name from the early 1980s.

KICX 91.7 FM will feature "hot, new country" -- country music no older than seven years 70 per cent of the time in order to reach the younger country music listener. Think Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain and Big & Rich, instead of George Jones, Tammy Wynette and Charley Pride. That new country sound, explained Weaver, is aimed at the 25-plus crowd that works hard and plays hard. It will mirror the format in use at the award-winning KICX 106 FM in Barrie-Midland-Orillia, the new station's "sister" or flagship station.

"It's the most acclaimed, independent broadcasting format in Ontario," said Weaver. "KICX was selected radio station of the year five of the last six years by the Canadian Country Music Association." KICX FM won in the Station of the Year -- secondary market category.

.. and A&O is proud to be involved with Weaver, PD Trinette Atkinson, Paul Larche and his top-flight team of perennial winners!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Nod For The Best Quote Of Tejano Music Seminar '08

Yesterday in Dallas on the "State Of The Industry" panel, Texas Music Office director Casey Monahan said it:
"The music (and I'd add radio too) business is walking backwards into the future, looking at the past."

It was an honor to be on the Country Music Radio panel, put together for the Tejano Music Seminar by Country Radio Seminar Exec Director Ed Salamon with KSCS' MD Chris Huff, the multi-talented, multi-lingual artist Rick Trevino (he will have an announcement about a new LP very soon and perhaps a new label as well), Edison Media Research's Sean Ross and moderated by independent journalist Ramiro Burr, who also very expertly led that SOTI panel as well and drew that quote out of the very knowledgeable Monahan, who noted that a challenge for all forms of Latino music is the fact that only 29% of Hispanic households have access to broadband in the latest national census stats, slowing the move to downloads when compared to both African-American and non-ethnic homes, thus the music which targets them.

Burr got some pretty good quotes off too, for example:
"Don't complain, campaign."

I came away from the event confident that these two music forms whose pasts have intertwined many times over the last three decades are going to go into the future more together than we have recently.

Tejano musicians are worried about the viability of their business as Tejano radio is targeting 45+ and playing almost no new music (hard to believe standing at the convention which drew almost 7,000 fans of the music of all ages).

At the same time, there are weeks when I review all of the new Country music coming across my desk and feel like simply moving all the obviously great stuff to power rotation, just dropping all the rest of the sound-alike perennial mid-chart clones.

In order to grow in an increasingly diverse America, both Country and Tejano will require all the fresh, exciting, talented artists we can find. I left Dallas confident that they continue to be very deep wells, flowing with them.

Let's hope Country and Tejano radio find a way to give our listeners a refreshing drink from the musical melting pot, and soon.

Friday, August 15, 2008

If They Don't Like Toby Keith's New Movie In Oklahoma

.. where would they?

The Oklahoman gives it 2 1/2 stars but admits that "TK fans are likely to enjoy it."
Tulsa's World: "beer turns lukewarm"
Daily Variety: "..even ticketbuyers with a hearty appetite for hayseed humor may be repulsed by the coarse cornpone tomfoolery.."

Jaye Albright: "hey, critics, this is just for a fun, country-filled two hours at the movies, Toby's not trying to be the next Shakespeare, he just wants to entertain his fans, one of which is ME."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Radio Ad Lab Study: Not Just For Commercials

Engaging Emotions Through Effective Radio Ads

Here is the second part of a Radio Ad Lab project originally conducted by Gallup & Robinson (G&R) in 2007 and designed to assess how well Radio ads generate emotional responses and engage with consumers, compared to television ads.

Findings from the study reveal that in effective Radio ads, and if you don't mind my adding, Content Breaks as well:

  • Strong beginnings make a difference. An involving point of entry distinguishes some of the most successful Radio ads.
  • Word selection matters. Words that are sensory-laden, emotional, or empowering have a demonstrable impact on the emotional reactions of consumers.
  • Audio can be powerful. Audio can generate stronger emotions than visuals, especially when the tonality in the ad is used effectively.
  • Brand mentions have an impact. The best Radio ads mention the advertiser’s brand multiple times, strategically placed to correlate with moments of high consumer engagement.

The highest scoring and best performing ad in the study exhibited all of the above, a strong indication that Radio commercials are highly engaging to consumers when the creative process follows these patterns.

Download the Full Study
Download the Executive Summary

Big Research: Gas Prices Decrease, Confidence Increases

§ Practicality eases in August
U.S. employment outlook improves
Close to majority feel “worse off” financially
Drivers still wary about spending on alternative goods
Shoe Wars: Wal-Mart surrenders to Payless this month
Wal-Mart or Whole Foods for organics?
Purchase Intent: Computers, TVs up from July, August ‘07
What’s Hot? Paper, Plastic, or Neither? (click to read about it all)

If you don't want to wait for a click: many consumers are now saying “neither” as reusable shopping bags as what’s hot this month, according to 70.6%…the Beijing Olympics (68.7%) and compact cars (66.2%) are on-trend as well.

“Staycations” are a must-do with the 35+ crowd, while the younger set will still likely opt for a Starbucks brew over McDonald’s premium coffee.

Kenny Chesney Tour Bus Collides with Car

Neil Haislop reports Nashville IQ:

One of the thoughts that haunts country singers who have a big road show crossing the country, is that some accident might occur to some vehicle transporting members of their entourage. Kenny Chesney's always been proud of his gang of folks inhabiting his huge caravan of buses and trucks. So, it wasn't good news to him that yesterday morning on their way to tonight's Poets & Pirates Show in New Orleans Arena, that a car broadsided the Sponsor bus just outside of Jackson, Mississippi. (click to see TV chopper photos)

A passenger vehicle had hit the back quarter bay of the Corona bus, which was carrying two sponsorship reps - not members of Chesney's staging team as has been previously reported. Slowing down, the driver saw the car bounce off a wall, back into the bus and begin to spin. Bringing the bus to as quick a stop as a 45 foot tour bus can manage with sleeping passengers, they came to rest 150 yards away.

“We were all kinda surprised,” says Brett Palmer of AbiJack Management, who is the Corona Extra rep for the tour. “You could feel something, but you couldn't tell what.”
“These are the things you hate hearing,” said Chesney, who was in Nashville working on a video for his “Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven.” the first single from his fall release Lucky Ole Sun. “We all spend so much time on the highways… and you know things happen. It's not reckless, or anyone's fault - except maybe misgauging how big those buses really are. I'm just so glad that everybody's okay… In a situation like this, the fact that nobody's hurt is the best news of all.”

Police arriving on the scene surveyed the damage.The driver of the car was sent to the hospital, but the AbiJack folks were re-assured that no serious injuries had been sustained. They answered a few questions and were released to continue their trip (where he was the 81st man on the field for the New Orleans Saints) in around 15 minutes.

Keith and his wife Nicole Kidman maintain homes in Nashville and Australia. Keith says there are two reasons he does that. One he loves his homeland and wants to maintaing contact with it. But, he also never wanted his countrymen to think he'd forsaken his place of birth.
"I think Australia used to be not so good at dealing with success. If people from Australia went overseas and achieved success, back home they had a real love to want to chop you down really quickly and bring you back to earth. They wanted you to stay humble to the point of humility you know, and thinking almost poorly of yourself. I see that’s changing quite a lot now. There are so many more people leaving Australia to go overseas and achieving success, but these artists, like myself, are not turning their backs on Australia. I’m still proud to be Australian and I make regular trips back there. And I think Australia is beginning to accept, 'OK, we should be more proud parents of our kids going out and achieving things instead of feeling miserable that we didn’t get to do it,' which I think used to be the attitude."

GEORGE STRAIT SAYS THERE'S NOTHING LIKE THAT FIRST 1 Strait now has more #1 hits than any country artist in history. He says every one of them is exciting...but there was no feeling like scoring that first one when “FOOL HEARTED MEMORY” hit the top of the Billboard chart in 1982.
"It was pretty incredible!...Because I just felt fortunate to get a record contract! I’d been trying to do that for quite a few years and I went to Nashville and cut "Unwound and "Unwound" hit 6 on the charts and so they let me do an album. So, I felt real fortunate just to do that and to have one go number one was an incredible feeling!"

RANDY TRAVIS' LETTERMAN APPEARANCE ENCORES TONIGHT His recent appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman, airs again TONIGHT on CBS.

Her solo career is off to a good start as her debut solo CD, What Am I Waiting For, debuts at #2 on Top Country albums chart and makes the top 10 of the all-genre Top 200 chart.

From the road in upstate New York, Newfield states,
“I am so thrilled with the reaction from everyone regarding my new album! The record was such a labor of love and I couldn’t be more proud with the result. This is just the beginning of good music to come.”

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Haircuts Are Coming

The item in "R&R Today" contains a lot of info between the lines:
The radio landscape is littered with hundreds of properties for sale, but it is a “challenging time to be divesting assets,” acknowledges Patrick Communications managing partner Greg Guy, who points out that the cash-flow multiples that once priced a large-market radio station at up to 19 times cash flow may now have dropped to 12 times cash flow. “There has been a squeeze on multiples. Major markets and small markets have squeezed the gap.” He adds that medium markets, which used to trade in the low double digits, may be holding their own best and are now being priced in the area of 10 times cash flow, while the smallest markets are in the seven- to nine-times-cash-flow range.

Veteran broker John Pierce told R&R that he expects buyers will be most interested in acquiring clusters — at least duopolies — whenever possible.
“This is a good time for buying, and it could be a good time to sell, depending on what you are selling,” he expects bulk-station packages to move the fastest because buyers are attracted to “whole markets with cash flow and Arbitron. And there is more of a chance that the buyer will pay 10 times cash flow for the properties.”

Both brokers say would-be buyers are stymied right now by tightening credit as banks and traditional broadcast lenders make it tougher to gain funding. But Pierce expects business to pick up after Labor Day. Closings, as usual, will probably occur just before midnight on December 31.

Prediction: 2009 is going to be a most interesting year with many former owners who cashed out in the 1990's being tempted to return to ownership, hopefully, at good prices - perhaps even less than what they sold for a decade ago - and a lot less leverage, which is going to make it tougher than ever for today's debt-ridden consolidated public companies.

Next year could be a great one for live, local radio and the people who know how to attract, entertain, maintain and merchandise an engaged and local audience.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Future Look (Part II)

Music trends and our business: Historically, country music and rock formats have tended to do well in difficult economic times.

Prediction: this means that country music and rock are in for a pretty good three to seven year run, because the 25 year super bubble that was the U.S. economy over the last two decades has now burst and the general public is very much aware of that fact.

The last “Greatest Generation” rose to the occasion of World War II. All of us who work for a living are about to be tested in the same way. This time, it’s not a war or a tyrant, it’s rethinking where our gross national product is going to come from, how to tax that, how to start growing the retail Main Street economy again, protect the environment and our security, while competing/cooperating globally against/with extremely powerful forces.

The free market and Democracy are powerful allies in our corner, but there’s no painless way to treat what ails us short term. Strong leadership, truth telling and sacrifice will be required.

The stakes are very high.

I am betting that Americans will recover our former economic strength at some point in the medium term future, but it’s not a sure thing, if we continue to delay the hard choices which affect our competitiveness in the world.

(click to read my first stab at predicting our tomorrow and request for yours too)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Steal This From Clear Channel (I Bet They Won't Mind)

Have you spent time with the "advertise on radio" website, which is accessible from every Clear Channel station's home page?

Anyone who sells radio for a living, especially anyone who competes with Clear Channel, needs to listen and read everything on "Why Radio?", "How Radio Works," and "Creating A Commercial."

Friday, August 08, 2008

Good Manners

Tim Manners writes and edits one of my favorite daily marketing email idea sheets, Cool News, for Reveries Magazine, so he lives and exemplifies the term "relevance" every day for me.

His new book on "Making Stuff That Matters" comes out in five weeks, but as a friend of A&O's here's a jump start on Chapter One of "Relevance" (click to read it all)
"...brands frequently sell themselves short by failing to see their consumers as we see ourselves. More often than not we are more similar than we are different from one another when it comes to what we expect from our brands. "

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Future Look (Part I)

Inside Radio's Mike Kinosian has asked me and a number of other people for their opinions on the outlook of our business to be included in a special Inside Radio publication to be distributed at this year’s NAB Radio Show/Austin.

Here's my first take at the assignment:

It’s good that Inside Radio is going to have a large number of people contribute to this, because there is so much information on so many things coming instantly at us all from multiple wired and unwired sources that no one can be a “Futurist” on more than a few things these days.

Prediction: it’s going to get worse. This means that all of us need to decide what areas of life and business impact our personal goals and spend the majority of your time focused on those only. Reassess these priorities on a regular basis. The pace of adoption of new technologies and their accompanying impacts on the culture and economy may mean that what got you to your goals yesterday, won’t do so tomorrow.

What about you? What do you think is going to happen next?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Miley Cyrus Takes Over The Teen Choice Awards

She not only hosted, but accepted her three awards with a lot of class, as the Jonas Brothers and Gossip Girl added to their trophy cases as well. I'd bet that this was the show to watch on Fox last night for most folks, not - sadly - NBC's Nashville Star.

A nice Gen Y touch: the voting continues AFTER THE AWARDS as fans are encouraged to cast ballots for their favorite moments from the TV show.

Can I Get An "Amen?"

Blair Garner's 15th Anniversary of doing "After Midnight" comes up on November 15, as the show and Blair move to Nashville in October.
"Never foresake the music. There is still a great place in this world of radio for practicing word economy and being the listener's friend. Talk to your kids and learn to speak their language. Content is king and as long as we provide the content and stay true to our focus, we're going to be fine. (Career highlight?) The relationship we have with listeners. It is never lost on me. I am always amused when somebody relates to a specific moment during the program. I get so angry when people on the air don't realize what a great gift we have been given. People are kind enough to invite us into their homes, vehicles and work spaces. Every person that calls our program, we end those calls saying thanks for listening, thanks for calling. Everyone is given respect." -- Blair Garner, to Erica Farber, R&R Publisher's Profile, 8/1/08

Monday, August 04, 2008

Call Me Disappointed, Nashville Star

First, "After Midnight's" Blair Garner spoke with the three remaining contestants about the role that radio will play in their careers as future Country artists, then the show named Melissa Lawson, a female Buddy Jewel as far as I am concerned (sorry, Buddy!). I wish I thought she WAS ready to stand.

I hope I am wrong, but my guess: radio is going to play next to no role in this aspirant's career. What a shame that country music gets on TV and this is the best they can find.

CRS-40 Is Seven Months Away And It's Already Making You Smarter

For 39 years the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville has been making thousands of people smarter year after year. As a way of getting you to think differently about coming to CRS whether your employer gives you the time off and pays your expenses or not, I'm going to propose you do what some of the richest people in the world have been doing to make real money while the rest of the world is complaining about a weak economy.

How can Southwest Airlines be the lone profitable American carrier, while other airlines are reporting red ink quarter after quarter?

It's because Southwest pays less for its fuel.


Futures contracts.

Southwest thought longer term and bought jet fuel for both its airplanes and its balance sheets at last year's prices.

You can do the same thing with CRS-40, your company and your career.

But, you must act now. Early bird registration for CRS-40 just opened this week. The early bird registration rate has been held at $499 for the past three years in order to help those for whom cost is an issue, especially those who pay for their own registration. It will never be a better bargain.

The registration cost goes up on December 15, 2008.

Here's a plan: put the CRS in your 2009 convention travel budget.

When the budget is approved by your company (they probably know already how valuable CRS is to improving your knowledge, skills and is an unparalleled networking opportunity), be a hero and let your boss know that you wanted your station to be just like Southwest Airlines so you got the registration at the lowest possible price. You're a hero.

But, what if they don't approve that budget? What if they say you can only go to CRS in 2009 if you take vacation time?

Think of CRS-40 as a star-studded, entertainment-filled, knowledge- driven vacation, three and a half days on fun, a reunion with some of the most influential players in the country radio and music businesses.

Even better, it's a tax write off from your personal taxes if your company doesn't reimburse you for it.

Just try to find a more fun, informative, star-studded vacation for so little money with such a big payoff! You can't.

And, you can't get the IRS to allow you to deduct that weekend in Branson or Caribbean weekend cruise either.

I've been attending CRS for 34 of its 39 years. I guarantee that it's worth every penny.

Be smart. Play the future between now and December 15 ..YOUR future.

John Rich Attracts "A Few Hundred" For McCain

The Washington Posts's Juliet Eilperin was in Panama City, Florida, when Rich kicked off the "Country First" show with "Can I get a yee-haw?"

A few hundred? (And The Show Was FREE!) Look for yourself, the video - wouldn't you know it - is on Fox News and decide if someone needs a new publicist OR the Post reporter was underestimating the crowd.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

KYGO Keeps It Simple And Effective

How do you get weekend listeners to tune in Monday? Here's how they are doing it in Denver:
98-5 KYGO gives you control of what we play on the air. That's why every Monday is KYGO's My Triple Play Monday. You tell us the three songs you want us to play and why. Then every hour from 9am to 5pm we will play'em back! Submit your three songs below and listen every Monday from 9am to 5pm! KYGO is built by Denver for country 98-5 KYGO.