Thursday, January 22, 2009

So, "Radio Needs To Change?"

Inside Radio reports Clear Channel Radio CEO John Hogan says “Radio needs to change in fundamental ways," eh?

Before drinking that Kool Aid, please take a good look at the broad demographic scope and reach of radio usage in just two typical major markets, New York and Philadelphia (each dot is one metered user, in a matrix of age/amount of radio used, with heavy users ranging across from very young to very old, click on the graphic to enlarge it) presented last month by Arbitron VP/PPM Sales John Snyder.

All ages, from age six to 100 appear to be using a lot of radio! So, which needs changing? Radio? Or, the way the consolidated companies manage and sell it?

Here's hoping that after the changes Hogan is contemplating occur at his stations this year, the listenership remains this strong.


Sonny Melendrez said...

Imagine that radio is a horse pulling a cart and that cart is sales. As long as the horse is healthy and happy, the cart moves forward.

Now imagine putting the cart before the horse. The horse is confused, slows down, and eventually stops.

Radio before sales, broadcasting before profit, excellence before the bottom line: Any way you say it, great radio will always be what attracts listeners. Any changes that prevent that from happening are counter-productive.

There will always be qualified radio sales professionals. Let's not stop giving them something to sell.

Giddy up!

Sonny Melendrez

Anonymous said...

Of course, I vote my vote with you. Your points are well thought out and correct.

I suggest that you and I are not in the same busienss as Joe Hogan (in other words - he isn't in radio. Just you and I are in this business. He is re-engineering his business with other goals in mind that are separate from the actual broadcast business.

Just an opinion.

Loyd Ford

Gina said...

Good stuff. I said this 25 years ago at an RAB conference, 'Why has radio paid for the knife that cuts it's own throat" I guess keeping a "flawed score "was more important than connecting to the listener. I love Seth Godin's quote from your blog "The opportunity is to realize that what you do for a living now is not interrupt the masses but instead lead and connect a tribe. "The worst enemy of a radio station is the Arbitron ratings (and perhaps a mass appeal hit song for a label or an artist?) because they force you to abandon the tribe." Spot on!!!

Bill Barrett, KKNU, Eugene said...

I have been at Broadcasting for 39 years. I started in college running the board for NBC's Weekend Monitor, that was 1969. I have transitioned from, cue burned 45's, to carts to CD's to a mouse.

I grew up near San Francisco and listened to KFRC,KYA, K101 and most of all KSFO.

Russ the "Moose" Syracuse was my idol. He was so at ease behind the mic, and so fun to listen to because he made me want to listen....not only was he damn funny but he said great things about where he lived and I lived there too.

I have had the good fortune to work with some great radio people, real characters.

The one thing they had in common was a wonderful way of connecting thru the microphone and touching people.

THAT'S RADIO...that cannot die.

Throwing a switch, and leaving this powerful entity in the hands of a computer is having disastrous consequences. I hear it everyday from stations in my market, dead air, program audio overlapping, network countdowns on air. This corporate attempt at frugality is killing once great radio stations.

We MUST prove our worth, we MUST encourage new talent.

We MUST put stations back together again. I will put great local, live, in touch, creative radio up against any other medium today.

Radio is more than an industry it's an is a powerful emotion.

I still love what I do, love where I live, love the chance to create something new and different each day.

Radio can be as great as the people who create it.