Thursday, March 08, 2012

Questionable Advice

1. In the March 26th issue of Radio Ink magazine, the Director of Media and Digital Marketing for La Quinta Inn, Amy Bartle tells radio that our stopsets are too long.

We train our sellers to really understand the buyers' business needs before pitching our wares, but it always seems that media buyers are at the ready to tell us how to run our businesses.

They are only one set of our customers and if their suggestions to stop promoting long sets of content listeners love were taken, we'd deliver fewer sets of ears to hear their ads.

Suggestion: if you want to be the only commercial in a cluster, pay a higher rate and if you pay enough we'd be happy to make your spot the only one we play. But, of course, that would be wasteful, given radio's efficiency and research-proven ability to hold listeners through stopsets.

Focus on creating more engaging commercials and they'll be up to 40% more effective for the same money, no matter where they run.

You want to see clutter? Read your newspaper or watch TV.

Your spot on radio is at center stage when it's on and, unlike TV, most listeners don't skip it.

2. In comments filed with the FCC for its media ownership proceeding, NAB says the current caps, tiered by market size, as well as the AM/FM subcaps that limit how many stations of one service a group can own in a market can no longer be justified and no longer serve the agency’s diversity policy goals.

Small broadcasters have no representation in Washington other than the NAB and perhaps their state broadcasting association, whereas Clear Channel reportedly spends $700,000 annually on their four lobbying firms.

Did the NAB really need to provide stats from Clear Channel as part of their filing?

Certainly, the big guys exert powerful influence on NAB, but hopefully the thousands of small business local owners across America the organization also speaks for got a chance to share their views on further consolidation as well.

I am not necessarily against revisiting the ownership caps, especially when it comes to newspaper crossownership - since many local newspapers have been great stewards of their radio licenses over the entire history of our medium, often providing better local news and public affairs than anyone else in town - but I do wish the NAB's filing had included supportive comments from many of them, instead of CBS and Clear Channel.

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