Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Country Lovemarks

Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising wrote the book "Lovemarks: the future beyond brands" several years ago and has just updated his theories in a new one, "The Lovemarks Effect: Winning in the Consumer Revolution."

A very cool aspect of the book is its companion website, where consumers are encouraged to nominate brands they love and would call their personal lovemarks.

Country artists making the top 100: (43) Keith Urban, (79) Alison Krauss, (93) Reba McEntire, (94) Toby Keith and (99) Patsy Cline.

"At the core of every Lovemark is Respect. No Respect? It’s not a Lovemark. It’s as simple as that."

Put Your Brand To The Test by clicking here

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Toby Keith, Hero

People's Eileen Finan broke the story: TK and his USO tour troupe encountered mortar fire while they were performing in Afganistan.

Keith, on an 18-show USO tour through the Persian Gulf, was right in the middle of his song "Weed With Willie" when mortar fire on the base interrupted him Thursday night.

"We all ran about 100 yards to a concrete bunker," says Keith's agent, Curt Motley, who is also on the USO tour. Keith, 46, and his band hunkered down with the soldiers in a bunker about an hour, signing autographs and posing for shots to pass the time.

Ask anyone who has spent quality time with him: Keith does this dangerous duty because of his tremendous respect and admiration for the job our troops are doing.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Gentle Reminder From Your Calendar

The baby boomers have been starting to hit "retirement age" this year.

On January 1, 1946, an 18 year period known as the post-war baby boom began. In 1946, 3.4 million children were born in the U.S. 78 million babies were born from 1946 to 1964: so, 10,000 people will turn 62 each day for the next ten years. There are 68 million people who are 62+ today, 44 million are 31 to 42 and 72 million are under 31.

PREDICTION: Today's teens and tomorrow's senior citizens are the biggest demo targets of 2008. Common threads that reach both: fun, lifestyle and family.

The smaller in number, but acquisitive age, demos in between feel ignored and misunderstood. Musical preference and attitude differences greatly outnumber similarities. Fragmentation and niche marketing will continue to proliferate, but - thus far - country music radio continues to be at its most successful when targeted 'mainstream.'

Luckily, for country today at a time when our artist base is getting narrower not broader and real 'hit' songs are fewer and farther between, there is more polarity between men and women than there is between younger and older target listeners.

One big change: a song from before 1994 has to have received a lot of airplay in the last five years to still work for you as a cume and TSL magnet if you hope to attract 25-34.

Media Audit: Radio & Outdoor Are No Longer The Only Out-Of-Home Media

Over the past decade, the transformation of the traditional shopping mall has generated interest among major advertisers to utilize the modern day mall as an out-of-home medium, capable of reaching consumers where and when they are ready to buy. Enclosed shopping malls, which proliferated in the 70's, are now giving way to open-air lifestyle centers and outlet malls, all of which offer marketing opportunities such as digital screens and kiosks strategically placed throughout entrances, food courts, escalators and corridors for shoppers to view. Shopping malls also offer advertisers the ability to interact with customers through sampling, product demonstrations, and events.

Data from The Media Audit enables marketers to profile shoppers of local malls and compare qualitative characteristics against other media such as radio, television, cable, print and the Internet. For example, adults who shop Town & Country Village in Houston are nearly three times as likely to be buying a new car, van, truck or SUV in the next twelve months - a figure that is higher than any other media audience in the Houston market except for the Wall Street Journal. Nearly 24% of the mall's shoppers plan to buy a new vehicle in the next twelve months, compared to only 8.2% for the total market. Shoppers of this mall are also more likely than the market to own brands such as Mercedes, Acura, Volvo and BMW.

The relatively small outdoor shopping mall located on Houston's growing West side features upscale shops such as Williams Sonoma, Restoration Hardware and Ann Taylor, appealing to upscale suburban consumers. In many cases, malls like these represent an alternative to traditional in-home media and are growing in numbers. Simon Property Group, the largest shopping mall owner in the U.S. offers more than 2,000 screens in 50 malls for advertisers to air commercials.

Super regional malls such as Mall of America in Minneapolis-St. Paul and the mall complex at King of Prussia in Philadelphia could offer significant reach opportunities for major advertisers. According to The Media Audit, more than a quarter of adults in Minneapolis shop Mall of America most often and more adults shop at King of Prussia in Philadelphia than any other local shopping mall. For more information on local shopping mall data, contact Phillip Beswick.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Courageous Chesney

Not that he has ANYTHING to prove in the "Entertainer Of The Year" category, but Kenny is the front page story in Sunday's edition of the Columbia State newspaper and for very good reason. It was supposed to be a spectacular entrance — Kenny Chesney rising from underneath the stage.

Lots of links to click on via the newspaper's site:

UPDATE: Chesney treated for injury

Chasin' Chesney - Sunday: Wrapping it up

Chesney concert

Inside: Fans abuzz
Pirate Island, KennyGate
Spotted: Fan photos

VIDEO: Pre-show fun, festivities

Friday, April 25, 2008

An Open Letter To Saul Levine

Hey, Saul...

I'll bet a lot of us felt the same way when we saw R.J. Curtis' R&R item today:
At Long Last, Our National Nightmare Is Over: You know, the one that's been eating away at all of us since Wednesday, when we found out Todd Baker, former afternoon personality at Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters' KKGO/Los Angeles, announced he'd landed a morning gig that would involve howling but he couldn't say just where? Today, the other paw dropped, and it turns out Baker is headed to Huntsville, Ala., for wakeups at Cumulus' WWFF (93.3 the Wolf). In giving us the rest of the story, Baker enthused, "I can't wait to bring personality morning radio to the Huntsville country audience," and he vowed "not to play the same 30 songs over and over!" Baker will launch his show as a solo act, but will search for a sidekick while on-air, auditioning "everyone interested, from housewives to rocket scientists." Baker says even trained professionals will be considered by contacting
When's the last time that a Los Angeles air personality quit to move to Hunstville so that he could make more money? I know that you have built your stations to what they are today by being extremely frugal, but aren't you billing enough now to get the best air personalities in the country format nationally on your air staff and then keep them longterm?

The more you put into country as a format, the more you'll get out of it, I promise.

Your friend,


Surprise! Who’s Watching What Video Online, And Where

Sonny Melendrez hosts San Antonio's first all-Internet radio station and I have blogged about the fact that his compelling site and email blasts give him a larger audience than he ever had when he was on the FM dial in either Texas or California, but now it's time to pay attention to his success in online video too.

Check out what he's been doing. Try it on for size. Will you really need a transmitter and antenna some day?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

60 Shows A Year Is Toby Keith's "Magic Number"

Toby tells Neil Haislop that he used to do over twice as many dates each year than he does these days. He says over the last few years he's kept his tour dates to around a magic number of 60 big shows a year.
"We used to do a hundred or so, in '95 I did 150 shows. But, through the years we got it down to doing the 60 biggest cities and call it good. We try to protect our markets and stay out of there a year," he says so as not to burn out their welcome. "There are some like Boston, Detroit and Pittsburgh, D.C. and other places where we had to do two shows at those amphitheaters and we'll have four or five of those that will add it up a little bit."

TOBY'S BIGGEST AND BADDEST TOUR 2008 kicks of June 19th in Birmingham, Alabama. Montgomery Gentry will open for him along with Show Dog Nashville's fresh new trio Carter's Chord, comprised of the three Robertson sisters, and new signing Mica Roberts

Surveys And Soup

Our high speed tech-driven culture teaches us to expect instant solutions and fast answers. From my current perspective, traveling in Eastern Europe it's a bit easier to take a more measured pace and a longterm view on the Cumulus RFP, PPM panel problems and diary samples which are too small, creating weighting factors which are going beyond the pale. (click to read my article on the topic, "Is It Soup Yet? Will It Ever Be?")

Monday, April 21, 2008

Kudos To WYCD, Doing What Radio Does Best

99.5 WYCD/Detroit is throwing a birthday party for injured Capac Police Chief Raymond Hawks. The Capac Chief was involved in a widely publicized gun shooting incident and was in critical condition in a Detroit Hospital.

Last Friday morning on WYCD’s Dr Don Morning Show, Dr Don, Rachael Hunter and Steve Grunwald played the 911 call from Chief Hawks and discussed the events that led to his shooting. They sadly noted that Chief Hawks spent his 61st birthday in a drug-induced coma in Port Huron Hospital and started getting a strong reaction from the audience. Dr. Don said, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could throw him the birthday party he missed once he gets out of the hospital?” And, with that, an idea was born.

Over the course of the rest of the program, Michigan businesses and citizens tied up the phone lines volunteering goods and services to make the coming home/birthday party for Chief Hawks a reality. After donating his establishment as a venue for the event, Coyote Joe’s owner Joe Hellebuyck said, “I’m a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and it bothered me greatly to hear what had happened to Chief Hawks. My family and I are praying for his speedy recovery.” Coyote Joe’s is located in Shelby Township.

“The outpouring of support for this brave and beloved man is absolutely outstanding,” said WYCD’s Dr Don Carpenter. “Motor City residents are anxious to show this man their gratitude for putting his life on the line.”

WYCD has already contacted numerous country music stars in an attempt to find one who will perform at Chief Hawks’ birthday party. At the moment, there’s no date for the event. That will be decided once Hawks’ condition improves.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What The US Will Be Doing With SMS Text, The Rest Of The World Does Now

(Photo: me in Sophia doing what I do best) If you have a Bulgarian car tag and you park in any area marked with a blue curb you can text your license number for two hours' parking to be billed to your cell phone.

Then, in two hours, you get a text message that allows you to buy another two hours instantly if you want!

Are you planning ways to use text messaging to make life easier for your listeners (and to make money at the same time? The rest of the world is!

Are Your Listeners So Loyal They Tell Their Friends About You?

I love this poll from Phil Rist of Big Research in Columbus on the political candidates. It seems like a very good gauge of strong loyalty.

The Net Promoter® Score* (NPS) has been called the “ultimate question” that can determine a company’s future. So what happens when you apply the NPS to the 3 major presidential candidates? BIGresearch did just that by asking more than 8,000 respondents to their April Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey to rank the candidates using the NPS and the results were compelling.

Here is how the NPS works: respondents are asked to rate, on a scale from 0 (Not at all likely) to 10 (Extremely likely), the probability they would recommend a candidate to a friend or coworker. 10 and 9 responses indicate Promoters, 8 and 7 responses are Passives and 0 through 6 are Detractors. NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.

Here is how each of the major presidential candidates ranks according to their NPS among all consumers and by political party.

Obama Clinton McCain
-48.8% -52.3% -56.0%
-13.4% -10.8% -82.2%
-84.0% -89.3% -9.1%
-51.9% -63.0% -65.5%

Source: BIGresearch, April 08 CIA
*Net Promoter, NPS and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld

Clinton scores better than Obama among Democrats.

Interestingly, McCain has a better score within his own party than either Obama or Clinton do within their party which may be due to the competitive nature of the Democratic primary. McCain also scores better with Democrats than either Obama or Clinton do with Republicans which indicates more Democrats are likely to promote him than Republicans promote Obama or Clinton.

23% of respondents align themselves with the Independent Party, and candidates are aware that these are the votes crucial to their success. Obama is the candidate most likely to be recommended by an Independent. His NPS is considerably higher (-51.9%) when compared to Clinton’s (-63%) or McCain’s (-65.5%).

To view data tables for presidential candidates’ NPS, please click here:

What would your listeners say if they were asked if there's a radio station or personality that they enjoy so much that they tell their friends?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Will Cumulus Cross The "Bridge"? Or, Just Hammer ARB For A Better Price?

Jim Carnegie's coverage on Cumulus' RFP has been very thought-provoking. They certainly are not the only small and medium market radio owner wondering who's in charge of hitting diary sample targets within +/- 10% (the only margin of error that meets normal reliability standards) and so it would be wonderful if someone new emerged with an economical and accurate measurement of radio beyond the PPM markets (reliability and consistency in those markets is yet another story, of course, but at least they seem to have ARB fully-engaged right now since it's clearly the future of the company).

Question: Where's Dave Van Dyke? how quickly And, could he relaunch Bridge Ratings?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

IMHO: Paid Search Is Too Expensive For Radio

... at least that's MY experience. (from the don't believe everything you read department: "Paid Search To Acquire, and Email To Retain, Online Retail Customers")

A&O country radio clients have been experimenting with paid search to build cume and recruit competitive station listeners to try our radio stations and have found the results to be very inefficient. Dollar for dollar, good old fashioned highly-targeted telemarketing and direct mail gets a lot more for the money, especially for a format with specific geographic hot and cold pockets for ultra-core listeners.

Have you been trying new media? (i.e. we love social networking to find and grow relationships based on music affinity, for example) What is your experience?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How To Win A Crystal Award

Take a lesson from the great folks at WUBE and KUZZ. A&O is proud to be in the same industry with folks like THESE! Bonneville/Cincinnati's GM Jim Bryant and Owens/Bakersfield's GM Mel Owens have put together two amazing teams who know how it's done.

CONGRATS to both of them, making A&O and all country broadcasters proud.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Taylor Swift: Big CMT Video Awards Winner

My Space brought her to the attention of hundreds of thousands and then country radio. Kudos to CMT for a great show last night and for giving Taylor her due following impressive success in multiple media.

Hats off to Westwood One’s George Achaves, Lon Helton and Chuck Aly for being there with pens in hand (I loved their 'bizarre juxtapositions" line which could not have been more true), gettng the best quotes of the night out to radio:
• Snoop Dogg: “I love country music. I’m honored to be here. It’s underrated.”
• Joe Don Rooney: “I’m taking parenting tips from Gary [LeVox]. I’m preparing like any first time father -- sweating bullets, eating a lot. I’m eating for three now!”
• LeAnn Rimes: “Yeah, the prison outfit, thigh highs and garters. We’re kind of every man’s fantasy tonight.”
• Tom Arnold: “[Jewel’s boyfriend] Ty [Murray] shook my hand and I think he broke some bones.”
• Barack Obama: “Four words: Treasury Secretary Hannah Montana.”
• Taylor Swift: “I had these hot pink heels, but they hurt so bad. I walked past Faith and told her how my feet hurt, and she said ‘Take ‘em off.’ I actually accepted my award bare foot, and Faith Hill told me I could.”
• Gary LeVox: “The only reason we’re here tonight is because of the people in that crowd. It’s unfortunate that all award shows aren’t fan voted.”
• Trace Adkins: [Accepting Male Video] “I’d like to thank Country radio for giving me my first three-week No. 1. I’ve never had that before.”
• Donald Trump: [To Adkins] “Lose my number.”

Sunday, April 13, 2008

April In Nashville: CMT Awards, Gospel Gathering, Marathon + More

AP's Roger Petterson opened up the "Events Calendar" at Nashville's Visit Music City website and (type "music" into the "Event Type" box plus the dates of your visit!) got enough fun events to find his list printed today in a bunch of Sunday paper travel sections.

* On Monday, it's the CMT Music Awards - - at Nashville's Curb Event Center. Even if you can't get in to see the show, it will be broadcast live and will be simulcast on the CMT Web site. And some of the performers could turn up at other venues after the show.

* Nashville music isn't all country. The Gospel Music Association - www.gospel - is holding its Gospel Music Week April 19 through 24, highlighted by the GMA Dove Awards on April 23 at the Grand Ole Opry House. Look for the GMA Week star logo and click on it for events.

* People even run to a musical theme in Nashville. The Country Music Marathon on April 26 - - features something called Bands on the Course. According to the entry under "Entertainment," 50 local bands will play on 28 stages along the marathon route. And there's a concert after the running. Imagine if they did this for the New York and Boston marathons.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hot: The Practical Consumer; NOT: The Economy

BIG Research does a monthly consumer attitudes and lifestyles survey and it appears that looking for ways to save pennies is what folks are doing in Aprilperhaps because cooking at home and “Energy Star” appliances are hot this month!

Bike riding and gardening also rated particularly high among consumers.

The younger (under 35) set still enjoys dining out…women 35+ make Harrison Ford their action hero, while older men are on par with The Masters Tournament.

What’s Not? 80%+ say they wouldn’t be spotted in polka dots.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Dear BIA Financial: "Ouch!"

BIA economist Dr. Mark Fratrik predicts a tough two years ahead:
“Radio has considerable challenges for audience and advertisers, but it’s still viable in lots of places. It’s just more challenging than it was five or ten years ago.”

Good news: many small and medium markets are growing even as the CPP-driven majors are stagnant in '08 and projected to be in '09.

A&O Q&A: Using Your Stream Stats To Learn What Listeners Love/Hate

Q: We have metrics on the flow of our streaming audio audience showing the levels of online listening to the station. Can I use this data to learn about my rated listening as well?

A: You bet you can. Streaming metrics of numerous stations in all three PPM markets have been overlayed with the actual audience behavior as measured by the PPM and the matchup is uncannily similar. So, if you want to know if a specific repetitive and irritating commercial, a new song, or a special event (play-by-play on a music FM) is costing you real audience, just look at your streaming statistics. If you want to know if a contest or prize is working to improve your cume or moving your excisting cume to new listening appointments, check your stream data. Portable People Meter audience flow numbers tend to look very much like it.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hard Work, Personal Contact - The Secret To Jewel's Country Radio Success

A&O's weekly AccuTest national average client research ranks "Stronger Woman" #19 with 21% of our client stations' listeners still unfamiliar with her song. Meanwhile, it appears that it will rank much higher in monitored radio airplay again this week, according to the trade charts.

Why the difference at a time when it seems radio can be slower than molasses on even tunes which test quite well with our client station listeners (for example, Brad Paisley's "I'm Still A Guy" ranks #6 and Jake Owen "Something About A Woman" is #14 in our national track of client listener research, which is running ahead of their monitored spin ranks, the more normal growth trajectory A&O seems to see and expect these days)?

Nashville Answer Man Neil Haislop found the possible reason: Jewel's personal outreach direct to radio programmers and listeners.

Image Have to admit, didn't know what to expect when I first sat down to talk to Jewel. After spending some time with this straight-talking, unpretentious star, who could've been every thing opposite, you get a better understanding of who she is, where she's coming from and where the music comes from.

So, it's not so surprising to hear from the label how she's handled her recent, intense radio tour. It's territory she's covered before...and it was tough enough the first time around in the 1990s she says.

“You know, all of my songs were so hard to get played on the radio. ‘Who Will Save Your Soul?’ just didn’t fit any format, and after a year of promoting it, alternative radio finally began playing it. It was just an uphill battle. ‘You Were Meant For Me’ was a simple shuffle at the time of the Spice Girls. And then ‘Hands’ talked about God on pop radio, which just was not done at that time,” recalls Jewel. “As a result of the struggles to be heard, I did more radio visits than most other pop artists. For me, it really took radio getting to know me and hearing me sing in person. I’ve often joked I went from living in a car homeless to living in a rental car and a bus traveling the country.”

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Q: Why Am I So Smart? A: (smile!!)

I just started a new occasional blog feature which I called "A&O Q&A." You'd think perhaps I had seen this research or something...

SO. Do you have Q&A on your brand's site? If I was as smart as it seems, I'd recommend you do so.

When Your Local Baseball Team Needs Someone To Sing The National Anthem, They Often Turn To Country Music

Blogger Tom Roland actually did the math on it in the past week: Country music doesn't confine itself to the major leagues, either. Taylor Swift's version of the anthem inaugurated the 2007 season for the Reading Phillies.

Little Big Town, who practically toured ballparks doing the "Banner" for several years, led off the Nashville Sounds' season five years ago. And 15 years past, Vince Gill did the same thing, though he skipped a line of the song in the process, probably blinded by the rockets' red glare.

In Texas last week, Jack Ingram delivered the national anthem for the Houston Astros' home opener. This Monday (4/7), Neal McCoy will do the same when the Texas Rangers open their home schedule. Charley Pride -- who trained, as is his tradition, with the Rangers this year -- sang the opening-day anthem for the team two years ago. During this week a year ago, Clay Walker was voicing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Houston's Minute Maid Park.

Singing is not the only connection country stars have to baseball games, though. When the Arizona Diamondbacks won their first game 10 years ago this month, it was a moment of pride for Glen Campbell, a minority owner in the franchise. And 60 years ago, a pitcher with the Henderson Oilers in Texas got injured in his final game: That guy went on to be a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Jim Reeves.

PS: last year's World Series was over in four games, but in two of them, it was country stars -- Carrie Underwood and Trisha Yearwood -- who sang about "the home of the brave."

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A&O Q&A: Q: Do charity radiothons grow my audience?

A: No. In fact they cost you audience big-time in the short term. This is a lesson from PPM markets which can be applied to every market where ratings matter.

A Philadelphia station did a three day radiothon during the Fall ARB and saw its AQH audience literally cut in half the first day of the call for pledges and go down even lower in the second and third days!

For me, this doesn’t mean that you need to stop doing radiothons, since they obviously have a positive impact on your brand, given that in spite of these real losses in listening levels during the event, the diary ratings show no loss in listening at all. In other words, the PPM shows that as many as 50% of your audience changes stations while you beg for bucks, but the diary shows that the sample understands that this is a nice thing for you to do so they don’t punish you for doing it by writing less listening in their books.

Recommendation: rethink the way you do Radiothons. Look at how your local public broadcasters do their fund-raising, promising to stop the drive the instant they hit their goal.

Cut the length of your radiothon in half and double the sense of urgency during the drive for dollars, letting the audience know how limited the time is to reach the goal.

One station in the City Of Brotherly Love tried this and raised more money than they did in the last three day radiothon in just over a day and a half.

Consider placing your radiothons at a time of year when they won’t do ratings damage and will give your normal audience a week to return/recover.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Your Audience Is Highest During Commercials? That's A Good Thing?

El Rushbo is famous for spin, of course, but I am scratching my head over this press release, out this morning:
"In a new study released today, Coleman Insights has found that Rush Limbaugh‘s nationally syndicated radio show generates higher listener shares during commercials than during the actual show. This finding shows that the Rush Limbaugh audience has extremely high anticipation for the show and tunes in through commercials—a testament to his extremely strong brand and the loyalty of his audience."

Hey, Rush: when your commercials beat your show, advertisers have got to feel reinforced by this fact, but I'd say you need to work on your content or watch your brand strength deteriorate! (I'd bet Sean Hannity's show does better than his commercials do..)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Dick Shuey Is Right. Let's Reinstate Hank Williams.

I can't even believe this is a "flap!" Here's Shuey's Opinion on the current Opry flap on Hank Williams...

"It's short n' sweet. We have the Hall Of Fame for the don't we...??? The Opry Makes the History...the Country Music Hall of Fame is the History. Hank Williams made his fare share of Country Music History and was at one time a integeral part of the Opry making History just like so many other great country music stars.... and his music plays on n' on. Who ever came up with idea to protest on such a cause as reinstatement to the opry for Hank Williams doesn't know much about Country Music & it's History."

Is there REALLY anyone who can possibly disagree with that?

Do You Make It Difficult And Unpleasant To Enter Your Contests (With Lots Of Busy Signals And Rude Phone Answerers) For Players?

Sammy Simpson at demonstrates how it's done: make listening and winning fun and easy! Create a social network of your most loyal listeners, folks who enter your contests, sign up for your emails, and your insider rewards program. Show lots of LOVE to your prize pigs!
"It's your own reality show with its own social-network. I launched this site locally for those consumers who are addicted to winning contests. Easy to execute in your city too."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Kagan's 25th: Media Revenues Fragment And Soften

The SNL Kagan Radio/TV Values and Finance Summit today at New York Athletic Club spotlights the outlook for deals, values, revenues, competition and finance across the broadcast landscape.
Our summary table for publicly traded cable, direct broadcast satellite, telco video and overbuild triple-play providers for 2006 to 2007 shows total growth ebbed in fourth quarter 2007 for video, home satellite dish and voice, likely due to overall economic trends. However, revenue/sub quarterly growth was positive for all players, showing pricing resilience.

Social Networking: Can It Save The News Biz?

Erick Schonfeld is uniquely qualified as a former employee of Time Inc. and current writer for TechCrunch (one of the most influential blogs on the Web), to outline the ways in which traditional journalism is becoming more like blogging every day. From Eric’s post: “Just as more and more blogs are building up professional writing staffs, more and more newspapers and magazines are requiring that their writers start blogging….

“Our philosophy is that it is better to get 70 percent of a story up fast and get the basic facts right than to wait another hour (or a day) to get the remaining 30 percent. We can always update the post or do another one as new information comes in. More often than not, putting up partial information is what leads us to the truth — a source contacts us with more details or adds them directly into comments.”

How fast can your news department jump on a developing story, still get the facts right, and involve listeners in the news-gathering process at the same time

Are You Making Money From Your Reward Insider Points Program?

Take a lesson from the airlines and incent sales to grow non-spot dollars with your loyalty program.

Here are links to a few designed for radio which I like and many, many A&O clients use.

You can also design and create your own as well, of course, which means you OWN the database, which is a more time and resources-consuming way to go, but is naturally the ideal.

These folks do it that way. I have asked them if they'd syndicate it and they prefer to keep it proprietary.

Smart, eh?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"Troubadour": Neil Haislop Reviews The LP Launch From Los Angeles

ImageGeorge Strait played L.A. this past weekend and KKGO morning drive star, Shawn Parr tells Haislop:

"I was blown away by how young the audience was that surrounded the stage cheering for George."

We figured there are two reasons for that. First, after 27 years on the charts, George Strait is singing better than ever, masterfully to be precise, and it shows on every cut of his new album. Also, he's a legend that young folks may come to a show to experience, then realize that he's lost none of his vocal power, charm and natural appeal. Amazing to see.

George also has to be super proud of his new, 12 song album, and says the title song is kind of about him.

"It's the title of a great song on the album and it just kind of f it. It's just a kind of romantic way of saying a singer-songwriter...I don't write many songs anymore, but at the time when I did go to Nashville I did write a few songs back then. And it wasn't really about me but it did kind of go along with what I'd done and so it just worked out that way."

The first single from Troubadour is “I Saw God Today” which was George’s highest debuting single ever – it is currently Top 5 and climbing on both charts.

George says, "I Saw God Today' is such a well-written song, it means a lot. Sometimes we take a lot of things for granted, especially anybody that's had a child. When they first see 'em if they're in the delivery room or not when hey first see that child it is truly a miracle and you just realize that all these things that God has given us and how many blessings that we have around us all the time that sometimes just take for granted if you just step back and take a look around you'll see what beauty we have around us and the things he's created for us."

Strait's "Troubador" is deep in strong material that he'll be able to release for a couple of years. One the SUPER STANDOUTS is a duet with a singer who gets credit for helping take Vince Gill to breakout star status in 1990 when she lent her vocals to his tune, "When I Call Your Name."

Patty has emerged strongly again joining George on a future Vocal Event of the Year winner titled, "House of Cash." We're reminded once again of Patty's status as one of the great country vocalists the format has ever had on this excellent ode to Johnny and June.

George says, "Well I've been a fan of Patty's for a long time and think that she's a great singer. It had kind of been in the back of my mind to sing something with her someday. When we got this song it seemed like the right one and I could just hear her singing it so we called her up and she agreed to do it and I think it turned out great."