Thursday, April 30, 2009

Giving Listeners "The Facebook Flu"

Give these personalities and stations lots of credit for making use of social media:

1. Stephen Kilbreath sent a message to the members of 94.1 KMPS: Thanks for watching Waking Crew TV this morning! Some special on-camera contests for people who tuned in this morning. Join us next Thursday for more tomfoolery.
* STEPHEN’S STEW every morning @ 6:30
People’s 100 Most Beautiful list out. 3 country stars on it. The Voice goes silent.
* RANDY’S SPORTS every morning @ 7:30
Yao Ming scared of Swine Flu…maybe the NBA will postpone games in Texas.
* SCALLOPS’ SPOTLIGHT every morning @ 8:30
The teacher applicant – a list of what they have to do everyday.
* ICKY’S QUICKIES 3 times daily throughout the morning
Port Orchard this weekend – the annual Sea-Gull calling contest.
5:40 – Monica Seles. The former tennis star has a new book out. Hear about everything she went through – including the stabbing.
8:05 – Ben Warner. The weekly update from Ben Warner. He is long-boarding across the country to raise awareness for the Boys & Girls Clubs.

2. E.j. Becker sent a message to the members of KMBZ-Kansas City's Morning News: it's go time! and this morning that means the latest on the swine flu -- do we have a case here in the metro? suzy welch and darryl strawberry will join us live on the show. we'll recap the president's news conference last night and make sure you get where you're going this morning with traffic and weather on the 9's. all morning long, ellen and i will keep you up to date on newsradio 980 kmbz.

3. To the members of Your News/Detroit: "Lila Lazarus left for New Orleans this morning on a Harley Softtail with 4 other riders and two camera crews in tow. She will chronicle her Chopper adventure with video, text and pics in a five part series for

4. Jesse Tack sent a message to the members of B105 Cincinnati's Country: B105 has GEORGE STRAIT and BRAD PAISLEY tickets all this week!! All this week Chris Carr & Company have tickets to see George Strait at his May 22nd Riverbend show. Looking for free Brad Paisley tickets for his June 19th concert? Chris Carr & Co. has tickets to that show too all this week!

.. but, who's doing it right? Is Facebook, MySpace or Twitter the same as Email? Or, should messages be different in each social medium?

Judging from my reaction to the time I spend every day wading through my e-life, I don't know the answers, or even the questions, but this I do know: 140 characters is a great discipline.

Keep it short. Don't just talk, listen. Invite me to respond, contribute and control my relationship with you. Do that, and I'll pass it on.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Seattle Times Grows As The Competition Quits, But The Average Newspaper Readership Is Down

Daily circulation of The Seattle Times has grown by nearly 50 percent in the initial period since the Seattle Post-Intelligencer stopped publishing a newspaper in mid-March, according to Times reporter Lynda V. Mapes.

That was just about the only good (?) news in AP's report that Audit Bureau of Circulation that circulation of the average U.S. newspaper from 395 dailies declined 7.1 percent in the October-March period from the same six-month span in 2007-2008.

Note to sales: you know that this is opportunity knocking, don't you?

A Second Hand Anonymous Opinion

I've always found it ironic that Cumulus, whose founders were consultant-researchers, from the very start of the company has never used anyone with outside, objective views, so I have no personal knowledge of how folks inside the company are taking FMQB's cover profile of Lew Dickey.

However, this message which purports to be from an un-named Cumulus Market Manager certainly has the ring of wisdom through personal experience to it:

I learned a lot about Wall Street from Lew and certainly improved my vocabulary of business jargon.

I agree with you, Jaye, that the listener has paid the price because so many shifts are now sweepers and music but there is another element that most, especially Lew, do not consider and it contributes to decreasing the listener experience and makes the rates lower.

Here’s Lew’s excuse:

“The radio business has digressed into a wholesale model where the industry sells to a small concentrated group of sellers (ad agencies) in bulk who in turn sell the product at commoditized rates. It is completely commoditized and as a result there is an extreme downward pressure on rates. It’s compounded by the one part of our business model that won’t change which is our fixed inventory model. “

“We have to create more demand in order to give us greater leverage over the buyers so we can transform ourselves into price setters rather than price takers. That’s the change that has to take place from the sales standpoint on the revenue side. However affecting that kind of cultural change in an organization is incredibly difficult to do. You have to have basic fundamental behavioral changes within an organization.”

The smoking gun here is that clients buy production. Good production differentiates a station.

In many cases, you can’t run the same commercial on the country station, the CHR station and the active rock station and get equal results. The audiences use different slang, have different values and react to different types of calls to action. A sales person WITHOUT PRODUCTION THAT WILL ACCOMPLISH THE CLIENTS OBJECTIVE is a rate negotiator.

When you control the creative…you control the account. “There is an extreme downward pressure on rates” when the client controls the creative.

Yes, you have to have enough sales people for coverage but you also have to arm them with at least one person who is better than the local advertising agency at creating compelling production. Instead, we’ve fired most of those people or loaded them with so much imaging they can’t think straight.

Programmers have given up on production too because they think it is tune out regardless and don’t think about how 20% of every hour is made up of commercials.

In Cumulus markets across the country, the same jocks that wouldn’t dare lend their voices to create a good spec without someone greasing their palm are now answering the phones in the lobby when they aren’t on the air because Cumulus fired the receptionist.

Monday, April 27, 2009

CRS-40 Rewind - It's Not A Target Demo: It's A Family Reunion

This Country Radio Seminar-2009 panel started as "The Marince Family Reunion," as ARB exec Gary Marince revealed that he turns 54 this year and his daughter Sarah is 18 and shared a video of their personal perspectives on the country music brand story. For Gary, it goes back three decades, whereas Sarah is working on a career in music today, has a MySpace page to share her music, inspired by Taylor Swift.

(click here to read the recap of) The fast-moving and entertaining panel discussed the issues surrounding the question of whether one format is wide and deep enough to encompass their tastes with two researchers, the consultant who helped create "Hank" in multiple markets and two experienced programmers who have faced various flanking attacks in markets with huge country shares.

Classic Country Rides The Riverside Rapids

A fast lesson in PPM heartburn: the Inland Empire's classic country The Toad went in January's monthly from a .7 6+ all the way up to an impressive 3.0 in February, but now falls back to near oblivion (0.2) in the March PPM book.

What could have done it? Who knows?
Perhaps an ultra core fan of the station cycled into and out of the panel?

Or, was that big February the result of cell phone weighting? Is that why ARB has stopped doing that?

Who knows?

And, of course, this is the one market where ARB has
PPM accreditation... (??)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Now, I'Ve Seen Everything

.. everything that folks in my local area have been reading and blogging about anyway.

If I have to explain why FEEDJIT is useful to you, I probably need to explain what email, blogs, widjets and the internet are too. i.e., worth a click!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Don't Laugh: You May Be Asked To Do This Too

A week ago, Seattle’s now “online only” newspaper, SEATTLEPI.COM staff writer Casey McNerthney's typical day was spent looking through gruesome photos of a homicide scene.

"So when my job assignment Friday was to ride in a La-Z-Boy-style chair suspended by helium balloons 50 feet off the ground at Gas Works Park, it was a nice surprise.


ZoomJoshua Trujillo /

A member of the Seattle news media goes airborne in a chair tied to more than 60 helium-filled balloons on Friday during a publicity event for a new Disney movie at Gasworks Park.

The event was blatant promotion for "Up" -- a Disney-Pixar animated movie about a man and boy who take a ride to South America after tying hundreds of helium balloons to a house.

Disney officials hired top crew members from several states (including a an FAA certified hot air repairman --didn't know those existed) and launched promotional tours along the U.S. coasts.

A replica of the red chair in the animated movie was specially designed to fit a harness and have dozens of large helium balloons tied to it. Four rope lines kept it from floating away.

The public wasn't allowed to take rides, but I got to be one of the enthusiastic media guinea pigs.

Fair? No. Fun? Yes."

"You feel like a kid," KCPQ/13 Meteorologist M.J. McDermott (after her 10-minute trip up.) "It's so relaxing and so beautiful."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Taylor Swift Joins Forbes' Top Country Earners

Right up there with Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts and Toby Keith, she earned a million dollars last year for every year of her age!

At just 19 years old and on the brink of her first headlining tour, she was the biggest-selling solo artist of 2008, with more than 4 million albums sold. Swift made history as the only artist to have two albums among the year-end top 10 albums. Those albums sales, plus songwriting talent and a strong tour presence earned Swift the No. 4 spot on our annual list of country music's top earners with an estimated take of $18 million.

If They Can't Make A Profit In New Media, Who Can?

From Broadcast Dialogue: Credit Suisse says Google will lose $470-million U.S. on the video-sharing site this year alone.

If that figure is even close, YouTube, which Google bought in 2006, is in big trouble because, as one competitor admitted, user-generated content is proving to be a financial albatross: They haven't made the “ton of money” the tech evangelists said they would.
BD's Howard Christensen: "The content that seems to do best online is the same stuff that did well offline -- content produced by professionals. YouTube makes newspapers look like the smart place to put your cash."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Which List - "A" or "B" - Reflects You?

"A" = Top Five A&O AccuTest currents, ranked by total “like a lot” score (your local mileage may vary, of course)
1. Alan Jackson
2. Jason Aldean
3. Carrie Underwood
4. Sugarland
5. Brad Paisley

OR "B" = Top Five Big Champagne Digital Singles (who knows what radio station these folks use?)
1. Miley Cyrus
2. Taylor Swift
3. Carrie Underwood
4. Kellie Pickler
5. Rascal Flatts

Tip: local country radio listeners, a 60/40 mix of men and women, balanced 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54, half heavy users and secondary users, say that they are "A."

It's nice to look at the newly unveiled "Twitter chart" too, of course, but now, more than ever: you need to be asking a carefully-balanced local sample of your listeners what they’d like to hear. Then, the final step: make sure your airplay reflects those tastes.

Why Do Stunts?

1. Last Friday, Z103.5, Halifax announced the lineup for their annual Summer Rush Concert and they decided to give away a pair of tickets to the show by doing something stupid. Morning Show Host Jeff Cogswell was dragged up to the top of Citadel Hill, wrapped in bubble wrap, and then was rolled to the bottom. That's when Halifax Regional Police arrived to arrest Jeff for violating a federal land statute (click to watch it).

2. The majority of college students live on a fixed budget, but the demographic is a highly targeted, desirable audience. Except in Amsterdam, where advertisers have found it difficult marketing to students on Dutch campuses and universities. They created a campaign for CoffeeCompany that infiltrated campuses and rewarded students with free coffee if they did something that might hurt their grades. (Read Amy Corr's Media Post take on the tactic)

3. Sprite is hoping that Europeans who see green will think of their product.

4. Meanwhile, the most successful world-wide stunt of the last week, Susan Boyle acting as a parable demonstrates our hunger for Mighty Metaphors according to Kendall Allen.

I don't know that every stunt has to be an uplifting reinforcement of all the good things that hopes and dreams of everyday people represent, but I do know that a stunt where no one thought to get a permit or chose to defy the law and ends in an arrest sends the wrong message about the product it was supposed to make more memorable.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Somebody's Got To Do It

Ask yourself: how many businesses do you know...

  1. Consciously put a 41-year-old man in a radio studio with no further supervision;
  2. Surrounded by songs 13-year-olds adore;
  3. Provide him with 5 incoming telephone lines so these nubile pubescent and hormonally active fans can call in and privately speak with the 41-year-old;
  4. Who they think he is 19 thanks to the radio station’s brilliant marketing department and Photoshop?'s Corey Deitz claims it's satire, but his latest article in this series rings of a lot more truth than humor (click to read it)

Lonestar And Chris Young Draw 2,500 In Wenatchee

John Windus, PD at KKRV reports: "The audience loved 'em," while providing a listener/artist-driven video primer on how to do a post-concert recap (click to watch it).

"We handed out our signs--you'll see em in the video. Cara Owen from RCA was great supplying us with Chris Young product that we had signed and then sold for donation to the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Lonestar signed the posters and took copy to record a nice follow up PSA they will voice then email to us."

Friday, April 17, 2009

The "Other" Ah-HA In The Research Director's Report

Marc Greenspan, a managing partner of Research Director, Inc., cited the fact that the top four hours of listening occurred in three different dayparts. “Clearly the belief that radio is only a morning drive medium is simply not true.”

The Research Director Inc. PPM audience flow study
which shows radio’s top hours are 3:00-4:00 pm and 4:00-5:00 pm demonstrates that radio's reach story is even better in the afternoon than in the morning.

It also illustrates another key programming metric.

Back when we all studied diary data to gain a time-spend-listening edge over the competition, we acted as if the average listening occasion was six or seven quarter hours and everyone tried to create three or four daily occasions built on habitual tune-in.

Then, having accomplished that, we worked to get one or two more days a week written in diaries at that same listening level.

Now that PPM so clearly demonstrates people really use radio in different ways than conventional wisdom dictated, we know that you build a quarter hour of listening one minute at a time.
Charlie Sislen, President of Research Director, Inc., commented on radio’s strength throughout the day. “The number of hours where AQH listening exceeded ten percent of the population is impressive and shows one of radio’s true strengths. Radio continues to be an entertainment media that has tremendous audience size
throughout the week. In these days of entertainment fragmentation, this is a real plus to any advertiser.”

Get your head around this, for example: "traffic every ten minutes on the tens" might actually not create more than a minute or two of listening in any one quarter hour, thus not even building a single cume (five minutes of listening) for you, let alone a, much more valuable, quarter hour (five minutes inside a quarter hour).

That traffic report may get you lots of regular drive-time tune-in, but you better tease something very compelling right after it that holds the audience more than a minute or two!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Free Prep

If you're like me, those two words are almost as good as "free Mariner's tickets and a free hot dog too." So, props to Steve Holstein for this news: InterPrep is now offering two ways to get free show prep:

* Quick Hits daily email
* Twitter feed

Both are free at, which hits it out of the park as far as I am concerned. (A&O likes it so much we provide Interprep as a value-added to all our client stations.)

Don't Forget: They Studied Video

The average person spends 84 minutes a day with radio is one finding, part of a year-long, $3.5 million Nielsen-funded media consumption study hundreds of consumers in six cities were followed for two days to track media exposure and Inside Radio reported Wednesday that findings confirm radio remains an important medium in a typical American’s life.
Council for Research Excellence spokesman Richard Zacklon: “Time for new media has to come from somewhere. But the internet is often consumed with other media and internet usage is not consumed in drive time, so it’s not like radio will disappear.”

Radio gets 51% of the average 164 minutes spent each day with any form of audio — including iPods and CDs. That number is higher when the average 6.3 minutes spent daily with digital audio streaming is factored in. It’s a fraction behind the seven minutes spent behind console games each day. While still a major media outlet, radio has been surpassed by the computer screen, which gets 114.1 minutes of attention. Yet when researchers honed-in on just online activity they found the typical person spent 80.7 minutes a day using the web — or about three fewer minutes than on the radio.

Ball State University researchers found that even in major metropolitan areas with long commute times, computer use has replaced radio as the number two media activity. Radio is now third, followed by print media.

Before you say to yourself "well, #3 isn't bad in this over-communicated world" (and it's not, of course!), click to the Radio Ad Lab, look at some research on audio consumers and think about engagement.

That's our story. What are they listening to while they are in front of ther computer at work? How long do your listeners spend in their cars every day?

Away from home: the one media location where users don't leave the room when commercials come on.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Small Sample Sizes .. But, Also Like Crack Cocaine"

Angus Reid Strategies' Jeff Vidler penned a terrific article (click to read it, pdf) "PPM Info: Too Much Of A Good Thing?" for the April 2009 print edition of Broadcast Dialogue magazine.
"Functionally, small sample sizes limit the accuracy of a lot of the minute-by-minute PPM data. This is particularly true when it comes to individual events."

It puts the issue of sample sizes in a slightly different frame, since PPM panelists have their meters moving for as long as 15 hours a day, seven days a week and the same people, more or less, comprise the sample for the entire survey periods for several years, rather than turning over every week as in diary measurement. Thus, we can drill down to one minute (or perhaps in the future, even shorter!) periods of listening.
"PPM gives you lots of tactical data but very little strategic information."

Yes, we know that the sample is tiny, but it's still fascinating to track. There's a lot of info there, following moment by moment what certainly looks like real radio usage by real folks, by and large.
"Most other products are consumed in the bright white light of day. You can see the clothes people wear and the cars they drive ... but radio is different. There's no price, no trackable transaction. And, being the one-to-one medium that it is, most people listen to radio by themselves."

Now that PPM has changed that. As Vidler writes, "if you've had the chance to see some of this (PPM) data, then you know it's more than a little intoxicating .. one taste isn't enough."

Is it that we only complain about samples when the results aren't to our liking? I don't think so, but these new-found abilities to drill down microscopically so much more than in the past will increase the pressure on ratings providers - radio's referees - to get and keep sample panels as representative and proportionally correct as possible.

Our futures (strategies and tactics) depend on it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Arbitron's Dr. Ed Responds

My recent post "The Right Way To Sample" generated this reply, which I'm delighted to receive and share with you:

Thanks for the opportunity for “equal time” (no, we won’t go there) to the comments in your April Fool’s Day blog about Arbitron’s sampling.

First of all, thanks for the kudos on the cell phone only sampling that’s now underway in 151 markets with the rest of the markets (except Puerto Rico) on the way this Fall. We’ve worked very hard to bring this positive enhancement to fruition after much testing. Oh, and by the way, your readers should know that the market in question that had double the intab for African-American was actually only 50% over for one phase and is presently 25% over for two phases. As we always say, it’s a twelve week survey…let’s see how the full twelve weeks finish. We do like to set the record straight.

Now, let’s go on to the issue about single versus multiple person per household sampling and Ted Bolton’s piece from 1995. The concept is known as “probability of selection”.

Let’s start with the factual errors because these often become “urban myths” (or perhaps with your blog, they could be “country myths”). Arbitron does not select individuals from a list. Arbitron uses a random digit dial (RDD) telephone sample of residential landline phone numbers. Landline phones, with a few exceptions, are tied to households. While not perfect, you can generally assume one landline phone number per household.

Ted spent much of his piece writing about lists and quotas. Those of you who still have budget for a perceptual are probably using lists of names and setting quotas for different demos (or more accurately, your research company is doing it). While quota samples tend to be the norm for custom research, that doesn’t make it right, just expedient. You can’t use quota samples to tabulate radio ratings that are projectable. We can’t call a house and say “We’re looking only for a Male 18-24 year old”. To do valid radio ratings, you must use a probability-based sample.

But on to the main point. In simple terms, Ted was wrong. Multiple person per household (MPPH) sampling has long been an accepted methodology in media surveys, government surveys, and many other kinds of surveys. And in terms of “probability of selection”, an MPPH frame equalizes the probability of selection across demos while a single person per household (SPPH) sample distorts the probability selection.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

In an SPPH frame, the larger the household, the smaller the chance that any one individual in the household will be selected.

Single person per household sampling is used in many surveys and one reason is that it makes sense for studies conducted by phone. Consider the logistics of talking to one person in a household for an extended period (perhaps 15 to 20 minutes for a perceptual or callout) and then asking to speak to another person. Those of us who design phone surveys do our best to dissuade anyone who would ask us to survey more than one person in a household by phone; it just doesn’t work. As someone who worked at Birch (which used single person per household sampling for those of you who remember Birch ratings), it would have been an operational nightmare to measure more than one person per household.

In Arbitron’s case, nearly everyone is eligible to be in the survey (one exception is most of this blog’s readers who are in the media business). We sample at the household level. Even our new address-based method of finding cell phone only households is designed for the household level. And each household has a relatively equal chance of being selected assuming they have a landline phone. With the addition of the cell phone only frame, that opportunity extends to nearly all households.

Let’s take the discussion one step further. One could weight for this difference in probability of selection. Some people in our business hate the idea of weighting and others would have us weight for almost every variable (are you right handed or left handed?). In statistical terms, weighting reduces bias and increases variance. In simpler terms, weighting makes up for the potential that a group that has different radio listening habits is not represented at their level of the population (bias), but increases bounce in the estimates (variance). It’s a tradeoff and our view is that the large amount of variance (bounce) that would be created by weighting for household size would be a major negative for your ratings.

We’re quite comfortable with measuring everyone above a certain age (6+ for PPM, 12+ for diary) in the household and the need to defend the sampling method has long passed. And thanks again, Jaye, for the opportunity to be part of your blog.

-- Ed Cohen, Vice President-Research Policy and Communication, Arbitron, Columbia, MD (410-312-8592 -

OK, who else wants to add a few cents' worth? Add a comment below or drop me an email.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Need Some Fast Ideas?

Click here (with big props to Ron Chase at Radio Online for making it one of the tools on his site you can access free.)A&O is proud to provide both Radio-Online's daily prep and also Steve Holstein's Interprep as a part of our service to all our clients. That's how committed we are to great ideas and content.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jack Ingram's Cuban Experience: 4 Days, 3 Shows + A Whole Lot of Conviction In Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

USO Tours are one of the many ways a country singer gives back to the working people who are such a big part of keeping the music strong. Playing for our fighting men and women is a privilege and an honor - and there is a definite rush about being in the line of fire, as the pictures of various USO Tours attest. But for Jack Ingram, who's a hard-hitting performer with a thoughtful streak, when he decided it was his turn, he wanted to sing for the people nobody notices; that desire led him to Guantanamo Bay.

“The first night, we played on the side of a cliff overlooking the bay. There were 300 people, ranging from Officers with their families to enlisted kids who, literally, looked like they got on the wrong b us on their way to Freshman orientation at college,” Ingram says of the audience far from their homes on island most Americans will never visit. “The air was hot and humid, and the moon was full and rose over the back of the stage. It was beautiful, especially when I got them to sing 'Goodnight Moon' with me, and we dedicated it to all our family members not with us this there that evening.

“I signed autographs and posed for pictures for several hours for anyone who wanted one, and you get the sense of how much these soldiers miss their homes and what they give up to serve our country. Not for politics, but for the faith in what America stands for.”

Ingram played the Goat Locker, which is an officers' club of sorts, “and it felt real intimate, like a coffee house gig. Funny how when people are really listening, they are always going inside the songs.

With days filled with base tours and going into the bay on viper boats, Ingram got to spend a lot of time talking to the men and women, many of whom are well beyond their first tour of duty, “about their everyday life, including their dreams of the future and fears of the present. And it really gives you perspective… especially coming into Easter and the spring.”

The final night. Ingram and his lean 3 piece band, played for the general population at GTMO (pronounced “GIT-mo")'s community center with a raucous set that saw people up and dancing.

As Ingram says, “It felt like any Friday night in Anytown, U.S.A. with a bunch of kids and people looking for an escape from their every day problems - if every day problems mean dealing with known terrorists and prisoners who throw feces and urine at you while you are walking the block."

“And you know, that's the stuff we never think about… not enough… cause how can you? How can you know this stuff is out there? And it's sad in a way that we live in a world like this, but it's amazing to see the young people with the courage of their convictions, who are all over world doing these jobs that make such a difference for freedom in our world. It was certainly fun to play for them - it's always fun, especially with audiences like those - but this was a special kind of honor, too.”

With “That's A Man” just coming off the Top 15, Ingram's definition of song just got a little sharper - and a little bit more compelling on a song that already spoke volumes to who he is at the core.

Thanks to Holly Gleason for the story.

Darius Rucker Sings At The Masters

The Masters®, the most renowned tournament in golf, will open the 73rd Masters Tournament on CBS with a special performance by Capitol Records Nashville's two-time No. 1 recording artist and golf-enthusiast, Darius Rucker.

Rucker will commence the broadcast on CBS from the majestic setting of Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia with a memorable commercial performance of Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind."

Also coming on TV: The Oprah Winfrey Show on Tuesday, April 14th, when Rucker and fellow country superstars Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, and Sugarland join Oprah to celebrate "Who's HOT in country music RIGHT NOW!"

For more info: email Ebie McFarland.

How "Hannah Montana: The Movie" Got Filmed In Tennessee

Reporter Cindy Watts writes that Billy Ray Cyrus did the hard work to convince Disney's Hollywood execs to use the state as the backdrop, not just movie sets:
"I'm excited, Miley is excited, the fans are excited. We're looking at this like it's a celebration of our family, of our roots, of our musical heritage and of our fans. It's just a great time to throw up our hands and celebrate life a little bit along with the fans, because without the power of the people, we neither one would be here." -- Billy Ray Cyrus
Cyrus started the long process of having the movie moved to Tennessee and was originally met with opposition. But he took the script and a camera, flew to Tennessee and photographed locations for each scene, ultimately convincing the company to change locations.

"They said, 'Wow, it does look exactly like the movie. But can Tennessee meet it financially, are they going to have the incentives they have elsewhere?' " Cyrus recalls.

Consumers Say They Are More Willing to Spend

Big Research reports that volunteer work is what’s Hot in April (according to 71.4%)!

(click on the chart to enlarge it)

Consumers also throw their support behind Pr
esident Obama as well as public transit. And while “staycations” are fashionable among the frugal, consumers would still rather book a getaway.

E!’s The Soup proves popular with the under 35 crowd, while women 35+ remained loyal to the final season of ER (their male counterparts are on par with the Masters Golf Tourney).

What’s not? While fashion experts maintain it’s the IT color of the season, most consumers fail to find the bright side of orange

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Filter THIS!

Lady Antebellum has partnered with Brita and the FilterForGood campaign to encourage fans to use fewer disposable water bottles as a small step to better the environment.

The group is spreading the "go green" message online on the road as they open for Kenny Chesney's 2009 "Sun City Carnival Tour."

Fans will also be able catch them tailgating with their reusable FilterForGood Nalgene bottles.

Internet Radio Grows, As Terrestial Remains Steady

The latest AMS Radio Index shows that more than a quarter (27 percent) of Americans say they have listened to Internet-only radio on an Internet site. This includes nearly half (47 percent) of young adults 18-24 and about a third (34 percent) of those under the age of 50.
“Our latest survey shows the continued vibrancy of radio. Online radio is an increasingly important medium. Regular radio is holding its own. The two media offer choices that are compatible and complementary of each other.” -- Edward F. Seeger, AMS chairman

But even as new media, such as Internet-only radio, continue to gain in popularity, regular radio is maintaining its audience. In the latest AMS survey, 73 percent said they are listening to the radio about the same as or more than they did five years ago. Dating back to the initial AMS Radio Index in January 2006, the number saying they’re listening to the radio as much or more than five years earlier has remained remarkably steady.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Steal These Ideas (Thanks, NAB And RAB)

On September 28, 2007 NAB President/CEO David Rehr announced that the NAB was hiring marketer Kelly O'Keefe, saying
"This is an important moment for radio. We must decide: Do we want to keep moving forward or stay behind?"

Over the intervening 17 months there have been moments when the campaigns which emerged seemed to me to be a bit naive and perhaps overly simplistic when viewed from the perspective of someone who has seen hundreds of local station perceptual studies, focus groups and music tests of all sorts, however the general direction has absolutely been worth emulating as you build your local station's loyalty and awareness campaigns.

"The new music series" spots, provided the nucleus of a great idea (click to hear and download them). No, you probably don't want to promote Caitin Crosby's new song unless she means something to your listeners, but you'll want to hear the newest spots:

"Radio's accessibility, content diversity and personality make it an essential part of the weekly routine for 93% of Americans. Each spot brings to life the different ways radio connects with 235 million weekly listeners."- Rehr

"The next generation of Radio Heard Here spots reflects the marketing efficiencies of strategic and creative radio commercials. In today's advertising climate it's more important than ever for our industry to remind marketers that radio advertising is an ideal solution to deliver their message to consumers."- RAB President/CEO Jeff Haley

Then why not customize them - using your brand in place of "this radio station," i.e. grab the next exciting superstar artists who come to your town/microphones, for example, and invite them to do something using the same scripts, talking about your radio station?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Could New Music Be Why PPM Is Treating Country Well Too?

“With TSL being spread over more stations, `real listening’ favors a contemporary format like Hot AC — when it’s executed well.” -- Guy Zapoleon to Inside Radio

Before You Make A Brand Positioning Claim Or A Marketing Promise, Ask A Seven Year Old

Unlike Alaska Airlines, in this ad spotted by Seattle Times columnist Ron Judd:

Marketers at Alaska Airlines, perhaps fretting over intruding airlines such as Allegiant, which flies nonstop from small northern cities to sunny southern climes, are getting a bit creative.

In an e-mail to mileage-plan members last week, Alaska/Horizon boasted: "We have daily nonstop flights from Bellingham, Redmond and Eugene to sunny destinations in California, Arizona and Nevada."

Uh, no, they don't. Horizon does fly directly from Redmond, Ore., to L.A., but most frequent Northwest travelers know the airline flies nonstop from Bellingham only to Sea-Tac, and from Eugene, Ore., to either Medford or Portland.

When the little plane touches down in those places, it's called a "stop." A "nonstop" flight would involve getting on a plane and flying directly to a southern state without stopping.

OK, it's nitpicking. But just imagine the sagging spirits of all those freezing Bellinghamsters who learn that their best nonstop "sunny destination" on Horizon is actually Seattle.

You promise "12 in a row every hour," but you actually only play 10 or 11? And, not every hour?

Talk to a seven year old. You're only fooling one person, YOU.

George Strait Is "ACM Artist Of The Decade" And Neil Haislop Was Backstage

Last night in Las Vegas, the Academy of Country Music took advantage of the great number of country stars in town for the Academy of Country Music Awards, to hold many artists over to Monday so they could participate in the taping of special program celebrating George Strait's elevation to the Artist of the Decade award that will air in May. Nearly every star that participated had been influenced by George Strait's music, or had been greatly helped along their path to stardom by becoming an opening act on a George Strait tour.

* Tim McGraw has the honor of opening the show explaining Strait's importance.
* The first act to pay tribute to Strait by singing one of his hit songs was Sugarland with their version of "Adelida."
* McGraw and Faith HIll returned to pay him in a musical tribute by singing a cool version of "Marina Del Rey." Most of the artists that followed made a point to perform George Strait tunes with their own style, which added to the appreciation of George's celebrated ability find and sing hit tunes.
* The generational variety of artists influenced by George Strait was made obvious when Taylor Swift reminded that her first tour experience was opening for George. She then performed her favorite Strait song, "Run."
* Other artists participating include Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Keith Urban, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, Dierks Bentley Jamie Fox, Alan Jackson, Jamey Johnson, John Rich, Jack Ingram and many more. George closes the show singing three of his biggest hits.
* GARTH BROOKS also appears as the most recent winner as Artist of the Decade to pay homage to a man he says he's worshipped since he was a teenager.

We could tell you more, but nothing we could say about what we experienced backstage watching the show, will measure up to watching the show from beginning to the last note played by George and his band when the show comes to an end May 27th on CBS. Mark your calendars now for this once in a decade celebration of an artist that's contributed so much for the last decade.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Here's To The ACM Winners

The 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards brought a mix of surprises and predictable wins Sunday night in Las Vegas. (click for the list)

Here are some of The Boot's favorite Reba quotes from the show.

"Seems like everyone wants to cut a country album nowadays. Even Michael Phelps and Willie Nelson are teaming up to do an album. They're covering the Doobie Brothers!"

"Our first nominee is George Strait. George has sold over 62 million albums, which puts him in the same class as Elton John. That's the first time I've ever said straight and Elton John in the same sentence."

Blogging The ACM Awards

As usual, CMT will be blogging and hosting an online chat during the TV show.

The Tennessean has figured out how to get us all to watch video commercials: have their music critic Peter Cooper opine colorfully on the real award that matters, who will be Taylor Swift's best friend, and the back story on how the ACM changed the criteria in order to permit Jamie Johnson's LP to be nominated album of the year and why he thinks it won't win.

As you'd expect the OKC' Oklahoman’s Brandy McDonnell is a big Reba fan, with inside access and a sneak preview of "Strange."

GAC-TV will be live on the orange carpet and also Tweeting during the show.

Karlie Justus is another regular blogger on everything country, worth a read, as is Neil Haislop.

WUSN, Chicago, KMPS, Seattle and WYCT, Pensacola, are among the hundreds of radio stations and personalities blogging the show, and many Westwood One affliates - like KFRG, Inland Empire - have backstage ACM video on their websites.

What are you doing?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The ACM's Take Over Las Vegas

Robin Leach blogs an interview with TV show host Reba plus some inside info on a magical appearance:
I can confirm now that illusionist and MGM headliner David Copperfield will make his first appearance on the show in a magic sequence with Taylor Swift. The noon rehearsals today are cloaked in secrecy, and only top-line producers, Taylor, her band and the camera crew will be allowed. It’s closed and off limits to all else!

The Las Vegas Sun features an article about today's shows in Primm (Alan Jackson’s concert at Buffalo Bill’s Star of the Desert arena was the first of several concerts going on across town in connection with Sunday’s ACMAs) and downtown:
LeAnn Rimes is scheduled to give a free concert at the Fremont Street Experience Third Street stage at 10:45 p.m. tonight. Before that, ACMA’s top new vocal duo or group winner and top new artist nominees, the Zac Brown Band, will also hit the Third Street stage, at 7:40 p.m. tonight.

Friday, April 03, 2009

What Did You Do On April Fool's Day?

Thanks to "Tim & Melissa's Video Blog" (click to watch) we now know what happened on the air at KGNC-FM, Amarillo, I also know "what really happened," which makes it look like someone has been reading Jerry Del Colliano's very informative blog recently.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Listeners Are Smart, So A PD Has To Be Smarter (Or Try To Be)

Reid Morgan, PD for Jim Pattison's Country 95/B93 combo in Lethbridge writes: We are airing some "buy local" spots and one of them talks about the "multiplier effect" with the formula number being 8.

So, a U of L economics professor contacts me and wants to know how we came up with the number 8. They were actually working on it in one of her classes trying to figure out our formula. (Imagine a university class discussing/debating a radio ad on Country 95, nice) I emailed what I could find and here is her response. (both below)

Dear XXX, The marginal propensity to consume (MPC) is equal to ΔC / ΔY, where ΔC is change in consumption, and ΔY is change in income. If consumption increases by eighty cents for each additional dollar of income, then MPC is equal to 0.8 / 1 = 0.8.

The expenditure multiplier is the ratio of the change in total output induced by an autonomous expenditure change.

 -- Reid Morgan, CRM
Director of Programming

2. Thank you so much so sending this to me Reid. Now here we go….this is in fact Keynesian ‘s model, HOWEVER, this is his simple model with very strict assumptions that does not exist in the real world.

First, this is assuming we live in a world that has NO taxes, now that would be nice, no income tax, no property taxes, no excise tax i.e. gas, alcohol or cigarette taxes, no sales tax and NO GST. The Consumption function looks like this C = Co + mpc(Y –T), where Co is the amount of consumer spending you do that does NOT depend on your income, mpc you have correct, but you are multiplying it by Y which is national income, not after tax income.

Yd = Y – T, which is consumer household after tax disposable income. T = stands for total tax revenue, that takes into account all taxes collected by the government, a simple version of this is T = T0 + tY, where t is the propitiate income tax Canadian’s pay, and T0 is all other taxes., again this is over simplified.

Therefore, C = C0 + mpc{Y –(T0 + tY)} = C0 –mpcT0 + {mpc(1-t)}Y

Second, Canadians buy imported goods on a daily basis, consider a banana, that is an imported good, and goes not increase Canada’s GDP(Income), therefore you must take this into account for the multiplier.

Now NX = X – IM = X – {IM0 + mpi(Y-T)}, note that household spend money on imported goods such as bananas that does not depend on their income, that is IM0, but there the rest of the imported goods does depend on your after tax income, such as a trip to the US.

Therefore, if you take into account we do pay taxes and buy imported goods the Multiplier = 1/{(mpc-mpi)*(1-t)}

If you run the numbers through it will be LESS THAN 5.

Now, I have simplified the real word case, but in actuality, the BANK OF CANADA calculates the Canadian Multiplier using approx. 1000 formulas that takes into account almost everything and when doing so the Bank of Canada calculates an expenditure multiplier between 1 and 2, but closer to 1.

Finally, if we just have the average household in Lethbridge spend $20.00, this will not have an effect of 5 times. We must realize that we spend AFTER TAX income, and we have to pay GST on goods, and if we spend it on gas, we pay an excise tax to the government. Second the individual may be buying imported goods not Canadian goods.

Therefore, spending $20.00 locally will not generate what your (public service ad) has suggested. This is a one time spending, this will not see a permanent increase in the Canada’s GDP. Rather you are taking your after tax income to spend on goods that already exist in the economy, it will be a one day blip, that will not realize an ECONOMIC BOOST! Households must continue to spend and increase spending to see any effects in the positive direction.

If you have any questions, or would you like to chat, by all means give me a call or e-mail. I would be happy to discuss this issue.

In forwarding the interchange along, Reid added: "I'm glad I'm in radio and the toughest math I have to do is figuring out song rotations or my Can. Con. numbers. ; >"

All I can add to THAT is: in this economy, we're all being forced to learn more economics than we ever thought we would need to.