Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Music Promotion's Nightmare Scenario

.. but country programmers have to be loving this week, as Brad Paisley, Sugarland, Keith Urban and Tim McGraw all come with new releases, almost certain to consume spins in the next week or two.

That's going to suck a lot of the air out of the room, with only eight of the top 25 ranking chart songs on 100% of the monitored panels.

Get ready for the big flush.

Of Skarzynski, Kabrich And PPM Samples (Again)

As Arbitron CEO Michael Skarzynski “welcomes any opportunity to discuss the importance of electronic measurement, the effectiveness of the PPM technology, the value of the data it produces, and our disciplined approach to the deployment of the service...” and heads to the House Of Representatives for a committee hearing (Oversight and Government Reform) to defend the company's device, sample sizes and fairness to minorities, consultant Randy Kabrich follows up his 2008 study and shows once again that sample size is directly related to PPM success for any but major mass appeal stations.
“One of the reasons that certain formats do not perform well in PPM (certain niche formats like smooth jazz to Hispanic formats) is heavily tied to the amount of sample available. It is all the more critical for Arbitron to have a balanced sample – correctly balanced by age, gender, ethnicity, geography, and socio-economic factors.”

Pity the poor station with a signal problem in even a very small part of their metro survey area or an audience that lives/works in only specific zip + four neighborhoods.

Will ARB work with owners/managers/programmers of these stations to drive their coverage area with a "test meter" to verify that the encoding is being picked up?

What should they do if they find a metered household in a small area within a zip code where an isolated signal issue is going to cost a subscribing station or format lots of revenue for the next 18 to 24 monthly books while they wait for that home to cycle out of the sample?

As Randy says (above) and your humble scribe posits as a result: the only way to assure that any station - ethnic or not - with that problem to get a fair shake over the long-term is for ARB's sample proportionality to be at least three times better than it has ever been, given a sample one third the size of the diary in-tab.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Kind Of Web Page No Radio Station Likes To Create

Clear Channel's B93/Grand Rapids is handling the aftermath of last week's flood at their 17th annual birthday bash is as professional and open way as you'd expect from a great radio station.

Meanwhile, their listeners - even ones whose cars may be a total loss - appear to be holding the station harmless, by and large.

Ionia Public Safety Department was to have contacted even more on Saturday evening in hopes of moving more on Sunday, said Tim Feagan, vice president and market manager for Clear Channel West Michigan, the company that owns WBCT-FM (B-93).

"We're ramping it up, and we're going to call more than 200 today," he said. "It's working pretty smoothly."

Feagan, who helped put on the first Birthday Bash, said Clear Channel hadn't yet decided if there will be an 18th Birthday Bash next year. Weather permitting, he estimates they'll be done removing cars Thursday.

Zienert said she and Pace enjoyed this year's show, at least until the rains came down.

"I wouldn't think twice about coming back," she said.

It's all a great reminder: any time you contemplate a stunt or an event, make the first call to your liability insurance agent. Adding a short-term rider to your business insurance policy is a small price to pay, letting you sleep at night in case something horrible like this ever happens to your station.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nielsen: Teen Media Habits Still Include Radio And Country Ranks #3

Nic Covey, director of insights for The Nielsen Company at the annual What Teens Want Conference:
Not totally lost to digital, radio is still the primary source of music consumption for 16% of teens and a secondary source for 21% of teens, globally.

Considering that teens may find themselves in older cars not yet equipped to play from their MP3 player and that radio still serves as an information source for local social happenings of extra relevance to teens, some degree of radio listenership should be expected. And while not the most popular source of audio consumption, radio preferences can still give us a broader perspective into the musical tastes of today’s teens.

In the U.S., a 2008 study by Scarborough Research showed that “Pop Contemporary Hit Radio” was the most popular format among older teens 18–20 (listened to by 40% of this segment), followed by Rhythmic Contemporary and Country.

While radio, records, 8-tracks, cassettes and CD players had their generations, this is the generation of the MP3 player. Already today, the MP3 player is the top method of music consumption for teens around the world. Thirty-nine percent of teens globally say it is their primary method of listening to music, followed not by CDs or radio, but the home computer, which is the primary source of music for 33% of teens globally. Forty-five percent of teens globally say they listen to five or more hours of music per week on their computer; 12% say they listen to 20 hours or more.

Click to read the report (pdf).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Why Are We Doing This?

You have to hand it to Arbitron. Many of their client stations and groups complain that they don't listen or act on suggestions which seem quite sensible, but whether that's true or not, the company certainly does a very impressive job of telling clients and consultants on a consistent basis what they are working on and why. For example, during the latest PPM conference call/update, they released these stats on how PPM ratings compare to diary estimates, so that advertisers can understand the differences between diary audience shares and PPM listening levels.

Radio sales reps have a very difficult job in the PPM markets, as they present weekly AQH persons, AQH shares and cost per point, since before they even start the sales process they must first 're-educate' the buyer on why what they previously paid $100 for is now worth $118 if the target is 18-49, $123 if it's 18-34 and $114 if the client wants to reach 25-54.

All of this is based on the standard measure of radio ratings for at least six or seven decades, the "average quarter hour." Why does five minutes listening inside a quarter hour equal a quarter hour? Once upon a time, radio was programmed in fifteen minute blocks. Advertisers from the 1920's to the 1950's wanted to know how many listeners were tuned into their fifteen minute program. In the late 1940's, the "diary" was invented as a way to measure audiences and the standard of measurement remained the average quarter hour. It's been like that since.

PPM shows radio's many strengths as a medium in so many other ways, in terms of both reach and accountability in a much more believable and granular way than the diary ever could.

Today's PPM is capable of measuring listening behavior down to listening units of a minute or even shorter durations. Canada's BBM is now measuring radio and television audiences and the standard unit will be average minute audiences, which seems to be a more accurate measure, requiring no math to allow an advertiser to know how many folks watched or heard their ad, something they could never have done with diary data.

Isn't it time to stop playing games to get listeners artificially to spend the 'right' twenty minutes inside four quarter hours so that it appears that they listened for an hour? Why not simply drop average quarter hour as the standard for ARB PPM measurement and show how large radio's audience is in every single minute, seven days a week?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael, Farrah And Radio's Role In Their Lives

From my inbox:
In the passing of Michael Jackson today, I was very interested to see how radio might mark this event. As a child I was always inspired by how radio would capture momentous events and you would always later remember "Oh, I was listening to Wild when the Rodney King riots were happening" or "I remember when Johnny Cash died, I heard it on Q105" (the same day John Ritter died) I remember being 12 and when the Gulf War started I listened to X100 for updates (they brought the morning newschick in at 7pm) Or, it could be that I am just a big dork...but be that as it may.

SO - I turned on my FAVORITE R&B station - the one I have been listening to since like 2000. I RELIED on them to capture what had happened with Michael and pay tribute to him. They did SOMEWHAT - but the moment I turned on the station it was actually a Prince song. Once they got into their tributes (almost 2 hours after his death) the jock seemed rather flat and didn't reset the fact that MJ had died for a half an hour. He kept saying it was a tribute, but never said when, why or how MJ died (and this was a time when people were leaving their offices and may have been stuck in meetings or spreadsheets all day not knowing the news)

To say the least, I was disappointed. Not to sound morbid, but I thought this kind of station would have been somewhat prepared for this (due to Michael's frailty) I am sure in this stations defense, they are preparing for a tribute weekend

To sound even more morbid - I would hope that our genre has a better plan in place and can think a bit more on it's feet should we (God forbid) lose one of our modern legends.

Disappointed in Wine Country aka Joss (from KFGY, Santa Rosa)

But, not everyone forgot:
E.j. Becker sent a Facebook message to the members of KMBZ-Kansas City's Morning News.
Subject: what a day!

as i sit here like so many others (i can tell because the stream is so slow) watching thriller on youtube, it's hard to believe that jacko is gone.

he was one of the few entertainers around today that touched every generation -- either as a member of the jackson 5, as a solo artist, or because of the myriad odd things that brought him attention in the years after his entertainment career became less prominent.

we'll have the latest on the death of michael jackson, take a look back at the life of farrah fawcett, talk with steve forbes and bring you the week in review (think there's not plenty to talk about?) friday morning from 5-9 on kansas city's morning news with ellen and me.

see you then!


And, here's KSON, San Diego:
From: Tori Peck

With the sudden death of Michael Jackson, we have a few interviews to help cover.

Cliff got a Cardiologist to discuss heart attack at a young age and reminder of how to take care of yourself

Jill from UltraStar Theatres. They keep a diffibulator in their theatres.

Michael Orland from American Idol. His partner from IDOL has worked with Michael Jackson for years.

Two interviews that were already set up are Martina McBride (7:20) and Blake Shelton (8:20). We can talk to them about this as well.

Morgan will have audio to include in her news broadcasts.

Then, from Rod West (800-279-0014) at Brandon D'Amore Productions: came this link to a retrospective for Farrah you can download self-contained free for your air, and also workparts if you prefer to build your own tribute.

Download Farrah Fawcett Promo Package
(includes: mixdowns and Adobe Audition session)

Download Farrah Fawcett Promo Package

(includes: mixdowns and Protools session)

Did you remember? Or, did that part of your relationship to your listeners' lives die along with them?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Localize Everything

Successful personalities MUST always strive to be local and topical. Take advantage of every opportunity to be "one on one" with a listener (one person by name as opposed to 'an audience,' which is impersonal and generic).

From "the old ideas are often the best ideas" department:

* Every time mention is made of "a listener" calling the persons name, city, and even audio should be used.

* Keep a list of people who call your morning show and relate back to them in the future. i.e.: "..Joe from Everytown called last week and pointed out...." This really puts you in touch with the Everytown audience and imagine how "Joe" will feel when he hears his name back on the radio.

* Every place has an employer in the area where "everyone either works or lives next to someone who does." Intro all contest players on the air by name, city, and occupation, which is always followed by "and a part time security guard at (company)". This tongue in cheek bit is not only fun but adds some great local spice and your own way of doing so.

* Do the same thing with Song Parodies/produced bits provided by the national comedy services. Tell listeners that the song or idea was sent in to you by a well-known local musician, or comes from a secret recording studio in a small nearby town with a funny name, if you can't re-lyric the parody with some sort of local reference or angle.

* KMPS/Seattle's Ichabod Caine announced on the air each day for many years where he would be going at lunch to "prepare tomorrow's show." He literally did his writing and brainstorming in a different local park, restaurant, museum, or other public place each day. The discipline of "going somewhere specific" each day and sitting down for two hours with the public before going home after leaving the radio station forces Ichabod to prep AND gives him lots of fresh grist for localisms every day. He drops names of people who come out to see him and solicits content from everyone who does.

* Take 30 listener winners of your station's at-work salutes to lunch each Friday. Present Grand Prizes at the weekly event. Take a digital video recorder to the lunch and collect listener testimonials about the station, reactions from the winners, as well as fun human stories that these folks share with them. Use the audio on the air next week and the video on your website.

* When using phone calls on the air you do not have to air the entire phone call, and in most cases you would not ever want to. Edit "on the fly:" Introduce the caller, where they are calling from and a lead sentence setup for their story as if you know the person instead of wasting any time asking them their name, etc. on the air and cue the audio up to "the point" of the call. Clip the playback immediately after the main point of the call has been made. Make it SOUND like every one of your callers never wastes time, does small talk, or says anything that it's right to the point and worth using.

And, of course, you know their all of their names, where they work and live, what they want to tell you (because you asked in advance off the air), making you the "local authority!"

Sony Prep: Montgomery Gentry Join The Opry

Eddie and Troy have become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry.

They were inducted last night, and you can get the whole story - including audio clips - just by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sugarland's First Network TV Special Airs August 3

The night before their follow-up combo CD/DVD, “Live on the Inside,” hits stores on August 4, Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush make a network TV debut with footage from their show at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, which was shot by a crew with 20 cameras in an unforgettable night featuring some of their biggest hits (“Settlin,’” “Stay,” “All I Want To Do” and “Something More”), as well as never before televised performance footage.

The ABC-TV special will air in HDTV with 5.1-channel surround sound and Spanish subtitles via secondary closed captioning.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ordinary Event = Extraordinary Results

Team JRfm/Vancouver's Weekend To End Breast Cancer Bake Sale was a fun on-air event that put morning cohosts Clay and Karen out in the community, but more importantly raised an incredible $3500.00.
"Country listeners are community conscious and will help out any way they can, whether its Basics For Babies, Union Gospel Mission or the Weekend to End Breast Cancer. Perhaps they respond to our appeals because we are their connection to the community. That position didn't happen by accident." -- Gord Eno, PD, CJJR

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's The Internet, Stupid

Zogby shows that only one in ten would choose radio as their only source for news, but when it comes to "trust" our medium does better and the 'net does worse.


Drop or trim down the length of 'news' and integrate talk and info about what's important right now into everything you do making use of your 'experts,' every minute, every day.

No, it's not as easy as doing six five minute newscasts per day and telling yourself that you still do news, of course, but self-deception can be that way, sometimes.

The need for lengthy news on radio is inversely related to the growth of the internet. That's somewhat new, but just because you have sponsors willing to pay for something, doesn't mean listeners care a whit about it.

That isn't new. Savvy programmers have been fighting that battle since formats replaced block programming six decades ago.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Loose Ends

Mental folders I opened recently, which deserve at least a mini-post to tie them up:

1. The 2009 Radio Mercury Award winners are indeed very impressive uses of the creative potential of the audio medium, worth listening to and learning from. Let's bury them in great radio entries next year.

2. Watch and listen to Taylor Swift to understand how Gen Y is changing country music and radio. What kid doesn't want to date her?

3. Krash Bassett's clever blog on an iPhone app for country imaging poses an only slightly terrifying question: why do we all use the same voices and stationality techniques? Resolve to challenge yourself to be different. I'd love to come into a market, scan across the dial, recognize all the usual suspects .. until I get to your station. Can we please stop leaning on "professional voices" so much and put the job of branding our stations into the hands of real people, our listeners?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Can The Crowds Change Iran? Can They Change Radio?

Social networks and word of mouth marketing appear to be making history in Iran.

Now, in San Francisco, the same thing could be happening to a radio station's playlist, thanks to a new internet startup called "Jelli."

Having spent my career feeling like research and carefully-scheduled music improves cume and time spent listening, I suddenly feel a bit like the Ayatollah, wondering where all this is going, if I've lost control.

Their position statement: "Don't Change The Station, Change The Song."

I'll be listening Sunday night
. Will it be anarchy or democracy? Or, will that matter to the audience?

Two 90's Country Superstars Aid "Cat" Causes

Coincidentally, two very active "Cat Country" radio stations, one in Colorado Springs and the other in Pensacola, have undertaken two great causes and two class acts, Tracy Lawrence and John Michael Montgomery are lending a hand.

Lawrence headlines an already nearly sold-out benefit for “Aden’s Friends” – named for the cancer-stricken 6-year-old son of Citadel’s manager, Mike Knar. “Cat Country 95.1” is donating all proceeds through the Aden’s Friends charity to Childhood Hematology Oncology Associates, where Aden is being treated for leukemia.

Montgomery is doing a free show for the troops, their families and the listeners of "Cat Country 98.7" on board Naval Air Station, Pensacola.

Hats off to the two stars, who continue to prove they know what it means to go that extra mile to give back and the two owners of WYCT, ADX Broadcasting, and KATC, Citadel Radio, for working hard to give back to their communities.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Well, They Sure Did Break The Rules

On March 12th, Marc D’Avignon, a former VCU BrandCenter student and current W&K employee, interviewed Mercury Chief Judge Rick Boyko on W+K Radio, making brash statements like "radio doesn't have to be bad, it can be good .... everybody says it's a joke, radio advertising sucks" and they made it sound like their goal was to change radio, in a very superior and condescending tone.

Well, the winners have now been announced and it looks like the judges liked their own creative a lot and hated what radio submitted, which makes tomorrow's awards ceremony in New York - there were no winners from radio's submissions - the joke.

Hey, RAB: they sure taught us a lesson, didn't they? I hope you all enjoy the self-congratulation among the Med Ave geniuses who will gather to pat one another on the back tomorrow, but don't be surprised if there are no entries at all from radio in your competition next year! Dissing it is no way to motivate and promote a medium.

Be Prepared

The Boy Scouts are right. And, to prove it, Scott Shannon has built his legendary success as a programmer and personality around three simple words: "Preparation, Concentration and Moderation." He famously even has posted them next to the control room clock in studios from Tampa, to Los Angeles, to New York.

"Prep" is not only a great motto, coined by British Army Lieutenant General Robert Baden-Powell, it's also a crucial tip to anyone who talks on the radio, especially morning people.

Sometimes a great bit will come to mind in the middle of the morning show. Ask yourself if you are really prepared to deliver it now, or better off to think it through after you are off the air.

It is important to have your game plan in hand each day when you walk into the studio and stick to it as closely as possible.

Have you ever thought of a great bit while you were on the air, rushed it on right away and thought of better ways you could have used it later on?

Few topics are so timely you cannot allow yourself the time to prepare them for the next day, week, or next opportune moment. As a matter of fact, one great source of content for tomorrow's show is simply making a note of the "clever asides" that occur to members of the team in the midst of THIS morning's show.

Rather than just DOING the fun stuff as it comes to mind in mid-set and being guilty of doing several different streams of consciousness, SAVE those thoughts, refine them and USE them once they are fully developed!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sound Matters As CMA Fest Ends

Nashville's Tennessean has complete recaps of each day of the amazing 2009 festival.

Behind the scenes, a team of Starkey Hearing Foundation staff, Nashville area volunteers, celebrities and sponsors from Big Machine Records and Music City Merchandise brought the Gift of Hearing to Nashville children in need during the CMA Music Festival yesterday (6/14), who then went to the closing performances.

More than 100 children and adults were fitted - at no cost - with digital hearing instruments at the Nashville Renaissance Hotel Ballroom.

CMA CEO Tammy Genovese, Big Machine Records President/CEP Scott Borchetta, and artists including Chuck Wicks, Sunny Sweeney, and Kate & Kacey were on-hand to encourage these children as they were fitted with digital hearing instruments and began hearing clearly, some for the very first time. (thanks to Big Machine's John Zarling for the photos)

Starkey partners with local hearing professionals, school districts, and special education centers to identify and aid local children with hearing loss. Since 2000, the Foundation has distributed nearly 340,000 hearing instruments to those in need around the world.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

KMPS Takes "Rock Band" Live

Until live-band karaoke, the only time most people could strut in a rock-star fantasy was in their heads or aided in their living rooms by a karaoke machine or video game like "Rock Band." But this version of karaoke lets amateurs unleash their inner idol — with the help of a live band and in front of an actual audience — and revel in three minutes of fame. -- Nicole Tsong, Seattle Times Eastside reporter

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Rational Take On The Performance Tax Battle

Jesse Walker writes:
"For decades, record companies have been begging radio stations to play their music. Sometimes they do more than beg: Few sorts of scandal reappear as reliably in the music business as a payola scandal, in which agents of the labels are caught bribing broadcasters to air their wares. In the Internet age, the AM and FM dials aren't as important to promoting music as they used to be, but they continue to play the preeminent role in the process. As Clive Davis, a dominant figure in the record industry since the '60s, told USA Today just this month, "Radio is still the leading force of determining what songs and artists break through." Now the Recording Industry Association of America and a coalition of other industry groups are backing a bill, the Performance Rights Act, that would require those same stations to pay a new fee for the right to air those records. An industry that is infamously willing to pay for airplay apparently wants to charge for airplay too."

Leave it to the libertarian publication (click to read the entire article) to place radio and the music business's Congressional battles in a very well-reasoned context.


"Philadelphia's Country Station" celebrates its Silver Anniversary and says "thank you" to listeners with its free annual appreciation concert. 92.5 XTU presents Big and Rich, Phil Vassar, Zac Brown Band, Kellie Pickler and James Otto.

92.5 WXTU has been a Beasley Broadcast Group station since it went on the air in June 1984. Hats off to VP/GM Natalie Conner and PD Bob McKay's great team!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Big Research Tracking: "Day Trips" Are Hot This Summer

81.6% of consumers surveyed say they are looking to trim their vacation budgets while indulging in a little summer fun name day trips as what’s hot in June.

Outdoor entertainment was a hot topic as well, with beach vacations (66.4%), camping (64.8%), and backyard firepits (63.6%) also rating highly.

Twitter is all the rage among those 35+ (hmm…have the younger, trendier crowds moved on already?!), while young men are all about Conan O’Brien and Megan Fox, likely for vastly different reasons.

What’s Not? Hawaiian shirts…keep those lei-ing in the bottom of your dresser drawer this season (unless you're KSON/San Diego PD John Marks who has been wearing them to work every day whether survey says they're hot or cool for many decades).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

J. C. Penney Has A Rascal Flatts Bonus Track

You can get a preview of the song "American Living" here, but if you want to play it on the radio, it looks like you may need to go to Penney's and buy a copy of the LP being sold there only (and of course know that you'll be playing the new JCP jingle).

Need an idea that would dominate a summer concert? I love the "Rascal Flatts Towers" being constructed by fans, using kits provided by the group. Could you get your brand on them somehow?

A Refund I Plan To Frame

It looks like the folks at Billboard/Nielsen/Radio & Records are not just timely in sending out renewals and bills, but they have been equally quick in refunding pre-paid registration money for the fall convention.

I got mine the day after we all learned that the publication was no more.

My first radio convention was R&R in 1974. I paid my own way and by employer at the time let me take the time off without counting it as vacation time. I learned so much that I did the same thing the following year with CRS.

My first thought when I received this was a hope that NAB would honor these registrations in Philadelphia. Then, when I realized how many great experiences I've had at R&R conventions over the years, how formative they have been for my career, I'm now glad that they didn't do that.

This credit slip belongs in a frame on my office wall, as a memorial to "Chunky Leader" Bob Wilson's genius and vision. The publication on that closed its covers a very long time ago, sadly.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Did Radio In The U.S. Begin In 1909? Or, 1920?

As KCBS celebrates its 100th anniversary and credits the needs created by the San Francisco earthquake as the birth of broadcast, there's one thing for sure in the "who was first?" competition: CBS radio owns two very historic properties!

Radio Ratings Questions

Richard Harker has been blogging some important questions about the current state of radio ratings (Arbitron, We Have a Question: What Happened to the Button-Pushers?), such as:

When PPM identifies a radio station and then the audio switches to an unidentifiable source, it is recorded as a switch to non-encoded media. No more radio credit is given. But what if the participant really just switched stations, but PPM couldn't identify it? Could this explain lower listening estimates and the absence of button pushers with PPM?

Now, I’d like to add a few more of my own:

Nielsen research from their Lexington diary test earlier this year found cell phone-only households are heavier radio users, while Arbitron has reportedly come to a totally different conclusion. Their new spokesperson told Inside Radio yesterday “There does not appear to be different listening behavior.”

Are the differences based on diary measurement vs metered usage? Or, is there really no difference in radio usage between the kind of people who would not have a land line home phone and those who do? Who’s right? How can we know for sure? Will Nielsen and Arbitron (or the RAB?) fund an academic study of this?

When Nielsen announced their 2009 radio survey in the U.S., they talked about releasing the data in June. Now, company insiders say they are working toward a tentative launch date of August 17, which just happens to be three days after the last Spring 2009 Arbitrons have been released.

Why the change, in spite of the fact that Nielsen’s local market surveys started and ended a month before ARB’s?

Nielsen, it seems, has chosen to have the luxury of seeing ARB’s Spring 2009 local market reports before they give ARB a look at their data in the markets they both have been surveying this spring.

Why keep their Cumulus and Clear Channel subscribers waiting for the data like this? Or, are subscribers seeing the first Nielsen radio data this month and were they a part of the decision to delay the release?

In Canada, where BBM is discontinuing their use of Nielsen TV meters, lowering their client TV station subscriber rates as they embark on using PPM for all media measurement, keeping radio rates the same as they have been for diary surveys (unlike Arbitron which is charging 60% more), diary sample proportionality in market after market is causing hair-raising levels of weighting - making for wild book-to-book swings.

Has BBM already done the replication study I am asking about? Or, are they moving ahead with PPM merely because of the economies of scale for their subscribers?

Confusing as all of this is right now, it's good to see so many different approaches being tried by broadcast researchers.

Once all of this data is available to independent observers in the coming year, we're going know a lot more about what's unquestionably fact .. and what's just preliminary theory.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Taylor's Pink Truck Is Doing "Victory" Laps

When Taylor Swift was presented the infamous ‘pink truck’ for her 18th birthday, fans may recall she donated the truck to NASCAR’s Victory Junction, a special camp for special kids with health care needs. As you can see from the photo above, Taylor’s gift is going to great use, bringing smiles and attention to the North Carolina-based charity.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

CRB: Music Scheduling For Dummies

Chris Huff, APD/MD, KSCS, Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX: Music scheduling is often considered to be both an art and a science, and in "Music Scheduling For Dummies (Better Music Logs in Less Time)", three of the most respected artists/scientists the format has to offer discussed the hows and whys of how they put together their music logs. This at a time when the increase of multi-tasking in radio means there is less and less time to dedicate to their craft.

John Shomby of WGH/Norfolk moderated a panel that included Greg Frey, Music Director of KILT/Houston and Gwen Foster, Music Director of KMLE/Phoenix. Both of those panelists are veteran music programmers in the format, and both also handle multiple other duties at their respective stations. They offered insight into how they manage their time to ensure that they are still able to dedicate the time necessary to make their stations sound as good as possible. Greg and Gwen also shared actual music logs to show how and why they schedule music the way they do.

Additonally, the panel included consultant Keith Hill who is regarded as one of the foremost experts on music scheduling. Keith detailed much of the nuts and bolts of the science behind scheduling music. Even the most seasoned music director can find something to take away from what Keith included in his handout... and that's the beauty of CRS - programmers of all experience levels came to this session and walked away with insight to take back home!

Click Here for the great session handout.

Sign up to receive Exec Memos like this by email at http://www.crb.org/.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Stephen Colbert Gives Us A Lesson In Powerful, Creative Teasing

Stephen Colbert has deployed to Iraq for a USO tour entitled "Operation Iraqi Stephen: Going Commando." He will perform his shows in front of the troops for the next week, according to Comedy Central.
While there, Colbert will host Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq Barham Saleh and General Ray Odierno, commander of the Multi-National Forces in Iraq, among others. The show is taking place at an undisclosed military base in conjunction with the USO, and promises to boast "shout outs from notable figures in society."

Anticipation (get excited in advance about what you're going to do), Realization (create word of mouth by standing for something relatable and important) and Memory (don't let them forget what you did) are in full force at Comedy Central. Watch and learn how it's done.

Rascal Flatts And Jeffrey Steele To Become Lifetime Nashville Songwriters Association Members

NSAI recognizes multi-platinum Lyric Rascal Flatts (Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus & Joe Don Rooney) and prominent songwriter Jeffrey Steele on becoming the organization’s newest Lifetime Members.

“Our friends in Rascal Flatts and the amazing Jeffrey Steele are expressing their support for the advocacy work NSAI does on behalf of songwriters and the music industry,” said NSAI Executive Director Barton Herbison. “Rascal Flatts and Jeffrey have been longtime supporters of both NSAI and intellectual property rights. They illustrate the fact that ‘creators’ are the ones changing the laws through NSAI.”

If you ever have someone from your local area express interest in going to Music City in hopes of getting into the business, NSAI is a great place to test the waters and learn what it takes. You don't have to live in Nashville to belong or attend their events.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

(More On) Time Spent (...Satisfied, Entertained, Updated, Involved, Expectations Met)

Each month, Arbitron's Latest Monthly PPM Client Update provides not just a progress report on placement, progress and problems along the way to getting metered panelists to play the game, it also offers great analyses and tips thanks to ARB's stats brain trust. Like this food for thought, a bit more on the TSL vs TSE difference between diaries' memory test and actual metered usage.

I'm sharing this today after reading some of the comments to my previous post, thinking that this may be new information to some who are not yet as steeped in PPM facts and folklore as those of us who live with it each day attempt to be.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I Know It's Bad Blog Ethics To Simply Tell You To Go Read Another Blog, But...

Cory Treffiletti's MediaPost column "Time Spent Is The Right Metric To Measure Engagement" isn't just about online advertising. PPM's "TSE" (time spent exposed) vs diary TSL (time spent listening) absolutely proves that just because I love Oprah's brand, it doesn't mean that her show yesterday was good enough to make me listen to the entire hour.

Ask any foreground radio personality who had great ratings in diaries and then suffered the all-too-common precipitous drop in their first month of PPM measurement. Just because listeners to your station like you enough to write your name in their book does not guarantee that they listen to you at all in reality.
When you break down the individual media vehicles, time spent is actually quite easy to report on -- so why shouldn't this become the de-facto metric for measuring engagement? If consumers spend more time than the average, they must be interested in your product or service -- and if they are interested, that is a measure of intent. The more efficient you are at implementing a campaign, which includes paid as well as non-paid placements, the more likely your campaign will be to drive that increase, which ultimately results in sales.

How engaging, entertaining and expeditious is your content? It's not how long you talk. It's how long they listen.

Brad's Blog: Previews Of "American Saturday Night"

Brad Paisley will be kicking off his AMERICAN SATURDAY NIGHT TOUR with Dierks Bentley and Jimmy Wayne as special guests on the Tour – and it will launch this Friday, June 5 in Charlotte, NC.

“There's something special about a Saturday. That is, you didn't have to work...you don't have to work the next day...you're getting over whatever happened at work or whatever happened in your week...and hopefully you're taking a little break from reality. And any time we fire up this show -- whether it's a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday -- it's going to be officially Saturday night when we start. And it's not 'not Saturday night' until you leave,” Paisley promises.

American Saturday Night tour dates (Previously unannounced dates are listed):

June 5 - Charlotte, NC Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
June 6 - Raleigh, NC Time Warner Cable Pavilion at Walnut Creek

June 12 - Boston, MA Comcast Center

June 13 - Hartford, CT Comcast Theatre
June 14 - Gilford, NH Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion
June 18 - St. Louis, MO Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

June 19 - Cincinnati, OH Riverbend Music Center

June 26 - Oshkosh, WI Country USA * **
June 27 - Cadott, WI Chippewa Valley Country Festival * **

July 10 - Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 11 - Fort Loramie, OH Country Concert at Hickory Hills Lake *

July 18 - Sarnia, ON Bayfest * **

July 24 - Virginia Beach, VA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

July 25 - Bristow, VA Nissan Pavilion

July 26 - Harrington, DE Delaware State Fair
August 7 - Chicago, IL First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
August 8 - Indianapolis, IN Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
August 14 - Darien Lakes, NY Darien Lake Performing Arts Center

August 15 - Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
August 27 - Meadville, PA Crawford County Fairgrounds

August 28 - Cleveland, OH Blossom Music Center
August 29 - Bethel, NY Bethel Woods Pavilion

August 30 - Essex Junction, VT Champlain Valley Exposition

September 2 - Halifax, NS Metro Centre
September 3 - Saint John, QC Harbour Station

September 5 - Allentown, PA Allentown Fair Grandstand

September 11 - Houston, TX Woodlands Pavilion

September 12 - Dallas, TX Superpages.com Center
September 17 - Albuquerque, NM Journal Pavilion

September 18 - Denver, CO Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre

September 19 - Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheatre
September 24 - Bakersfield, CA Rabobank Arena

September 25 - San Francisco, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre

September 26 - Sacramento, CA Sleep Train Pavilion
October 1 - Phoenix, AZ Cricket Wireless Pavilion
October 2 - San Diego, CA Cricket Amphitheatre
October 3 - Irvine, CA Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

October 15 - Jacksonville, FL Jacksonville Arena

October 16 - Tampa, FL Ford Amphitheatre
October 17 - West Palm Beach, FL Cruzan Amphitheatre

October 21 - New York, NY Madison Square Garden
October 22 - Baltimore, MD 1st Mariner Arena

October 23 - State College, PA Bryce Jordan Center
October 24 - Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun

*Jimmy Wayne will not be appearing on these shows
** Dierks Bentley will not be appearing on these shows

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

"New GM" Dollars Are Flowing To Radio, In Spite Of What You May Read

A GM spokeswoman told Advertising Age yesterday.
"We felt that some TV and print ads were necessary to communicate, in mass, to our customers, in a quick and timely manner," the spokeswoman said.

It's easy to critique, but heck since we all now own a big part of the company, why NOT? Click on that Ad Age article link and read down to the by and large very savvy comments, like:
"Strangely this spot looks to the past rather than the future...long on American imagery, quick cuts and big boxcar concepts. Short on smarts and economy...starting with the length of the spot."

PS to
MAB President/CEO Karole White: I have a hot topic for Michigan Broadcasters to add to your list of concerns. How do we get them to add the word RADIO to press releases like this?

The automaker is also directly contacting all GM vehicle owners throughout the month of June.

The campaign is a sign that the troubled car maker is taking pains to educate customers about its reorganization. Radio's REACH and efficiency makes it the perfect medium to do just that!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Kelly O’Keefe, Is Radio Popular Or Not?

The public research report, just out, is all sunshine and light:
“Younger 18-24 demos were more positive about radio than the audience in general. We saw improvement more quickly than we predicted.”

Could that be because they were using radio all along?

But, if things are so good, who needs to "turn radio back on", which is the internal campaign slogan at O'Keefe Brands?

Are we supposed to believe that they were turning radio off until the NAB hired Kelly's company and now that we've run their promo's, everything's OK?

Meanwhile, the public voice for the campaign - the impressive, dynamic David Rehr - when it was launched 18 months ago, is now looking for a new job.

There's so much 'spin' going on here, I am getting dizzy.