Tuesday, August 05, 2014

It’s Actually Harder In Small Market Radio

Electric power costs about the same in huge cities as it does in the smallest towns.

Licensing fees are also similar.

Cost of sales - typically a percentage of gross revenues - of course is higher in the big leagues, but the piece of pie that it represents is quite comparable.

Sure, payrolls are higher in the majors driven by higher salaries, but people working at a radio station billing $20 million - except for very rare situations - don’t make twenty times the amount that the staff on average at a radio station billing one million dollars.

Even the commercial content is normally worse - hurting listening levels - in small town radio compared to the majors, where a large part of commercial time is national and regional agency-produced creative, fully researched, making use of top writing, announcing and production talent.

Cable TV, satellite radio and streaming media deliver “major” quality radio to every rural community these days and yet local radio is still replete with unimaginative, cliché-ridden spots in spite of the fact that today’s audience has become accustomed to quality production work.

I could offer more examples, but I suspect that these are more than sufficient to prove to you that a Manager or Owner in the small town has to actually be much more hands on than management in the metropolises not far away.

The margin for error is less, which makes it such a pleasure to see so many extremely successful local owners and managers at work, teaching their people to maintain high standards and stay close to their audience.

The formula - for a special kind of manager/owner - still works.  It’s fun.  And, rewarding. 

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