Radio Evangelist

Thoughts of a Evangelist for Radio in all its forms

Archive for February, 2009

The “Radio is Dead (not)” crowd

Posted by Steve on February 27, 2009

Wow – today brought to my attention two articles arguing that indeed, radio is not “dead.” The first, written by an acquaintance of mine from back in my radio sales days in Boston – Neal Bocian – talks about the speech given by John Hogan, leader of Clear Channel. Here’s a brief quote from that article:

I found your perspective on the future of radio, Mr. Hogan, humiliating to my brothers and sisters in the audience. You are a leader in our industry, and with that title comes responsibility to lead our respective “tribes” with ideas for improvement and reinventing ourselves in order to gain market share. I know that’s what the audience was anticipating. I know that’s what I was expecting.

You really should read all of Neal’s post, here. It’s worth the time.

Then, this evening, I ran into these two posts, written in the same vein by Eric Thomas. Eric is a radio professional who recently was “downsized” from his gig at WWBN in Flint. In his two pieces, he talks about how radio folks need to stop getting down on themselves and get their butts in gear because the medium is still as powerful as ever – it’s just going through change. Here’s a quote from one of his two entries:

Radio is an industry that is boundlessly fun to work in. If you are good at radio, it will afford you opportunities that you would never have otherwise. I have stood onstage in front of thousands of people with a microphone, I have laughed until my sides hurt in a studio, broadcast from the Superbowl, signed baseballs at the MLB All Star Game, and countless other “I will never forget” moments and that is all because I am damn good at being on the radio. If you are not good at radio, you can get my coffee and watch me enjoy all these moments.

You can read Eric’s blog here.

I agree wholeheartedly with both of these guys. Let’s keep the dialogue going because that’s how we’ll make the business better!

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Guy Kawasaki, Robert Scoble and more at Radio Ink’s Convergence 2009

Posted by Steve on February 24, 2009

Convergence 2009 took place 2 weeks ago in San Jose. This is Eric Rhodes’ second gathering of folks who are working to bring radio across the chasm of convergence. Unfortunately, I (and many others, I am sure) couldn’t make trip this year – but Eric has posted some video of the event on YouTube. To make it easier to access, here’s what he has posted so far:

Opening Presentation (A twist on the rather viral “Did You Know?” meme)

Convergence – Day 1

Convergence – Day 2

Robert Scoble eating lunch

Obviously, these are just tidbits of the entire program. I can’t wait for Eric to post more complete versions of some of the sessions so that those of us who were unable to travel to San Jose this year can learn from his great work.

Thanks, Eric and team for putting on this great conference!

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Monetizing Technology

Posted by Steve on February 23, 2009

Alan Mason, a consultant to the radio industry and partner in the GoodRatings consultancy, made an interesting comment in an article today:

Take Twitter on the other hand. It’s jumped from nothing to more than five million active consumers in a short period of time. Raise your hand if your station as more than five million people in the cume.
But it’s not about Twitter, it’s about why consumers use it and how it will help you engage your consumers. That’s the important part, the level of relationship you have with your listener us where the money is, not with the technology itself.
If you want to monitize technology you need to get into the technology business. In radio, it’s still about how many people listen, and how passionate they are about you, not about whether you twitter or not.

The technological tools that are available today are not going to make you money unless you find a way to tie them to your core business – radio. For example, you’re not going to be able to monetize your twitter feed; but, you could use it to drive listeners to your advertisers by using tiny urls and measure the click-through response. Just an idea.


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Radio is the thing…

Posted by Steve on February 19, 2009

Caroline Krediet, Planning Director at TAXI-NYC, a brand agency, wrote a piece for MediaPost that sounds heretical for the typical media pundit in 2009. Here’s a quote:

There it is: Clinically proven to be entertaining and economical, innovative democratic and about as underleveraged as a medium can be in our frenzied multichannel universe. I may be in the minority on this one, but I do think that in today’s economy, radio affords some of the juiciest creative opportunities, at a bargain price. A radio revival could be just the thing to beat the recession blues.

She covers a wide range of rationale in her piece, but it all revolves around the unique engagement that the audio medium has with the listener. It’s vital to note that she isn’t just talking about terrestrial radio; she correctly points out that all forms of radio – streaming, satellite, podcasting and terrestrial – have this unique property. Check out the article here.


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KLSX changing format, powered by social networking

Posted by Steve on February 19, 2009

Word is that KLSX, the LA CBS station that is currently a talk station will be changing format to CHR on Friday, February 20. Format changes aren’t particularly interesting – they happen all the time – but what’s worth watching about this one is the stated intention to heavily use social networking to connect to the audience. Tom Taylor of Radio-Info reports that the the Sr. VP Programming, Kevin Weatherly, will be tapping into Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace. Plus, they’ll be hooked up to iPhone and Blackberry applications from the start. Definitely worth watching how they manage this – there will be lessons to learn! Check out http://www.ampradio.com.


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