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AG News: Monday - 8/17/2009

Radio Industry Needs to Make Change, Not Wait for It

There's a difference between making change and waiting for change. You decide what the radio industry has been doing over the past 10 years.

If your goal is to see a headline announcing change, you'll come up empty-handed when you take a quick online sweep through this morning's radio trade publications. Use this link to look at this morning's headlines from five radio industry trades - alphabetized to hide which publication produced each headline. There are 75 headlines featured. Yet, not one announces a "change," new programming tactic, or any reason for a public morphing through technology to turn to a radio station. That's a change we need to see, fast.

As technology marches forward, radio leaders cut back on staffing and creative programming, even though there are multiple opportunities to alter the use of radio airwaves. Here are some examples of how change could show its face in radio:
  • Create a series of short vignettes explaining the new health care reform - using a non-biased view. This is a top-of-mind topic for everyone.
  • Feature one local band on, say, one day of each week.
  • In a regular morning show routine, lead the public to a web site that helps a core audience through these tough times.
  • Develop a new form of commercial that doesn't come in a pod, and is not :15, :30, or :60 in length. (Don't Blink. It doesn't count anymore.)
  • List, on a station web site, all organizations in a market that are attractive to a P1 listener.
  • Give disc jockeys the choice of which songs to play back.
  • Have a Listening Party where station execs listen to the audience. (NPR is active here. Why not a commercial group?)
  • Open a small business workshop that explains the nuances of advertising in today's expanded media marketplace.
  • Host a weekly band exhibition, where three local bands display their music at a station-backed event or nightclub.
  • Offer an ad-testing system tied to an online response, giving advertisers reason to believe radio wants to help improve ROI.
These ten examples were listed in a little over two minutes. What if serious thought were given to try and create change within the radio industry? How many more might we be able to add to the list?

In the past few weeks we have seen some items falling under the category of change, each offered by one station in one market. Baltimore's 92Q and HipCricket are helping that city pull off a PEACE Plan, and a few news items are listed at the Clear Channel "Press Room" page under the banner of "LocalSpirit" (a concept CC, CEO John Hogan dismissed in 2006).

Change is happening, rapidly, everywhere except in the radio industry. If leaders are looking at options for the future, this should be the first one to address.

Monday, August 17, Radio Industry Trade Publication Headlines

    “BizRadio Colorado” launching
    “Cash for Clunkers” provides windfall for some, high prices for all
    8.7 million soccer fans watched dual language broadcast
    Aerosmith Cancels Summer Tour
    Another VHF to UHF move sought
    Apologies All Around Over Mini 'No Urban Dictate' Buy
    Arbitron boosting CPO targets again
    Arbitron Launches Two Sample Quality Initiatives
    Arbitron Shoots For 20% CPO Sample In PPM Markets
    Automotive Advertising: It’s more than Just “The Deal”
    BIGresearch profiles social media users
    Carol Pierson to Retire as President/CEO of NFCB
    CC Extends Early Tender Date For Note Buyback
    Clear Channel extends, boosts bond buyback
    CMX Music format launches from top labels
    Colorado's KRKY Sold
    Consultant Kabrich Refuses to Return PPM Units
    Creditors said to want Zell-free Tribune
    Cruzan Rum celebrates its Caribbean heritage
    Detroit's Tom Ryan returns
    EEO Letters Are On The Way
    EMI Names Thompson EVP/Marketing And Promotion
    Erich Bachman Returns To WTIC
    Fairness Doctrine heat on FCC official
    FCC Continues Second Half 2009 EEO Audits
    FCC Rejects Two Appeals
    FCC Turns Down Petition On PA AM
    Gaddis Calls Police While Reggie Reg Tries to Resign
    Glenn Beck loses sponsors after Obama remark
    Half of Americans would consider Volt purchase
    Health debate spends millions
    Hughes Receives Humanitarian Award
    Is Boogie D Headed To Philadelphia?
    It's 50 Years In Radio For Polito Vega
    Kabrich Claims Rightful Ownership Of PPM Device
    KFWB-AM/Los Angeles, Clippers Ink Multi-Year Deal
    KFWB/Los Angeles Makes Deal For Clippers Rights
    Kix Brooks sticks with radio
    LBI Media Q2 Revs Down 16.4%, Earnings Decline
    LBI Media Radio Revenues Fall 14% In Q2
    LBI Reports Financials Are Down
    Liberman sees “cautious improvement”
    Media groups plan TV audience measurement coup
    Media revenues only up division for Nielsen
    MINI Disavows Agency Dictate
    More cuts? Maybe in the restroom.
    NAB Wants To See New FCC Ownership Form
    NABOB: Mini apology comes up short
    Nielsen gets new competition
    Nielsen Revenues Drop In Q2
    Noteholder takes back station
    Pierre Tremblay Exits Nettwerk
    Play MPE Has Exclusive Rights To Remastered Beatles Tunes
    Public Radio, SoundExchange Reach Royalties Agreement
    Quarter down double-digits for Liberman
    Radio broadcaster defends market definition
    Radio’s Recovery Involves Listening
    Report: Buyout Terms For Ex-NPR CEO
    Report: Zell Out At Tribune?
    Rodriguez to Retire from Univision
    Rovi and TNS collaborate on TV, set-top-box
    Rush to do "Family Guy"
    Sandilands, Jackie O To Return From Suspension At 2Day FM/Sydney
    Star & Buc Wild Ink Syndication Deal
    StreetPulse: George Strait Grabs The Top Spot
    Summer shows are bombing, big time
    The Future Of WOXY
    Trial Date Set in Wrongful Death Suit Against KDND
    Univision's Rodriguez To Retire, Conde To Move Up
    Univision Pres. Ray Rodriguez To Retire
    Update: Alpha to LMA CBS four-pack
    What's Apple's Next Big Surprise?
    WVOA-FM/Syracuse Drops ''Love'' for Radio Disney
    Zune HD Player Features HD Radio Technology
    Zune HD Pre-Orders Begin
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