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Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:32 pm
by soundhound
What I find amazing is it seems people are trying the same things in different packaging and headlining these as new accomplishments. First it's Jack, then it's Jill, then Bob, then Frank, and then its Popster or whatever the next month.

I'm not meaning to single out any particular format here, but it seems we have more platforms (FM, HD, Internet, phone apps) and yet we're only repackaging the same content. "Hey, here's a slightly quirky imaging package for a hybrid of Hot AC and classic hits!" - formats that have been around HOW long?

To remain relevant requires stepping out and hiring interesting people to do interesting things. Things that may not fit neatly into our perceptions of format or category.

Now, are we going to do that and create the next AOR or Modern or find a way to make Dance work?

Or are we going to settle for owning six stations, 2 of which perform just well enough to pay the power bill but don't do anything to move radio forward and keep it relevant?

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:37 pm
by goodhelp
Well, my friend, Mr or Ms Soundhound...has any radio near you improved in the last year? We know it's probably changed some...more voice-tracked dayparts, more people laid off, fewer staff doing lots more work. Does that "sound" about like it?

As stated earlier in this thread, radio (in general) will begin improving its condition when it begins serving its (local) listener base. Perhaps I should say "super serving its listener base."

Go out to community events (job fair, anyone?) and listen to your potential audience. Ask what's on their mind and they will tell you. Visit schools (my Dad's on the radio!) and colleges (radio as a career? heck try out for the NFL instead!) and hear the feedback. Gather all the "research" you can find.

Then, act on it. Let it inspire you. Ask how can we? instead of why we should not. You'll find most solutions involve connecting people...with other people in your town. Hire talent that wants to "connect" with everyone in town, not just a subset of a format. Listeners can tell when a joke is done and it's time for an adult message of communication...then more music/whatever.

What does it mean to serve your listeners? Beyond the next request and concert calendar? Ask yourself a question. What's the greatest unmet need in my community? Ask it on the air along with the promise to do something about it--and be ready for the response.

Then apply creativity to it--let the sparks fly!--and put the solution on the air. Guaranteed your listeners will be hearing an original radio event, tailored just for them, reaching their hearts and minds. It's n ot likely to "cost" much if anything at all, except your brainpower and teamwork. Do this each month and your audience will become your true fans.

Back in the day, we genuinely called it "public service." ;)

Your station will then be serving the legacy of real radio--serving people, and thus better serving the industry itself, in the footsteps of Edwin Armstrong (FM), Reginald Fessenden (AM), Guglielmo Marconi, Nikola Tesla, Alexander Popov, Jagadish Chandra Bose to Oliver Lodge and many others who together created this broadcast content distribution medium.

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:05 am
by winterwest
Wow, goodhelp...I always heard you were hard to find. And yet, I log on to AA and here you are! And making sense, too!

Radio will return to being relevant, and yes, even profitable when two things happen...
1) The real estate investors running the industry now give up on trying to make it profitable because of their lack of understanding about the medium, and begin to shed properties to stop their own financial bloodshed.

2) People stop leaning on "new technology" to make radio something it is not and was never meant to be.

Stop leaning on your website, and start being "on-site" at community events and gatherings where your target demo hangs out.

Do something in your community. In a few weeks I'll partner with The Home Depot for the fourth year of providing firewood to veterans and the families of local deployed as fall arrives.

Donate where and when you can if you've got something that will help. Buck Knives sponsors my show and I'm lucky enough to have product I can donate to an upcoming benefit for recent local fire/flood victims.

Live.Local.Involved.

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Posted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:16 am
by jayester
Winterest--very well written! Where are those stations that do these things and are you hiring!? I would like to inject further that even just 10-years ago, stations involved in the community were the ones to profit and prosper and really that has never changed other then the fact non-radio types having to make money with all station promotions first, while strangling the life out of just a good promotional idea that can also be crafted to make money.

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:23 am
by kendallweaver
I just realized it's been over a year since I first created this post. Many interesting comments and opinions later, I still stand by what I wrote. The good news is that many stations are doing better as the economy improves. The bad news is, the long term problems I mentioned in my original post still exist. I'm now looking for my next gig in radio, and will always be proud to be a radio Programmer and Air Talent. But we've got to buckle up, because the next few years aren't going to get any easier. But if we do it right, they will be challenging, and fun.
Also. I'm compiling a book about Air Talents to be published this summer called "The American DJ," and will be including stories from DJs around the country. Please see http://www.theamericandj.com for submission info. I know you have stories, right? ;-)
Kendall Weaver
radiokendall@yahoo.com

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:55 am
by kendallweaver
As a FOOTNOTE: I wanted to add that even in this unstable environment that so many are complaining about, there are still people working and being creative in this industry! I've accepted a position doing Tech Support for RCS/Clear Channel, and am finding it to be a great place to be! It puts me in position as the "expert" assisting stations across the country with their NexGen and GSelector products. I'm on the phone with stations large and small across the country each day, as they rely on RCS's support staff to dial directly into their systems and make sure things run smoothly. So it's a fascinating position, and I'll also be doing some online broadcasting of my own, to keep my "Air Talent" chops up. And I'll finish "The American DJ" book soon. So there you have it.. it's not a great marketplace to be job hunting these days.. but you only need one job, right? Keep looking and work to improve your presentation... and "network!"

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:24 pm
by jjenkins
As a FOOTNOTE: I wanted to add that even in this unstable environment that so many are complaining about, there are still people working and being creative in this industry! I've accepted a position doing Tech Support for RCS/Clear Channel, and am finding it to be a great place to be! It puts me in position as the "expert" assisting stations across the country with their NexGen and GSelector products. I'm on the phone with stations large and small across the country each day, as they rely on RCS's support staff to dial directly into their systems and make sure things run smoothly. So it's a fascinating position, and I'll also be doing some online broadcasting of my own, to keep my "Air Talent" chops up. And I'll finish "The American DJ" book soon. So there you have it.. it's not a great marketplace to be job hunting these days.. but you only need one job, right? Keep looking and work to improve your presentation... and "network!"
Holy shit, that is the most depressing post EVER. :?

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:29 pm
by CatfishJimPrewitt
Kendall....While I don't quite believe everything you said about radio's future, I DO believe everything you said in response to Winterwest.

Good to see some interesting dialogue on here.

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:40 pm
by ronnie2057
Tax incentives for returning radio frequencies to LOCAL owners. Return the FCC rule making process to the comparative hearing process. Allow ANY power FM to be dropped in if it serves a local community with its first aural service. There is an AM daytime station in Central Texas with two translators. If THAT can be allowed, why not allow LOCAL FM allotments under the old comparative hearing rules? The Telecom Act of 1996, removing comparative hearing rules and The Tuck Rule pretty much ruined the radio business. Station groups gobbled up properties at ridiculously-high multiples of trailing cash flow and built a house of cards. They can't turn profits and they keep cutting and cutting to the point where radio properties consist of "Yuk Yuk in the Morning and Robo_Jock all day." Why put up with Yuk Yuk and music with all the dynamic range squished out of it when you can listen to your MP3 player with CD quality music? People listened to AM Radio, had audiophile quality vinyl records and yet they listened to the RADIO. Local AM 1000_watt stations had radio "STARS" all trying to be the next Real Don Steele or John Records Landecker. What do we have now? HD Radio? Anyone remember the C_Quam/ Khan_Hazeltine AM Stereo debacle?

Re: Will Radio Get Worse Before it Gets Better?

Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:35 pm
by kendallweaver
I wrote this original post over 3 years ago now, and while radio continues to struggle its way back, I believe that my original comments have proven, sadly, to be mostly true. Radio IS smaller than it was, with many groups employing way fewer bodies to run the same number of stations. I'm happily employed as an Air Talent/Production Director, so thank goodness there's still room for those of us who really love the business, and love our audiences. But the struggle continues. I'm happy that I could spark such a great conversation. I think this post has more views than any other on Allaccess... for what that's worth. Feel free to reach out to me with any comments and find/Friend me on Facebook.. it's a dialog, after all. And thanks for the pearls of wisdom contributed so far. -Kendall Weaver