By Walter Sabo
EDITORS NOTE: In response to market demand, Sabo Media has launched a new service: “Trajectory Check.” It determines if your talk station or talk show has the elements in place for a strong Fall book. The new service monitors your show or station and checks for over 30 health markers that are consistent with winning talk shows. It is a one time only engagement that can be activated today. There is no long term commitment. In a national monitor of top shows and stations — all losing cume — the opportunities for cume growth are simple to enact if put in place right now. On AM, once the cume is gone, it’s gone for good. “Trajectory Check” is designed to stop cume decline.
NEW YORK — Since the advent of PPM, many programmers have ceased worrying about certain elements that were deemed vital to the diary method but are now considered unimportant in the age of PPM. They are especially ignoring past-proven, cume-builders based on the premise that once people are listening — you already got ’em. This is a huge mistake. Unless you have a major billboard, TV and newspaper advertising campaign in place you cannot afford to waste the power of your own air in generating cume.
CUME GROWTH in your control
These five essential ingredients, dangerously missing from most talk shows and stations will hold and grow cume when put in place. There are 30 more ingredients.
1. WHO ARE YOU? PPM proves what any good programmer always knew which is that people tune in at random times. Saying your name constantly is not often enough.
2. HOW DO I REACH YOU? The listener only wants your phone number when she wants to call in. When did you last give the phone number? It should be; constantly.
3. INCLUDE ME. “Regular callers” recognized by the host establish a closed-club feeling. Not welcoming to new listeners or callers.
4. NOPE, WASN’T LISTENING YESTERDAY. When a host or caller refers to yesterday’s show, without explaining in detail what happened, new cume is sent to the exits.
5. TO WHOM ARE YOU TALKING? Last week I listened to one nationally syndicated show with a great host who had a guest on for 30 minutes and NEVER introduced her. At a dinner table that would be pretty rude. No AM station can afford to be rude to any listener.
Please send me a personal, confidential email: Walter@sabomedia.com. I’ll send you information about the above-mentioned new service. Let’s make sure all the formatics are in place right now to attract cume to your station rather than repel it. MOST talk shows and stations are throwing away cume. It’s not hard to fix.
Walter Sabo is chairman of New York City-based consulting firm Sabo Media. He can be emailed at Walter@sabomedia.com. Meet Walter Sabo at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 on Thursday October 10.