BRADENTON, Fla. — Topic A in all conversations I have with broadcasters is about radio’s pending doom. The woe-is-me and the finger pointing invariably aims at our new-tech world where anybody can be a talk show host if they possess one of the many available space-age devices… and anybody can listen to an infinite number of unlicensed shows and networks on a variety of readily available “devices” that are not AM/FM “radios.” I hesitate to name these devices because by the time I finish this sentence there will be a new one.
This is the easiest way to cast blame without looking into our own house. I listen to a lot of radio and have a whole bunch of radios around my home and office from big, boxy ones to a couple real tiny ones that’ll fit into my pocket as I do my exercise hike around the neighborhood.
BRADENTON, FL — One of the many valuable side-effects of attending a TALKERS conference is the opportunity to meet face-to-face with a number of folks with whom you communicate only by phone or email. In addition to the onstage presentations at Talkers New York 2014 held this past Friday (6/20), it was a unique opportunity to discuss and explore some of the current challenges facing the talk media — particularly those offered only moments prior from the podium. At lunch, between sessions and during the cocktail hour I found myself in the midst of several of these spirited exchanges.
Regarding the slowly, stuttering recovery of the national economy, within my various knots of conversers, it was clear that one issue dominated all others — advertising sales. It was agreed that sales never have been really easy, but one element of the process has become far more important. It is servicing the account after the sale has been made. All acknowledged that advertisers are demanding more attention, reassurance and hand holding. And in the medium and larger markets, their obsession with having a digital component connected to just about all packages can be positively maddening. On the local level, especially in the small markets (which remain extremely important in my book) mere occasional contact and messaging no longer are sufficient in the current atmosphere.