Category: Advice

How Mobile Can Save Your Talk Radio Brand

| October 20, 2014

By Gabe Barnes
Director, Business Development
Mersoft Media 

 

barnesgabewriterKANSAS CITY — Now I know that many of you may be thinking, “What the hell is this guy talking about?”

But hear me out first.

I am not saying that if you do not embrace mobile, your station might cease to exist.  I am saying that if you don’t embrace mobile, your station WILL CEASE TO EXIST as you know it.

The general population is quickly consuming the majority of its audio content through various digital platforms, and with mobile providing 24/7 access, users are looking at a traditional broadcast’s digital offering and measuring how it stack ups against the competition.

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Two Weekend Problems, Two Solutions

| October 20, 2014

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Ask-the-expert shows CAN be a gold mine AND create appointment listening by talking about the buff stuff that’s more pertinent to listeners’ weekend lifestyle than re-runs of the syndicated weekday political blah-blah-blah stations naïvely call “Best of…”

Too bad too few stations accomplish both, or either.  Listen to what passes for Saturday/Sunday programming — on some otherwise-respectable stations, some in big markets – and you’ll hear why weekend ratings sag, and why subsidized hosts come and go, and stations lose credibility, familiarity, and (forgive me) “stationality.”  

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Budget Season!

| October 10, 2014

By Tony Garcia
Global Media Services
Founder

 

garciatonywriterDENVER — The start of Fourth Quarter means it’s time for planning!  So many of the people I work with are so busy creating their program or their product, they don’t take the time to put some strategies in place and plan ahead.

It may seem simplistic, but the easiest way to start is with the calendar.  What are things that are coming up that impact your program?  That will depend on your program, but for example, if you are producing a movie review program, you might want to do some marketing around Oscar time in late February.  Perhaps offer a free Oscar preview segment of your show to get stations to sample it.  A show about thoroughbred racing might focus on the Triple Crown races and do something around that.  It’s much easier to think through that plan now than at the last minute.

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Get Real, Real Quickly

| September 29, 2014

Maine Association of Broadcasters convention coverage by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterPORTLAND, ME — There are more of them than there are of us.  For now, we (75 million Baby Boomers) sign checks on the front, and many of them (83 million so-called Millennials) sign them on the back.  But that’s changing soon, literally.  63% of young adults cite “care for parents in old age” among their chief concerns, according to research in a Nielsen presentation at this past weekend’s Maine Association of Broadcasters conference.

Those born 1982-2000 – alternatively referred to as “Generation Y” – are 26% of the USA population, and I’ve never heard them described better than the way Nielsen Client Service Executive Madison Zinsenheim, herself a Millennial, did:

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Local Talent Can Become Indispensable

| September 22, 2014

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Before all the firings radio has suffered since, it might’ve seemed overstated when – four years ago — I wrote here: “tough decisions are being made, in meetings you’re not invited to.  Possibly in meetings your boss is not invited to.”

My column then declared that, “if you’re in radio, you’re in sales;” and offered tips for improving the endorsement spots that only local personalities can deliver, and other ways to become a more conspicuous contributor to your station’s revenue.  ICYMI: http://www.radio-info.com/2012/11/02/now-that-youre-in-sales/

Cutbacks since then – and, likely, still to come – only underline the need for on-air talent to be as sales-supportive as possible, if not actually carrying a list.  To that end, this guidance about writing effective commercial copy, a task talent is often better-at than station reps, whose time is better spent pounding the pavement.

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Solutions to AM Radio’s Problems: Here’s How the Industry Can Revive AM and Make it a Viable Force Again

| September 3, 2014

By Bill Brady
Futures & Options, Inc.
President/CEO


bradybill
JUPITER, FL — There is nothing fundamentally wrong with AM radio.

AM stations that offer quality programming that effectively serve listener’s needs are doing just fine.  There is no problem at WLW, WTMJ, KNBR, the CBS all news stations and many other well-programmed AM stations.

There is a problem at the many stations which have “run up the white flag” and surrendered to paid programming, wall-to-wall syndication, religion, or my personal favorite…drumroll please…the irresistible opportunity to become the fifth sports station in their market.

The two biggest issues for AM radio today are the commitment level of corporate owners, and the congealed nature of the syndication marketplace.

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Five Steps to Effective Hiring

| September 3, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO
sabowalterwriterNEW YORK — Since the start of my career as a C suite executive and consultant, I have hired or recommended over 1000 people. I’ve hired them at huge corporations like ABC, NBC and Sirius. I’ve hired them at smaller, successful companies such as Press Communications. Plus, I’ve launched angel funded startups and populated them with sharpies.

Modestly, I have a strong reputation for spotting talented hard workers.  Really hard workers.  People of vision and passion. It is actually difficult to deconstruct how I have been so successful at the hiring process but here are some components of the process:

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Sound Design: Your Podcast Format

| August 26, 2014

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — As the firings continue, radio performers are migrating to on-demand delivery, entering an arena exponentially more crowded than the airwaves.

HOW crowded?  There may be no accurate way to count how many podcasts are out there.  Do-it-yourself audio publishers have been at it for over a decade, since back when “podcasting” referred to iPod devices that were intended to be music players.  Now, think of “P-O-D” as “programming on-demand,” which consumers now expect and favor.  Edison Research estimates that 39 million Americans now listen to podcasts every month; 20% listen to 6-or-more per week.

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“It’s Three A.M. – And The Phone Rings…” – And How to Stop the “Janks Pranks”

| August 25, 2014

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

pricehowardNo doubt you remember “it’s three a.m. – and the phone rings…” from a 2008 Clinton for President political ad – arguably the most enduring line from that campaign.

And it’s a question broadcasters need to answer BEFORE bad things happen…because bad things tend to happen at the worst possible time.

Like 3:20 a.m. Pacific Time this past Sunday…when the earth in and around Napa County, California shook like it hadn’t shaken in almost 25 years.

At 3:20 am at most stations outside the largest markets – and even at some of the bigs, too – the programming likely is automated, or live via satellite. If anyone actually IS home, they are likely to be the lowest-paid, least-experienced people on the payroll.

And that’s OK…we’ve all been there.

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Setting Up WordPress and PodPress for a Podcast

| August 11, 2014

By Michael W. Dean
The Freedom Feens
Genesis Communications Network
Talk Show Host

 

deanmichaelwwriterCASPER, Wy. – Podcasting is sometimes considered “the ugly stepchild of radio,” because unlike radio, podcasting is open to the unwashed masses.  Anyone with an Internet connection can reach the world, for no money and with no licensing.

Podcasting was ignored and vilified by radio industry people for years (it still is by some).  But these days, almost all talk radio shows also release a podcast archive of their show, either a pay version or for free.

In addition to releasing podcast archives of terrestrial radio shows, some talk hosts become podcasters after voluntarily leaving radio or after being fired.  And some people (like myself) start their shows as a podcast before getting syndicated on radio.

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Five Quick Steps to Managing a Bad Event

| July 23, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

sabowriterNEW YORK — The purpose of talk radio is to entertain through extreme opinions and reaction to those opinions.

Keyword: Opinion.

“Opinion” covers a lot.  Read the fine print in the Nielsen ratings: “This an opinion of estimates.”  A guess.

Even precise professionals are paid for opinions.  “Doctor’s opinion.”  “Legal opinion.”

When a host offers an opinion in anger or humor and the result is a negative, threatening response from advertisers or listeners there are five steps to sanity:

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Syndicating Your Show: Behind-the-Scenes Preparation

| July 17, 2014

By Tony Garcia
Global Media Services
Founder

 

garciatonywriterDENVER — Anyone who’s been on the air knows the importance of being well prepared.  Whether its being prepared to interview a guest, handling calls or preparing for segments of your show, preparation is critical.

Unfortunately, when it comes to syndication, many don’t prepare quite as well.  That causes frustration and can ultimately lead to the failure of your project.  Here are some things to think about when you are preparing for syndication:

Finances: If you’re like me, you grew up majoring in radio and not paying too much attention to much else.  It isn’t calculus, but you should understand the costs involved in distributing your show.  Once you have established a budget, you’ll know the entire cost of syndicating your show.  Be prepared to float the show financially for at least two years in order to give the show enough time to find affiliates and audience.  The components of your financial plan should include production, distribution, and marketing.  Some of these will vary depending on the kind of show you are doing and how you plan to distribute the show.

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Take Your Audience to the Movies

| July 8, 2014

Movie review by consultant Holland Cooke

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Before debt-hobbled mega-owners deleted local mojo from the expense budget, radio stations used to DO things that engaged listeners in person.  Before too much of talk radio succumbed to caricature monologue, it used to provoke thoughtful dialogue.  Here’s an easy, quick opportunity to rekindle that touch-N-feel, and HEAR the people your advertisers want to meet.

MUST-SEE: “America: Imagine the World Without Her”

You might be hearing commercials — on the Rush Limbaugh show and in similar programs — for the new Dinesh D’Souza film.  And you might recall reading my review, a couple years ago in TALKERS magazine, of his previous flick “2016 Obama’s America.”  ICYMI: http://getonthenet.com/ObamasAmerica.pdf

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What’s Your Point of Difference?

| May 21, 2014

By Tony Garcia
Global Media Services
Founder

 

garciatonywriterDENVER — One of the critical factors in successful syndication is being able to discuss succinctly what your show is about and how it benefits the affiliate.  Most successful shows have a strong core of listeners in an easily defined demographic, like Women 35-54.  And while your may have proof via ratings, email or calls that your audience is broader, focus on your core, then think about your point of difference. Your point of difference needs to be targeted and engaging.

Whether you do a political talk show, morning show, music show or feature, your show has a target audience.  Since you already know what it is, start there, and from there take a look at what you are bringing to the show and to your potential affiliates that’s different from what’s already out there, or what’s unique about your approach to the material.  Take a look at your e-mail.  What do your listeners say is different about your show?  What keeps them coming back?  Ask around. Sometimes getting an outside perspective can give you some ideas.

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First We Entertain: You’re Here Because of Ben Hoberman

| May 6, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

sabowriterNEW YORK — In the 1970s and early 80s KABC-AM, Los Angeles was the number 1 or 2
biller in America.  From its inception it was run by Ben Hoberman.

Meeting Mr. Hoberman was an event.  You made an appointment, no one just
walked in to his office.  The GM down the hall at KLOS made an
appointment.  Mr. Hoberman’s office was different than yours.  It was
crisp, immaculate and no-nonsense.  Just like Mr. Hoberman.

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Five Simple Engagement Actions

| May 5, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

sabowalterwriterNEW YORK – There are many simple things that radio broadcasters can do to “engage” their listeners and make their stations stand out as being special. Here are five examples to consider:

1. The Radio Cathedral.  In your listener’s mind, the radio station is a community cathedral.  Recently I was talking with a Connecticut cub scout leader. She told me that she was about to take her troup on “their favorite trip.” She explained that they were going on a field trip to build their own radio sets. The kids loved it.

I asked, “At which radio station are you going to do that?”

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Syndication Reality: The Need for Measurable Audience

| April 23, 2014

By Tony Garcia
Global Media Services
Founder

garciatonywriterDENVER — I was talking with a prospective client about sponsorship and revenue generation. He was having a hard time getting his head wrapped around the whole idea of audience aggregation.

“My show is about outdoor grilling.  Why wouldn’t Omaha Steaks want to sponsor it?” It’s a logical question, and one that just about everyone just starting out asks. Is it possible? Sure. Is it likely? No.

I know what you are thinking: “What about that guy who has that weekend show?” There are several shows of this nature that are very successful. But those are special cases, and their revenue comes more from supplemental revenue channels than from network advertisers. There are also some highly specialized podcasters who are making money because they target an extremely narrow niche that can’t be reached any other way. We’re talking about general appeal programming here.

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So, You Want to Be Syndicated. Love or Money?

So, You Want to Be Syndicated. Love or Money?

| April 8, 2014

By Tony Garcia
Global Media Services
Founder

 

DENVER – I’ve spoken with many people who have the syndication bug.  The first question I ask is, “Love or money?”  We all love what we do, and we would all like to collect a fabulous salary for doing that which we love.  But in the syndication business, it’s a bit more complicated.

Syndication is an indirect sale.  As a program producer you provide a product that you believe can build an audience.  In order to get that audience, you have to get your program on the air.  No matter how good your show is, without affiliates, no one will ever hear it.  Another way to look at it is “shelf space,” just like products in a store.  If you don’t get on the shelves, you’ll never get consumers to try your product. Program directors are the ones responsible for stocking those shelves and they are literally bombarded with pitches on a daily basis.

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How to Help Your Remote Guests Shine

| April 1, 2014

By Michael W. Dean
The Freedom Feens
Michael Dean after Dark
Genesis Communications Network
Talk Show Host

 

deanmichael2CASPER, WY — I get a lot of e-mail, and lot of it is confusing. People are in a hurry and probably don’t realize that I can’t hear what’s in their head when they’re writing.

The most common confusing e-mail I get is people writing me and saying “I want to do an interview with you.”

The confusing thing about that is that I get interviewed a lot. I also interview people a lot. So when people write to me and say “I want to do an interview with you”, I have no idea if they want to interview me or if the want me to interview them.

So my first advice when dealing with guests is this: write your requests clearly. Because a lot of people are interviewed, and also interview others.

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So, You Want to Be Syndicated. Why?

| March 28, 2014

By Tony Garcia
Global Media Services
Founder

 

DENVER — That’s the question I ask people who approach me about a program they want to syndicate or a concept they think would be perfect as a syndicated program or service.  Everyone wants to play on a bigger stage.  It’s natural.  It drives us to be better at what we do.  We all share a passion for radio.

Moving from a local show to a syndicated show requires much more than passion.  It requires determination, perseverance, internal strength, patience and the ability to judge oneself dispassionately.  Ask anyone who is syndicated and they are likely to tell you about the highs of signing the first affiliate and the frustration of losing affiliates.  As a good friend of mine once said, “Syndication will break your heart.”

Still want to be syndicated?

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International Remotes?
If Not Now, When?

| March 25, 2014

By Charles Karel Bouley II
Talk Show Host

 

karelLONG BEACH, CA – Fourteen years ago I did my first international remote broadcast for KFI, Los Angeles. My late husband Andrew (also my co-host) and I had been invited to Ireland to broadcast for St. Patrick’s Day 2000.

Once it got cleared, it was a big to-do.  Engineer and producer extraordinaire Emeliano Limon was to come with us, and he had an arsenal of equipment.  Metal crates and boxes, too much for one person to manage, all got on board Aer Lingus that year as the “Karel & Andrew” show went live in Dublin.

ISDN lines had to be dropped at each hotel.  There had to be access to POTS lines as well.  The internet and computers were in their infancy so international speeds were spotty at best.  To do the broadcast to an ISDN Codec like the Telos Zephyr, an ISDN line, two microphones, mixing board, vocal processor; it took large audio files taking hours to send and audio recorders like a DAT or MiniDisc for field audio that then had to be converted and edited.

In other words, it took manpower, equipment and time to do a remote abroad, or, anywhere for that matter.

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Research (in)Digest

| March 24, 2014

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Like listeners dizzied by more-more-more media choices, we, inside-the-box, are bombarded by a torrent of data about our own changing media landscape.

Recently here, I summarized a real useful Edison Research/Triton Digital study: “The Infinite Dial 2014.”

ICYMI:  http://www.talkers.com/2014/03/06/the-infinite-dial-2014/

And here’s the short version of more recently-released research that relates to your work, and some recommendations accordingly:

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If Weekends were Weekdays?
Hey, they ARE!

| February 28, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO
sabowalterwriterNEW YORK — No station consulted by Sabo Media has ever had paid-for programming on the weekend. Paid-for programming destroys weekday revenue by suppressing audience and aging demos.

The core issue is that Saturday middays is the second highest Homes Using Radio daypart. By default it’s vital.

There is a little known trend indicator that reveals how vital weekends are to weekdays. In diary markets, Saturday midday is predictive of the next rating period. If Saturday midday is up compared to weekdays, the next -overall- rating period will be up. If it is down, the next -overall- period will be down.

Bart Walsh, a very smart radio manager (formerly WKYS-FM, Washington, DC) taught me that.

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5 Things to Do Today to Improve PPM Performance

| February 26, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman
NEW YORK — Most talk stations are scheduled rather than programmed.  When I talk to talent they always say, “No one has taught me anything.  No coaching.”
When I meet with most GMs their common complaint is, “The PD doesn’t meet with the talent.”

These five upgrades to your on-air work will improve your PPM performance and it’s what I would hound you about if I was your program director:

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Imaging with Style and Class in a PPM World

| February 6, 2014

By Pete Gustin
PeteGustin.com
Voice Over Artist & Creative Services Director

gustin, peteBOSTON — “Imaging” isn’t nearly as difficult a concept to define as you might think, even when it comes to radio imaging.  In fact, it’s quite simple.  What is the image that you wish to portray to your listening public?  Is it cool?  Is it smart?  Is it irreverent, connected or quirky?  When done right, your radio imaging will give your listeners the overall impression that you are exactly what you tell them you are.  It’s extremely powerful in fact.  If you’ve ever heard the old saying “act as if”, that’s exactly what you should do when it comes to your radio imaging.  Act as if you’re cool, or in this case, image as if you’re cool… and you will be.

So what happened?  Why is the true art of imaging fading away?  PPM consultants are breaking everything down into 15 minute segments and telling us that the most important thing to do is to get people from one block of listening to the next.  So how do they propose we do this?  It’s simple.  Just tell the listeners what’s coming up next and they’ll stick around to hear it, Right?  Maybe, but probably not.  I can’t remember the last time I went to see a stand-up comic who, after delivering a really fantastic joke stopped to tell the crowd “Hey, if you liked that joke, stick around.  I’ve got plenty more to come.”  The show just keeps on going… until it absolutely has to stop.

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Review: The Incredibly Good (and Affordable) Audio-Technica AT2005USB Cardioid Dynamic Mic

| January 7, 2014

By Michael W. Dean
The Freedom Feens
Genesis Communications Network
Co-Host

deanmichael2CASPER, WY — Remember that toy advertised on TV in the 1970s called “Mr. Microphone?”  It was a cheap plastic mic with a built-in low-power FM transmitter.  You could project a tinny rendition of your voice over any portable radio within oh…about 30 feet.

The Audio-Technica AT2005USB mic kind of reminds me of the Mr. Microphone except that the AT2005USB sounds incredibly good.  And instead of reaching every radio within 30 feet, it reaches every radio in America, or at least every radio in America that’s in a city where your show has an affiliate.

This would be a great mic for hosts who travel a lot, and don’t want to bring a mixer and a whole bag of gear or an engineer.  It’s a regular-sized dynamic mic that sounds fairly amazing.  It has a built-in USB interface, and comes with a nifty collapsible tripod table stand and a USB cable.  You could fit that all in a netbook case with a small laptop. Add a set of earphones or even ear buds and you could do your show from anywhere.  You could fit all that in a briefcase or purse.

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Women’s Talk Radio: The 1.4 Billion Dollar Mystery

| December 12, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman

NEW YORK — Smart operators have said that radio should tap more TV money, they are correct. The challenge is that radio offers less and less of what buyers seek from TV.

Today, radio turns down $1.4 billion in revenue that goes to TV because it has no place to go on radio.  The 1.4 billion is specific dollars that are invested in daytime television aimed at women. Talk shows for women on TV.

The TV shows winning these dollars are Judge Judy, Kelly and Michael, Ellen, The View, The Chat, The Chew, Extra, TMZ Live, The Talk, Maury Povitch, Jerry Springer and a few game shows and day time dramas like The Price is Right and General Hospital.

judgejudyThe highest paid performer on Daytime TV is Judge Judy earning over $40 million a year. (For one month of taping!)  She has 7.5 million viewers. What does she talk about?  Relationships.

“No sir, you are not a good husband or roommate and you owe her the money,” Judy bellows from the bench to the delight of all.

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Vintage Telefunken 12AX7 Tube Review

| November 19, 2013

Tubes? What Century Do You Think This Is?

By Michael W. Dean
The Freedom Feens
Genesis Communications Network
Co-Host

 

Figure 1 - TubesLeft: Tung-Sol 12AX7 tube.      Right: Telefunken 12AX7 tube

deanmichael2CASPER, WY — The transition in audio production from analog to digital over the past couple decades has been a boon for radio. No more splicing tape, and no more finding the right tape or piece of tape. And don’t get me started on those dreaded carts. I’m thankful they’ve been replaced by a click on the screen. Tape hiss is something I don’t miss either.

However, in some ways, digital audio production is too clean. So after ditching tubes and tapes for transistors, integrated circuits and hard drives, some people have gone back to analog for one phase of the audio chain: the pre-amp.

Tube pre-amps and compressors have sonic attributes that cannot yet be replicated with digital modeling. Tubes provide a warmth that comes from semi-random, subtle distortion on certain harmonics. That sounds like it would be a bad thing, but it’s actually a good thing.

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Protect Your Rights with the Help of the EFF

| October 31, 2013

By Michael W. Dean
The Freedom Feens
Genesis Communications Network
Co-Host

CASPER – The Electronic Frontier Foundation, or EFF, is a non-profit that has taken to the courts to fight the good fight in the digital world since 1990.  They’ve initiated legal challenges against the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping.  They’ve filed a Petition for Inter Partes Review challenging a patent that a so-called “patent troll” has asserted against podcasters such as Adam Carolla.  This patent troll has sent demands for cash to many podcasters and has sued NBC, CBS, Fox, and the HowStuffWorks podcast.  The outcome of that case probably affects you, if you put up archives as a podcast, or ever plan to.

eff logoThe Electronic Frontier Foundation has fought to keep tracking software out of your phone. They’ve fought for open access to what the government is doing behind your back.  They’ve fought for Fair Use of images on websites (something that absolutely helps broadcasters and news sites). They have fought literally thousands of other things that need fighting. They’ve been protecting the Internet since before most people had heard of the Internet. So they’re friends of anyone planning to make a business shift from terrestrial radio to media on mobile devices. That’s a shift that everyone in radio should be anticipating, or at least looking at.

EFF is the premiere advocate for digital rights. They have done so much good it’s impossible to list it all here. We encourage you to check out their website to see for yourself.
https://www.eff.org/

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Halloween Promotion Ideas

| September 30, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI – The only holiday Americans spend more on is Christmas.

Here comes October, which begins on the heels of another mass shooting, and with yet-another episode of the partisan Washington brinksmanship that has cost Congress in public approval polls, and threatens to relegate talk radio to a wearying caricature.

Meanwhile, the listeners that local retailers want most to see pull into the parking lot are buying pumpkins and candy and wondering who/what to dress up as.  So Halloween affords radio an opportunity to be about what people are up to.

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A Five-Dollar Ground Tester Can Save Your Life

| September 24, 2013

 

By Michael W. Dean
Genesis Communications Network
Co-Host, The Freedom Feens

 

fig 1“Fuzzy” guards the ground tester and protects it from interlopers

Live fast, die old of natural causes

Improperly grounded outlets can add noise to electrical equipment, which is not good when doing radio. And improperly grounded outlets can KILL you…which is absolutely not good when doing radio. It doesn’t make for a long career. It can also injure employees, which can kill a company.

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Why Some of Radio’s Best Advertisers Are the Most Difficult to Find for Consumers – and How to Fix It.

| September 16, 2013

By Chris Pendl
Bonneville Seattle
Creative Director

pendlchriswriterSEATTLE – One of the things that make radio an effective advertising tool is that it’s often the last message a consumer hears before making a purchase.  This point-of-sale proximity drives results for advertisers and keeps radio as part of their marketing mix.  With smartphone ownership now 56 percent among American adults, searching on smartphones is increasingly becoming a part of the consumer’s journey before making a purchase. A recent local search study, revealed there’s an 87 percent increase in local searches via mobile apps.  It is in this mobile space where some of radio’s best advertisers, local and regional businesses, have poor visibility and are often non-existent.

Local search is a bit different than searching on your computer.  Without going into the super-technical details (you can read more at the MOZ blog), know that even when a local business shows up on a desktop search – there’s no guarantee the same will happen on a mobile phone.

Let’s dive into some real-world examples.

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Permanent Sound Conditioning
in Three Hours for $250

| August 29, 2013

By Michael W. Dean
The Freedom Feens
Genesis Communications Network
Co-Host

1 - Driver's seat in final studio designDriver’s seat in final studio design

CASPER, Wyoming — In my August 1st TALKERS article “Quick-and-Dirty Three-Minute Sound Conditioning,” I showed you how to greatly reduce reverberation in a room at a cost of zero dollars. That solution is simple and quick, and it works. However, it doesn’t look very good. The Quick-and-Dirty Three-Minute Sound Conditioning method is excellent if you’re doing an afternoon of one-off remotes, or for temporary sound conditioning when you’ve moved into a new location and have a show to do. But you’re probably not going to want to keep it that way.

My more permanent method of sound conditioning won’t set you back a lot, and it looks nice enough to leave it up as long as you’d like. It also has the advantage of having a homey feel, as opposed to a “studio” feel. This is nice if you do a syndicated show from home. It can also work in a radio station, especially if you have a room where you often interview guests who’ve never been on the radio before. People who’ve never been on radio can often feel overwhelmed by the experience. You can get a more natural interview out of people who are not radio pros simply by making a room at your radio station feel more like a cozy room in a home. Your interview subjects may forget they’re “under the microscope” and open up more.

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V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N (or is it?)

| August 28, 2013

Thoughts and observations about some of the best in the West: Ron Owens, K-EARTH 101, and listening to a transmitted signal on hallowed ground

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookeBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Vacation and I tend to elude each other.  Although I live in a summertime destination, I bug-out JUST as seasonal funsters invade.  The natural travel cycle for radio consultants is after-the-Spring-book and as-we’re-planning-for the Fall survey and budget-planning for the new year.  OK, OK, it’s also convenient that my perennial seven week non-stop station visit trek occurs during baseball season.  I see the Red Sox everywhere BUT Fenway Park.

And like anyone self-employed, in any industry, I feel like I never stop working!  But I did last week…or at least I intended to.  As I’m sure you do when you hear radio elsewhere-in-your-travels, I couldn’t help listening critically…yet I still experienced radio more like a consumer than a vendor to my client stations.

Three radio notes from my trip, and not just so I can write-it-off, honest…

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What We All Can Learn from the A-Rod Brand: It’s All About Your Performance

| August 12, 2013

By Dr. John Tantillo
Brand Talk’s “Go Brand Yourself”
WVOX Radio, New Rochelle
Host

tantillodrarodNEW YORK — Just look at what happened to Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) on Friday night when his brand was rolled out to his New York market.

With all the commotion surrounding the A-Rod brand concerning his PED use, you would think that when he came to the plate, there would have been an overwhelming outcry of dis-satisfaction concerning this high negative profile brand!  But no. Despite what many would have predicted, the jury was split, and it was only when A-Rod failed to perform that he was jeered by the NYC-based crowd.  Simply put from a branding perspective: it was not his supposed “cheating” that caused a negative crowd reaction.  It was his performance (or lack of it) that wounded the brand, for at least one game.

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How to Keep Your Show Relevant, Even Popular, 150 Years into the Future

| August 8, 2013

By Michael W. Dean
The Freedom Feens/Genesis Communications Network.
Co-Host
 

Two Kinds of Media

CASPER – I don’t define different talk shows by their subject matter or political bent. I really think there are only two kinds of talk radio. There are only two types of media for that matter, whether it’s talk radio, music, newspapers, TV, books, movies or whatever. The two types of media are DISPOSABLE and ETERNAL. Media is either disposable — to be consumed like yummy junk food, or it’s eternal and will be studied and taught in universities and enjoyed in homes for at least 150 years, well after the death of the author.

Which type is your show? Which type do you want your show to be?

And for that matter, if your show is the very tiny minority of talk radio that is eternal, what are you doing to make the archives as high quality and freely available as possible, and encouraging people to preserve it and share it so widely that it actually has a chance of being listened to 150 years from now?

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Local Radio News: Never More Opportune

| August 5, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

FILED FROM THE RADIO ROAD — After a couple decades of firings, “local radio news” might seem like an oxymoron. Less-so lately, based on what I’m hearing – and doing – in my travels. And I’m bullish for the future.

Note two recent news items:

SiriusXM announces it now has 25 million+ subscribers, after adding 715,000 (net) in Q2, “a post-merger record for quarterly net subscriber additions,” CEO Jim Meyer crows. “We are raising 2013 subscriber guidance to 1.5 million net additions.” They attribute improved new car sales.

And you might’ve seen that Gallup News Poll about Americans’ preferred news source:

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Quick-and-Dirty Three-Minute
Sound Conditioning

| August 1, 2013

By Michael W. Dean
The Freedom Feens/Genesis Communications Network
Co-Host

CASPER — Large corporations and government bureaucrats will often spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on soundproofing and sound conditioning for an audio studio. They’ll even spend tens of thousands of dollars simply on the consultants to tell them how to soundproof and sound condition a studio. That may make sense to you if you’ve got venture capital money to burn and don’t mind being out of business in a few years. It may also make sense if you’re working for the government because the money is someone else’s and you think you’ll never go out of business.

But the rest of us have to make do with what we have.

The advent of i.p. hardware codecs has allowed talk radio hosts to produce nationally syndicated shows from our homes. And people working for corporate radio are often called to do remotes in a variety of environments. You can buy portable devices that acoustically isolate a microphone, but using one is basically like sticking your head in a small box. That is not conducive to doing a good show, especially if you’re doing on-the-spot interviews with a variety of guests.

Today I’ll show you how to temporarily sound condition a room in three minutes at no cost. This will vastly improve the audio reaching your microphone, and thus, your audience.

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Radio from the Newspaper: Stop the Presses?

| July 31, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The impending launch of a Boston Herald-based online audio stream points to an opportunity I’ve been recommending to local radio newscasters who’ve been getting fired right and left these past several years.  With hard copy media now so mature, yet still commanding such a big revenue share, rich media was always a logical line extension for newspapers.  They need it, they know it, and they know they don’t know how to do it as well as broadcasters do.

Even without the financial support and promotional heft a newspaper gives a netcast, non-AM/FM “radio” is exploding.

  • “The transmitter” has been there ever since we could save as .mp3.
  • “The receiver” became conspicuous a decade ago, when iPod was the shiny object.  Since then, smartphones have obsoleted such player-only non-AM/FM receivers.  As he’s described what he terms “the media station,” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has suggested that the P-O-D in podcasting might simply refer to “Programming on Demand.”

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Sales Lead, Programming Heads-Up:
“The Fixer Mindset”

| July 30, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Remember that riveting scene in “Mission Impossible III?” At a swank Vatican City reception, the MI force kidnaps Philip Seymour Hoffman’s villainous character…and nobody knows. The switcheroo is high tech. In a back room, a 3D printer creates a mask that enables Cruise to masquerade as the abducted Hoffman, and walk right out the front door.

Don’t shrug this off as something you only see in the movies. Elsewhere in Hollywood, one Jay Leno has spent a small fortune on high-end 3D printers, to produce otherwise-unavailable engine parts for his couple hundred collectable cars. At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, there’ll be an entire Tech Zone dedicated to 3D printing; so look for my CES coverage here in January, and listen for my reports on “America in the Morning” and my client stations.

Back when ex-DJs my age got into radio, we played the hits. And “a hit” was a song, on a 45-rpm vinyl disc, sold in brick-and-mortar storefronts. Now, songs are digital downloads from Amazon and iTunes. And the definition of “television” has broadened to include Hulu, Netflix, and other interlopers investing aggressively in their own hits. Real soon, “a hit” will be 3D print software code. You’ll order the part or gadget you need from Amazon or iTunes, and the author will print-and-ship to order.

If I had a 3D printer, the first thing I’d print is another 3D printer. But I digress.

Here’s what all this means to radio…

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Delivering Newspaper Radio

| July 29, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

(Editor’s Note:  In addition to radio stations and groups, Sabo Media has worked for decades with print media to produce successful, profitable radio in many forms.  Clients have included Parade magazine, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, Martha Stewart Living, and the Asbury Park Press.)

sabowalterwriterNEW YORK — A dynamic, future-oriented new stage has launched: RADIO STATIONS ON NEWSPAPER WEBSITES. The Boston Herald, as first reported here, will launch a radio station from their website on Monday August 5th. Boston Herald Radio will bring new, younger audience to the newspaper and hyper-local, live advertising capabilities unimaginable for newspapers until this moment.

Having participated in the success of many print-to-audio businesses, a list of essential ingredients have emerged that are required for longevity. Here are three:

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Five Tips for Instant Cume Growth

| July 24, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

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.

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CASE STUDY: How to Launch an Independently Syndicated Talk Show

| July 24, 2013

By Thomas R. Ray, III CPBE, AMD, DRB
Tom Ray Consulting
President   
TALKERS
Technical Editor

NEW YORK — I’ve been promising for a while the story of “The Little Engine That Could.”  As many know, I work with an independently syndicated radio program, Ron Ananian: The Car Doctor.  This is the story of how and why we took it into independent syndication.  You could do this, too.

Car Doctor logoThe Car Doctor was a program offered on the WOR Radio Network.  With the acquisition of WOR by Clear Channel on December 20, 2012, The Car Doctor program was bounced from the schedule and was immediately taken into 30 day reruns to fulfill contract obligations.

Ron Ananian, program host, called me on Christmas Eve.  Obviously, he was upset – as was I.  Ron runs R/A Automotive in Waldwick, New Jersey.  He has been on the air for over 20 years as The Car Doctor.  He wanted the program to continue, and asked how we would go about doing that – if I wanted to get involved.  Yeah, I did.

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How to Keep the Zimmerman Verdict and Rolling Stone Cover Stories Relevant for More than Two Weeks

| July 23, 2013

It comes down to understanding the difference between “feelers” and “thinkers”

By  Dr. John Tantillo
Branding and Marketing Group, Inc.
President

NEW YORK — Yes, you can use the “F” word and get away with it.

It’s the word that will keep your content fresh and relevant as well as extending the shelf life of any topic you choose.  And I bet you it will keep your phones ringing beyond what you could imagine.

That “F” word:  FEEL!

And the question to ask yourself:

Are you a feeler or thinker?

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How to Be a Talk Show Host

| July 22, 2013

By Bob Lonsberry
WHAM, Rochester/WSYR Syracuse
Talk Show Host

lonsberrybobMOUNT MORRIS, NY — Let me tell you how to be a talk show host.

Step one: Ignore anybody who tries to tell you how to be a talk show host

This is fundamentally a solo business and the more you try to be like someone else, or the more closely you follow the consultants and the bosses, the less effective you will be.

Certainly, there are general rules of the business, ways to hold listeners and maximize ratings, to move through a clock and broadcast professionally. You must know and execute the formatics, but you must be their master, not their slave. They give you structure, but you give yourself voice.

Somewhere, down deep, you either have it or you don’t, and the key to your success will be being true to yourself. Likewise, the key to the continued success of the form will be the quality and variety of rising hosts.

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How to Audit Your PPM Encoding and Why You Should Do It Tomorrow

| July 18, 2013

By Chris Pendl
Bonneville Seattle
Creative Director

pendlchriswriterppm (2)SEATTLE – PPM stands for Personal People Meter and is Arbitron’s audience measurement platform.  Arbitron lists the markets using PPM on their website.

There seems to be a new platform to distribute radio programming every few months.  The most-recent addition is the Swell smartphone app—and that is added to the already-long list of podcast aggregators, video streams, audio streams, and station smartphone apps, to name a few.  With radio audiences fragmented on different distribution platforms, it’s important to confirm all of our published content has the proper encoding to receive listening credit.
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Note to Talk Radio Producers

| July 12, 2013

By Bob Lonsberry
WHAM, Rochester/WSYR Syracuse
Talk Show Host

EXCLUSIVE TO TALKERS

MOUNT MORRIS, NY — This is a note to radio producers.

More specifically, it is a note to my radio producers.

Here’s how I want it done.

That might sound demanding or haughty, and it might be. But it’s better to know what you’re shooting for than to muddle around and never quite catch on.

And I’ve had enough of that.

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Audience Research: The Dunkin’ Donuts Method

| July 9, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

ILLINOIS en route to DELAWARE, then TEXAS, PENNSYLVANIA, WISCONSIN and beyond — When I file a piece for TALKERS from home you see BLOCK ISLAND, RI as my dateline.  Not this time of year.

With Spring ratings in, and the Fall book looming – and my renters yukking-it-up at the beach – I’m everywhere BUT home, on another summer-long radio road trip.  On station visits, we’re planning Fall promotions, updating the station’s on-air imaging, reviewing airchecks, supporting sales, and burning up restaurant trades.  By Labor Day, I’ll have a pile of little soaps and shampoos.

This epic trek sure isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a radio talker, there’s something I’m witnessing out here that you can experience right there at home.

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How Much is a Listener Worth? Here’s How to Figure it Out (Using, Ugh, Math!)

| July 2, 2013

Chris Pendl
Bonneville Seattle
Creative Director

SEATTLE — What if you knew how much an average listener contributed in daily, monthly, or even annual revenue to your station?  And what if you could use that data to help drive decisions in what promotions make sense for existing listeners and which marketing channels are best for new listeners?  You can, and here’s how to do it.

The ratings data used in the example below is standard for all Arbitron subscribers.  The revenue figures are fictional.

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Listen to Your Syndicated Show on an Affiliate and You’ll Learn Something

| June 21, 2013

By Thomas R. Ray, III CPBE, AMD, DRB
Tom Ray Consulting
President   
TALKERS
Technical Editor

NEW YORK — As I have mentioned in this column previously, I am involved with an independently syndicated program, Ron Ananian: The Car Doctor.  The program airs live on an independent network on Saturdays from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, with some affiliates delaying the show until Sunday to broadcast.  The story of putting this together and making it work when The Car Doctor show was bounced from the WOR Radio Network lineup when Clear Channel purchased WOR is an article in itself.  And yes, that will be another article, because it is entirely possible to take a program into independent syndication and make it work.

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Talk Hosts are Wise to Add Writing to their Communication Toolbox

| May 31, 2013

By Lisa Wexler
WFAS-AM, Westchester, NY
Talk Show Host

wexlerlisaWESTCHESTER, NY — “Honey, you’re famous,” my husband Bill called upstairs to me on Saturday morning. Really, why so? “Rick the shoe man says he read your op-ed in the Connecticut Post and he agrees with you. He wants me to tell you that. He thinks you are right, told me to thank you for writing it.”  Made my day. I haven’t seen Rick the shoe man in about three years. He doesn’t live or work within my radio range. Unless he takes the trouble to find me on iHeartRadio or on-line, I don’t reach this man. Not unless I make the effort to write as well as speak.

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“Situational Baseball Return Liners” Maximize Play-by-Play Promotional Potential

| May 28, 2013

By Chris Pendl
BONNEVILLE SEATTLE
Creative Director

SEATTLE — If you’ve made the investment on play-by-play sports on your station, it’s important to maximize the return on your investment by trying to recycle that audience to another day part on your station.

Arbitron tells us that MLB drives cume increases anywhere from 50%-65% on flagship stations when the baseball season starts.  This influx of audience is one of the reasons we pay rights fees, share revenue, or give up inventory to carry this programming. In a climate with little or no external marketing dollars, I’ve often joked that our promotional time within baseball play by play is the closet thing we’ll get to an interstate billboard or TV campaign.

A few years ago in Seattle, we decided to take a different approach to how we used our in-game promotional inventory during Mariner broadcasts.  We wanted something that was more dynamic than a recorded promo — something that cut through and made the listener feel like someone was watching the game with them.

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Email: New Rules

| May 23, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Remember that one thing you’d never make it to the driveway without?

Your keys.  Now there are two things.  It’s tough to imagine a day without that everything-in-your-pocket thing we used to call “a cell phone.”

Texting and Twitter have raised the bar on Email.

When I first started consulting, client stations would mail me aircheck cassettes in padded envelopes.  No, Harry Truman was not in the White House.  That was first-term Clinton administration era technology.  Tick tock.

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Station Management: Three for your Netflix List

| May 16, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Forget those boring management training videos!  The acting is bad, and the situations are contrived.

Instead?  Rent these three Hollywood hits and share with your team.

Sexual Harassment:

See “Disclosure,” in which Demi Moore’s buff, ruthless executive hits on male subordinate Michael Douglas.  Author Michael Crichton (“Jurassic Park”) turned the tables by making a woman the unwanted aggressor.  And in doing so, he shows us one of industry’s more volatile issues from a different angle, one sure to sensitize your employees to nuances they might miss by examining the problem from the usual man-hassles-woman perspective.

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Your Aircheck Notes

| May 14, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND — Tell me THIS doesn’t validate the consultant caricature!  I’m in a rental car, driving the pattern…  or camped-out in a hotel, waiting for room service to deliver the BLT and Diet Coke, and more packets of that in-room coffee.  I’m… listening.  Stealthy, almost gumshoe, eh?

Relax.  Notes which follow aren’t necessarily about you, personally.

On second thought, DON’T relax.  Be psyched.  Be stoked.  Bring your “A” game, every day.  Because the dang consultant gets paid to listen.  Your concern is people-who-don’t, “real people,” listeners, each a potential PPM panelist or diarykeeper…and prospect for your retail advertisers.

So here are some generic Do’s-N-Don’ts, based on many miles along the winding radio road:

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Have You Hugged a Lawyer Today?
An Exterminator?

| May 13, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND — If you work on air, you get to keep working because you’re real valuable to sales.  Heck, you should be in sales, if only handling a handful of accounts that you yourself prospected.  Commission-only!  The station has zero to lose, and another set of feet on the street; and you COULD double your income.  Yes you could.

To get you started, here’s a sure shot, including killer copy points, from a radio great.

When I moderated the very first session at the very first Talkers New Media Seminar — as Talkers New York was called in the 1990s – venerable Bruce Williams was among the panelists.  And he ad-libbed a paragraph my clients have been making money with ever since.

Although Bruce’s recognizable voice and trust-me delivery slam-dunked the copy, this spot could also be effective voiced by the client, unless the attorney can’t affect the sympathetic delivery necessary.

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The Secret of Managing Controversy

| May 8, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman

mcallanbobNEW YORK — Bob McAllan is the CEO of Press Broadcasting. He put on the two most successful FM Talk stations in the world: New Jersey 101.5 — going into its 22 year — and WTKS-FM Real Radio 104.1 Orlando, launched 1994. Bob and GM John Dziuba made a strategic decision that enabled the station’s hosts to present the most controversial, often outrageous opinions with minimal fallout.

newjersey1015wtks125Their single decision gave management the freedom to sell advertising on the stations, defend the hosts and manage the talent in an environment void of fear. Bob and John decided that their STATIONS must never present an opinion or point of view.  Simultaneously they realized that to have winning stations, the hosts must have well prepared, very strong points of view on every single topic.

After consulting and operating the largest talk stations in the world, I believe the paragraph you just read sums up the programming infrastructure for success.

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Your Station Promos: “Blah, blah, blah?”

| May 6, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Nothing we say about the station on-air adds listeners, because the only people who hear promos are already listening.

The goal of on-air promotion is to add Time Spent Listening (TSL) by existing cume — specifically adding additional occasions of listening — with messages which suggest why-and-when to come-back-for what-promos-promise.

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Five Critical Steps to Success with
Online Video for Radio Websites

| May 1, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman

NEW YORK — Since 2007 a company our team founded, HITVIEWS, has pioneered the monetization of online video. While giants such as Budweiser wasted $28M on little watched BudTV, we discovered an extremely efficient way to reach audiences with online video.  The internet has inspired a new breed of stars: Online Video “webstars” and HITVIEWS was the first to identify them and link them with advertisers.

Very smart brands know they need to be in the online video space but ALL of their initiatives failed to garner a significant viewership. But “webstars” like Jenna Marbles, TheHIll88, Nalts, Whatthebuck, Sxephil, Tobuscus, Community Channel and a select group of other elite online performers are able to pull MILLIONS of viewers to each of their videos.

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Boston Bombing: How Radio Can Help…
Or Hurt.

| April 16, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BOSTON — Prediction: The Boston perpetrator(s)’ capture will be crowdsourced.

Today, you will be photographed, possibly hundreds of times.  Cameras are everywhere now.  They’re in banks and stores.  They’re robo-toll-takers, and toll-evader witnesses; and red-light cameras and automated radar traps have become a controversial new municipal revenue stream.  Riding mass transit?  Smile.  Since 9/11, that’s been The New Normal…on a normal day.

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Comrex Access: Why Every Show
Needs One

| April 10, 2013

By Charles Karel Bouley
Host
The Karel Show

karelSAN FRANCISCO — Technology has changed every part of our lives and that is especially true for those in the arts, particularly broadcasting.  What it used to take a truck to do, now takes less than a briefcase and cost 1/100th the original price.

Radio today is changing; no longer is it just terrestrial.  It’s the stream, it’s the podcast, the Twitter, the YouTube — it’s moving at the speed of sound.  But many hosts are not.  They are stuck in their studios doing the same type of radio that worked 20 or more years ago.

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Is Moss Growing on your Website?

| March 29, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — The midday host at a station I work with asks: “Should I move from Facebook to Twitter?”

Wisely, stations and personalities are prioritizing Twitter, a darn opportune tool which listeners have adopted as-fervently as they did Facebook…and MySpace, in its day.

If you’re thinking that “The Next Shiny Object” is your very own iPhone app, STOP.  Save the money, for reasons I will explain on June 6 in my Talkers/New York presentation “Resourceful + Remarkable.”

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So You Want to be Syndicated?

| March 5, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — I can help you.  But first, can I talk you out of it?

Why:  In olden times, each radio station had four departments:

1. Programming, whose favor you’ll need to curry, since you’re offering a program;

    2. Sales, especially if you’re planning a weekend show, since the sales department programs weekends at talk stations;

3. General & Administrative (“Corporate is reviewing your contract”);

4. Engineering (“Which receiver is it on?”).

 

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RU @Speed-of-Life?

| February 25, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Listeners are busy and radio talent is spooked.

• Listeners? “OMG,” they’re texting, too often while driving. Most of their other media activity is also interactive, on-demand, hit-and-run. Notice how you yourself use your smartphone.

• Radio talent? Doubly-spooked!

1. It’s official: “Job security” is now an oxymoron. No names, but a real talented guy who works for a great big company’s major station in a top 10 market tells me: “Every Friday that I’m not fired is the beginning of a good weekend.” Survivors are playing it safe, sometimes too safe.

2. Many still working are, with best intentions, over-reacting to PPM. Often, their doing so highlights a disconnect with listeners’ speed-of-life.

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Five Impact Trends to Help You Reach the Future Safely

| February 21, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman

NEW YORK – The challenge of working at most radio stations or broadcast companies is the staff is pre-occupied with job security. As a result, trends that should be noted and discussed are dismissed in order to prepare the weekend schedule and worry about corporate.  As the CEO of an executive-on-demand company, Sabo Media, we are presented daily with new products, talent and ideas. Here are five that are interesting and may be helpful in growing your business:

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Have You Hugged Twitter Today?

| February 19, 2013

By Holland Cooke RadioConsultant Seinfeld-backwardBLOCK ISLAND – Remember Seinfeld-in-reverse? It was a special episode that was entirely backwards. It began with closing credits and ended with the opening theme. The plot started-at-the-end…then ended at-the-very-beginning. We saw Jerry and Kramer meet for the first time. In the final scene — the earliest chronological moment, a flashback, to a time before the Internet — Jerry’s date was telling him about the advent of Email. “Email,” Jerry asked, puzzled, “Why would I want to send someone an Email?” Read More

Do You Sound “CompuServe”
to Smartphone Users?

| February 14, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — To avoid a common mistake I hear in my radio travels, promos for your station’s website should END – not BEGIN – by plugging the site.

Instead, begin by telling ‘em ONE REASON they want to go there.

Fundamentally, a promo is a commercial, right? So, as with copy you’d write for an advertiser, you should:
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Radio: “House of Cards?”

| February 13, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

HouseOfCards 125BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Ruthless and cunning, Congressman Francis Underwood (Oscar® winner Kevin Spacey) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) stop at nothing to conquer everything. This wicked political drama penetrates the shadowy world of greed, sex, and corruption in modern D.C.

But you won’t see it at the multiplex. Or on HBO, or Showtime. Or on TNT, FX, or other basic cable channels which are now so aggressively producing top-shelf original programming. “House of Cards” is an original Netflix series.

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Managers: Forget “Time Management.”
Don’t Even Try!

| February 11, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — News flash: Time cannot be managed. But tasks can.

Whenever we install a new PD at a client station, I share four techniques I myself have found darn helpful over many years of dancing-as-fast-as-I-can in several over-tasked management positions.

1. “Mapping” your week. Use a spreadsheet, to create a schedule that doesn’t change week-to-week. Slot-in items like:

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How-To Two: More Tips for Talk Radio’s Weekend Warriors

| February 5, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Talk Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Yesterday here, I outlined techniques for pumping-up call count to weekend specialty shows. If you missed it: How to Pump Up Your Weekend ‘How-To’ Show.

And here are four more tips for ask-the-experts hosts:

Stay (relentlessly) on-topic

Don’t, for instance, talk about a movie you recently saw, unless it relates directly to your topic of expertise. Why?

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Your Radio Station is Vulnerable to Identity Theft

| February 5, 2013

By Steven J.J. Weisman
TALKERS
Legal Editor

BOSTON — We all are aware of the dangers of identity theft and many of us do our best to protect ourselves individually from the dire consequences of having your identity stolen. But what about your radio station? Does it even know that there is a problem?

Recently we have learned that both The New York Times and the Washington Post had their computers hacked into by Chinese hackers and this was not the first time. The hacking into The New York Times and the Washington Post do not appear to be financially motivated, but that is of little solace.

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A Talk Show Host Nerd’s Adventure in Expedient Remote Broadcasting

| February 4, 2013

By Ethan Bearman
Talk Show Host
Genesis Communications Network
KSCO, Santa Cruz

 

bearmanwriterSANTA CRUZ — What happens when you mix a nerd and talk radio broadcaster who loves politics and current events?

During the presidential election last fall I saw many posts on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs all over the web sharing international opinions regarding our vote. And I thought, “How do I tap into that information in a manner that is different from everybody else?”

Go to where those opinions are originating.

I have always been drawn to the United Kingdom, that stiff upper lip country that gave birth to our great nation. I had spent some time there in the late 1990s with a global software company and loved it. From the pubs and pints to the fish and chips, peacockish hats on Ladies’ Day at Royal Ascot, and the all-around affable Brits…what’s not to love?

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How to Pump Up Your Weekend ‘How-To’ Show

| February 4, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Talk Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI – Few marketing opportunities can generate more new business than local talk radio…if you use it properly.  Thus all the buff stuff we hear on weekends, specialty programming that becomes appointment listening, and moves product and services for hosts who do fundamentally good radio, principally inviting callers’ questions.

Listeners use these shows for two things:

  1. Information: Consumers rely on experts for specific advice about products and services they’re shopping for.  That’s you, if your show includes news about your area of expertise, new product reviews, and interviews with guests who can explain and simplify what might otherwise seem complicated, even scary, to listeners.  In every city in the USA, Saturday/Sunday radio fare includes shows about auto repair, food and wine, health and fitness, home improvement, gardening, the law, pets, consumer electronics, and other specialties.
  2. Interaction: At its best, talk radio is two-way radio.  So THE MOST valuable use of your airtime is answering callers’ questions.  “The lawyer is in, the meter is off” is a very inviting proposition…and attorneys who host radio shows get lots of new clients by offering “free samples” in this fashion.  It’s remarkable how callers themselves will ask the law show host, “May I call you Monday at your office?”  Demonstrating your expertise on air is more powerful than a mere advertising pitch, and makes you seem more approachable than a Yellow Pages ad for your competitors.  So, generally, the more callers the better.  Each caller’s situation will be relatable to lots of listeners who don’t call…all of whom could become your customers.

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Radio’s Biggest Star: Baseball

| January 25, 2013

By Holland Cooke
News/Talk/Sports Radio Consultant

St. LOUIS — Do the math. For six months when habitual listening dips as listeners vacation and otherwise alter their lives, baseball brings:

• Long-TSL tune-in (“vertical maintenance” in Arbitron-speak), to…

• 162 three+ hour shows (“horizontal maintenance”), by…

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Your NEWS Year’s Resolutions

| January 2, 2013

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — If you’re among radio’s remaining local news people, you can improve your chances of remaining even longer by story-telling as impactfully as possible.

Your work – relevant, plainspoken newscasts – can make the station more habit-forming. Promos that assure “WE’VE GOTCHA COVERED” only talk-the-talk. Walk-the-walk by reckoning what matters to your target listener, and sounding-newer every time they hear you. If you do, you’ll prompt what the lab coat crowd at Arbitron calls “additional occasions of listening,” the quickest way to grow Share.

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