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Perhaps we should focus what we are good at and that the public still wants and needs
By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality
Time spent listening to your AM and FM radio stations is declining precipitously each year. This is particularly true among young people. They’ve grown up in a world of visual stimuli and conditioning addicted to “screens.” They love music, but have minimal attraction to or experience with AM and FM radio. Advertising revenue for AM and FM radio is flat to declining.
There are shiny new high-tech competitors everywhere. Mobile phones and the internet are sucking up massive amounts of consumer time and attention. Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, and other services and apps offer continuous music customized to listeners moods and tastes as well as individual songs on demand. This competition is becoming widely available and easily accessible in cars where the majority of AM and FM radio is consumed.
Two Big Days for Talk Radio in the Big Apple. Today (6/19) kicks off a big couple of days for talk radio in New York City starting with the ninth annual installment of “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations” – the massive radio row at the iconic headquarters of the World Organization — produced by TALKERS magazine in association with the Talk Radio News Service and the United Nations Foundation. Tomorrow is the power-packed day of “Talkers New York 2014” — the 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention. More than 25 hosts, shows and networks are participating in the United Nations initiative which is already underway at the time of this posting. They are interviewing international policy experts, ambassadors, newsmakers and UN department leaders. Tomorrow, more than 55 industry leaders will address hundreds of attendees from radio stations, networks and broadcast-oriented organizations from across the country in an anticipated event that was been sold-out two weeks in advance. Look for full coverage of both exciting events right here in the days ahead. Meanwhile, from today’s broadcasts from the United Nations, pictured here is Fox News Radio personality Alan Colmes (left) interviews UN deputy general secretary Jan Eliasson (right).
KARN-FM, Little Rock Announces New Programming Lineup. Arkansas news/talker KARN-FM, Little Rock “Newsradio 102.9” has new morning drive and afternoon programming as the Cumulus Media station names Arkansas native Kevin Miller morning drive host and Doc Washburn afternoon talk personality. The station says Miller is a longtime market veteran who has worked at such stations as adult contemporary KURB “B98.5” and CHR KLAL “Alice 107.7.” Beginning Monday, July 7, Doc Washburn begins hosting the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm program. Washburn comes to Little Rock from his most recent gig at Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte. He’s also worked in the Savannah, Georgia; Panama City and Fort Walton Beach, Florida markets. KARN-FM program director Adam Thomas states, “Kevin and Doc bring passion, experience and a love of local radio to mornings and afternoons on Arkansas’ legendary news radio station.”
Edison Research: Broadcast Radio Grabs 52% of Audio Listening. According to a new study of 2,096 Americans ages 13+ that the company calls the “Share of Ear” measurement, Americans spend more than four hours per day listening to audio from all sources and AM/FM broadcast audio (heard on all of its platforms) has a 52% audience share of listening. The study asked the panel about its audio listening habits including radio, internet delivered radio, pure-play digital services, and consumers’ own music collections. The study is based on a 24-hour listening diary recorded last month. Edison Research president Larry Rosin comments, “Edison’s ‘Share of Ear’ study is a response to the many requests from all corners of the audio industry and investment community for ‘total share of everything’ figures that did not previously exist. Edison reported last September that America is in a ‘golden age of audio consumption.’ Seeing that Americans spend roughly a fourth of their waking day listening to some sort of audio confirms it.”
Alpha Media’s Portland Stations to Use Clip Interactive Technology. Calling it a first for the Portland, Oregon market, Alpha Media announces it signs on with Clip Interactive to have the company’s technology allow listeners to be “interactive” with its six stations that include: talk KUFO-AM “Freedom 970,” CHR KBFF “Live 95.5,” country KUPL “98.7 The Bull,” sports talk KXTG-AM “750 The Game,” news/talk KXL “FM News 101” and triple A KINK. The station says that new apps loaded with the Clip technology have been pushed out and that with “Clip Interac-tive’s technology, these apps now enable our listeners to access a live feed of what’s playing, listen to the stations streams and browse the content aired in the past hour. Users can also interact with what they hear by rating music, entering contests, accessing special offers and more.” Alpha SVP and market manager Milt McConnell adds, “Clip Interactive has been an important partner of Alpha Broadcasting and we are excited to implement their new technology, which greatly benefits our listeners, advertisers and other partner companies. These apps will enable us to further engage our listener base while quantifying the effectiveness of our advertisers’ campaigns.”
NJBA Convention Report. Media consultant Holland Cooke reports from Atlantic City where the New Jersey Broadcasters Association just wrapped its annual convention. Among the topics covered: The Great Debate – Internet Pure-Plays versus AM/FM Broadcasters; the still-high consumption of audio content in a multi-media universe; and selling audio content in the current era. Cooke reports that while Connoisseur chief Jeff Warshaw admits that “radio hasn’t been its own best friend lately,” many radio people believe that digital audio services are hot not necessarily because they are good, but because they exist on the “shiny new object” that is the smartphone or tablet, thereby making them de facto “cool.” Read more of Holland Cooke’s NJBA report here.
Getting the First Look. KQTH, Tucson morning drive personality Jon Justice (pictured at left wearing lanyard) stands outside the Nogales Border Patrol facility where child immigrants are being quartered. Justice is credited with breaking the story that went national after receiving a tip from insiders about the conditions in which the children were being kept. Here, Justice is part of the first group of media allowed to tour the facility. TALKERS hears that it was Justice’s tenacity in requesting the media be allowed to see the site that, in part, led to the Border Patrol opening the facility to the media.
Obama Administration’s Iraq Policy, Washington Redskins Decision, Global Warming Debate, Benghazi Suspect Testimony, Primary Races/State of the GOP, IRS Scandal/Missing Lerner Emails and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/18). The political turmoil in Iraq and the Obama Administration’s military policy there; the cancellation of the Washington Redskins’ trademark and debate over the team’s name; the ongoing discussion over man-made climate change and proposals to limit carbon emissions; the Benghazi suspect’s story about the attack on the U.S. consulate; mid-term primary races and the state of the GOP; the missing emails from Lois Lerner and the IRS scandal; and World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.