Tag: "Time Spent Listening"

Weekends: Healing Talk Radio’s Achilles Heel

| February 23, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant
cookeBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Plain talk: At too many stations – some with once-proud call letters – weekends are an embarrassment.  Through utter neglect, stations injure ratings and leave money on the table.

In many cases, management doesn’t even listen on Saturday and Sunday, either because:

a)      They don’t dare listen.  It’s like a solar eclipse: “Look away!!!”  They know their weekend is a wasteland of automation misfires and pay-for-play shows, the audition for which was the check didn’t bounce.  Management just shrugs.

b)      They can’t listen.  There are more stations in the cluster than they can manage, and the one dismissively referred to as “the AM” gets short shrift.  No names, but one station I hear airs the same disclaimer copy before and after paid shows.  The voice (who was PD two-PDs-ago) says “THE FOLLOWING PROGRAM…” after the show has ended.

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Say WHAT? Arbitron and advertisers will punish you if you don’t choose your words carefully

| September 18, 2012

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — At the risk of validating the worst consultant stereotype, here’s a whole list of don’t-say-this-don’t-say-that.  And the first one’s big…

Please don’t say “PISSED OFF.”

Why?  Picture the listeners your advertisers want to meet the most: parents with children living at home, retail super-consumers.  Sure, soccer mom and her mister might talk to each other differently when the children aren’t listening.  But when kiddos are in the car, potty mouth like “PISSED-OFF” is an AQH-killer.  Instant tune-out, stimulus-response.

As for potty mouth generally, you’ll never get hurt erring on the side of prudence.  Why say “ASS,” when “KEESTER” or “BEE-HIND” makes the same point, and sounds more memorable?  If you’re in a diary market, ratings are a memory test.  If you’re in a PPM market, awareness drives use.  So, either way, being thought-of as R-rated will cost you what Arbitron calls Occasions of Listening and Time Spent Listening.

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