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2020 Radio Show: ‘What Business Are You in Now?’

| October 7, 2020

By Holland Cooke


BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Day 2 video of the NAB/RAB virtual Radio Show is now available on-demand (radio.nabshow.com), and you might want to register just to see this session.

For years, as digital competitors have horned-in-on radio’s Time Spent Listening and enchanted advertisers, convention panels have talked-the-talk that we can’t just be a radio station any more…as cutbacks compromised the local content that will always be broadcasters’ silver bullet.

Neuhoff Media’s commitment to community walks-the-walk in a way its VP/Development and WSOY, Decatur morning host Brian Byers explains in a Radio Show presentation that demonstrates the resourcefulness you CAN leverage, CREATING revenue opportunities in the process:

  • Addressing the session theme, Byers reckons “We’re in the same business we’ve always been in: serving our local community, and just doing it across every platform possible and going to where they are instead of expecting them to come to us.”
  • Though his station is the Rush Limbaugh affiliate, and his own show can be sharp-elbowed, Byers believes that “advertisers don’t want to be in the toxic mess of people screaming at each other;” and he detailed how his group responded to the pandemic shutdown, when “we realized that life just wasn’t going to be the same for a very long time, if ever.”
  • “WHO are we talking to?” consultants often ask. Byers describes “ALICE families: Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed;” often referred to as “the working poor, just barely getting by. Many of these kinds of families have never had to ask for help before. They didn’t know where to begin.”
  • So the Neuhoff Decatur cluster partnered with United Way and Community Foundation of Macon County and others to create “a one-stop shop” of available services, across all platforms, with messages from “real-life people in the community” explaining that “It’s OK. there’s no stigma in asking for help.”
  • Partnering with the U.S. Census to identify families in need, “over a million pounds of food” was distributed in a single day.
  • When school was disrupted for 9000 Decatur kids, 3 Neuhoff FMs stopped the music for two hours each weekday afternoon. Teachers went live, and podcast replays got lots of clicks.
  • Examples of “putting our advertisers right in the content rather than being an obstacle to the content itself” include a restaurant take-out guide; daily interviews with small business owners; and – partnering with a car dealer – “The Hot 25,” 25 summertime “things you can still get out to do in a safe and socially-distanced way.” Each video featured a different car from the dealer’s inventory. 😉
  • When George Floyd’s death sparked unrest across the USA, a high-profile host from the cluster’s hip hop station hosted “Speak-Up, Speak-Out,” a 10-part 10-week video series, “tough, honest conversations about what we need to do to improve as people.”

Bottom line?  The Bottom Line: “You can live inside that intersection of commerce and community, you can make a lot of money, put a lot of revenue on the books, and super-serve your community at the same time, and most importantly be-local.”

Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of the E-book “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books (click the banner on this page).  And he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America.  Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke

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Category: Analysis