Pending Business: Beam Me Up, Scotty | TALKERS magazine : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Pending Business: Beam Me Up, Scotty

| October 18, 2021

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — If you sell talk radio for a living, take a minute to thank William Shatner.

William Shatner did for sellers what Donald Trump did for talents. They drove talk radio to another level and we all benefited.

I remember the 2015-2016 undercurrent evident on countless sales calls. It was all about how talk radio had run its course and the end was near. Five years ago the theory was talk radio listeners were aging out and the demographics were growing so old, soon there would be no value for advertisers in reaching those older, outdated listeners. Nothing left of relevance in talk radio to attract listeners and advertisers. Enter Donald Trump and arguably his persona helped make talk radio relevant, influential and on fire again.

Wait, you don’t get the Shatner part? He single handedly blew up the oldest objection talk radio sellers faced since the format began, “You’re audience is too old!”

The talk radio format 55+ delivery always outweighed the 25-54 or 35-64 delivery, and competitive format sellers made sure advertisers knew it. For years talk radio sellers used the anecdotal examples of iconic figures who crossed into the older demographic with faces and lifestyle that made the older demo more advertiser friendly. From Mick Jagger and Joe Namath, to Cher and Goldie Hawn, these were the easy-to-reference examples leading the path to older demo acceptance. And now a new normal has fallen into our collective talk radio lap, William Shatner who at age 90 touched the sky as the planet logged on. Like Clint Eastwood, a 90-something youth defying pathfinder was making the older demo acceptable beyond what anyone could imagine. Captain Kirk, Denny Crane, William Shatner, whom ever you are, where ever you are, thank you for making what’s old, new and relevant again. So talk radio sellers, on your next sales call:

  • Use relevant, timely examples of the value in reaching the new-normal older demographic.
  • Always include the disposable income the older demo controls.
  • Be conversant with HOW the older demo will spend their disposable income.
  • Stay current. The Netflix hit “Squid Game” features 77-year old Yeong-Su Oh, a Korean actor who is first earning millions.

Use relevant, timely examples on your sales calls. Numbers come and go, stories live forever.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at:

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Category: Sales