Category: Advice

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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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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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?

| 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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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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Radio (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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Pssst, Buddy, Wanna Hear an Idea for a Cool New Music Radio Format?

| February 7, 2014

By Bill Conway
KOIT, San Francisco
Program Director, 1997-2011

 

conwaybillSAN DIEGO — The Duane Doobie column about “Golden Ears” published Monday (2/3) was terrific and I admit that in all my years as a PD, I never had “golden ears.”  Instead I always had people around me who loved music, listened to a variety of styles and were always talking about it. Most DJs got into it radio either because they loved music or they wanted to be a star. I knew I needed the music junkies to complement my strengths. It was a way to learn about new music and let listeners know more too.

In recent years I have been espousing a format that doesn’t depend on only one consultant or one god-like national PD but used the music junkies and cutting edge technology to get involve the audience to reignite the role of radio in music discovery.

The All New Music Crowd Sourced Radio format. (Not a catchy name but I’m sure we can come up with one)

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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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A Five-Dollar Ground Tester Can Save Your Life

| September 24, 2013

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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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