Category: Advice

Where’s the Line Between Giving Threatmongers What They Want…And Citizens What They Need?

| December 16, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — The nation’s second largest school district was shut down Tuesday by a terroristic threat.  Several other school districts, most notably New York City’s (the largest in the country) also received similar threats – but did not close schools, take buses off the road, or tell staff and students to stay home.

Why the different responses? Simply put, specificity and credibility as judged by local law enforcement and other officials.  The proverbial “abundance of caution.”  Important because all of these concepts also guide broadcasters as to how, when – or even IF – threats should be reported.

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It’s Not IF Anymore…But WHEN

| December 4, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — At the height of Wednesday’s horrific mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calilfornia, I went online to sample the local coverage from a couple of that city’s self-proclaimed “news/talk” radio stations.

One stayed with syndicated talk programming with a well-known national host.  Sure, he was talking about what was going on in San Bernardino…but he wasn’t IN San Bernardino.  Wasn’t at the scene.  Wasn’t capturing all the chaos, the raw emotion, the nuance of a big story evolving by the nanosecond in a community that could’ve been Anytown, USA.  He wasn’t talking to eyewitnesses, local officials – relaying minute-to-minute updates, keeping San Bernardino listeners specifically informed on local impacts of this story.

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How Did Your Station Respond to France’s 9/11?

| November 16, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — So what was on YOUR station’s air when news broke of the horrific, coordinated attacks on six Paris locations, where large crowds had gathered – for dinner, for soccer, for a rock concert?  When news broke that at least 120 innocent people had been cut down by terrorism, with perhaps hundreds more injured?

“Well, France is a long way from (name of your town),” you might say. “And TV was all over it….” And of course, there’s the web, and maybe your market or an adjacent market has an all-news or news/talk station that was on top of the story.  So maybe you saw no role for your station, especially if it’s not in the news or news/talk format.

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Where Will You Be When the Lights Go Out?

| November 10, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — As I write this, the New York sun will give way to dusk – and at 5:27 pm ET, New York will mark exactly 50 years since the Great Blackout of 1965.

As The New York Times reported, the outage – triggered by the failure of a relay at a Canadian power station – was the result of a cascading failure across the northeast power grid. Systems were overloaded – and in some cases, automatically shut down – plunging New Jersey, New York and New England into darkness for as long as 13 hours. Some 30 million people across 80,000 square miles were impacted.

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“Typical” Is Your Enemy

| October 12, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — In 1976 or 1986 or 1996, he would’ve cranked it up.  Here in the future, “Hotel California” comes on and the listener might hit scan.  Or, increasingly, skip.

Someone JUST-tuning-in at 14 past the hour on a cloudy morning hears the announcer assure that the next Traffic & Weather Together On-the-Threes update is just nine minutes away.  Or “WHAT A NIGHT AT WRIGLEY!” teases a sportscast into spots.  Are we naïve enough to think people aren’t toting smartphones?

Yes, you’re really hearing this from a consultant.  I do install success templates.  In the 21 years since I last had an employer, I’ve paid my mortgage by assuring clients that “nothing I recommend is an experiment.”  And the logic of if-it-works-do-it/if-it-doesn’t-don’t becomes even more obvious as radio has overdone what works until it doesn’t; and has cost-cut until innovation becomes cost-prohibitive.

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Price: Now, It’s Personal

| August 27, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — The assassination – yes, it was an assassination — of WDBJ-TV, Roanoke, Virginia reporter Alison Parker and her videographer, Adam Ward, on live morning television, should be a wake-up call, not only for the media business, but also for every business.

The shootings themselves were horrific enough. That they took place on live television – on a program being line-produced by the fiancée of one of the victims – compounded the tragedy.  That it was also captured and posted online by the gunman himself is simply unspeakable.

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Turn Digital Disappointment into Direct Success

| July 6, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — This past month, I presented at two state broadcasters’ association conventions: Illinois and Iowa.  My topics: “The Six Most-Dreaded Words in Sales: ‘Radio Doesn’t Work,’” specific techniques for creating commercial copy that produces better results; “How Millennials Use Media”; and “Quick, Actionable Sales Ideas to Make Money Selling Digital.”

Here are the common threads from all three sessions…

Recent years’ radio revenue data has many shrugging that “flat is the new up.”  Less so in small and medium markets, where local direct retail comprises more of radio’s income than in big markets where transactional business is the ball game.  And in every market, digital is the shiny object sucking dollars away from legacy media.  Especially ours.  Ask car stores: Detroit is telling them to move radio money online.

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How to Cover Breaking News at the Worst Possible Time

| May 13, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — Last night’s horrific derailment of an Amtrak Northeast Regional train just north of Philadelphia was an object lesson in why broadcasters MUST be prepared to spring into action at any moment.

The crash happened just before 9:30 pm – at a time when today, many radio stations simply have no news coverage or staffing.

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Pursuing Truth Amid Civil Unrest

| April 29, 2015

By Howard B. Price
ABC Television Network
Director, Business Continuity

 

pricehowardbwriterNEW YORK — It’s happened again…outrage unleashed on the streets of a major American city following a controversial police arrest and the death of the suspect.

This time it’s Baltimore — a city long polarized by economic disparities, troubled schools and strained relations between law enforcement and its citizens.

Civil unrest has rocked several neighborhoods, resulting in injury and destruction. The numbers tell the story: nearly 250 arrests as of this writing, almost 150 vehicles set on fire, numerous buildings looted and burned, nearly two dozen police officers hurt.

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What Radio Personalities Want and Need Most from a Coach

| March 25, 2015

By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality
CEO

mcmahonbillEAGLE, Idaho — It’s not easy being a radio personality. They work in relative isolation far from their listeners. They can’t see or hear them. Most radio studios don’t even have an outside window. The only immediate feedback personalities get on their performance is from those working with them in the studio. If they work alone, there is no feedback in the moment.

Oh, radio personalities get plenty of delayed reaction to their work, but it often does more harm than good. The phone lines light up or they don’t. Texts, Tweets, Facebook posts, and emails deliver all kinds of mixed messages. Some are glowing with praise and love. Others state clearly and unequivocally, “you suck!” After the show, the confusion continues. An enthusiastic PD might proclaim he loves a bit the personality hated, usually without offering specifics about what made it so good. Later, the GM weighs in saying, “I didn’t get that phone segment you did in the 8 o’clock hour and I don’t think it was relevant to our listeners.” Problem is the personality thinks it’s the best thing he did all morning and his followers on Twitter and Facebook seem to agree. This is the real world of a radio personality where everyone has an opinion on what they do and the opinions are anything but unanimous.

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