By Bill Conway
KOIT, San Francisco
Program Director, 1997-2011
SAN 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)
By Bill Freund
EVP/Chief Revenue Officer
BOULDER, CO — Over the past few months both Shazam and Soundhound have announced partnerships with pure play music services such as Pandora, Spotify, iTunes and Rdio to connect terrestrial radio listeners to those services through music identification apps. A terrestrial radio listener who likes a new song can identify the track with one of these apps and tap a button to create a custom pure play station based on that artist. In essence they are leveraging one of radio’s core native assets, music discovery. Shazam and Soundhound are effectively hijacking the music discovery experience with the listener by taking them away from terrestrial radio to pure play streams. Radio needs to recognize this is a big deal, and understand why audio content identification and listener interactivity with the broadcast is so critical to radio’s future.
By Walter Sabo
1. HD radio is going to explode. The management of iBiquity has achieved remarkable acceptance for HD by the auto industry with over 16 million installs. HD is radio’s best real estate grab for the connected dash. The key, as always, is the show. (Sorry, the word “content” remains disgusting. It’s a show.) HD is not about fidelity or graphics – it’s a new stage for new, audience captivating shows.
By Tony Lynn
New Mexico Department of Public Safety
Director of Policy Coordination and Public Affairs
ALBUQUERQUE — In a recent speech at the NAB Radio Show in Orlando, TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison stated that for radio to thrive, let alone survive, in this new digital era – it must celebrate and protect its “radio-ness,” and avoid being assimilated into the multi-media soup of the 21st century at the expense of its unique industry and cultural identity.
Mr. Harrison is 100% right in his assessment of the current state of radio and I fear it may be too late for our generation to save what is left. But there is hope the pendulum will swing back the other way, maybe not in what’s left in our radio career but for radio professionals of the future.
By Jerry Del Colliano
Inside Music Media
EXCLUSIVE TO RADIOINFO AND TALKERS
Millennials have their own technology just as baby boomers had records, radio and TV.
Except technology has very little to do with the impact that “Generation Y” is making on media and just about everything else.
Sure there is Facebook that they went to college with, and Napster that helped disrupt the record business, iPads, apps, smartphones, Instagram and their latest devilish work – to unbundle cable and make Netflix the new standard for the on-demand content they, well – demand.
Radio consolidated about the time the first Millennials were in grade school and the industry just assumed that young listeners would always be there to like radio.
The music industry that consisted of old white men who were lawyers thought Napster needed to be sued out of existence – and they succeeded.
But the damage was already done.
Nielsen Client Conference Day 2 coverage by RadioInfo contributor and media consultant Holland Cooke
BALTIMORE — The Nielsen Audio Client Conference & Jacobs Media Summit wrapped Thursday, but not before sustained applause for four group heads who decried what’s become radio business-as-usual: too many commercials, and too little programming diversity and innovation. Their unvarnished comments echoed a surprisingly candid CEO roundtable at the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show.
“The status quo is like a shark. If you’re not swimming, you’re not breathing.”
NRG Media CEO Mary Quass and fellow panelists run mid-size companies, and all described the opportunities they seize being more nimble than bigger companies’ “paralysis” and “short-term thinking.” Connoisseur Media CEO Jeff Warshaw reckons that “This is the most opportune time for entrepreneurs in radio that I have seen in a long, long time.”
By Paul S. Rotella, Esq.
New Jersey Broadcasters Association
As you know, I have been troubled by Congressman Watt’s introduction of the latest attempt by the foreign-owned record labels to establish a Performance Tax foothold that will only grow larger and more surly and become more oppressive, ultimately crippling our industry and perhaps costing you your livelihoods, changing broadcast radio for the worse, and forever.
My chief concern since Watt threatened to introduce his P-Tax bill was why him? Why now? And why with so little committed support? Yet, he made good on his threat and did in fact introduce the bill in Congress, right before it closed down this Tuesday.
By Walter Sabo
NEW YORK — This is my experience. In my work, I have seen businesses grow and prosper when they embrace new, daring ideas based on marketplace demand. The winners are nimble organizations that jump on the neat idea and focus on the product, not organization politics. When fear of new ideas sets in and a business allows staff positions to grow too big and powerful, those businesses implode.
The current economic depression celebrates “operators” — executives with shrewd “operating” skills who are known for their ability to cut costs, cut staffs, sell their story to Wall Street and keep their company within its COMFORT ZONE. They do not have nor are required to have vision. Knowing what’s next is the key to growth in any industry. No vision, no growth.
Today, media businesses are excited when they show quarter-to-quarter, year-to-year growth. But this is false growth. Compare any media business with 2007 revenue figures and business is down. Five years after the depression began, revenue is still down.
By Curt Hahn
It was 1958 when Joe and I met. I was a Brown sophomore, he was the program guy at WPRO radio, which had just been purchased by a new company out of Albany, New York — Capital Cities Television. Joe had joined the company in its infancy and brought his radio knowledge to this young TV-oriented company.
WPRO took the Providence market by storm with its top 40 format. I worked weekends, overnights, snow days and holidays. Rarely did I hear from Joe, unless I’d done something remarkably stupid. He was certainly the most non-directive program director I ever worked for. The instructions were simple: follow the format!