Weekend Talk Radio: Is THE DEAL doomed?

Plain talk: At too many stations – some with once-proud call letters – weekends are an embarrassment.

video_bubbleSee: It doesn’t have to be that way.
Read: Through utter neglect, stations injure ratings and leave money on the table.


Talk Radio Shop Talk

Every morning, he says “Good Day!” on hundreds of radio stations. Doug Stephan talks about…Talk Radio

THEEE 6-most-dreaded-words in Radio Sales…

2015 Consumer Electronics Show

HCatCESCouldn’t be there?
Hear it here.

Click here to hear my radio reports and read my CES notes.

Music radio CAN survive.

“Now you can hear anything you want, wherever you want – that’s great. But knowing what to listen to hasn’t been completely figured out yet.”
That’s legendary music producer and former Columbia Records co-chair Rick Rubin, in Wired magazine.

As a Netflix subscriber, I can identify. Often, when I browse, I’m so overwhelmed with choices that I can’t decide what to watch; and I wander back to the channel guide. Rubin himself admits “I really don’t like having to DJ. I like being surprised by what comes on next. I like it coming to me.”

New-tech options may have rendered music radio obsolete, but not extinct. Most music stations play LOTS more commercials (in a row) than listeners will tolerate. But no matter how few spots air, there are NO commercials on listeners’ own smartphones/iPod-based collections, or in various streams.

Two points:
1. Careful-as-they-should-be about the playlist, music stations that will continue to be viable distinguish themselves via:
a) Personalities that bond listeners; and
b) Information:

• well-chosen/well-written local news stories;
• staples like weather and traffic, which matter lots to the busy in-car listeners who are such heavy radio users; and are still viable radio “positions” because fumbling with smartphones while driving isn’t cool; and
• other “survival information,” about the products/services/leisure time options pertinent to target listeners.
2. Though News/Talk is my core competence, I am, increasingly, working with music stations on everything-but-the-music.

Remaining radio news people: TWO career tips…

…in my Talkers magazine column about WTOP/Washington reporter Neal Augenstein.
iphone-AugensteinIt’s not a stretch to call him a digital news gathering pioneer.
His first iPhone is in the Newseum!
Tip: DEVOUR Neal’s blog iPhoneReporting.com.

Weekend Talk: 2 Problems, 2 Solutions

2 reasons brokered hosts cancel?
2 ways to save the business, and pump-up tune-in (and digital)…

Weekend ask-the-experts shows CAN be a gold mine, and pay-for-play hours CAN be solid, habit-forming radio.
Too bad too few stations accomplish both.

Listen to what-passes-for Saturday/Sunday programming — on some otherwise-respectable stations, some in big markets – and you’ll hear why weekend ratings stink, and why subsidized hosts come and go, and stations lose credibility, familiarity, and (forgive me) “stationality.”

You might not expect to hear this from the consultant, but “brokered” is not a four-letter word.
Listeners understand that programming is sponsored.
It matters less whether it’s sponsored by the minute or by the hour than whether it’s interesting.
“There is no such thing as an attention span. This whole idea of an attention span is, I think, a misnomer. People have an infinite attention span if you are entertaining them.”
Jerry Seinfeld

So one of the things I do for client stations is aircheck reviews with weekend warriors.
Heck, in some markets where I don’t even have a client station, I’m working directly with pay-for-play talent, delivering the coaching their short-sighted stations don’t.
I’m selling real estate agents a dang $299 E-book – soup-to-nuts on-air + online strategy + tactics — which, if implemented, can multiply leads they harvest from their radio investment.

But even a well-tweaked show won’t ROI for the client if not enough people hear it.
And that’s how many — maybe most — Talk stations disappoint pay-for-play hosts, and invite churn.
try_this_bubbleRead: In a meaty November HC newsletter, a fix SO-obvious, SO-in-tune-with modern media consumption, that you’re probably overlooking it.
Oh, and this quick-fix costs NOTHING.