And the Oscar goes to…you!WABCHear: My 9 Tips For YOUR Academy Awards Acceptance Speech,” on “The Saturday Night Cafe with Laura Smith,” on WABC.

Millennials: Many still sign-checks-on the back.
Soon, they’ll be signing-on-the-front.

Literally! 63% of young adults cite “care for parents in old age” among their chief concerns.
conference_notes_bubbleWho are “Millennials?”
And why is radio business-as-usual not for them?
Read: my column in Talkers magazine and RadioInfo.com.

More: University of Florida/Arbitron “Class of 2015″ project

2014: Year of The Selfie.
2015: Year of The Podcast?

hear_bubbleIn-step-with an undeniable media consumption trend, Ed Schultz joined other prominent broadcasters who walked-the-talk, from on-air to on-demand.

052114Hear in Ed’s podcast we discuss:
My Top 2 Talk Radio FAQ:
1. Whassup with Rush Limbaugh?
2. How do I podcast?
And NPR exec makes intriguing disclosure…

Time management? Forget it!
Time cannot be managed. Tasks can. Whenever we install a new PD at a client station, I share four techniques I myself have found darn helpful over my own years of dancing-as-fast-as-I-could in several over-tasked management positions.

Thank you Don Pardo.

DonPardo-1945He took a pay cut to leave his factory job at Brown & Sharpe in Rhode Island to become a $30-a-week announcer at WJAR/Providence.

Casey Kasem’s voice “was wholesome, peppy, a little showbiz, with a timbre and cadences that were instantly recognizable and universally understood. His voice meant that you were in the hands of a rock-and-roll professional of the old school.”
The New Yorker
CaseyKasemThe father of hit radio countdowns died on Father’s Day, after a sad family soap opera tortured his final frail days. Casey Kasem was 82.
He was an interesting guy, away-from the countdown. A prominent California Republican who championed the anti-Arab defamation cause.
When I chatted-him-up in the Westwood One suite at a radio convention in the early 90s, I asked about the buzz that he was being nudged to run for Lt. Governor. “I think I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing,” he grinned.
When we hear those great AT40 re-runs on SiriusXM, we’re hearing a lost art, from a-time-when those AM stations — then Top 40, now Talk — sounded…happy.

RIP Don Pardo, 96, who intro’d “Saturday Night LIVE” for 38 seasons, including this one.

DonPardoHe had us howling at his R.I. Radio Hall of Fame induction 5 years ago [video] when he disclosed that only he and Bob Hope had “Lifetime Contracts” at NBC. “NOW they tell me!” he roared, then 91. He tried to retire from SNL, but they wouldn’t let him.

Old TV technology was the back-story on Pardo’s trademark elongated announcing style.
The New York Times quoted his explanation, based on how “The Price Is Right” was shot:
“The cameras are moving so slowly, and that’s the way I had to describe [the prize merchandise displayed on the show, the-price-of-which contestants tried to guess]. Those cameras were large then. You want to make sure you describe what the camera is on.”

“Iconic announcer” defined:
Video: When the TV station puts the booth announcer ON-CAMERA
History, including NBC “lost footage:” Pardo announces JFK assassination
Video: GREAT advice for all speakers and writers

Take your audience to the movies.
Before debt-hobbled mega-owners deleted local mojo from the expense budget, radio stations used to DO things that engaged listeners in person.
Before too much of Talk Radio succumbed to caricature monologue, it used to provoke thoughtful dialogue.

Read: Here’s an easy, quick opportunity to rekindle that touch-N-feel, and HEAR the people your advertisers want to meet.

“On Memorial Day…”
What did YOU say?

Other than here’s-what’s-on-sale this weekend?
Click-to-hear: two promos I scripted and produced for client stations.

Management 101: Is it “urgent?”
Or merely “important?”

Unless you sort accordingly, you’ll never accomplish your daily To-Do list.

President Eisenhower reckoned:
“The most urgent decisions are rarely the most important ones.”

Squint at his matrix, and read 4 Easy Ways to Resolve Life’s Toughest Questions from The Week, whose “10 Things You Need to Know Today” is a highly-recommended Twitter Follow.

amy-jo-martin“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Digital Royalty founder & author Amy Jo Martin, keynoting the 2013 NMX conference, outlining success templates radio can find instructive.
For the last half dozen years, this bigger-than-radio-conventions-lately conference has evolved as digital self-publishing has evolved.
Many attendees are hobbyists making beer money, others seem to be thriving without jobs, all are creating content on the platform which is broadcasters’ biggest growth opportunity.
So look also for my notes from this convention @HollandCooke on Twitter and in my February newsletter.
Because you can’t attend ‘em all, I must.

Sports Radio goes deep.
I’m working with more Sports stations than ever.

Two biggest trends in-motion in Talk Radio right now:
The Sports format is spreading intra-market; and, increasingly, even intra-cluster.

  • Sports flips are now leading the FM Talk migration.
  • There are now FIVE national longform networks.
  • Increasingly, there are multiple Sports stations under one roof.
  • Often, FMs get the A-team & AMs get network longform or ESPN Deportes
  • AM/FM Talk simulcasts will continue to split: Talk to FM, Sports on AM.

Upgrade to Free!
How? Ask Beth Z.
Her book is highly-recommended reading,
her web site is full of VERY cool stuff, and
her story is instructive to radio talkers and other story-tellers.

Read my review of “Upgrade to FREE,” in my Talkers/Radio-Info archive.

“Social Media is NOT ‘broadcasting…’”
“…it’s engagement,” according to Arbitron’s Digital Media Manager Jacquelyn Bullerman and DMR’s Trip Eldredge, co-presenting “Let’s Get Engaged,” at the recent Arbitron Client Conference.
They summarized a study of how 45 stations employ Social Media, and demonstrated some important do’s and don’ts.

The most-common, most-fundamental mistake stations make? Using a tool like Facebook as another one-to-many transmitter. “Social media is NOT about the station. It’s about ‘them’ [listeners who Friend you].”
And “listeners are using Facebook as Customer Service.” It’s “a very public, very transparent consumer dialogue;” and those who take the time to post are likely P1s (so-called “First Preference” listeners, those who listen to your station most), mathematically your most-valuable listeners.

Common Facebook faux pas:
Pushing the station’s agenda. “Contests, talking about the station, etc., are not ‘engagement.’”
Another no-no: Inviting questions and not responding, “like not showing up for a date.” Facebook requires attention.
Others: Ignoring direct questions. “Everyone sees that you do!” Or not-expressing-interest-in what’s being posted.
Worse: Ducking tough questions. One laughably-bad example: a station deleted all the negative posts about a fired DJ and posted an advertiser’s coupon. Ouch. A more useful response: transparency, have the conversation.

All-of-the-above are typical of how stations misuse Facebook: “No clear strategy;” the station is there “because everyone else has a Facebook page.” Better than not being there at all? Yeah…but not much.

Are you doing both kinds of “Radio?”
AM/FM broadcasters are under-attack, now sharing listeners’ ears — and advertising dollars — with new-tech competitors. The best defense is a good offense.

Great formula for story-tellers…
…from one of the greats, Bob Dotson/NBC News.
iPad: income opportunity for news writers.
Although Twitter trained us to keep-it-short, iPad is prompting demand for a certain kind of longform content, and big brands are budgeting for freelance writers. More in my July newsletter, one of the 12 bonus back issues you’ll get when you subscribe.

“Database Your Tribe…NOW.”
The Future of Radio in the CarIf you missed my session at Talkers’ New Media Seminar…
…I’ll send you a summary, AND a full year of back issues, when you subscribe to my newsletter.

“Paul Gleiser’s letter to Eddie Fritts took my breath away.”
You will get chills when you read the stunning clarity with which Clear Channel’s plans — and those plans’ consequences — were foretold in 1995.

Consultant on-the-brain!
He meant to introduce actress Holland Taylor, from CBS-TV’s “Three and a Half Men.”
But KTSA/San Antonio’s Jack Riccardi said…
Well, YOU listen:“Your Barack Obama Elevator Speech?”
Imagine this: You’re downtown, in a major hotel.
You step into the elevator at the lobby level. You press 7.
The elevator stops at 2. The doors open.
In step four tall men. Black suits. Crew Cuts. Earpieces.

And behind them, The President of the United States.

He’s moving from a holding area on the 2nd floor, to his speech in the ballroom on the 10th floor. You’re getting out on the 7th floor.

The president smiles and reaches out to shake your hand.


That was the topic, when I recently guest-hosted The Ed Schultz Show., and the phone exploded. Save it for your show, on a slow news day.

You know you’ve made it when you’re a $1000 answer on Jeopardy!
Congratulations to my client The Money Pit Home Improvement Show.

Are you abusing the most-abused word in radio promo copy?
Read how to seem more-relevant to listeners, by avoiding an all-too-common cliche.

3 Questions in-3-Minutes…
…with Portland OR & syndicated talker Lars Larson:
At the Talkers New Media Seminar, I asked:
“What’s your ‘elevator speech?'”
“What would it take to multiply your results?”
“Tell me a recent success story.”
Every radio station has a web site…
…how many web sites have a radio station?

Bloggers/podcasters/YouTubers: You have content radio needs.
Fact: Radio still has a massive audience.
Fact: NO — repeat, NO — other medium drives Internet traffic better than radio.
Got something to say? Want to say it on the Internet?
Got a product to sell? A message to market?
Want to do a show anyone can hear, anywhere?
Listen as HC guests on:
The Jim Bohannon ShowFree Talk Live.

Both kinds of radio suffer…
In 2003, The Dixie Chicks’ “Travelin’ Soldier” was #1 on the Country charts one day…then gone from radio the next, after they voiced disapproval of President Bush and the Iraq invasion. Now, Hank Williams Jr. compares President Obama to Adolph Hitler, and ESPN yanks his Monday Night Football theme.
On MSNBC’s “The Ed Show,” HC explains
how Talk Radio AND music radio suffer from blacklisting and censorship…and cautions about the clout that radio’s mega-owners now wield.

“How do you choose your news?”
HC asked, on The Allan Handelman Show,
and what you’ll hear is a-whack-on-the-side-of-the-head about how much competition we really have for listeners’ attention:

“Write yourself a postcard from the future.”
Sharethough.com CEO Dan Greenberg‘s SUPERB Streaming Media East session “The Secret Strategies to Native Video: How to Create Great Content People Watch & Share” was about…video. But his advice SURE also applies to podcasts. And, because word-of-mouth is such currency, it applies to radio programming.

Ask yourself: “What will people say when they share it?”
Begin by crystalizing THAT, as a goal.
Then plan your content accordingly…what radio calls “show prep.”

And as you CHOOSE your content, think “trendjacking.”
You’ve heard the expression: “Find a parade and jump-in-front-of-it.”
Or as Greenberg says: “Identify memes, and make content that reacts.”

He figures people share content for 3 reasons:
1. Identity & self-expression.
Accordingly: “When a user shares this, what are they saying about themselves?”
2. Emotion.
“Does my video evoke a feeling that people need to share?”
“Avoid sad. People don’t share sad videos.”
3. Information. “Present information in a way that allows for greater understanding, and it will be shared…ESPECIALLY if it is controversial.”

Admittedly it’s less without his narration, but you can click through his presentation slides.

Step-into the time warp…
From before I “went blonde” (and was I ever really THAT thin?)
Recently-unearthed footage shot in the WTOP/Washington newsroom November 3, 1986.

Beyond the antiques, and some DEAR-departed folks it was my privilege to manage, here’s what’s REALLY wistful about what-you-see: Unlike most-of-radio-today, we were actually able to DO local radio, unfettered by the crippling debt that prevents Clear Channel, Citadel, et al from the kind of meaningful local content creation you see as WTOP business-as-usual in this video.

Today, few industries exemplify what’s-wrong-with-the-economy better than radio. Talk about “toxic” mortgages!

And here’s the happy ending: WTOP‘s current owner, Hubbard, might be the least-insane owner in radio. As busy as that 1986 operation looks today, 2009 WTOP is an even bigger, more-bustling operation. SOMETHING in radio is actually improving.

Happy 40th-anniversary-as-an-all-news-station!