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.

Research: Talk radio listeners are burning-out on Politics.

“Duh!” you say?
download_bubbleAs if poor ratings for so many major market stations hadn’t already made the point, Bridge Ratings’ recently-released “News/Talk Radio & The Oversaturated News Cycle” study concludes:
“Oversaturation, ever-shortening of news cycles and repetition of hard news with too-little updated information, is wearing thin on consumers who are seeking alternative sources for information that is fresh, entertaining and positive.”
Read: the report

“Blacklist;” and Blacklisting

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…

Discover Your Next Game-Changing Idea

That was my standing-room-only session. Read my convention notes in what’ll be a meaty October newsletter.

“Podcasting will be the savior of radio. There’s no showbiz now” on AM/FM.
Network pioneer and Westwood One founder Norm Pattiz, who says his Podcast One shows are now producing north-of 120 million downloads per month. Norm spoke at RAIN Summit Indianapolis, the-day-before Radio Show kicked off.
Hear: RAIN session audio

Read: my Talkers magazine RAIN/Radio Show coverage, from Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.