The Radio Show Gets Underway In Dallas
September 19, 2012 at 3:04 PM (PT)
The RAB/NAB RADIO SHOW got underway TODAY (9/19) at The HILTON ANATOLE in DALLAS.
Early sessions included MIDWEST COMMUNICATIONS' JEFF MCCARTHY, ENTERCOM's PAT PAXTON and EMMIS' JIMMY STEAL (saying that PPM makes it "a great time to be a great personality") discussing finding and developing talent with moderator JAY STEVENS from RADIO ONE (who challenged everyone in the room to mentor new talent); a panel on digital growth with the IAB's MICHAEL THEODORE moderating; a technical panel investigating the latest regulatory developments with representatives from the FCC and NAB along with attorneys; a "speed mentoring" room; and presentations by KATZ MARKETING SOLUTIONS Pres. BOB MCCURDY on "sonic branding" for advertisers and CREATIVE RESOURCES' GERRY TABIA on creating sales programs to emphasize value to battle low-price competition.
Later in the morning, WTOP/WASHINGTON's JIM FARLEY led a discussion on all-news radio with SALEM's PHIL BOYCE, TALK RADIO NETWORK's JIM WATKINS, and SHANE MEDIA's ED SHANE (who consults RADIO ONE's News KROI (NEWS 92 FM)/HOUSTON), leading off with FARLEY's observation that the backlash to RUSH LIMBAUGH's comments about SANDRA FLUKE from advertisers continues to this day, sending radio management to look for non-controversial programming like all-News. He added that all-News stations have no traditional stop sets but manage to carry more units per hour than Talk stations, yet, according to research, are not perceived by listeners to have more ads.
He also warned that the format is expensive and takes a "long time to build" before ratings success kicks in. SHANE said that launching a new all-News station requires "money, guts, and patience," while WATKINS outlined TRN's development of the AMERICA'S RADIO NEWS NETWORK syndicated all-News service and BOYCE, who was involved in the same process while he was at TRN, defended Talk radio ("they can't kill us, they can't really damage us") and drew applause with stories of advertising revenue increases by the major syndicated conservative talkers and GLENN BECK's success moving his television show to the Internet as part of his own streaming network.
Also in the late-morning sessions, CBS RADIO's MICHAEL WEISS headed a forum on radio advertising for retailers across channels, while a group of sales managers discussed recruiting and motivating sales forces for radio, veteran programmer JOHN GEHRON moderated a panel on customized or "listener-directed" music programming with SLACKER's JIM CADY, PANDORA's TOM CONRAD and CLEAR CHANNEL's BRIAN LAKAMP, and another panel looked at disaster preparedness.
CLEAR CHANNEL's TIM CASTELLI moderated a program at the event's Advertiser Luncheon that included DROGA5 CEO ANDREW ESSEX, HORIZON MEDIA President, CEO and founder BILL KOENIGSBERG, and METROPCS Staff VP BOB FANT discussing radio's place in the expanded media universe. ESSEX said that in radio, "it's an incredible time" with the industry being in the position of "reasserting one's domination." KOENIGSBERG said every medium has the chance to "reinvent" themselves to get more advertising revenue ("there are no barriers anymore"). FANT professed to be "agnostic" about the media his company uses to reach consumers, saying that CPMs will continue to be paramount but that there remains room for a wide range of media to be part of the mix; KOENIGSBERG said his agency isn't as concerned about CPMs as it is about relevancy, and media that can prove their relevancy will "get a bigger bite of the apple." On radio's "image problem," KOENIGSBERG said that radio is considered "old" by creatives who want to work on digital, but that radio's huge reach is a "gold mine" that proves the industry is contemporary. FANT and KOENIGSBERG both called radio creative "not very good" (although FANT later ascribed the problem to "timid clients") and said his company challenges radio creatives to make better advertising for the medium. Looking to the future and the use of data mining, KOENIGSBERG said that he expects advertising to be sold in behavioral. personality, or brand affinity clusters; ESSEX said that advertising can no longer be "secondary to the primary content." The discussion also looked at the growth of digital, with KOENIGSBERG noting the need for better measurement, and saying that online video is taking its dollars from television.
The afternoon sessions included a panel on "unholy" media alliances moderated by ALPHA BROADCASTING's BOB PROFITT with BIA/KELSEY VP/Chief Economist MARK FRATRIK, ABC affiliate WFAA-TV/DALLAS PD DAVE WALTHER and audio specialist WALLY WAWRO, and CBS affiliate WFSB-TV/HARTFORD Creative Services Director GREG THOMAS on the panel. FRATRIK opened with an overview of advertising expenditures and the shift towards digital media; he advised that radio has "tremendous assets to compete in the new marketplace" but needs to arrange partnerships with other media partners. WALTHER and WAWRO gave a presentation on WFAA-TV's history of partnerships and cross-promotions like the SPIRIT OF TEXAS RADIO NETWORK in the 1980s (with a simulcast of the 6p news that "wouldn't work today") and the current news-sharing and weather report arrangement with CUMULUS Talk WBAP-A-F, which WALTHER called "strictly a promotional arrangement" for the TV station, and events and cross-promotion with CUMULUS Sports KTCK-A-KTDK-A-F (THE TICKET), cross-promoting TICKET morning sidekick GORDON KEITH and new WFAA-TV "DAYBREAK" anchor RON CORNING. "We totally forget about the money," said WALTHER, adding, "we're focusing on the content." THOMAS discussed his station's partnership with the COX MEDIA GROUP CONNECTICUT stations, outlining the extent of the cross-promotion and content sharing, including weather reports, website link exchanging, access to the TV station's school closing network, contests, and spots for the radio stations on the TV station's news. He also showed cross-promotional contest promos with CBS RADIO Top 40 WTIC-F/HARTFORD and COX MEDIA GROUP Rock WPLR/NEW HAVEN. PROFITT's PowerPoint demonstrated his PORTLAND station's cross-promotional partnership with NBC affiliate KGW-TV.
Other early afternoon sessions featured a forum on using loyalty club data, a presentation by EDISON RESEARCH's LARRY ROSIN on agency managers and staffers' perceptions of radio, and a panel of "rising stars" in radio management.
FCC Commissioner AJIT PAI appeared in a mid-afternoon session to give a speech outlining his family history as radio listeners and his thoughts on issues facing the industry. Stating that broadcasting is still "an extremely important service," citing the JOPLIN tornado as an example of an instance where radio played a critical role in delivering information to the public, he praised radio's service to the public and audience reach while joking about THOMAS EDISON's comment early in radio's history that it would be a "passing fad" that radio is likely to outlive EDISON's incandescent light bulb. "I don't view broadband as a substitute for broadcast," PAI said to applause. "Instead, I view broadband and broadcast as complimentary." He said that using broadcast stations to deliver high-demand programming like the SUPER BOWL (which he joked would be won this year by his KANSAS CITY CHIEFS) than via broadband. He said that the FCC is not indifferent to broadcasters' issues, and offered some suggestions to help broadcasters, including ending the quadrennial review of ownership rules by the end of the year, eliminating cross-ownership rules in all markets (saying that he has found no evidence to justify the rules), reviewing AM rules in a "revitalization initiative," stimulating investment by lifting the ban on foreign ownership of more than 25% of a licensee in favor of a case-by-case approach, and clearing out the backlog of indecency complaints.
Other mid-afternoon sessions included a panel on taking advantage of opportunities in digital media, with RADIO ONE's DON SHELLEY moderating and ABC NEWS RADIO's STEVE JONES and HUBBARD's MARK PRESTON on hand; a session on cross-training to sell integrated marketing solutions; a panel on marketing for restaurant clients; and DALLAS MAVERICKS GM DONNIE NELSON in a session on building "winning teams."
The afternoon closed with remarks from RAB President and CEO ERICA FARBER and NAB President and CEO GORDON SMITH welcoming the assemblage to DALLAS, with FARBER playing a montage of radio moments and songs in the dark to demonstrate radio's power and SMITH offering a remembrance of the late TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS President ANN ARNOLD and a renewed call for wireless carriers to enable FM chips in cell phones in light of emergency needs. SMITH, gong off script, added an appeal to join him in fights ahead against bills that would require broadcasters to pay performance royalties and higher streaming royalties. He promised that he "knows enough mischief" to use to thwart the bills but urged broadcasters to stick together and get colleagues to join the fight. "We need you," he said, "we will win," likening the battle not to the ALAMO but to SAM HOUSTON.
The session ended with a conversation between SMITH and CBS CORPORATION President and CEO LESLIE MOONVES, who said that "nothing can be further from the truth" than to say that radio is dead, noting that after the CBS-VIACOM split, CBS is doing well, driven by broadcasting. CBS will "absolutely" stay in the radio business "for a long time," MOONVES insisted. He said that streaming costs, including bandwidth and royalties, don't "make it a good business for us," although he noted that the company continues to support RADIO.COM. He called the idea of Rep. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY)'s performance rights bill "preposterous," "absurd," and "a silly bill," and wondered if, after the CBS-televised GRAMMY AWARDS show provides a boost to record sales, the artists would like to give CBS some of the royalty increase back. MOONVES also said CBS still supports HD RADIO and the service is "very significant... radio is moving forward in a variety of ways," and added that AM "remains important" (he said he listens to News KNX-A in LOS ANGELES and Sports WFAN-A when in NEW YORK "all the time"). The conversation touched on cell phone radio chips, sports radio, political advertising ("Super PACs may be bad for AMERICA but they're good for CBS"), PANDORA and satellite radio ("they have a place in the marketplace, but they're not radio... SIRIUS doesn't provide what we provide, PANDORA doesn't provide what we provide -- I don't listen to SIRIUS"), and changes in technology ("we have to get paid for our content").
Get more info at www.radioshowweb.com.
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