Programming Takes Center Stage On Final Day Of NAB/RAB Radio Show
KROQ/Los Angeles Wins Three Awards At Last Night's Marconi Dinner
September 12, 2014 at 8:30 AM (PT)
The final day of the NAB and RAB's RADIO SHOW is featuring sales and programming tracks and the annual Radio Luncheon with FCC Commissioner AJIT PAI.
Developing New Talent
The first programming session looked at developing inexperienced non-radio people into air talent, with two hosts -- syndicated talk host and actress MARILU HENNER and syndicated CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 WIHT (HOT 99.5)/WASHINGTON morning host KANE -- joining consultant TRACY JOHNSON and CBS RADIO TAMPA BAY VP/Programming ROB MORRIS on a panel moderated by THEBLAZE RADIO NETWORK's DOM THEODORE. The panel discussed the importance of passion (with JOHNSON concerned that "we're programming the passion right out of our personalities" and later adding, "nothing great has been created without taking risks") and getting noticed (KANE advised aspirants to stand out by being "so good" they can't be ignored and by making "noise" to get attention).
MORRIS talked about discovering ANGI TAYLOR (now at CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 WKSC (103.5 KISS FM)/CHICAGO) and LENA SVENSON (now known on ELVIS DURAN's syndicated show as BETHANY WATSON) for CLEAR CHANNEL Top 40 KDWB/MINNEAPOLIS; the panel also discussed the dilemma of how talent can break in when many stations have eliminated overnight and weekend live personalities, and how to attract new talent when the current on-air product may not sound like a lot of fun (KANE drew a contrast between radio being "show business" and automated stations being like factories). Millenials' work ethic (or lack of same) was questioned by HENNER, and MORRIS suggested that the workplace needs to be made "bigger and better" to provide a workplace some excitement for Millenials. THEODORE suggested companies commit to developing talent by appointing "VPs of Talent Development" charged with finding and budgeting for new talent.
Practical Tips For Social Media Engagement
ABC NEWS RADIO VP/GM STEVE JONES moderated a session on using social media for audience engagement, focusing on specific and tactical issues, with CHARLES M. ANDERSON Adult Hits WKLX (100.7 SAM FM)/BOWLING GREEN, KY morning man TONY ROSE and BEASLEY VP/Digital Product Development KIMBERLY SONNEBORN on hand. SONNEBORN explained her company's FACEBOOK, TWITTER and YOUTUBE playbooks for stations, which lists best practices like consistent hashtags and responding to all posts, and sets minimums for number and frequency of posts. A TWITTER trending chart for BOWLING GREEN showed KATZ' account and two hashtags for his "Stuff the Bus" promotion occupying three of the top four slots, which JONES termed a "report card" on KATZ' engagement with the community. JONES also related the success of ABC NEWS using curation to reach a large audience on TWITTER by tweeting out pictures obtained from other sources, like the MIAMI HERALD's photo of a woman saving a baby's life on the roadside.
The panel looked at examples of BEASLEY stations' use of social media for promotions and how different types of posts perform differently on TWITTER as opposed to FACEBOOK. JONES showed how an audio clip ABC NEWS gathered at COMIC-CON of FREDDIE PRINZE JR. taking shots at KIEFER SUTHERLAND went viral and ended up on several websites and in the print edition of PEOPLE magazine. Among the takeaways: "Likes" may not equal engagement, shows and hosts should have different voices, and TWITTER is about facts while FACEBOOK is about emotion.
The 'Audio' World Expands
EMMIS' RICK CUMMINGS, NUVOODOO's CAROLYN GILBERT, JOURNAL News-Talk WTMJ-A/MILWAUKEE's TOM LANGMYER, and RADIO ONE's JAY STEVENS discussed radio's place in a universe in which it is no longer the sole platform for audio entertainment distribution. Moderator SEAN ROSS of EDISON RESEARCH asked how radio should respond to the claim that PANDORA is just a better way to listen to music; GILBERT offered research results that indicated that PANDORA users also spend more time with terrestrial radio and that curated lists -- like radio playlists -- are preferred to algorithm-based playlists. CUMMINGS noted that MARSHALL MCLUHAN's "the medium is the message" maxim no longer applies because in the current world, "content is going to win the day." STEVENS discussed the long-term negative effect of programming for the PPM by eliminating personality, noting that "PANDORA can't be in FERGUSON" as his stations were during the protests; he said that radio won't win the music-only battle against PANDORA and SPOTIFY but will win with "compelling local" content. ROSS asked "If we're so awesome, why are we losing TSL?," to which CUMMINGS responded that "it's a fragmented world" but that radio needs to address the issue of spot load, and STEVENS noted the problem of measurement and merging online and broadcast numbers.
The panel also debated spot load numbers (CUMMINGS said his company will test eight spots per hour on a station next year), heard about LANGMYER's online and mobile RADIOLEAGUE.COM streaming formats, and discussed radio's loosening grip on the dashboard. And on the benefit of "live and local," GILBERT noted that on television, few "live and local" morning shows beat the national "GOOD MORNING AMERICA" and "TODAY SHOW;" CUMMINGS said that people say they like "live and local" but noted that listeners will think of STEVE HARVEY as "local" to them even though he does a national show. STEVENS called the phrase "live and local" "corny," but noted his company's success replacing TOM JOYNER's syndicated show with a live and local show in DETROIT.
Imaging to Win
BENZTOWN BRANDING boss DAVE "CHACHI" DENES, CBS Top 40 KAMP (AMP RADIO 97.1)/LOS ANGELES Creative Dir. JAKE CAPLAN, and voiceover talent and the voice of JACK-FM HOWARD COGAN concluded the morning programming track sessions with a panel on imaging and production moderated by CLEAR CHANNEL INDIANAPOLIS OM ROB CRESSMAN.
Lunch With Commissioner Pai
AM revitalization came up quickly in FCC Commissioner AJIT PAI's conversation with NAB Pres./CEO GORDON SMITH at the Radio Luncheon, with PAI suggesting that interim action may be taken soon on some facets of the plan, including getting rid of the "ratchet rule" and opening a window for AM stations to apply for FM translators by 2015. Other issues, like nighttime skywave interference protection, will be considered later, PAI indicated, noting that the issues are not partisan. SMITH raised the issue of FM tuner chips in cell phones and emergency use, adding that "the word 'mandate' is an ideological word anymore," and asking what the FCC could do to "light up these chips that are already in the phone, as a matter of public service, a matter of public safety"; PAI responded that as a consumer, he would love to have that functionality, but fell short of supporting a mandate, suggesting that market forces will lead to wider adoption. PAI also reiterated his frustration with delays in the FCC's quadrennial ownership rules review and the retention of the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership prohibition.
After PAI's appearance, the National Radio Award was presented to THE CROMWELL GROUP Founder and President BAYARD "BUD" WALTERS.
Marconi Awards Redux
It was a big night last night, as the 25th anniversary MARCONI AWARDS were given out at a dinner and show at the RADIO SHOW. ALL ACCESS was there, and published the winners last night (NET NEWS 9/11). The winners:
- Legendary Station: CBS RADIO Sports WFAN-A-F/NEW YORK
Personalities of the Year:
- Network/Syndicated: RUSH LIMBAUGH, PREMIERE NETWORKS
- Major Market: KEVIN AND BEAN, CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ/LOS ANGELES
- Large Market: RYAN AND SHANNON, HUBBARD AC KSTP-F (KS 95)/ST. PAUL-MINNEAPOLIS
- Medium Market: KEVIN MILLER, TOWNSQUARE MEDIA News-Talk KIDO-A/BOISE
- Small Market: DOTTIE RAY, CLEAR CHANNEL News-Talk KXIC-A/IOWA CITY
Stations of the Year:
- Major Market: COX MEDIA GROUP Country KKBQ (THE NEW 93Q)/HOUSTON
- Large Market: JOURNAL News-Talk WTMJ-A/MILWAUKEE
- Medium Market: FEDERATED MEDIA News-Talk WOWO-A/FORT WAYNE
- Small Market: MIDWEST COMMUNICATIONS News-Talk KFGO-A/FARGO
- AC Station of the Year: JERRY LEE AC WBEB (MORE FM)/PHILADELPHIA
- Top 40 Station of the Year: LINCOLN FINANCIAL MEDIA Top 40/Rhythmic KQKS (KS107.5)/DENVER
- Country Station of the Year: COX MEDIA GROUP Country KCYY (Y100)/SAN ANTONIO
- News-Talk Station of the Year: CLEAR CHANNEL News-Talk WLW-A/CINCINNATI
- Oldies Station of the Year: CBS RADIO Classic Hits WOGL/PHILADELPHIA
- Religious Station of the Year: SALEM Contemporary Christian KLTY/DALLAS
- Rock Station of the Year: CBS RADIO Alternative KROQ/LOS ANGELES
- Spanish Station of the Year: EMMIS Regional Mexican KLZT (LA Z 107.1)/AUSTIN
- Sports Station of the Year: CBS RADIO Sports WBZ-F (98.5 THE SPORTS HUB)/BOSTON
- Urban Station of the Year: COX MEDIA GROUP Urban AC WHQT (HOT 105)/MIAMI
- Non-Commercial Station of the Year: HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY Variety WRHU/HEMPSTEAD, NY