Talk Show Boot Camp 7 Starts Today In Fort Lauderdale
March 4, 2016 at 2:45 PM (PT)
TALKMASTERS and GABE HOBBS MEDIA's TALK SHOW BOOT CAMP's 7th annual conference started TODAY (3/4) at the HYATT PIER 66 in FORT LAUDERDALE with two days of sessions looking at the format and its future.
Getting 'Em Hooked
STRATEGIC RADIO SOLUTIONS and consultant TRACY JOHNSON began the festivities with research about talk radio content, noting that the key is to get listeners' attention by starting quickly -- the "7 second challenge" -- to get them hooked within their ever-decreasing attention spans (today's attention span is about 8 seconds), being clear and concise (and avoiding the assumption that the listeners know who, for example, producers or regular callers are), dropping "bread crumbs" of information every 30 or 40 seconds leading to an end point (storytelling), establishing features, and adding personality, among other conclusions. JOHNSON suggested that talk radio will be moving towards producing less content but repeating it more, "playing the hits" in the manner of cable news repeating its prime time programming.
The Rise Of Podcasting
WESTWOOD ONE/CUMULUS' PIERRE BOUVARD and AMPLIFI MEDIA's STEVE GOLDSTEIN teamed up for a pair of presentations on podcasting, with GOLDSTEIN kicking things off with notes on how radically media platforms have changed in the last decade and how radio needs to adapt as audio delivery platforms change as well. He noted that the widely-disseminated "93% reach" statistic for radio may have given many in radio a false sense of security but the underlying data reveals significant changes in listening patterns, including how the mobile phone is now a universal "phone in everyone's pocket." Young listeners, GOLDSTEIN noted, want their entertainment on demand (citing NETFLIX's REED HASTINGS saying people "want what they want, when they want it," a model that podcasting fits), and over half of Millennials, he added, are using their mobile devices for audio today, which makes the expansion of connectivity in cars even more profound for radio. He recounted his experience attending INTERNATIONAL CES and pointed out how radio is effectively buried in the menus of the new dashboard systems rather than front and center as in the past.
BOUVARD added analysis of EDISON RESEARCH's Share of Ear study and noted the growth of podcasting, achieving a 3 share "without a lot of big brands to push it along," although revenue for podcasts is lagging; he noted that the medium is in the early days of monetization and larger players are coming into the field. In addition, BOUVARD cited his own company's "deep dive" research into podcasting, showing the medium's growth (especially in the wake of "SERIAL"'s initial success) and strong demographics, with almost half of podcast listeners being Millennials. "Podcasting is the cure for the erosion of ad-supported television," BOUVARD asserted, noting the former's increasing reach while the latter's demographics rapidly age ("God's waiting room") with median age 57, and adding details of podcasting's impressive demographics (upscale, working). Most podcast listening, he said, occurs at home (60%, eclipsing radio's 54%), work at 21% and car listening at 11% for now; he added that 2/3 of all streaming audio is also at home, contradicting PANDORA's assertions that it is a mobile service.
The presentation also revealed research by AUDIOBOOM that showed podcast completion rates -- the percentage of listeners listening to a complete episode -- were 58% for 1-7 minute episodes, 51% for 7-20 minute episodes, and 31% for 30-60 minute episodes; "Shorter is better," GOLDSTEIN noted.
Radio's advantage, BOUVARD said, is in its reach and cume, which can be used to drive listeners to their own podcasts; to those who complain that it would drive listeners away from the main signal, BOUVARD pointed out the need to be wherever listeners have gone.
Oliviero Honored With Ashwood Award; Meghan McCain Talks Millennial Politics
The 7th annual ANDREW ASHWOOD Award was presented by last year's winner, SOUND MIND's KRAIG KITCHIN, to this year's honoree, CBS RADIO's CHRIS OLIVIERO. OLIVIERO voiced his excitement and pride over being honored with an award named after ASHWOOD and presented by KITCHIN, and noted the "fraternity nature" of talk radio and how talk radio people are a community -- "the people in this room, the harder we get pushed, the harder we push back." Following the presentation, PREMIERE NETWORKS "AMERICA NOW" host MEGHAN MCCAIN joined iHEARTMEDIA News-Talk KFI-A and KEIB-A/LOS ANGELES PD ROBIN BERTOLUCCI for a talk about her experiences becoming a talk host, Millennials' being turned off from politics, the pushback over not being identified with a single ideology ("I think my view is what the future will be"), and how the candidates can connect with Millennials (citing the perception of BERNIE SANDERS as "authentic") . Lunch's address was from WESTWOOD ONE commentator and former U.S. Rep. MIKE ROGERS (R-MI).
COX MEDIA GROUP Top 40 WAPE/JACKSONVILLE morning host and News-Talk WOKV-A-F/JACKSONVILLE-WDBO (NEWS 96.5)/ORLANDO-KRMG-A-F/TULSA talk host MARK KAYE offered "7 Genius Ways to Use Social Media and to Create and Distribute Content" in a post-luncheon presentation showing his use of Snapchat for a talk show, Periscope, YouTube, and other social media options.
And Now, The News
SALEM's PHIL BOYCE, NEWS DOCTOR, INC. consultant and former WTOP/WASHINGTON PD JIM FARLEY, and CBS RADIO NEWS' HARVEY NAGLER joined iHEARTMEDIA 24/7 NEWS SOURCE's CHRIS BERRY on a panel about news radio that included results of a SALEM study on radio news and service elements on News-Talk radio. The study, presented by BOYCE, compared Generation Xers and Boomers and found that the desire for breaking news and other news coverage has grown in recent years; covering breaking news is the most desired quality when choosing between hosts, far more than "more entertaining" or opinions. "If we're not talking about breaking news," BOYCE said, "we're losing the game."
"The world is a soap opera right now," FARLEY asserted, "and if you're not talking about it you're missing out.... we would not be doing our jobs if we were not talking about politics right now." BOYCE suggested that stations trying to reach Millennials hire Millennials, who, he said, know more about social media and can help older staffers establish a social media presence. And the panel addressed the growth of audience beyond the broadcast signal and whether it offers growth of the overall audience rather than merely cannibalizing existing the broadcast audience.
A Look At Radio Tech
Consultant KIPPER MCGEE led a panel on "Tech for Talk" with MCGEE presenting FUTURI's TOPIC PULSE, COMREX's CHRIS CRUMP promoting Web RTC, a "call station" IP calling option for apps and web pages, CBS RADIO News WINS-A/NEW YORK anchor and HARRIS MEDIA President LEE HARRIS demonstrating studio software CONTROLROOMPRO and broadcast quality iOS app ICONTROLPRO, KRANTZ MEDIA GROUP's GARY KRANTZ offering the GRABIEN show prep and sound clip service, TELOS ALLIANCE's MARTY SACKS discussing the controversial VOLTAIR and what it can do, and YELLOWTEC USA's JEFF WILLIAMS showing off the company's microphones.
Talk Types Talkin' About Talk
The day's sessions ended with a Talk Radio Roundtable, with KITCHIN, CUMULUS' MIKE MCVAY, BEASLEY's JUSTIN CHASE, COX MEDIA GROUP News-Talk WDBO (NEWS 96.5)/ORLANDO's DREW ANDERSSEN, REELWORLD's VICTOR LISLE, and former RED ZEBRA News-Talk WTEM-A (ESPN 980)/WASHINGTON PD DAN ZAMPILLO, moderated by the RAB's ERICA FARBER. Topics included the changing business definition and production of content for various platforms, ratings increases with NIELSEN's CBET and VOLTAIR, political talk during the elections ("our playoffs," LISLE said, adding concern that the format has no plans for "our spring training" after election day), the future of AM, the connected dash, podcasting (KITCHEN urging talent to add podcasts to their duties, in conjunction with their broadcast employers; MCVAY added that "SERIAL" was "not just a unicorn, it was two unicorns mating in the woods"; CHASE noted that podcasting, which his company is planning to enter, is reaching the Millennials who talk radio is trying to corral), and radio's image.
- 9a Former Secret Service Agent DANIEL BONGINO in conversation with WHO-A/DES MOINES' SIMON CONWAY
- 10a The HOBBS Report, GABE HOBBS' second annual report on PPM Adults 25-54 numbers for the format
- 11a NuVOODOO's live focus group of talk radio listeners