NABOB & Power of Urban Radio Forum Conference Day One Recap
Valerie Jarrett To Highlight Today's Luncheon
October 13, 2016 at 6:33 AM (PT)
The NABOB FOUNDATION has kicked off its 40th Annual FALL BROADCAST MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE in partnership with the 16th POWER OF URBAN RADIO FORUM at The WASHINGTON, D.C. MARRIOTT GEORGETOWN HOTEL.
YESTERDAY (10/12), the Conference began with a panel on “How Do You Choose a Format, and How Do You Know When to Change?" It was moderated by AURN Pres./Programming Operations & Affiliations JERRY LOPES. The panelists included GRAY COMMUNICATIONS' TONY GRAY, EMMIS COMMUNICATIONS/WBLS PD SKIP DILLARD, HOWARD UNIVERSITY WHUR APD TRACI LATRELLE, iM4radio BROADCASTING NETWORK GM CLEVELAND SPEARS, and ALL ACCESS MUSIC URBAN/UAC Editor SAM WEAVER.
GRAY: Syndication needs to shift thinking for the top 50 Markets. Listeners tune in for about 10 minutes. The presentations need to take this in mind. In terms of stations overall, we need to continue to focus on refining how stations present themselves or the result will have many just turn the stations into computers playing music. Radio is a business and that should be the number one consideration at all times. When it comes to coming up with a format in a marketplace, you need to determine, what would be the right fit, regardless of what you might personally like.
DILLARD: You need great sales. A station has to go farther than the ratings number. It’s the total package from on-air to digital. These agencies already know your ratings. Personalities are much more than studio jocks, they need to come to work knowing they will be on video during their shows and have to deal with all aspects of what there is to offer in terms of digital and social media; SNAP CHAT, FACEBOOK LIVE, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and whatever else pops up out here.
LATRELLE: You have to provide an atmosphere for the audience to take in the whole radio experience that you are trying to present. And like said, it is a totally different approach than what it used to be. This game has become multi-leveled in terms of communicating.
SPEARS: You really need to reflect what your audience is into and not come across with the same old thing. Listeners expectations are entirely different than they once were, they expect more. There new stars on the horizon and many of them are on Internet radio, like SPICE ADAMS.
WEAVER: If you want to coming in to go up against a direct competitor, I suggest the oldest trick in the book, shadow them. This will only make sense if that station is winning and making money. The real winner is the listener. On the air, copy everything they do, but do it better, I mean right down to their music rotations. And once you have made the direct competitor crazy, pulled even and cut their rating in half, you can begin to build the identity you want your station to have.
Are Stations Going In The Right Direction in Selling Digital?
PRINCIPAL PSP 1, LLC JEFFREY P. HUNTER moderated a panel on the current status of Radio selling Digital. Panelists included with RADIO ONE Digital Sales Manager/Interactive NAMON JONES, REACH MEDIA National Director/Sales and Marketing Partnerships PANDORA YEARGIN-JOHNSON, and RADIO ONE Dir. of Sales SAMUEL TATUM Jr.
There were 3-questions addressed to the panelists:
- What minimal resources should a station have in its arsenal?
- What are the characteristics of you have seen in successful digital seller?
- What 3 things you see radio stations doing wrong in their pursuit of digital revenue?
JONES: You need sales to understand digital to sell it at Agencies. Most important, bonafide platforms and content; give people a reason to come to your platform. It is the same as the needs of a terrestrial on-air personality. Cash equates to traffic. We need local original content to make money. It makes your platform a reality to the client.
We have found out that original content within may get more traffic than your home page and those can be monetized. I think the core of your website should be local. It should be an extension of what is on your terrestrial show. You can go in-depth on your website far beyond what you can do on air and that can give the client more of a reason to advertise with you.”
“That go-getter is a real must. Selling digital should not be an after- thought. You need someone to understand the language and know how to present digital. Digital should be a part of a multi-platform approach and sold as part of a package.
YEARGIN-JOHNSON: In addition, training is the most critical of assets, knowledgeable leadership, and time allocated for the sellers to be equipped with the tools to approach their job. Too many times I see people doing the same old thing and not progressing.
We have to create programs that deliver results for our clients. Our nationally syndicated shows we focus on categories to sell to clients. Ninety percent of my proposals are heavily based on digital. From top to bottom, it takes time and money to develop what’s needed for sales to get the job done with digital.
You need someone willing to understand and go the extra mile to learn. The person needs to embrace the digital world. When you are providing solutions to a client, you are more valuable to them. I don’t see local radio do sessions to teach agencies and business how the whole thing works with digital. We need a systematic approach to teach all sides.
TATUM: Content, for us locally is what drives us. A lot of our revenue is based on content and not impressions. You need to invest in things that will provide data and analytics to get you larger and long term investment. Content drives passion and connection. Invest in the equipment and personnel. It’s a long term investment. Give the client a measurable result.
To convert content to cash, you need exclusive content to take to clients when you are in a local market. That’s what makes you special. Thinking outside the box with social media. Online it is an organic conversation. On-air, there is a lot of other things around it. On-air, the listener hears it, but online can fill in a lot of the blanks.
A successful seller has to be an avid learner of the technology and creative. The performance we put forth dictates the growth for out digital platforms. Across the industry there are too many unrealistic expectations with digital. We need to be solution providers. Digital is a part of, not the entire solution for increased revenue.
Acquisition Financing--How Has the Market Changed in 2016?
INNER CITY BROADCASTING CORP./NY EVP/Corp. Counsel LOIS WRIGHT moderated a panel on the overall state of the broadcast industry finance industry. The presentation included the extent of what capitol is available for acquisitions, where to look for capitol, and what to look for in terms of financing and borrowers. Panelists included ACCESS.1 COMMUNICATIONS CEO CHESLEY MADDOX-DORSEY, ROBERTS RADIO BROADCASTING Pres. STEVE ROBERTS, and FAIRWAY CAPITAL PARTNERS, INC Senior Advisor EDWIN SHIRLEY.
ROBERTS: For radio, bankers are starting to come back because they have figured out millennials and others are still dealing with radio, it has not faded away. It still comes down to the bottom line. Currently the millennials are the economic force. At my company, we target to our market. We are an urban targeted group; we like to target our markets to the underserved market. We look at properties where the upside opportunities are in a market; We look for the diamond in the ruff, maybe we need to get a translator or upgrade the signal of a property. I think there is great opportunity out here.
They are people looking for deals because the stock market is up. There is a lot of new money, particularly the millennials looking for a better return than 1 or 2 percent. Radio is a good business; you have to make them aware of our business. This is an opportune moment for black radio.
SHIRLEY: If I am a lender there are certain things I want to hear like stability and a foreseeable future. Where is your revenue will come from? I need to be able as a lender to see your cash flow.
As an Equity Investor, I want to see growth potential in your strategy. If I give you capitol, are you going to grow it your station in what particular way. You need to get to know the equity investor as a person and learn how they view a deal. If you know who you are dealing with, you can focus your approach instead of coming to someone with a half backed idea. If you are a known owner and come to me through a reference, the length of time will be shorter to do a deal, but you need to realistically look at 6-months for a deal to get down.
The NAIC in D.C. is interested in deal flow, you should get with them and learn what they could do for you. Young people should think of ownership as a long range plan as an entrepreneur. Lean everything you can around the station, every department. Interest rates are down for the last 10 years, there has been another kind of equity investor; family investors. They are looking for equity investments with a history of stability and can foresee what it going to happen with it. Such investors are interested in stability than growth and an 8 to 10 percent current return with something at the end, it becomes attractive to them. I have seen deals which require you have to put your property up. Banks want a relationship; they don’t want to take your property. Hedge funds are sometimes considered vulture lenders, hard to build a game with them.
MADDOX-DORSEY: The company you approach has to be comfortable with you. You need to do work in advance. If you want to get a finance contingency, start getting to know the team to help you buy the property; take your strengths and get those of others to build your team. There is a huge amount of purchasing power in the African American community. Remember, an investor may not be married to radio; maybe it’s another accessory business. Maybe it’s digital billboards. Start networking and leaning.
This is different climate, but a good time to buy. Some investors; They want to make sure you are all in and will not walk away. For young people, you need to find a partner to take up what you don’t know (expertise in other areas). Maybe your skills are finance and someone else is programming. There are more money sources out here, you have to do your homework and build on your strengths to accomplish, it can be done.
WASHINGTON Update: What Broadcasters Need To Know
NABOB Exec. Director JIM WINSTON moderated a panel dealing with matters pending before Congress, life after the elections, AM revitalization, the FCC’s Spectrum Auction, and other federal agencies affecting broadcaster’s. The panelists were FCC/Media Bureau Audio Division PETER DOYLE, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTORS SVP/Deputy Council ERWIN DOZIER, MMTC Pres./CEO KIM KEENAN, U.S. House of Representatives/Energy and Commerce Committee Minority Staff TIM ROBINSON, Office of Congresswoman MAXINE WATERS Chief of Staff TWAUN SAMUEL, and RADIO ONE Chief Administrative Officer LINDA VILARDO.
FCCs DOYLE: To date we are approaching over 1,000 applications for translator modifications and processed 850 so far. The engineering side gets the credit for getting this done so quickly. If its grantable, we have been getting this done in 2 and half weeks. We are very pleased with the process. We have pending, a look at a proposed change to change protection levels for class A stations. A Class C4 station would fit between Class A FM stations (Commissioner PAI--C-4 station Proposal) Class C4 FM stations would have more power than Class A FM stations but less power than Class C3 FM stations.
WINSTON: How do you see the elections affect our business?
VALARDO: I think I mentioned before, CATHY HUGHES bought her first station under a program similar to the minority tax certificate, we need something like that again.
KEENEN: We need to look at people who have authentic messages for America as a whole.
SAMUEL: We know the politics of this past week, with all the alliances. A lot of things could affect FCC policy.
ROBINSON: In the way of projections after the elections, I think it’s obvious what the impact would be, the President can nominate the new Chairman for FCC and members and the attorney general. There will also be new congressman.
WINSTON: What are your views on the TV auction (Low power TV owners are owned by many Minorities could loss out in the repack. An ongoing problem…NABOB will try and help with that.
DOZIER: The repacking process of the auction is complex. The FCC is trying to see how to make this happen. The deadline has to meet the FCC and Congressional plans. It is going to take a lot of coordination.
WINSTON: FCC Ownership rules; cable owners and other platforms.
KEENAN: Along with NABOB, we are taking on the FCC cross-ownership situation with the Cable versus all the other platforms. It should be platform neutral. There is not any diversity and no rules to take care of any of it. The court keeps kicking it back to the FCC.; nothing has been done. Applying a rule to only cable and not allowing anyone else the same opportunity is not right.
DOZIER: The newspaper broadcast newspaper-cross ownership has been around for a long time. Cables can acquire unlimited distribution, but local business is not allowed…Newspaper and a broadcast outlet (Local TV rule), it is crazy not to be allowed. It makes no sense for the federal government to discourage investment in the newspaper industry
WINSTON: What Do you see happening during the Lame-Duck session?
ROBINSON: I would be surprised if loose ends are not taken care of prior to a new congress like broadband and spectrum auctions there might be some fixes and clarifications of some of the broadcaster concerns. I don’t think the current Congress will meddle with what is being worked on.
Thurs. October 13th Schedule
- 9-10:30a: NIELSEN--Using Research To Identify Opportunities
- 10:30-12p: NIELSEN--Major Group Executives Discuss The Future of Broadcasting
16th Power Of Urban Radio Forum
- VALERIE JARRETT--Featured Luncheon Speaker
- Noon-2p: Luncheon. Keynote Speaker: FORD MOTER COMPANY VP/Sales & Marketing MARK LANEVE
- 2-3:30p: Global Media CEO Panel Moderated by ERICA FARBER, CEO, RADIO ADVERTISING BUREAU. Panelists:
- JENNIFER HUNGERBUHLER--EVP/Local Broadcast Buying and Activation--CARAT USA
- FRANK FRIEDMAN--EVP/Local Broadcast Buying and Activation—ZENITH MEDIA USA
- TOM TALBERT--EVP/Chief Media Officer-CAMPBELL EWALD
- CALEB WINDOVER--SVP/MEDIAVEST SPARK USA
- 3:30-4p: 2016 Election Urban Radio Outlook--CEO/FUSE ADVERTISING CLIFFORD FRANKLIN.
- 4p-5p: National Marketers Panel--DETAVIO SAMUELS, Pres./ONE SOLUTIONS & INTERACTIVE ONE. Panelists:
- EDNA KANE WILLIAMS--SVP/AARP Multicultural Marketing
- ROBERT JACKSON—Dir./Marketing WINDSTREAM COMMUNICATIONS
- CYNTHIA MAYWEATHER--Dir./Segment Marketing STATE FARM INSURANCE
- 5p-8p: NABOB Conference Closing Reception