Talk Conference Continues With Panels On New Media, Talent, Sports, News
October 15, 2010 at 3:31 PM (PT)
Day two of the combined TALK SHOW BOOT CAMP and TALK MEDIA CONFERENCE in MARINA DEL REY, CA opened with a panel on new technology and radio's place in the new media. The WALL STREET JOURNAL/D: ALL THINGS DIGITAL's KARA SWISHER, new media consultant MARK RAMSEY, SOUND MIND LLC's BRIAN CLICKLICH, PARAGON RESEARCH's MIKE HENRY, and moderator ERICA FARBER discussed how talk radio will adapt.
RAMSEY called the format the best positioned for the future, but termed radio's websites "pathetic" with no integration into social media; SWISHER suggested that the idea of "FACEBOOK Radio" is a likely model of how people will access content. On investing in new platforms and technology, HENRY said, "We can't as an industry keep making decisions based on how they affect the bottom line today."
SWISHER added that research shows younger people using the websites of "trusted brands" as their primary news sources, showing the value of traditional brands in the new media. GLICKLICH said that the new TWITTER web interface would "revolutionize" the use of that platform with more connection to external content as well as more opportunity for monetization; SWISHER called TWITTER a "massive publishing platform" as opposed to FACEBOOK's focus on a user's more limited group of "friends."
Also on the agenda were mobile and in-car integration, the DEMAND STUDIOS model of creating content based on search queries and demand rather than news content being determined by editors, and the prospect of monetizing digital assets, with HENRY telling radio stations that video is critical to their digital growth.
A panel on finding new talk talent featured moderator GABE HOBBS and DIAL GLOBAL's AMY BOLTON, WLS-A/CHICAGO and WMAL-A/WASHINGTON PD DREW HAYES, SOUND MIND LLC's KRAIG KITCHIN, TALK RADIO NETWORK's MARK MASTERS, and COMPASS MEDIA NETWORKS' PETER KOSANN. HAYES told HOBBS that he is more likely to find a former politician for talk hosting than hiring a host in a smaller market; KITCHIN said he doesn't think there's a dearth of talent, and noted that satellite radio has been able to develop several hosts.
Asked by HOBBS the single most important thing they look for in talent, BOLTON said that she looks for the hook ("What makes you special? What makes you unique?"), HAYES cited charisma (noting the previous night's cocktail party attendees gravitating towards ANDREW BREITBART and STEPHANIE MILLER), and KITCHIN said that he looks for someone who comes alive at the mic. On the dominance of conservative talk, MASTERS voiced the opinion that "Republican talk" is waning while "Tea Party," independent conservative talk is ascendant.
A concurrent panel on imaging for Talk, moderated by LINCOLN FINANCIAL Sports KKFN (THE FAN)/DENVER PD NATE LUNDY, included CLEAR CHANNEL Talk KOGO-A/SAN DIEGO's MIKE "FLOUNDER" DALY, consultant and former ESPN Sports KESN-A (710 ESPN)/LOS ANGELES PD LARRY GIFFORD, sports radio imaging veteran CHRIS MORALES, and CLEAR CHANNEL Talk KFI-A/LOS ANGELES' CRAIG TAYLOR.
DAVE RAMSEY interviewed economist ARTHUR LAFFER about his seminal "LAFFER Curve" theory, the genesis of supply-side economics, and his relationship with RONALD REAGAN. The talk covered LAFFER's views on the economy, his disdain for the stimulus, why he, generally regarded as a conservative, voted for BILL CLINTON, and his opinion on the stimulus and the present administration's handling of the economy.
A post-lunch panel on sports talk moderated by consultant RICK SCOTT included FOX SPORTS RADIO VP/GM DON MARTIN and morning host STEPHEN A. SMITH, CBS RADIO Talk KRLD-A-Sports KRLD-F (105.3 THE FAN)/DALLAS PD BRUCE GILBERT, and ESPN RADIO Sr. Dir. SCOTT MASTELLER. "If you're providing entertainment and what the people want, you'll win," SCOTT said of the format.
MARTIN noted the trend of putting the format on the FM band -- "it's where the fish are" -- and pointed out that 63% of the audience in LOS ANGELES never uses AM; MASTELLER said that his network is pushing affiliates to get on FM, and GILBERT, whose Sports station is on FM, said that another trend is for creative rights deals for play-by-play, the need for which has increased since the introduction of the PPM. Other topics included the talent-programmer relationship and whether national or local programming is preferable.
Next door, a concurrent session on producing featured consultant VALERIE GELLER moderating and CITADEL Talk KABC-A/LOS ANGELES' NATHAN BAKER, HARPO RADIO's CORNY KOEHL, and ARIK KORMAN, who produced BOB RIVERS' show (recently departed from CBS RADIO Classic Rock KZOK/SEATTLE), on the panel, offering tips on guest booking, screening and other issues.
FRIDAY's sessions closed with concurrent sessions on radio news and career management. The news panel focused on changes in radio news as it adapts to the new media landscape, with moderator JIM FARLEY of BONNEVILLE News WTOP/WASHINGTON joined by FOX NEWS RADIO's MITCH DAVIS, CBS RADIO NEWS' STEVE FUTTERMAN, ABC NEWS RADIO's ALEX STONE, and CBS RADIO News KNX-A and Talk KFWB-A/LOS ANGELES PD ANDY LUDLUM. Career management's panel of agents included ERIC WEISS, BOB EATMAN, LISA MILLER, GEORGE HILTZIK and GLENN GOLDSTEIN, with CITADEL Talk KABC-A/LOS ANGELES PD JACK SILVER moderating.