RAB's Fries Talks Of Change, Integration With New Media
April 24, 2006 at 11:13 AM (PT)
The RADIO ADVERTISING BUREAU's outgoing Pres./CEO GARY FRIES told an NAB2006 audience MONDAY that "where we (broadcast radio) sit in the overall media world is changing" but that radio people are "survivors." FRIES said that the challenge is new media and that "radio has to understand that new media is going to be part of the environment of the future" and must integrate itself with those new media. He said that the future will rely on return-on-investment metrics rather than demographic ratings.
new media is going to be part of the environment of the future
"We're not studying the mechanics of how it works.... It's not the same business it used to be," FRIES warned of the new media and radio's reaction to them. He said that "we've kinda withstood the threat" of online advertising, which he said has leveled off, but advised radio to integrate broadcast and online advertising, noting that online offers direct measurement of usage and ROI. FRIES expressed disappointment in radio for "plowing down the same road" in hiring and training in the same way they did five years ago, relying too much on transactional sales.
FRIES also advised the industry to stop selling against itself, decrying stations' tendency to complain about other radio stations rather than challenging other media ("it's the inbred quality of the radio industry"). He also said that radio has to "become hip," and that digital will help in that regard. "The world's going digital and we're going with it," FRIES asserted, telling smaller broadcasters that they'll have to figure out how to afford it.