Blather from a former radio guy

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pbergin
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:44 am
Location: DC

Blather from a former radio guy

Post by pbergin » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:47 am

I've been out of radio for 10 years. During that time, I've kept in touch with people who I respect, and who's opinions I value. Some are former radio folk like myself, others are still active in the field. Some are very, big players. We discuss the state of the industry, and the one thing that I keep hearing over and over again is the sad state of programming. From the heavy hitters on down, the opinion seems to be that consolidation, and the enormous debt service that accompanied it, has led to the dearth of talent on the air and a consequential loss of audience.

So I began to notice how people used radio in their cars. What did they listen to, and when did they stop listening. Here's what I see: in the DC metro the hands down winner for commuters is WTOP/news. Why? Is it "traffic on the eights?" Maybe, but everybody does that. Is it that people want to hear the news first thing in the morning? Maybe, but years ago WTOP/news was pulling a 2 share with an all news format. What's different today? Programming. Bonneville invested heavily in first rate talent... from newscasters on down to street reporters, features reporters... you name it. Check the website and see for yourself, they're FULLY staffed with first rate on air talent. Consequentially they are relevant, entertaining, informative and incidentally, a solid number one in the market.

I also noticed how the urban stations do what other formats seem to find impossible... entertaining, irreverent, hilarious radio. Steve Harvey, Tom Joyner and Mike Baisden GET IT! I've actually seen drivers switch stations when THE SONGS COME ON to see what the other guys is up to! Can you programmers imagine that? They actually turn the music OFF in favor of the jocks!

NOW is the time for talented jocks to get off their asses, and get going. I've listened to some of the demos from out-of-work jocks who whine incessantly about the fact that they can't find work. Their airchecks are nothing more than one positioning slogan break after another. That demo is your resume my friend. If radio is what you want to do, you'd better make damned sure YOUR demo is better than the other shlump.

Somebody's going to win in the new radio environment. It might as well be you.

boing
Posts: 75
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:21 am

Re: Blather from a former radio guy

Post by boing » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:55 am

What has to change is LOCAL stations have to want LOCAL entertaining radio people on the local level. Until that changes, it will continue to be clock constrained jockes and positioner VTs.

Alpha is on the right track. CC will NEVER get it, nor will the other CC wannabes!

pbergin
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 5:44 am
Location: DC

Re: Blather from a former radio guy

Post by pbergin » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:24 am

That goes without saying, but there WILL be a complete shift in the ownership picture. The consolidators are on their way out. Cumulus, Citadel, CC... how long can they hang on? The piper demands his pound of flesh.

Several of the people I talk to regularly are owners looking for great deals. They're licking their chops right now, waiting to pounce.

Keep your eyes on Portland, and Larry Wilson.

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