April 6, 2018Same Old
Newness, in most businesses, is a virtue. Many industries thrive on change. New car models every year. New TV shows. New technology. New and improved products, whether they're really new and/or improved. New is a marketing plus for practically everyone, with only the occasional New Coke misfire. People like new, they crave new, they're looking for new.
Yet radio hasn't embraced new as anything other than a slogan. It's a joke among your listeners: "The New Q109" doesn't mean "new" when it's been calling itself that for 20 years. People aren't that stupid, it turns out. We've talked about this before: radio is rooted in sameness. Formats, with few exceptions, are the same now as they were 20 years ago; the music may have changed, but the basic formats haven't. ("Classic Hip-Hop" isn't a new, innovative format, it's Oldies... er, Classic Hits with an update.) Announcers sound the same. Talk radio is mostly the same deal with mostly the same hosts. Clocks are the same. The elements -- traffic, weather, wacky bits, anything that can get a sponsor tacked to it -- are the same. Everything is the same.
March 30, 2018The Rules
1. You do not have to say anything that comes into your head. 2. Likewise, you do not have to post every thought you have on social media. 3. You should not post or even talk about "stuff you found on the internet" when you don't know for sure that it's true or it comes ...
March 23, 2018Let’s Eat
Ever eat at a Jersey diner? It's something I miss, having grown up with it and now living on the other side of the country, where "diner" is defined as either Denny's or some high-end "reimagining of comfort food," meaning the portions are tiny and they sprinkle quinoa ...
March 16, 2018The Next Chapter
It can all be true. Bankruptcy can be a good thing for radio? Yeah. Bankruptcy sends a bad message to the public that radio's dying? Yeah. Chapter 11 wiping out all that debt is a fresh start that could lead to a bright future as a profitable industry? ...
March 9, 2018A Place For Us
Right now, I'm in a Starbucks on the SMU campus, decompressing after two days at Talk Radio Boot Camp, and maybe the last thing I want to think about is talk radio, or radio, or, well, anything, because it's Friday afternoon and I just want to get home and sleep. But I'm ...
March 2, 2018Beyond ‘Thoughts And Prayers Radio’
How prepared are you if, heaven forbid, something like Parkland happens in your market? I'm not going to limit this to talk radio. Every station, regardless of format, should be thinking about this. I've talked here about the need for emergency preparation before, but ...
February 23, 2018And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor
How many times has the word "monetization" come up in discussions about the media and the digital age? Everyone wants to be the one to come up with the ultimate answer to the question "how are we gonna make money on this thing?," but we're still feeling our way through ...
February 16, 2018Super Genius
"You know who's a genius?" Walter Sabo, or Sterling, or whatever he's calling himself at any given time, was on the phone. "You?" He ignored me. "Anyone who can program an AM station in 2018 and get an audience, any numbers at all, is a genius," he said, and I had to ...
February 9, 2018Paying The Price For Thinking Different
When did we go from "your opinions aren't the thing, your ability to entertain is" to "conform or you're through"? I ask this because things have changed in talk radio, changed a LOT, and I'm not sure whether it's something that came about organically from changing ...
January 26, 2018You Get What You Pay For
Okay, then, how do we get people to pay for all this? That, of course, is the Big Question of the Day for all content creators, and it's going to be an increasingly difficult one for radio, and podcasters. It's not like we haven't been warned that the traditional ...