David Field: Entercom Sucks Less

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Solutions To Radio’s 15 Biggest Problems

  1. Not Enough Millennial Listeners
  2. Fixing Morning Drive
  3. What To Do With 7pm-5am
  4. Making Significantly More Money From Digital
  5. Competing Against Rate Droppers
  6. Understanding Gender Neutrality
  7. Changing The Way Radio Talks To Younger Listeners
  8. To Podcast Or Not?
  9. Competing Against Radio’s Surprising New Competitor
  10. How To Identify The Next New Radio Formats?
  11. What To Do With 70 Million Baby Boomers
  12. How Radio Can Create Binge Content Like Netflix
  13. Stopping the Damage From Nielsen & PPM (Sean Hannity and researcher Richard Harker).
  14. How To Do A Total Millennial Radio Station Makeover (Former Cox & CBS PD Dan Mason)
  15. Eliminating The 3 Biggest Listener Objections To Radio

Independent broadcasters and digital entrepreneurs are invited to my April 6th New Radio Conference in Philadelphia to have a conversation about these most critical radio issues.

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iHeart’s Next Employee Realignment

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Millennials Unleashed in New Hampshire

How fascinating is it to watch the decline of the establishment?

On both sides of the presidential primaries, outsiders are now in. Insiders are out and very few people even understand what forces are really at work.

It’s like radio.

Those damn Millennials are shaking everything up, radio people say.

Well, that, too.

Analysts say the reason the electorate believes Bernie over Hillary is that he is more authentic.

Hey, radio – haven’t we been talking about authenticity for ages and doing nothing about it?   Radio stations are the most non-authentic things around.

That one third of the Democratic voters in New Hampshire exit polling Tuesday said that integrity was the most important thing that helped them decide on who to vote for and 92% of that group voted for Sanders.

Gloria Steinem, a Hillary supporter, got caught telling Bill Maher that young women were supporting Sanders because that’s where they would find the guys.

Ouch, could even Gloria Steinem be out of touch?

Whether Sanders wins or not, these socialist Millennials will not be going away but conservative talk radio will.

And you can blame the kids if that makes you feel better but you would be wrong.

Some of my best friends are conservative talk show hosts but I have warned again and again that Bob Pittman and Lew Dickey did as much to kill the format as Rush Limbaugh and his misogynist mouth.

Dickey and Pittman ran the stations that were conservative talk and they didn’t give a shit what these shows did – just don’t put them on FM. And look what happened? They pandered to their conservative baby boomer audience over 65.

Take optics.

Hillary would stand with baby boomer women behind her during the events leading up to New Hampshire’s election day but Bernie’s kids were behind him. Now, you’ll note, the old folks are out of the picture when Hillary stands at a podium.

Voila, look at the Millennials for Hillary.

We are witnessing a world that rejects bullshit.

That doesn’t want anymore of the same old thing.

That wants you to speak to their interests because, after all, it’s all about them.

As Chuck Todd of NBC News and Meet the Press said on MSNBC after the election, he can easily name what Bernie stands for but he can’t name why Hillary wants to be president – just because she can get things done? Todd suggesting voters may feel the same way.

And my radio friends know that they can’t name what their stations stand for because they stand for cutbacks and cheap programming because they can just do it thanks to digital automation.

When a radio station thinks “Your Hit Music Station” is a compelling reason to listen, isn’t it time to find out what young in demo audiences want not what you think they should want?

And who needs all-news all the time?

A 70 year old, maybe but not anyone with a Twitter account.

When Scott Herman asks his news listeners to give his news stations 22 minutes and they will give them the world, he’s showing how out of touch he really is.

Millennials need just 22 seconds to get the world via Twitter.

In fact, I envision a radio news format that sounds more like Twitter than anything radio currently has to offer.

And the new age radio music stations sound more like Twitter than a traditional radio format.

Some of my readers wrote to me the other day to say they would love to reimagine radio in this way and I think we should continue this discussion at my Philly conference April 6th.

A Twitter news format.

A Twitter music format.

What’s all that about?

Or this question I get all the time.

I’m scared to make these major changes even though I know it must be done, how is a safe way to get started?

We’ll talk about that more, too. But to stay the same is a death sentence for radio.

Just as it is in politics.

Remain the establishment and some politician is going to lose the election.

Keep doing the unimaginative, non-authentic, older skewing radio that is on the air and the programming will be fit for funeral homes not people who are buying new homes.

This is perhaps a different way to describe the conversation we will have for 7 hours in April. But authenticity and Millennial values are no longer curiosity pieces.

It’s real.

It’s politics.

At work.

At home.

In the radio business.

Take the first step and listen to the future.

Thanks for the independent radio groups that are sending contingencies of their people to attend this timely event.

One station is sending all their employees but one to Philly so they can return on the same page.

This gives me hope that the radio industry will once again be saved from what Bernie Sanders would call the 1% by independent operators.

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CBS In Big Trouble

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Secret iHeart Force Reduction Move

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If you’ve been thinking of attending my New Radio Conference, time to reserve a seat for my April 6, 2016 here. Thanks to the independent groups that are sending their people.

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The Format That Can Save Radio

Face it.

Radio thinks that a format change, adjustment, new digital or social presence or something they add to what they are doing now will make the industry relevant again.

Nothing that radio can do that it has done before will work now.

Let’s do the math.

70 million baby boomers

45 million Gen Xers

Almost 90 million Millennials now roughly between 18-34.

And probably 70 or more million Plurals (17 and under and still being born).

Music radio has become a computer in the closet airing the same songs, sweepers and far fewer personalities than ever before.

And no music discovery to speak of – the one thing the music loving audience really wants from radio.

Talk radio is dying with the conservative movement as socialism rears its head whether Bernie Sanders prevails or not.

Millennials are just not conservatives nor will they be so. It’s been a nice run but conservative talk radio show hosts and stations should be preparing for the end.

Unless, they’re up for some big changes.

News is dead and died earlier on radio even before Twitter, which is a far better means of receiving news, was born.

Hey, Jerry – I thought you were going to tell me the one format that can save radio.

Okay, let’s start with what is not going to work.

Anything that is on the air now.

If you’re still with me, get a feel for what Millennials would want from the station that could command their attention:

  • A station that sounds like them not the baby boomers who run them.
  • No rules radio – Millennials hate rules. And they don’t like branding either so don’t call it “no rules radio” or you’ll sound like their parents.
  • Commercials that discover instead of preach, teach, lie, irritate or bore.
  • No clock.
  • No weather.
  • No time.
  • No traffic.
  • No news unless it is not already on Twitter.
  • They have all these things – move on.
  • A station that is neither all talk nor all music.
  • A format that would drive you crazy because it moves so fast that it would feed their short attention spans.
  • A station with a cause (bet your station doesn’t have a cause the majority of this new audience can embrace).
  • Aim young even if you also want an older audience because young people are the change makers as Hillary Clinton is finding out now.
  • No podcasting, it’s suicidal for Millennial audiences but there is something podcasters are doing that can port over to them.  One big thing and it’s not podcasting itself.
  • Everything most of us have been taught as the Holy Grail of radio no longer applies so if you want to pioneer you will need an adventurous spirit and a very open mind.
  • Odd lengths of shows, which really won’t be shows in the traditional sense.
  • What to call your new Millennial station – beware of branding, it will backfire as will mottos, cool phrases and hype.
  • And Nielsen is not going to keep up with you because Nielsen is owned by the people who own iHeart and they have no interest in changing radio so it’s up to you – change or follow them.

If you think you can’t do it, think again.

Millennials are in love with a 74-year old Democratic socialist.

They look up to Steve Jobs, a baby boomer.

To be blunt, most (not all) radio people are not up for blowing up what they’ve done all their lives so continue at your own risk. The ratings and revenue predict where this is headed.

Let’s have more of this conversation at my New Radio Conference in Philadelphia April 6th – less than two months from now.

We’re going to build this new radio station of the future with the help of former Cox and CBS programmer Dan Mason who will share comments from Millennials that may shock you, make you mad or inspire you.

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