Radio in the Age of Reality TV

If you want to understand the dumbing down of American politics (if that is even possible – the dumbing down part, I mean), then look no further than Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart.

For years they poked fun at public figures playing and replaying embarrassing videos and taking the brunt of their unorthodox way of reporting news.

All the while they were considered the more reliable news sources compared to traditional TV, cable and newspapers according to polls.

Before Colbert and Stewart, cable news networks re-set the expectations of political candidates, for instance to feed their news cycle.

While their audiences were treated to commercials for Hoverounds and Cialis, everyone else was watching these two firebrands hijacking the news cycle.

So it should be no surprise that a Donald Trump could come along and do the impossible.

No, not be ahead in the Republican primary.

Challenge Roger Ailes and Fox News – and win.

Trump says bat shit crazy things and his popularity goes up every time he does so Ted Cruz and especially Marco Rubio have finally figured it out and they have now gone bat shit crazy (that’s a term South Carolina Republican senator Lindsey Graham used over the weekend).

Then Trump brings in the bully from New Jersey and sics him on Rubio – this isn’t an election, it’s a smackdown on WWE.

Moderates are threatening to bring back Mitt Romney.


And everyone is wondering not if there is a Democratic primary going on over on the other side but what Trump will do to expose Hillary Clinton in the many ways that she is vulnerable.

This is better than Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Our forefathers are turning over in their graves.

Yet we are amazed yes, surprised no.

This was all in the making while media companies were living in their little bubble – the same bubble that has radio thinking it actually has 230 million listeners a week and that talk radio is alive and music radio will never die.

I can’t watch the radio industry go down without a fight. It’s time for some deadly honest intelligence to wake up an industry in dire search of a leader, an innovator – someone to turn things around.

News stations sound like they are from the 60’s – come on, let’s fix that and do something as compelling as Twitter where, by the way, most young people get their news.

You give THEM 20 seconds and they’ll give you the world on Twitter.

Talk is so dead – as dead as the conservative movement, which is being killed off by Donald Trump not the Tea Party (and do you even hear the words Tea Party anymore?).

But podcasting which flops on digital devices at least as a revenue producer is the model for the next talk radio. Wouldn’t you like to hear how to do this?

Streaming music services are consolidating and dying and yet good old terrestrial radio is playing the same short playlist with non-authentic sweepers, no djs and personalities, no music discovery and believe it or not radio stations can’t see that the outcome is going to be ugly.

But radio could offer a very different music service that streamers could not be able to do but they are too scared to even hear about it let alone try to save the industry.

After all, it only takes one innovator to turn around a radio group and save the industry.

So with that in mind, I’d like you to consider putting aside April 6th and come work with me in Philadelphia where we will address these issues and interact with you and your station’s problems.

I will be my usual shy self and suck up to all the big names.

We will also pave the way for the next generation of digital entrepreneurs if you think your future will take you there – I think so.

Take a look at the solutions that will be offered at this event and see if it makes sense for you and your people to stop doing radio as usual and let us fire up the creative juices that could bring a major turnaround.

5 weeks away.

Outperforming a Slowing Revenue Trend
Learn how to compete against consolidators who are driving ad prices down in desperation to avoid bankruptcy by making it difficult for competitors to get paid what they are actually worth.

Getting Millennials To Listen
Discover the things that 18-34 year old Millennial listeners say they want from radio that they are not currently getting. Former Cox and CBS programmer Dan Mason joins us to help you begin a Millennial Radio Makeover that incorporates these needs.

Making Money From Digital
Learn why there isn’t a radio station in the country deriving significant ad revenue from their digital strategies and where exactly to focus limited resources to achieve a much better outcome.

Programming To Shorter Attention Spans
Learn how to rethink formats that are currently appealing to older audiences by adapting them to younger listeners who are distracted by mobile devices and social media.

Your New Competitor: User-Generated Content
Discover why younger money demos are now insisting on being their own “program director” which explains the popularity of YouTube and social media that allows them to be in charge. Once you know how to translate this need into radio programming, you’ll be riding the next wave.

Reinvigorating the Morning Show
Morning shows should deliver 50-60% of a radio stations total revenue but their chief appeal – personalities, news, traffic, weather – are no longer audience magnets. Learn how to pick up the pace of change for your most valuable asset – the one thing station’s must get right to succeed.

Repurposing 7pm to 5am
Voice tracking and syndication will not be enough to generate the extra revenue needed to stay on the road to success. Learn how these time periods are being used successfully to gain audience and revenue – sometimes in ways that are unorthodox.

Getting Around a Rigged Ratings System
Listen to researcher Richard Harker and talk show host Sean Hannity explain the study they did that discovered a majority of actual listening to Sean’s show was not credited by PPM. Engage them directly. Get answers to how to get around a rigged ratings system.

What To Do About Podcasting
Learn why podcasting may have a future as a radio format but not as a standalone business. Go beyond basic podcasting to pod-radio and explore all the details for making podcasting a radio station with all the revenue that would attract.

Finding New Revenue Streams
In a world where audiences click to buy apps (75% of which they never use) and access entertainment and information on-demand, radio now sees a model where paid subscriptions, product placement and other strategies are increasingly an option.

Changing the Way We Engage Audiences
Learn how radio can become more relevant to 86 million money demo listeners by sounding more Millennial. You’ll leave with a plan that will enable you to start teaching on-air talent to change the way they talk to their audience.

Eliminating Listeners’ Biggest Objections
Learn what to do to deal with the negatives of long commercial stop sets, repetitious music and morning shows that don’t do it for them any longer.

One day, April 6th at The Hub Conference Center in Philadelphia.

Not available on tape or by streaming.

Flexible format – you join the discussion.

Continued involvement – the learning and feedback don’t stop here, you can follow up when you return home to maximize what you’ve learned.

Jerry Del Colliano is your program leader – former radio, television talent, program director, author & publisher, speaker and professor at the University of Southern California now in his seventh year of presenting this annual executive media conference.

Consider the impact the Advanced Radio Management Program can have as you advance your career and lead your stations, media outlets or entrepreneurial company towards further success. 

Register here.

Inquire about group rates.