The Leno Lesson

NBC and Comcast still aren’t learning their lesson.

They tried to push Jay Leno out of The Tonight Show and put him on in primetime so Conan could take over.

That was a costly (in more ways than one) failure for them so they brought Leno back to Tonight while they tried to come up with another way to shoot themselves in the foot.

In a few months from now, Leno gets ousted again by this clueless company so they can promote younger talent to step up.  Jimmy Fallon to Tonight.  Seth Meyers to fill Fallon’s old show.

And Jay Leno becomes a free agent.

Fox and CNN are reportedly talking to him.  Yes, CNN run by Jeff Zucker, the man who when he was at NBC came up with the Leno to primetime ill-fated experiment.

Stop everything because Leno is still number one in the money demo going out the door.

Does it make sense to fire the old guy even if the old guy is winning younger audiences?

Kind of like radio’s dilemma.

Do we put younger people on to win the money demos?

All that Comcast is guaranteeing is that the guy who finished number one in his time slot will be a competitor.  No guarantees about Fallon or Meyers.  They’re good, but was this move good?

So, Apple should have fired Steve Jobs because he was a baby boomer who wore jeans and a turtleneck and loved The Beatles, right?  Oh wait, they did that!  How did that work out for Apple back then?

Attracting 95 million Millennials coming of age is different than pandering to them.  We know what they want but media execs think they just want younger faces and voices.

Yes, they want that, too but not exclusively.

I want to have this discussion of how to win over Millennials at my Philly conference in March.  I mean, 95 million people coming of age is important, don’t you think?

I can tell you as a USC professor who studied generational media that I have a pretty good idea of what the new money demo wants and it is not what radio stations are giving them.

I’m thinking you may change your mind about how to approach attracting the next generation after this discussion.

To me this conference is about two key things:

  • How to do great radio when competitors in an industry are being blighted by venture capital backed groups that are dumbing down the medium.
  • Unlocking better digital solutions that create an additional revenue stream.

Smaller, locally focused groups are going to eat the consolidators alive this year while they are busy refinancing their debt and reducing their payrolls further. 

And the reason is because successful stations are going to focus on these 7 critical things:

  1. Disrupting radio before a digital competitor does (they’re already stealing local radio buys and are the largest ad growth sector).
  2. Mastering digital.  Digital is a separate revenue stream not an on-air programming tactic.  No one in radio is doing digital the right way.
  3. Becoming accomplished at social media.  Nothing is in more turmoil than social media.  Let go of Facebook and Twitter.  Beware of Snapchat.  Go with Instagram but its shelf life may be very short.  Let’s talk about building your own local social network.  Doable.  Better. 
  4. Reinvent radio.  On-demand is in, broadcasting is fighting the new trend, where does that leave radio?  How stations must rethink broadcasting in light of the growing popularity of on-demand competitors.  Strategies, ideas and inspirations.
  5. Launch short-form video.  Just because you’re in the audio business doesn’t mean you can’t be an expert at profitable short-form video.  I will reveal how some are earning millions from a 5-minute weekly video.  In fact, I’ll play the video for you and reveal the business plan.
  6. Attract Millennials.  No getting around this fact – without almost 95 million Millennials, the oldest of whom are already 30 and well into the money demo, radio is just spinning its wheels.  I’ve devoted the last ten years to generational media.  You’ll know what I know.
  7. Adapt to time shifting radio.  Miss this opportunity and radio is mired in the past.  How to time shift on-air programming (there are new rules to this game) as well as digital.

I’m making lots of time for questions, answers and plenty of interaction.

This event will not be available by stream or video – only live and in person. 

I can’t wait to share my enthusiasm and knowledge with you in person.

Reserve a seat

Inquire about group rates

Inquire about sponsorships

Breakfast, lunch and all breaks included.