Are traditional media really adjusting to the new digital world?


David Verklin, CEO, Aegis Media Americas, moderated a AAAAs panel last week representing all of the major media, asking a multitude of questions on how traditional media are capitalizing—or not—on new media. We excepted a few items from Frank Comerford, President & GM, WNBC-TV NY and
David Field, CEO, Entercom Communications CEO.

Verklin asked Comerford how NBC and WNBC were adapting to the changing environment—specifically the lessons he’s learned over the last 24 months.

“The media market in NYC is about the same as it was 10 years ago—at least in television. So, if our share of that is less, part of the problem is trying to rely on network shows that we used to be the only exclusive distribution point for. We used to be able to control the time of when these shows could be tuned in. So the challenge is how do we get to these people who may have changed their  traditional viewing habits.”

Verklin asked David Field what his reaction was to CC’s Less is More and if the iPod was a friend or foe.
“I think the iPod is a friend. In the world of audio entertainment, internet audio is an extension of our on-air content. We still command the lion’s share of that  audience. The question we need to ask is how do we exist in a multiplatform world? What radio has that is unique is that emotional, local connection with the audience. The radio station personalities interact with the audience in a very real and genuine way. We’ve been very successful at using that personal connection to create new content on our website that listeners are engaged with, and we’ve done some great things for our customers there as well.”

As far as Less is More, Field said it has been overrated as a factor in radio, because the amount of inventory is actually smaller than most of the other media radio competes with and always has been.
When asked if radio was in decline, Field said the reality is that radio reaches 96% of Americans. There are 10 million more listeners to local radio today than in 2000. There is a small erosion in time spent listening, but that is true for all media—people have less time to spend in today’s world consuming media and there are more choices out there. “People even have less time to play golf today,” he noted. “But radio is still the number two choice of all media today among Americans. As I said before, we just need to leverage that strength into the multiplatform world.”

RBR/TVBR observation: Verklin keeps people of their toes and makes them think. We like how Verklin ends his is rapid fire Q & A panel by asking each person what is their favorite quote. Well some stumbled to get out their notable quote. RBR/TVBR was not on the panel but if asked our favorite quote it would be by WWII Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, USMC, an American fighter ace and awarded the CMH who once stated: "Show me a hero, and I’ll show you a bum."