As people meet this week in Chicago for the Radio Show, jointly presented by NAB and RAB, Bob Pittman will be making his first appearance at the annual gathering as Chairman of Media & Entertainment Platforms, Clear Channel Communications. And he’ll be talking about where radio should be going – not just Clear Channel’s stations, but all stations.
Worth another listen is the interview RBR-TVBR did with Pittman about the future of media. Where is he investing for the future? (Obviously he then decided to sink $5 million of his own money into Clear Channel.)
Bob Pittman Audio:
Of particular interest is Pittman’s answer to the question: What should broadcasters be doing?
Bob Pittman: “I think two things – if you look at the broadcast industry we’re still structured and operate as if the Internet had never been invented, computers had never been invented, no one has a cell phone, fax or Federal Express. We tend to be an old style of operational structure which is costly and slow, slow for decisions. I think they’re going to have to get the cost structures changed to make it more efficient both on the bottom line and in terms of helping creativity and innovation move quicker through the organization. I think they are going to have to learn to sell in a way other than commodity trading. I think that’s probably the deadliest sin going on in broadcasting today and everybody talks about new business and if you go on a new business call with them somebody in about the first ten minutes is talking about CMPs and ratings, which has absolutely nothing to do with the buyer’s needs. I think until they are prepared to really sell again and not commodity trade I think we’re going to have problems. And now we have a whole system of commodity trading – you’re going to have to keep your commodities traders, because agencies and buyers are commodity traders too, but I think when you go in direct to client – and you’re really talking to a marketer’s needs – you’re going to have to have a separate group of people who understand how you talk about return on investment for a marketer.”