Buyers speak out


Last Thursday at the Interep Radio Symposium the panel session, "Radio from the Agency Perspective," featured Matt Feinberg, SVP/Director of Radio; Director of Interactive Broadcast, Zenith Media; Janice Finkel-Greene, EVP, Director of Broadcast Strategy – Initiative Media; Rich Russo, Director of Broadcast Services,  JL Media, Natalie Swed-Stone, US Director, National Radio Investment, OMD and Kim Vasey, Senior Partner/Director of Radio, Mediaedge:CIA.

We got a bit of commentary on the session:

Said Swed Stone: "I said that for radio to remain healthy it needs to appeal to a diversified audience. While radio broadcasters have recognized the need for appeal to Hispanic and urban and have programmed accordingly-the women and youth offerings are not as compelling to advertisers. I believe radio's share of revenue against those two groups is smaller than for other groups and that could be an opportunity-that advertisers know exactly where to go to reach women in an environment exclusive to them with high audience composition (magazines, daytime TV shows, etc)-for youth-cable, online, etc. So in order for radio to grow its share of revenue-it needs to go back to targeting groups carefully-so it can capture budgets going to other media."

Said Russo: "There was one slide that they showed where they compare percentage of time spent with the medium converted to share of revenue.

I said it's really unfair to use this slide because you compare radio and television to magazines and newspapers. When you have two entities that have unlimited inventory-that can add pages, etc.-and yet you compare them to industries that can't. Vanity Fair comes out with an issue that they say is their biggest issue ever and it's 932 pages of ads. Radio can't do that. I said you can only compare radio to TV.

Another question was do you think radio was programmed well. Matt Feinberg, said, 'No, not really, but streaming stations often are.' I added that we, collectively as an industry, have to determine that radio is everything audio-not just over the air. That's how we have to image ourselves, better ourselves, by saying streaming, satellite, terrestrial radio-it's all radio. The SIRIUS campaign right now that says they're 'The best radio on radio,' makes a lot of sense."

Russo commented on the CRB rates, if they stick, what will that do to the streaming industry?: "I'm assuming the people that will then be able to afford it will be the regular broadcasters. So maybe the fees end up being a way that the Clear Channels (which is doing a great job on the interactive stuff) and The Citadels (also doing a great job)….maybe this means the bigger companies will be running it and they'll be able to accent their over the air product."

The session didn't get to do any Q&A because it was running late.