Cumulus honcho Lew Dickey expects its 2012 political results to improve during Q4, but Q3 was disappointing, falling well short of 2010 levels. He said radio must do a better job of making politicians aware of its advantages.
There were many unusual factors that went into the soft Q3 political results experienced by Cumulus in particular and radio in general.
Among them, according to Dickey, was an unexpectedly sluggish economy that took the wind out of the sails of the retail advertising sector. This in turn opened up inventory on television stations and enabled them to accept more political requests than they may otherwise have been able to handle.
That siphoned money away that might have been spent with other media, including radio.
Dickey also thinks that political media operatives were experimenting quite a bit with digital advertising, particularly on social media platforms.
That said, he believes radio has not done an effective job selling its tactical and strategic advantages to the political community. It’s ability to get a message up fast and target it to a specific audience with precision makes it a formidable weapon, and radio operators need to make sure campaigners know how to use it.
Dickey said that is certainly in the plans of his company heading into the next election cycle.
RBR-TVBR observation: We’ve been saying this for awhile. It’s gratifying to see somebody else make this observation. A committee could develop a strategy for an educational campaign, and rope in all of the state and local broadcast associations and make this a business priority for 2014. The time to start on this is now!