Mid-Sized Radio Market Sales Wins Get NAB Spotlight


LAS VEGAS — It’s been a tough two years for some radio broadcasting companies, as the COVID-19 pandemic practically erased non-traditional revenue from events as auto dollars evaporated. For a handful of big companies in markets such as Richmond and Cincinnati, creating virtual events and new opportunities with a little creativity proved to be winning efforts. They were on display at a Tuesday NAB Show session.

First taking the podium and showing off her efforts was Beasley Media Group/Charlotte Senior Account Executive Vedra Grant. She emphasized how Beasley “is all about community” across the company and how a WSOC golf tournament and a Secret Santa effort are emblematic of this.

Salem Media Group’s Jon Latzer, who serves as the Eastern Region Digital Sales Manager, shared with the attendees details of a successful case study involving a faith-based college that wished to go national by increasing its online enrollment. That initiative began four years ago, and was reset six months ago following the worst of the pandemic. It involved Salem’s radio network, conservative talk radio stations, its web network, its podcast network and even a movie studio producing work for viewing in the OTT space.

While Salem came out at $1.2 million for the effort, Latzer says the biggest challenge was getting the local sales person to yield at least some control over the account to the national sales team. “The hardest part was working with the local and national teams and having them come together, and this had to be led by trust,” he says.

Following Latzer came a vivacious presentation from Urban One VP of Revenue Development Brandeis Hall, who played up the virtual events it had staged since summer 2020, even getting dollars from Coors.

Hall’s mission is to make its sales people multimedia consultants. That’s easier said than done, but she wants all traditional sales executives to figure out online sales opportunities for all clients. “You’re still not selling digital? The fastest way to learn is teach. That’ll scare the hell out of them.”