As the annual network radio upfront negotiating season is just beginning, RBR/SmartMedia is providing a weekly progress update, based on conversations with buyers and sellers in the marketplace for our annual two-part print feature. This week, we look at excerpts: How have the sellers listened to buyers in reconfiguring their networks in the past year? What was asked for? They all want better affiliate lists, and better targeted with like formats. There is constant flux and improvement. Maja Mijatovic, Horizon Media Senior National Radio buyer, says they’ve been asking for more women and are getting more women in the schedules. "And we are not talking about female networks with 45% female skew; we are talking about 52% and above female skews. RADAR is growing and that is always good news. Every new commercial rated network in the marketplace is commendable and we buyers should always stress it out to the clients. Another improvement is day specific 6a-7p inventory. There is much more of it than five years ago."
Says Agnes Lukasewych, VP, Account Director Radio Broadcast, MPG: "I don’t know how much they listen because we are still talking, but two things drive us crazy. #1 including Hispanic speaking stations in a general market line-up and #2 including what many advertisers consider to be ‘controversial programming’."
Many radio networks are reconfiguring their stations to more closely align to tighter demographics and qualitative. Specifically Metro Traffic, which redesigned their business model in early 2007 to target advertising demographics rather than selling in a tonnage mode. Pearl Kim, Supervisor, National Broadcast, Carat USA, also noted that Westwood One has made an improvement on their reconfigured networks this year. The result has been a higher level of accountability in affidavit posts.