“There’s Something Happening Here” And, soon it becomes very clear



Welcome to 3rd Quarter. From recent conventions, articles, blogs, new research and staying tuned, the airwaves need to add summer electricity. Radio’s respect as #2 only behind TV is getting the energy and credibility for a timely one voice RAB campaign. The weekly 247 million person audience is actually larger because Radio remains The Great Connector. Audio delivery is everywhere, reaching new heights with superior channels. The tuned-in growth spurt will jump as more content connects. From combining two of my locally owned stations (AM & FM) with Imes and Hearst TV service, the current call to couple up broadcasting is spot on.

Political business will take on new proportions when positive campaigns are directed by locals in the district. No change however, if win or lose, the same Beltway folks just move on to next campaign. Research, branding, compelling content and new business and talent development are the ingredients for summer “refresh.”
Presentation and pizazz are movie and TV catalysts. Talk radio, music radio and the recording industry are show business partners. Everyone wins when All Stars attract multi-generational audiences. Billy Joel at Fenway Park was a home run.

Recent format changes suggest radio & records could reconnect to make music and money together again. So far this year, 50 US stations switched to Classic Hits while 39 went Alternative. 20 more changed to Sports, 14 moved to Hot A/C and 10 stations each turned to both ends of the spectrum: Classical and Rock. News / Talk and Ethnic had minimal conversation of 6 stations or less.

My first National PD, the late Tony Graham at Group W said, “The most important thing for your station to do is play the %#&$*@! Hits.” I’ll admit to taking a few liberties by defining album cuts as hits with “Here Comes The Sun,” “Landslide” and “Moondance.” Old research hurt artists and tunes not released as singles. Respondents could only check the “Don’t Know / Unfamiliar” box instead of having the option to mark “Like / Want To Hear More.” In 2014, what is Classic and what is Alternative? What’s fresh and familiar? “Likes” can target cross-over demos, tastes and regions.

And, just because not everyone is glued to News, Talk & Sports, there’s a way to integrate sponsored one minute local information hits. Development of this on-demand, frequency feature will add new branding and identity. With a ton of channels, the show must Stand Out to attract audience and advertisers. Monetizing digital means great programming.

Take a good look at this week’s June PPM trends. Use the summer to dump the garbage, hit “refresh” and produce the catchy content only Real Radio knows how to present. Creative isn’t a bad word. It’s the last word to get the win.

Clark celebrates some big firsts in July:

–Clark Smidt – Media Connects

Radio start ’66, first FM built ’68, TV debut ’69, WBZ ’71, CBS ’77, first FCC license grant ’87. Children ’85 & ’87.

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