Bill 'Fig' Figenshu is a radio warrior and as many know by now has resigned his position as COO of Softwave Media Exchange (SWMX) 06/07/07 RBR #111 and will return back to the radio business after June 29th. Fig is still not saying where or giving any details, but he did want to pass along his comment why he is heading back home to radio.
Radio Broadcasting Is About to Change…..For The Better!
I believe it to be true. That's why I'm going back in. There must be a period of innovation, creativity, passion, and training. I believe the time is about to begin.
– We cut.
– We cookie cluttered.
– We gave them "less while we took more"
Result? – You have read and lived it for the past 10 years. It simply didn't work.
Radio broadcasting can no longer survive as is. The next generation of programming and sales innovation must begin soon. Owners will be open to it. There is nothing left of 20 year old tactics that pre-date the internet.
– PPM will demand it. No more "recall." It will be replace with reality. Check the results in Philly. Many owners are "shocked" at the results. Many of us are not.
– Radio sales by the pound will no longer work. Individual problem solving using innovative, diverse, creative planning for the client will be done or we won't ever achieve growth rates again.
– HD? Want to see it grow quickly? Give it to the "kids" the way we were given FM stations. Keep it clean, encourage innovation, tolerate programming we may not understand. How many "elders" of broadcasting in 1969 understood progressive rock? We did. They didn't. But they knew enough to "let us innovate." The results are history.
"Deep cuts, extreme hip-hop, or 70's gold " will NOT get people to buy HD radios. A viral effort from youth will drive the band. OUR 20-30 YEAR OLD PROGRAMMING TACTICS WON'T. We are only to let them do it. Stand back and train them in basics. Teach them to listen, show them the rules, make them responsible. Become a mentor.
Where will the next generation of "Us" come from? I believe it will be where they are and WE are not. The Internet. They have already been there. Ask any kid under 25. Then embrace them. Didn't someone do that to us?
It's time to go get our old listeners back. It's time to get new listeners back to radio. The "harvest" is over. Time to plant the seeds. Radio needs a "soul" again. I made the decision to go back to the business I love to ….innovate. Not wait for the stock price to go up. It won't happen overnight. It didn't get this way overnight. Patience, and planning will be the order of the day. Putting money into product and people will also be a key.
As TSL's continue to slip, and revenues remain flat, there will be a few companies to see the opportunity.
Consolidation 2.0 has begun. The new generation of operators will see it clearly. The industry is ripe for change.
Who are they? ……..Stay tuned!
Bill 'Fig' Figenshu