Hannity: Return To Local If You Want To Survive


Syndicated talker Sean Hannity told a packed house at Forecast 2017 Wednesday morning that if the election was about the “forgotten man,” radio is dealing with the “forgotten listener,” thanks to all the deep cuts it has made over the past several years. His advice: get back to local. And that means more advertising that you are there, more contesting, more research, more promotions, and more creativity.

“We have sliced and diced and cut budgets from these radio stations more than we can,” he said. “Now you have to connect with people and find ways to draw listeners back in. You have to get listeners on your side.”

Hannity said radio has got to go back to the fundamentals, and reminded the Forecast audience of the Randy Michaels “pyramid” from the Clear Channel days, when the listener was at the top, the talent was next, and it was management’s job to support that talent as much as possible. He said, “If we want to compete with everything we face today, radio has got to return to what we used to do.”

Hannity said he loves radio as much as he did when he was so proud to wear a WLIR T-shirt he’d won. “We’re all still here because we’re insane and we love it. We have a responsibility to make it the best it can be. The game has changed.”


  1. Ron is correct when he observes…does it really take a Hannity and a radio conference, to make the great ‘revelation” that radio needs to be local?? Duh!!!!! No if only radio managers could awaken from their comas, and stop running 6, 8, 10 commercials in a row. Listeners would actually stay tuned, and local advertisers would get better results.

  2. I’m a former Clear Channel Dayton employee who has started an internet radio station. We are hyper-focused on LOCAL and have developed a grassroots following by producing podcasts featuring local people and personalities, non-profit service groups, high school sports, and local advertisers. We air these programs on our stream throughout the day. We also feature local artists mixed in with our music programming (a mix of pop country, rock, and some oldies). In 2017 we’ll be introducing a morning show which will cater to the folks in our county. Plus, we participate in events (regardless if someone is paying for a remote). We are using modern technology to recreate the radio stations of old–locally owned, locally focused, and listener-centric.

  3. Does it really take a Sean Hannity to state what has been obvious for decades? Hope not.
    Meanwhile, and as “live & local” gets shifted upwards on some owners’ list of “things to do – maybe” – it may be less obvious that these folks still don’t know how, specifically, they are going to implement and successfully execute such a strategy.
    As to iHeart, Cumulus or other larger groups teetering on the edge of collapse, but still managing to hang on: Two buzzards walk into a bar and the bartender says, “You guys still out there waiting for something to die? One of the buzzards says, Well, yeah. We never figured out how to kill something?”
    In other words, station owners who compete with the biggies haven’t figured out how to take them out. What is more likely is that these owners don’t even believe such an outcome is remotely possible.

  4. I Heart is full of Thugs..They are a dime a dozen..I have been back in radio a short while now after many years in television. Television is heading down the same path when companies like Nexstar and Gray are allowed to have the number of stations they have. They could not successfully run the ones they had when they were smaller .
    For radio to prosper, and it can , it has to embrace and grow their digital assets and programs and do it now. Do it right ..do not value added it ….sell it. Clients need it and I see radio stations not getting on this opportunity fast enough.Clients need it wheher they know it or not.

  5. IHR, more layoffs coming in January around election day just like always. I Heart Radio has found that doing it then puts them below the inaugaration news story. January 20th 2017 will be a hard day for many…AGAIN!

  6. I HEART MEDIA is the WAL-MART of U.S. radio…i expect soon coming Christmas promotions for their needy employees during the holidays.

  7. I HEART MEDIA/RADIO has quietly terminated more than 8,500 talented on-air/sales people since early 2016 alone. They enforce non-competes while not replacing the positions meaning less staff does more work. Higher ups inside I heart refer to it today as, “The Extermination of 2016” which is both sad and very tacky!

  8. This is a great read…I’ve worked in 7 major markets and IHR is the main problem for radios erosion the past 10 years. I HEART MEDIA WILL BE OUT OF BUSINESS SOON. Locals will buy back the stations at pennies on the dollars and radio, like America will be GREAT AGAIN!

  9. I HEART RADIO only cares about MONEY…not the product or the listener! They hire sales people to go into cities and take money and then don’t hire locals. I HEART MEDIA is a great example of what is wrong with this country!


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