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.”