That’s the opinion of many including Chris Kampmeier (pictured), although there are many others who would disagree with that statement. The veteran programmer of 47 years is retiring December 31. His final position in the business was Region VP of Programming for iHeartMedia’s North Florida Region. We spoke to Kampmeier at length about his extremely successful run in radio, his management philosophy and, of course, programming. We’ll be sharing that with you over the next several days. On of the questions we asked Kampmeier was about radio’s commercial load. Here’s what he had to say about that…
RI: Does it worry you that radio might be playing too many commercials?
Kampmeier: Of course. We are absolutely playing too many commercials. So are my competitors. We are all around the same number. I get a report every week that shows me the length of my stop sets and my competitors stop sets. We are all in the same ballpark. Yes, we are playing too many commercials. Frankly, the process that began in 1996 with consolidation resulted in the consolidation victors having paid extraordinarily high prices for the properties that they were able to amass under one roof. I think that’s created a financial challenge for the industry ever since, coupled with the fact that there are, not withstanding the remarkable stability in radio’s reach, there are on the other side of the ledger, so many, many more outlets for advertisers to spend their money. That creates a challenge on the revenue side.
RI: What kind of damage is it doing to the business?
Kampmeier: That’s a little hard to quantify as our performance has been not only terrific but has been going up over the last 2 to 2.5 years. There is a segment of people that are simply unwilling to endure commercials, whether we have a five minute break or a ten minute break. So those people probably have drifted away from us or are not giving us anywhere near as much usage as they used to. For those that remain regular and routine listeners to over-the-air radio, you can’t get away from the commercial content by moving from one radio station to another since we are all pretty much in the same boat in terms of the amount of inventory we are carrying.
We’ll have more of our interview with Chris Kampmeier in our headlines Tuesday morning.