The comments started piling up immediately after Cumulus CEO Mary Berner said “Radio needs to grow a pair,” in her first ever radio industry conference appearance Tuesday at The Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. The reality of her comment is that other Radio CEO’s have been saying the same thing, perhaps using other words, for years. So why did Berner’s comments tick so many people off?
Entercom CEO David Field has said for years that radio is punching below its weight class. iHeartMedia CFO Richard Bressler has said for years that radio is the most undervalued media out there. Many other radio executives, at too many conferences to count, have stated that radio needs to tell a better story. Despite everyone seemingly in agreement about how powerful radio is, the revenue needle hardly moves, with radio making meager gains every year. This week Berner simply said he same thing everyone else was saying, that radio has the goods, the R.O.I., and the audience, but lacks the confidence to translate that into higher revenue.
Here are the specifics of what Berner said and the comments readers have made so far…
Berner was interviewed by Emmis New York Market Manager Charlie Morgan at the Country Radio Seminar and she was asked for her general thoughts on the radio industry and she told attendees radio needs to “grow a pair.” Berner comes from the magazine industry and she said that industry had enormous confidence, without the R.O.I. to back it up. “Radio does have the audience and tremendous R.O.I. but we don’t act like it. We act like the ugly stepchild. This industry has the goods.” Berner also said radio is in a race to the bottom when it comes to advertising rates.