Forecast 2020 is coming up November 20 at the Harvard Club, NYC. Independent and Optimistic: Why Smaller Can be Better & More Profitable is one of the informative panel discussions on the agenda. On the panel will be Jonathan Brewster, CEO, Cherry Creek Media. He shared some insights with Radio Ink.
Radio Ink: How can an independent owner compete with a corporate radio owner?
Brewster: Independents’ strength has always centered around being more committed to winning in specific markets than the larger competitors. Most large companies are very good, but the independents are tenacious competitors when fighting on their home turf. Also, the large companies may have greater resources, but they’re generally not deploying them in smaller markets.
Radio Ink: What size markets are good for independent owners and why?
Brewster: Any size can work. However, to raise the necessary capital, markets 100+ are best suited for independents breaking into ownership. In addition, the smaller markets tend to have fewer competitors fragmenting audience and revenue.
Radio Ink: In September, the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out media ownership rules that had been approved by the FCC in 2017. How will that affect independents?
Brewster: No doubt, it will have a negative impact on independents, no matter who they are. The court’s opinion will make it harder for entrepreneurs to create innovative models that attract investment and operate profitably.
Radio Ink: How can an independent owner compete for a piece of the “flat” ad revenue pie?
Brewster: It’s important to build models that offer more than just spots. Independents can create agile, multi-media platforms that super-serve their markets. This is unfortunately negatively impacted by the recent court decision.
Radio Ink: In general, what should a potential independent owner be looking at before investing in radio?
Brewster: For small deals, ideally people that are in the community and can provide support for the operation beyond writing a check. As the size of the deal grows, family offices may offer good options. It’s important to find investors that are focused on the long term.
Don’t miss the rest of what Jonathan Brewster has to say about why smaller can be better and more profitable in the new year, exclusively at Forecast 2020. He’ll be joined by Tomas Martinez, owner/CEO, Solmart Media, and Kristin Cantrell, owner/CEO, Cap Cities/Seven Mountains Media, in a session led by Erica Farber, President/CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau.