Radio Ink is getting an early take on radio’s revenue performance in the third quarter, talking with independent operators. Margaret C. Perkins is President/CEO of First Natchez Radio Group, a five-station cluster (WQNZ-FM, WKSO-FM, WWUU-FM, KZKR-FM, WNAT-AM) based in Natchez, MS, covering southwest Mississippi and eastern and central Louisiana.
Radio Ink: How did Q3 come in for your company?
Perkins: July’s performance was below budget, but August and September were both up six percent.
Radio Ink: That’s great news for August and September. Why do you think they both jumped?
Perkins: We hired a sales manager, who had previously been with the company. She is super creative and has been able to lead and hold sales accountable in ways I was unable to, given all my other responsibilities for a family business. It has made a huge difference having someone dedicated to sales management, again.
Radio Ink: What are you hearing from the local advertisers about their economy? Perkins: Our advertisers are concerned about our economy. Our area has a heavy dependence on oil, timber, and agriculture and the prices for each are down.
Radio Ink: What are you hearing from your salespeople?
Perkins: We are hearing the same from our salespeople. We have an additional challenge just presented to us. Our morning guy of almost 30 years is retiring at the end of the year, so there is some angst about how our advertisers will receive the info.
Radio Ink: How do your salespeople deal with that and encourage clients to continue to advertise?
Perkins: It is a constant conversation about the value we bring our listeners and clients. We talk a lot about the fact that, if retailers or service providers have their doors open to the public and need customers, we can help deliver. They must always be looking for new business and new ways to help their clients.
Radio Ink: It seems like the national media, in recent months, are hoping for a recession. How does the “R” word impact the mood of sellers and local advertisers?
Perkins: Yes, unfortunately that word seems to be out there and that does not help at all. Political strife is also impacting business owners, view of the world and their budgeting.
Radio Ink: How do your salespeople combat that?
Perkins: We have to be focused on relationships and delivering results. If our salespeople are having the right conversations with their clients, deep CNAs, being a resource, a guide, a partner, they have a much greater opportunity to weather any storm that arises.
Radio Ink: What are you looking forward to in 2020?
Perkins: A fresh start! We have had a lot of unforeseen challenges this year. By the time 2020 rolls around, we will have a new morning show for our largest station, WQNZ-FM; a company name change to Listen Up Y’all Media; launched a translator with a new format, new branding, and updated logos for all our stations; new website, app, and digital options. Needless to say, I am super excited for the new opportunities to grow!
Thanks to Margaret C. Perkins, 601.442.4895