With same-station revenue decreasing $1.4 million to $30.3 million compared to a year earlier, Saga CEO Ed Christian said the third quarter was unsatisfactory and he was not pleased. He blamed part of the revenue decline on radio’s larger companies that he says are taking more national business by going after share not rate. And, he said, in some cases companies are offering higher commission rates to pull in that larger share. Christian said that while Saga does not rely too heavily on national business they do feel the pain and they will not compromise rates. He said similar things are going on at local agencies.
Back To Basics
If you’ve ever been in radio sales you know that one of the most powerful tools you can have in your toolbox is an idea with a spec spot. And that’s what the salespeople are focusing on, according to Christian. As of November 1, Saga has produced over 3,200 spec spots for clients, that according to Christian have generated $1.4 million in additional revenue this year.
Christian says the company is targeting those businesses that were disenfranchised when yellow pages died. “Radio can build their brand. It requires great copy.” He says Saga has hired professional full-timers to teach salespeople how to sell to retailers. “To teach, train, supervise, shadow, and course correct. It will take time. We are returning to the basics of radio.”
He gave specific market examples during his conference call monologue. In Ocala, 388 spec spots were created. In Milwaukee, 538. Christian also called out some of his people. “Some markets are not so good. When this is implemented, it will change results. We are not about to disappoint our investors. This is not occurring fast enough. Let’s get moving.
Christian did not take calls from investors this quarter but during his lengthy review he did manage to wander off to Iceland and talk about the fishing industry and somehow bring it back to radio sales.
Saga owns or operates stations in 27 markets, including 79 FMs and 34 AMs.