An Open Letter To My Radio Colleagues

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(By Connoisseur Media CEO Jeff Warshaw) We are in the midst of a crisis. It’s incredibly painful to our business, as it is to countless other industries. Our communities are reeling.

This crisis is going to end.  But radio’s troubles didn’t start a few weeks ago, when the coronavirus began its attack on our country. Competition for our audiences has never been fiercer. National revenue had hit a rough patch. Public radio companies were trading at their lows. Deal-making had ground to a standstill. It was harder than ever to grow our radio revenues. Certainly, there are bright spots and pockets of opportunity, and our industry is doing a terrific job tirelessly serving our communities during this unprecedented time. That having been said, I don’t think many of us were looking fondly at the halcyon days of Q4 2019.

As difficult as this crisis is, we have an opportunity to turn this disease into a cure.

Our logs are wide open. What we allow to happen to our product once things return to “normal” is entirely up to us. Although our company has tried to maintain reasonable commercial loads, we can do much better. Let’s take this opportunity to clean up our clocks, maintain lower spot loads, stop incessant bonus commercials, reduce endless promos. Demonstrate integrity for the value of our products and give our listeners more of what they crave.

The universe is doing for us what we would not and could not do for ourselves. We have the opportunity to emerge from this dark time with a brighter flame than we have seen for years. What we do from here may make all the difference.

Jeff Warshaw is the CEO of Connoisseur Media and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

3 COMMENTS

  1. Radio has forgotten what originally made it the center of attention. i am not referring to programming. Rethinking spot loads, bonuses, promos and other clutter is fine, but that will take eons to make an overall difference to advertisers. You must offer advertisers powerful, riveting, content for their commercials. Radio can actually cause the listener to turn the commercial UP, pay rapt attention to the commercial, prompt a response and guarantee results.. But you’re not doing it. Decreasing clutter and old traditional ways of selling will not restore revenue streams……

  2. Absolutely. Great comments Jeff. I have had more than one of our very good, high frequency advertisers plead with us to “lower the load” knowing that their individual commercial cost might well go higher. They nevertheless see it as positive for them. All are listeners and, so, know the pain of too many CM’s every hour of the day all too well. I think we, as an industry, should look for a way to build our own social media eco-system and stop incessantly promoting one our new major competitors whose security issues and lack of source credibility is super suspect … facebook.

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