Localism At Its Best


(By Buzz Knight) Radio keeps mentioning local whenever it can, but do stations really walk the walk? It’s easy to throw the term around but like many truths often these are half- truths. So what are some examples of localism at its best?

  1. Your station is SO embedded in your community that the political leaders are friends and family to your organization. They look to you in times of need and you have a track record of delivering. They ACTUALLY listen to your brands!

2) Your stations are SO embedded in your community that getting your brands played on the radio in high traffic locations is a lay- up. You are a dominant force in your community and are heard EVERYWHERE!

3) Your stations are THEE go to source from other media outlets in the community. This is especially true in breaking news cycles around music, pop culture and other news worthy events.

4) Your charity relationships go well beyond just running a PSA to support an event. Charities are true partners with you on a local level and together the partnership produces amazing results!

5) Your local sports franchises don’t hesitate to partner with you even if you aren’t the rights holder in the marketplace. Team ownership knows the value of a great local relationship.

6) Your brand is so local that when out of towners consume the content they are occasionally lost and out of the loop of some of the conversation. This local content can consist of slang, new local trends or anything that is hyper-focused to the market.

7) Your stations are so local that they truly are the local social network of the marketplace. Great brands connect with an ear to the ground in the local marketplace better than any social network ever can.

8) Your local brands are so connected to a market that they set trends and create them rather than follow trends. This can manifest itself in the form of local events, local catch phrases or any other local movement that unites an audience.

9) Your stations are so embedded locally that your programming leadership knows every zip-code and every nuance of every town and village, so you can super serve the audience and their passion points.

Your brands know how to blanket the local marketplace.

10) Your brand is so attached locally that with a world of competitive choices the other options are irrelevant to the marketplace.

Localism is clearly a competitive point of difference for the radio business.

Quality must always come first, but great local radio gives any competitive option a difficult battle to fight.

What are your examples of localism at it’s best?

Buzz Knight is the CEO of Buzz Knight Media and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]



  1. When I moved to the Fresno area for my first “real job” after 17 years on air the then oldies station KFSO K-Fresno not only sounded good but did such a good of the things you wrote about that just listening to it made me feel like a native. They also had good ratings. I was fortunate that a couple of months later I was able to work there on weekends.


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