Radios New Year’s Resolutions


(By Mike McVay) The New Year is upon us. This is that time of year that we resolve to lose weight, exercise more, sleep more, spend more time with our families, read more books, and so on. You “get it.” It’s the start of another trip around the sun, and a new calendar pops up on our phones, so it’s the perfect time to make promises to ourselves that have a 50-50 chance of being acted upon.

I would like to see those of us in radio, and any part of the audio business, to make some resolutions ourselves for this new year. Let’s resolve to get over our inferiority complex about radio and stop apologizing for a mass appeal medium that has a greater aggregated reach than any other medium. While the level of competition continues to grow every year, and it will continue to do so, let’s acknowledge that we are ubiquitous and can be heard anywhere at anytime.

Let’s agree to stop discounting the value of content. Better programming, aka content, always seems to attract the bigger audience. We should resolve to be respectful of the music we air, the talk content we present, the personalities who connect with an audience, the news people that provide information, the producers who put it all together and the production people who produce great commercials and imaging for our stations. When you have a special connection between your station and the audience, do not put it into jeopardy. It’s too hard to attract a new audience.

My resolution is to encourage more of my radio clients to use research in making their decisions. If you have the ability to ask the audience what they want to hear, then why would you be interactive with them. The most successful radio stations, year-in-and-year-out are those that combine art & science.

Let’s make a New Year’s Resolution to respect sales people, to satisfy our advertisers, to help them sell their products and services, to be creative and come up with new ideas that generate revenue for the station and the company. Let’s resolve to air fewer commercials, even if we have to charge more for them, so that our client’s messages are not lost in what’s become the “yellow pages of radio.”

Make a New Year’s resolution to develop promotions for your audience and for your
advertisers. Plan for the emergence from the pandemic, and be prepared to be everywhere and be seen everywhere, when that becomes a safe thing to do in the coming year. Resolve to stop doing promotions for the sake of doing promotions and focus instead on satisfying your listeners.

Resolve to acknowledge the value that your Engineering department brings to your station. I learned early in my career that if you cannot pick-up the station, you cannot listen to the
station. Present a great listening experience, be it on-air or on-line, and strive to have an audio sound that competes with your streaming competitors.

Make a New Year’s Resolution to be more thoughtful, kinder, respectful, collaborative and
understanding than in year’s past. We’re all part of the same human race. Show some empathy. All of these New Year’s Resolutions are easier than losing weight.

Mike McVay is President of McVay Media and can be reached at [email protected]



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