(By Randy Lane) It will become even clearer in 2021 that talent is the great distinguisher. It’s still most important to have the best talent, but now they don’t have to live locally.
We are seeing an emerging trend with talent working remotely. Like syndicated shows, local radio stations are beginning to hire drive time hosts and cohosts and let them live out of the market. Jeff Sottolano, Executive VP Entercom, says, “I think we’ll be smart about leveraging remote broadcasting to attract new talent from different parts of the country and also give high performing talent the ability to impact more brands.”
In addition to voice-tracking, remote talent will be utilized part-time, full-time with benefits, and as independent contractors. Morgan Bohannon, VP Market Manager Cumulus Memphis, believes “companies will be willing to pay more for ‘contract labor’ because of the big savings of not paying employee benefits.”
It’s a win for talent and management. Many talents would like to stay where they live and avoid the upheaval of moving or going to a market with a higher cost of living. Management saves money on moving costs, temporary housing, etc.
Bohannon notes that “if I were a talent who suddenly found myself on the beach, the first place I’d look for an opportunity would be my hometown selling myself as a native who knows the market.”
The pandemic has forced our industry to use technology wisely. Not only have radio stations and shows adapted to broadcasting remotely, but they have also become adept at interacting with their audience with online events such as happy hours, workout videos, and virtual concerts.
Randy Lane launched his media talent coaching and personal brand development company in 1996. He can be contacted by phone at 805.231.5746 or email at [email protected].