About All Those Techsurvey Comments


(By Sandy Edie Hansen) I’ve been reading the articles of experts on the downward trend in terrestrial radio listening. I keep waiting for someone to live in reality in their view.

Mike McVay makes the most sense of those featured, and honestly the person Radio Ink recently interviewed for a different reason is the one with a clue, Sheri Lynch. She pointed out many of the reasons this trend is destined to continue. Including this:

“Unfortunately, we have a lot of old minds thinking in positions of power.” On radio station social media Sheri offered this fact: “They’re like static billboards; there’s no humanity to them.” Sheri shared many of the reasons radio is in decline and she is spot on from my perspective.

I am in a tiny market at a station that is nearly 100 years old, and I’ve been there for a third of that history. We pride ourselves on NOT doing what the radio industry does when it comes to company culture, stop sets, selling and our website. We don’t get it all “right”, and that’s ok. Hundreds of radio stations were all purchased and homogenized to fit a cookie cutter business model and we’re now surprised to learn that radio listenership is declining? Really?

It amazes me the level of denial that this industry seems to continue to live in. I keep waiting for someone with the common sense a Jim Taszerek or Bob McCurdy had to tell it like it is. Where is that voice of reason that’s not afraid to say we’re going down the same damn path that’s leading to the same damn place of not growing, but dying?

Who is coaching your sales staff? Who is coaching your on-air talent? How are you investing in your people YOURSELF – no matter what your title says? How are you growing your own skill sets in how to develop your people? Do you know what it takes to get your good people to stay with your company? When you look at your stations website are there more ads than relevant content? How many assets are you posting to your website each day that your audience would be interested in? Not self-promoting assets, information that makes a difference to them. Do you and your staff know who your customer is? (Hint – it’s not the listener, it’s the advertiser. Access to the listener is your PRODUCT that you’re selling to the customer).

Look, I don’t have all the answers and this train may be too far down the tracks to completely make the turn up ahead. I think radical acceptance of who we are, what we can do and the world today is a major first step we’d all need to take. It seems to me that humanity is missing in much of the internal business model of this industry and what happens inside a business has huge impact on its ability to succeed, no matter what your definition of success is.

Sandy Edie Hansen is GM, GSM, Leader and Coach at KMAland Broadcasting and can be reached by e-mail at: [email protected]


  1. You nailed it! We are only fooling ourselves and not evolving. We need solutions that do not sound like anything we have done before.

  2. Great thoughts! Thank God for small market radio. No ratings, no fighting for share. Just a great radio local companion. That is where radio will thrive. Big markets, corporate greed, fighting each other. Apple tunes, Pandora and Alexa win.
    Radio will win where radio is fun and a local resource.

  3. Here’s my take on all those techsurvey comments: People say one thing, and do another. They tell a poll that they don’t listen to radio, and the PPM registers that they in fact do. They tell posters they like music discovery, but their personal playlist is filled with #1 hits. They tell pollsters they want healthy food choices, and their next stop is McDonalds. It happens all the time. The fact of the matter is the most popular radio stations are the ones that play the hits. The ones that don’t are the stations with declining audiences. Yes there are more stations with declining audiences than those with growing audiences. We know that. That’s why advertisers pay more for the stations with growing audiences. And amazingly, the stations with growing audiences tend to be the ones owned by big radio companies. We don’t need a poll for that.

  4. Nothing is going to change. All these solutions are things that those of us in programming have been complaining about for years to no avail. They’re great ideas, great solutions, but it seems that the ones who can make these changes are just trying to get their money out of radio while they can before it goes the way of the newspaper.
    No one comes to apply for jobs at our cluster anymore and even scarier is that the local college has a radio station that students don’t want to be on. We used to have a dozen interns wanting a career in radio. Over the last 10 years we’ve had none. There’s no budget for young part time talent to teach, and we don’t get any applications because there are no full-time jobs for them to get. Zoom calls show program directors in their 60’s just trying to stay off the corporate radar and hold onto a paycheck. Even as I type this the “RadioInk Forecast” slide show to the right doesn’t show anyone under 55.
    No one wants to “get out on the street” and connect with the locals because we’re all one-man-shows. We program, we do reports, we get on conference calls, we fix equipment, we run socials, we update the website, we do a show, we make commercials… when Saturday gets here we’re tired. We’re burnt out. We’re doing a job that used to be spread out between 4 or 5 people. Ten hour days with no hope for raises even as inflation climbs and all we get from corporate leadership is “give us more”.
    Radio is all I ever wanted to do since I was a teenager and sadly after over 25 years in the business, I find myself taking college courses to change careers before I’m forced to. Before someone takes corporate up on their offer of $500 a month to voice track my show too. Wish I was laid off years ago so I would’ve started sooner.

  5. At beasley media we usually only post about client promotions but they have to pay for it. usually they get about 3-6 likes and then we have to pay to boost it so it doesn’t look like a failure. Also our PD doesn’t want “that much” personality from our morning show because he says that we will be confused for bobby bones. we call our OM “Email Jedi” because it is really all he does. He does fool corporate with this “research talk” so credit to him for always looking like he is working.


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