Tuesday, March 23, 2010


What we do between the songs and out of the spot breaks is one of the clear identifiers of our product.   Without it we are often just a limited collection of songs spinning around with perfect turnovers perhaps researched in the market or maybe drawn from a national safe list.

So often we just focus on our position - The Rock Station or Classic Rock for .... or Real Rock.  Then we let the creativity roll with lots of zaps, zings, and maybe a few clips or music hooks with the big voice.

In recent years with the advent of PPM and we got to see the quick trigger finger of the audience many stations went on an imaging diet scared that anything over 5 seconds was a tune out.  

We also often get pretty lofty with our claims and no doubt the BS indicator in the audience is at def con 5.

While the creativity and honesty is a big tactical issue in our imaging we also have to take a long look at the strategic side.  What are we really promoting - what are we really impressing on the audience?  What do we really want them to remember about our product and more importantly what actions do we want them to retain?  

No doubt you have a pretty long list of actions for them to increase their time spent with the station as well as the overall image you project to them.   Maybe you want to highlight your longer music sets, get them to listen more at night, listen more on the weekends, or keep your hot morning show in front of them and the competition.  Or maybe you want to use this time to build your position in the community or get more on the job listening.  

Do you have a real plan here or just a bunch of audio files spinning around in your studio system?  How much control do you really have over the plan?

Monday, March 15, 2010


Just got back from an interesting Canadian Music Week convention.  The meetings were laced with lots of digital themes and concern over the next decade.   Hats off to Neil and the CMW team on another great series of meetings and showcases.

On the way we have an NAB in Las Vegas and I got an interesting offer from Jason Rouse from the NAB Travel Team.  He wanted to pass on the following offer to all McVay Media Rocks Blog readers and since it's 'free' well -----

There have been some rapid changes over the last few years that we as a digital broadcasting community face. The 2010 NAB Show is the place to discover new opportunities for all of us in the broadcaster world.

The NAB Show is coming up faster than you think – April 10-15 in Las Vegas! For a taste of what the 2010 NAB Show has to offer, check out what the Broadcast Management Conference and discover how to further monetize and manage your digital products in today’s dynamic marketplace: http://ow.ly/15xv1

Oh, and just because you are reading my blog, I’m giving out a code for FREE ACCESS to the Exhibit Hall at the show. This free Exhibits-Only pass includes (but is not limited to):

- Access to the Opening Keynote and State of the Industry Address
- Info Sessions
- Content Theater and Destination Broadband Theater

Visit http://ow.ly/13T8Q today to redeem or register at http://nabshow.com/register with the code A913 (and feel free to pass this along).

Don't forget to check out the official show website at http://www.nabshow.com for more information, news, and to register

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

A Decade Later

Just for FUN let's set the Peabody and Sherman Way Back Machine to 10 years ago in the world of Radio and Records:

  1. Clear Channel had just purchased Jacor and was getting set to close on AMFM to own over 1,000 stations.  They also owned a large billboard network, TV stations and controlled the Concert/live performance world.  
  2. CCU - stock approaches $100 a share. 
  3. Larry Wilson still owns Citadel which he will sell in a year. 
  4. Cumulus is preparing to expand it's smaller market holdings and is into it's 3rd year. 
  5. XM satellite radio is planning to launch in 18 months. 
  6. The record biz total revenue was over 38 billion for 1999 (it's around 10 billion now
  7. Somewhere at Apple HQ they were drawing up the plans for the IPod which launched in Oct of 2001
  8. Top artists on the CHR charts - Santana, Christina Aguilera, Lonestar, Faith Hill, Blink 182
When you take the Way Back Machine back to the Spring of 2000 it was filled with so much potential.  I remember sitting in an early Clear Channel - AMFM merger meeting and looking around the room in amazement at the talent, the power of 1000 stations in all but 2 or 3 markets in the top 100.  Having 2 or 3 research companies dedicated to the CC stations.  Owning the big talent like Rush, Rick Dees, Bob and Tom, John Boy/Billy, and more.  Owning a full service network with tons of programming resources.  Having 100s of great programmers all dedicated to making a winning company.  

It's too bad we can't just use the Way Back Machine and go back.  What would have happened if we'd tapped all that potential of a Radio industry ready to grow into a nationwide marketing monster, the ability to own enough stations to really build huge revenue with massive cash flow margins.  A record industry poised on a whole new delivery system that could eliminate the need to ship CDs or Tapes all over the world and make music truly portable and on demand.  Instead we all know the realities we face today.  Let's hope when we set the Way Back Machine for 2010 in 10 years the picture is much better than this trip back.   

In case you never saw Sherman and Peabody -