Tag radio

iPhone Talk Radio Listeners are More Liberal

An interesting study released by the smartphone app Stitcher reveals that most people who listen to talk radio on their iPhone or Android are listening to liberal content. The study is based on 5 million hours of listening by users of the app. Also, smartphone listeners are more likely to listen to international content.

My thoughts on the that this means are after the jump.

Learning the Lessons of FM News 101.1

With the demise of Merlin Media’s FM News 101.1 fresh in the minds of those in and around the Chicago market, it’s worth taking a little time to reflect on the causes of the failure of the station and, perhaps, to grasp some takeaway lessons.

Over the last year, a lot of people have pointed fingers at a variety of targets when it came to explaining the inability of FM News to gain traction in Chicago. Out of the gate, a lot of those fingers pointed at Randy Michaels. During his tenure at the Tribube and WGN, Michaels made many moves that were scrutinized — and criticized — and it was no surprise when Michaels’ Merlin Media drew the ire of many who watched him closely at WGN. Whether Michaels is ultimately responsible for the damage done at WGN or for the debacle at FM News, only time will tell, but there are a number of other factors that led to the failure of FM News.

Kravens on Ratings

We really don’t sell on the ratings here. We position the station as a male-dominated format that drives results for advertisers. I don’t believe [the ratings] when they’re up, and I don’t believe them when they’re down. We have been and continue to be in a solid position, and there’s no reason to believe any of that will change.

John Cravens,
president and general manager of ESPN 1000, WMVP-AM

The Reports of Radio’s Death are Greatly Exaggerated

From USA Today this week:

An average of 241.6 million people 12 and older listened to conventional radio stations each week last year, an increase of 2.1 million over 2009 — and up 4.9% vs. 2005, according to an annual study that media and marketing research company Arbitron released Monday.

Cleaning Out the Clutter

Kipper McGee’s official title is Chief Media Brandwidth Specialist at Kipper McGee LLC. To me, he will always be known an innovative program director and a great teacher. I had the chance to work under Kipper at WLS-AM for about a year and consider it to be one of the most valuable years in my professional development.

Kipper wrote a piece over at Radio Ink that should be instructive to any PD looking to clean up some of the clutter than inevitably develops on a radio station. He reviewed a survey of radio listeners in Ft. Myers and came up with five tips to add more listeners. The most powerful tip of the five, for me, is, “Don’t waste your listener’s time.”:

If radio as an industry invested as much time, effort and energy on creating valuable, targeted CONTENT as cutting CLUTTER, we’d all be better off. One listener noted “too much talking”, and significantly, “most of the time it is stupid things they are talking about”. Clearly, the content is not well positioned for this listener. “There is too much redundancy,” another noted, “…announcing what they are GOING to do, what they are DOING, and then what they DID!” Hitting a nerve noted by many who took the survey, another articulated this pet peeve, “Long ads with a lot of repeated phone numbers.”

Chief Media Brandwidth Specialist at Kipper McGee LLC

Five Trends for the Future of Radio

Jim Kerr at Triton Digital Media put together five trends that he sees emerging at the convergence of traditional methodologies and digital extensions. The one that I find most compelling from where I sit was the first on his list:

1. Gathering and organizing listener data becomes priority one

While radio has historically been about broadcast, at the center of current digital development, from mobile to social media to streaming to advertising, is the unique user. That disconnect will start to be addressed by broadcasters in 2011. Gathering, identifying, and communicating with radio listeners at a one-to-one level will be the centerpiece of radio’s — indeed, all of media’s — future.

The listener database is going to be critical … If you don’t know who your listeners are, they aren’t going to matter.

I think one of the most critical tasks that broadcasters face is to embrace the ability to drill down to specific end users and tell your story to them, exactly where they live. The days of assuming and estimating audience preferences and tastes are gone. Listeners regularly share this information already with Facebook and other social media platforms. Radio broadcasters need to recognize the strategic value of developing a strong database of listener information and then use it effectively.

Watch or listen to Mark Ramsey’s conversation with Jim Kerr here.

1. Gathering and organizing listener data becomes priority one

While radio has historically been about broadcast, at the center of current digital development, from mobile to social media to streaming to advertising, is the unique user. That disconnect will start to be addressed by broadcasters in 2011. Gathering, identifying, and communicating with radio listeners at a one-to-one level will be the centerpiece of radio’s — indeed, all of media’s — future.

Holding Right Wing Talkers Accountable

Conor Friedersdorf argues in this piece over at The Atlantic’s “Daily Dish” that right wing talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin are damaging conservatism as a political philosophy through sloppy reasoning and overly emotional arguments:

Even if you believe that politics requires angry shouting against ideological adversaires, consider that it is possible to shout without lying – to forcefully rail against the excesses and errors of your opponents without resorting to bad facts or fallacy-filled arguments.

His remedy for this problem appears to be for conservatives and listeners to these programs to hold the hosts accountable for their intellectual dishonesty and lazyness.

He raises the age-old debate about whether or not radio talk show hosts really have the kind of influence on our democracy that they’d like us to think they do. Should radio talk show hosts be about the business of changing the world or, as I would argue, do they inhabit a strange middle ground between pure entertainment and highbrow political discourse?