Industry Views

Pending Business: Post-Game

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

imIn case you missed it, honesty was on full display at Friday’s TALKERS 2024: Radio and Beyond conference.

Sometimes honest or transparent B2B conversations are difficult to digest. But when the truth is presented in an open forum designed to educate and motivate better to listen closely.

High five to keynoter Glenn Beck who shared his personal journey from the bottom to the top. His keynote was clear, honest messaging. Fame and fortune are no substitute for being true to yourself, honest about why and what you do in this business. What will you contribute that will make a difference? Love him or hate him, Beck is a proven, successful professional at what he does best: make you think.

Straight forward hallway conversations with fellow panelist Vince Benedetto, CEO of Bold Gold Media, were philosophical eye openers. Vince is a young, successful owner operator of small and medium market radio stations. Why is radio perceived as a “still is” good business when all his teams know is today’s success? Did someone tell him sales orders rolled in on fax machines? If that was the case, maybe radio stations should go back to faxing. Vince has no rear-view mirror, no experience with the “good old days” – just today’s and tomorrow’s successful opportunities. I explained to Vince, I’ve worked with the frenemy, and it is the generation ahead of him. We who overlook and assume the basics of over 90% radio listenership. It is us who need a look in the mirror!

A moment of honesty comment from John Caracciolo, CEO of JVC Media, was short and to the point, “Where are the bankers?” Nowhere near most local radio station owner operators. Maybe that will change as more terrestrial radio owners, managers, and talent fast forward embracing the future of digital and social media integration.

The research Salem Media Group SVP Phil Boyce shared was inspiring and thought provoking. His numbers tell the compelling story of audience dynamics and choices, especially when we hear how people are listening to radio for longer periods of time. Does anyone honestly care to pitch that key sales point?

Let’s wrap this column up with three key takeaways from the conference:

1. The radio business is alive but wrestling with a future crowded by aggressive competition from the new digital/social media frontier.
2. Successful leaders need trusted, experienced collaborators. Learn from the great Warren Buffet.
3. It takes passion, commitment, expertise, and a great team to stage the annual TALKERS conference. Thank you, Michael Harrison. I learned a lot!

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: