Industry Views

Pending Business: The Big 20 Countdown

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

imNo, this isn’t about college football or New Year’s Eve. Wait, maybe it is.

This is about getting you to start the 20 benchmarks every news/talk or sports talk manager, seller, even owner should be reviewing, analyzing, and preparing on their 2023/2024 calendars.

Call me the Detail Doctor, because as we all know the dollars are in the details.

Let’s start with August:

— College Football kicks off at the end of the month and your packages are closing out.

— The NFL season kickoff is full of new competition, so close, close, close.

— Labor Day is on the way and depending on your market dynamics unique packages could swing momentum your way.

— Early 2024 upfronts should be game planned now.

— Review your recruitment profile.


— Election Day is 9 weeks away. Are you ready?

— Do you finalize goals/budgets for 2024?

— The Jewish community observes High Holidays at the end of the month.


— Tweak your Q4 packages.

— Thanksgiving

— Christmas. Sunday/Monday this year.

— Too early for New Year’s Eve? Sunday/Monday this year.

— Financial Category. We all want second opinions, right?

— Legal. ditto

— Lock in your 2024 goals.

— Monitor pacing for 2024 upfront.


— Check your crystal ball for final 2023/early 2024 performance.

— Daylight Saving Time ends. Change those clocks!

— Start thinking Vegas, baby for the February 11, 2024 Super Bowl.

— How did those upfronts close?


— Renewals for 2024 done?

— Pacing for 2024?

— Actual selling days in the month is deceptive.

— Review those wins AND losses.

— Happy New Year.

This exercise is a simple, functional start point. Every seller, manager, and owner will add, delete, or adopt this list. My hope is you will move to do something to help your 2023 income finish big and 2024 start even bigger!

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:

Industry Views

Pending Business: Package for Profit

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp

Matt Damon - PhotographyIs it just me, or has packaging become a lost art?

What was once a go-to revenue builder, has become a function of muscle memory and is presented with the enthusiasm of watching paint dry. Am I getting at least a “maybe?” If so, and you feel like the packaging treadmill is going to wearing you down, let’s regroup. For the manager and ultimately the seller, every package must answer four basic questions:

  • That is the (revenue) goal?
  • What is the timeline?
  • What is the unique factor?
  • If it fails to sell, do we drop it or revise?

Now let’s review the 10 basic packages:

  • New Business. You should have a simple new business package available each quarter that can either be sold as is or serve as a start point.
  • Event Tie-In. Like the title says, this package will help your advertiser benefit from an event your station is tied into or sponsoring.
  • New On-Air Talent. This is where you show the value-based opportunity to work with a new talent in your lineup.
  • Special Programming. Every radio format will run a special program of some kind during the year. From election coverage and exclusive interviews to countdowns, just package and sell.
  • Slow Season. Is there a special package offered on a limited basis to help power through when business hits a red light?
  • Sports. Needs no definition, just a little updated creative thinking.
  • Calendar Holidays. This is the gift that never stops giving. Mother’s Day, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, come every year. What’s new in your package?
  • Base Programming. News, Traffic, Weather, if your radio station offers the basic service elements, talk to your programming people for new packaging ideas.
  • Emergency Programming. With direct coordination of programming, emergency programming offering special weather, disaster or other community-oriented programming can always open a new door. Remember this type of programming is always a spotlight for radio’s immediacy.
  • Bundling your digital and social media assets can help move the needle with local advertisers. I’m not advocating a giveaway, just suggesting competitive thinking in the fast moving, high growth digital advertising universe.

Back to where we started. This is the simple takeaway: Packaging is the art and science of selling with a value component that easily answers the question, “Why buy now?”

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: