Industry Views

Local News Matters Most

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

Beard - ForeheadWhy? Done right, it makes you special. Because new-tech audio competitors don’t do local news, and with most broadcast radio hours now robotic.

“Why waste your time with AM/FM radio?”

Responding to that recent SiriusXM Marketing campaign, NAB president & CEO Curtis LeGeyt:

  • “Unlike our competitors, listeners do not need to fork over a monthly subscription fee, purchase a program or afford an expensive mobile data plan.”
  • “During times of emergency, Americans are not told to turn to SiriusXM for lifeline information. They are not going to get emergency alerts, hear up-to-the-minute reporting or find out where to get help on Pandora or Spotify. No other audio medium can replicate our service when lives are in danger.”
  • “Broadcast radio also provides an engine for economic activity. When local businesses want to get the word out about their goods and services, local radio stations provide an affordable way for them to advertise and reach the consumers who live in their area.”

These are not “normal” times

  • When Trump was on the front burner, his controversies alone changed daypart-to-daypart, even hour-to-hour. The talk part of the news/talk format remains largely static, no minds change. But our news content is dynamic.
  • In a monsoon in Las Vegas (NOT a misprint) someone drowned; and video of rain cascading through the ceiling onto blackjack tables at Planet Hollywood went-viral. We prayed as Kentucky drowned and Buffalo got snowed-under. After tumbleweeds piled-up around her Colorado home blocking windows and doors, Marlies Gross told AccuWeather: “We have so many fires here, and we have a drought and those tumbleweeds, they would just go up and explode into flames all over, and we probably would go with it.”
  • After 2+ years of arguing about vaccines, Polio is back and COVID is back again’ and RSV isn’t just a kid thing. Increasingly noticeable in my travels: Without being required to, people are re-masking.

It’s easier to add Occasions than Duration-per

Translation: There’s little we can do to keep someone sitting in a parked car with the key on Accessories. And AM/FM has never had more competition. So, to keep ‘em coming back, keep telling them something they can’t hear elsewhere, and make it sound different than last hour.

And TELL THEM that’s what you do:

  • “Are you on-the-road? Stay up-to-speed with us!”
  • “What happened since breakfast? We’ll tell you before dinner.”
  • “Stay close to the news.”

Be known for knowing. And tell them when and how you’ll tell them, on various devices.

Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author of “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books; and “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download; and the E-book and FREE on-air radio features Inflation Hacks: Save Those Benjamins.” Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke 

Industry News

TALKERS News Notes

— The Akron Beacon Journal reports that former WNIR-FM, Akron evening talk host Jim Isabella is running for mayor of Akron. Isabella exited the Media-Com news/talk station last year. Isabella is running as a Republican and it’s been 40 years since the city’s been led by a GOP mayor.

— The National Association of Broadcasters is celebrating its 100th year as an advocacy association for America’s broadcasters. The 2023 NAB Show Centennial Celebration is scheduled to take place April 15 – 19 in Las Vegas and will commemorate 100 years since the first NAB Show in 1923. NAB president and CEO Curtis LeGeyt says, “This year marks our century-long legacy of advocating on behalf of America’s broadcasters and driving global innovation and industry growth through NAB Show. We invite the entire NAB community, including broadcasters and content professionals from around the world, to join us for the Centennial Celebration as we honor our rich history, recognize our unparalleled impact and celebrate our next 100 years.”

Audacy, via its partnership with BetMGM and the BetQL Network, will broadcast live from the newly opened BetMGM Sportsbook located next door to State Farm Stadium during the week of February 6-10 leading up to the NFL’s Super Bowl XLVII.

— Tomorrow (1/17), Podbean hosts the free webinar “Creating a Podcast Network For Your Niche with The Pharmacy Podcast Network” with guest Todd Eury, CEO of The Pharmacy Podcast Network. The program will discuss how The Pharmacy Podcast Network started, best practices and tips for starting your own podcast network, how to build audience trust and hone in on your podcast niche.