Industry Views

Monday Memo: NAB Show 2023

By Holland Cooke

The first thing we heard was an earful from NAB president & CEO Curtis LeGeyt regarding automakers dropping AM receivers from new cars: “This is an issue we consider to be absolutely existential.”

Quoting Nielsen’s Fall 2022 survey results, Cumulus/Westwood One chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard ticked-off what he called “82 million reasons to keep AM radio in cars”

— 82,346,800 Americans listen to AM radio monthly.

— One out of three American radio listeners are reached monthly by AM radio.

— 57% of the AM radio audience listens to news/talk stations, the very outlets that Americans turn to in times of crisis and breaking local news.


As he presented “The State of Media, Audio and Marketing,” attendees were screen-shooting every slide in Pierre’s deck, so he offered to share ( This must-see data explains and validates what he calls “The Two Jobs of Marketing: Converting Existing Demand and Creating Future Demand,” powerful ammo station reps can use to nudge advertisers who only tout special sales to instead use radio on-an-ongoing-basis.

— “If an apple orchard represents a brand’s entire customer base, converting existing demand = picking ripe apples (customers that are ‘in market’).” Those are, for instance, what he called the “3% who are looking to buy a car right now,” who will respond to the dealer’s caricature sale spots. As for the other 97%…

“If an apple orchard represents a brand’s entire customer base, creating future demand = planting new trees. It takes time and patience for new trees to bear fruit.” Thus, the worth of “emotional messaging that is designed to stand out and be enjoyed by consumers, creating positive memories of our brand that will influence future purchase decisions.”


Help Wanted!

Two discussions I took part in during the Small-Medium Market Forum echoed a unison I’m hearing everywhere: Where do we find on-air talent and salespeople?

— In the talent roundtable Mike McVay led, participants tended to think-young, swapping ideas for identifying entry-level candidates, possibly now podcasting. Or think-older. One participant mentioned a retired schoolteacher, comfortably pensioned, now cheerfully on-air, working fewer than 40 hours.

— The part-timer’s opportunity also came up on the sales side, in a roundtable led by Midwest Communications’ president Peter Tanz. As with industry in general post-pandemic, flexible arrangements help. And Tanz urged “Use your air, with ‘more cowbell.’” Meaning not only advertise for sellers on-air (where you’ll be talking to people who know the station); and he also suggested airing Employee Recognition salutes, of off-air staffers, which make the station sound like an appreciative employer.

— I read attendees a Help Wanted-Sales spot that has been productive at client stations, which I’ll share with you too. Simply Email me at

Holland Cooke ( is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet. He is the author “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;” and “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available from Talkers books.  Follow HC on Twitter @HollandCooke