Mike & Mike interviewed Tiger Woods for 16:51 seconds over the course of two on-air segments this morning. They asked 28 questions, 6 of them were closed (yes/no) questions. Was it ground breaking? No. Was I expecting it to be? No. When I heard Mike & Mike were going to interview Tiger Woods – I was expecting more Larry King than 60 Minutes. It was good to hear Tiger take ownership of his past behavior, talk about how he’s a better person and is able to gain balance and focus in his life.
I give Mike & Mike credit, because this is not an easy interview, however I believe they tried to cover too much ground, were over-coached and never followed up on some of the meatier issues that Tiger brought up. Tiger mentioned being “balanced” now vs. “unbalanced” before, but they never asked him what it means to Tiger to be balanced and what he’s doing to achieve balance. Tiger mentioned several times that through introspection he’s discovered who he is and where he is going. They never followed up and asked “who are you now?” or “where are you going?” I would have also liked to have heard Tiger talk about what lead to his slow, gradual loss of control in his life. What are the warning signs for others?
Is what Mike & Mike did this morning great radio? Yes. It’s the most recognizable athlete in the World answering questions many want to hear asked. It’s also an event. I’m certain more people came to ESPN Radio, ESPNRadio.com, and ESPN2, because of this interview today. I know it also caused a mess of tweets on twitter. As programmers, you must leverage these event moments in radio to build occasions and grow ratings. Trust me, when an interview any show on your station conducts blows up twitter and brings a bunch of P2s and P3s to your station, it’s a good day.
Watch this two-minute commercial Conan did for American Express
If Conan was a radio talk host this would be two-minutes of him ad-libbing, live, about how he uses American Express and so should you, because with 4.95% interest rate and a low annual fee, no card cares more about you than American Express, blah, blah, blah. This is the kind of ineffective advertising we all hear on radio every day.
Radio needs to surprise its fans and clients a lot more. What happened to the innovation, creativity, clever copy writing and story telling? Let this inspire you to try something new. Be different. Stand out of the crowd. Pay attention to the details. How cool would it be tell your clients that the spot you did for them was so clever, funny, creative, entertaining, and impactful that it’s a trending topic on twitter? Oh, and as an added bonus, more entertaining commercials leads to increased time spent listening.
I googled “radio” this morning. Suddenly I feel sad for good ole’ radio. Here’s what I saw:
It turns out Radio doesn’t even own the radio brand anymore. Pandora. Sirius. XM. Free internet radio. I had to go to page 2 before the first radio station website showed up (KCRW which is non-commercial), Z100 showed up on page 3. This isn’t an accident. People looking for “radio” on Google – aren’t actually looking for radio. They’re looking for content. They want it on their computer or phone and they want it now. So, what are you doing to accommodate them? This is no longer about pounding your frequency 100x hour hoping listeners will remember to go where to find your product, this is about pushing your product to every possible platform you can so it just shows up whenever they want it and how every they want to consume it. One of my favorite quotes is “evolve or face extinction” and it has never been more true than it is today for radio.
Love it or hate it – and if you listen to 5 minutes of sports talk radio you’ll hear both arguments - everyone seems to be talking about Lebron’s new Nike ad. Not Lebron’s ad. Not Lebron’s 90 second short film. Lebron’s new NIKE ad. Guess it worked. Nice branding Nike.
Sports radio consultant Rick Scott hosted a panel on sports talk with heavy hitters; ESPN’s Scott Masteller, Fox Sports Radio‘s Don Martin, CBS Radio‘s Bruce Gilbert and Fox Sports Radio talent Stephen A. Smith. Here are the consensus five keys to success for sports talkers.
Talent, Talent, Talent Talent is your life blood. It is what makes your station unique and creates all the original content you need for all the different platforms.
“A PD’s respect of talent is important to establishing trust.” – Stephen A. Smith
“Hire really good people that are smart, engaging and compelling and let them do their damn job. Get out of the way.” - Bruce Gilbert, CBS Radio
“PDs need to understand: number one, you need patience and number two, you need courage. Patience for PPM and courage to hire people you’re going to back. Quit over-programming talent after you teach them how ‘radio’ works.” -Don Martin, Fox Sports Radio
Play by Play Obtaining rights are key to driving CUME. If you can get the NFL, get it.
“Football is king!’ - Scott Masteller, ESPN
Credibility Some sports stations venture into guy talk, which is fine as long as you don.t miss a big sports story.
“You can’t just do this job, you gotta live it… I came out of the womb opinionated… I’m a personality you can reach out and touch. I say what I say, I believe what I say and I stand up and defend what I said. I’m approachable. I go to games and interact with the people. I was a beat writer for a decade – I’m known for breaking stories. Hate me or love me, as long as your listening, I don’t care.” – Stephen A Smith
Seize the Moment When something is given to you, ride that pony until it’s out of breath. You may be sick of Brett Favre talk, but your fans can’t get enough of it.
Event Programming These will drive ratings (Super Bowl, Lebron Press Conference, etc.), but you must have a plan to drive listening and capitalize on the additional CUME through recycling.
Sure, the headline is extreme, but that seemed to be the core message at TMC/TSBC from just about anybody who knows anything about new and social media. In addition to the warning shots, some offered actionable advice.
Growing Your Social Network
Derrick Ashong of Oprah Radio wowed those in attendance as a talk talent for the next generation. He invites some of his loyal listeners, who have lots of friends on twitter and facebook, to sit in the studio during each show and chat about what they see and hear. This gets the message of Derrick.s show to new and different fans from those who are already listeners or following his show’s twitter, facebook, ustream, and skype feeds. It gives the listeners some ownership of the show. As different topics bubble up on the social media sites, it gives Derrick new and different angles to address on-air while promoting the different twitter or facebook conversations.
Check out The Derrick Ashong Experience. Derrick is the voice of a new generation, a voice for all people. See the video here.
Another Actionable Idea
Is Anyone Making Money?
Bill Figenshu, President and CEO of FigMedia1, told attendees to lower expectations of how much money you.re going to make, “Making money on the internet is like teenage sex – everybody is talking about it, not everybody is doing it.”
McVay Media suggests you project new media revenue as 3-5% of total station revenue in the first year and 5-8% in the second year. Click here: McVay Media offers 10 ways to make money with digital Media
Weclome to the blog. Larry Gifford is a radio management consultant and talent coach. He is available for ongoing or project based consulting for U.S. and International radio groups, stations, and talent
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