Archive for the ‘SiriusXM’ Category

Radiodays Europe 2015 – Day Three

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Dennis Clark & Larry Gifford

Day three of Radiodays Europe in Milan, Italy kicked off with super insightful presentation by Dennis Clark, VP of Talent Development for iHeartMedia.

“These are the good ole’ days,” he started. Afterward I asked him for the Radio Stuff Podcast why he believes that. “Because if you’re good and you have an audience and listeners are connecting to you that is a product and they’ll follow you.” Clark referenced Howard Stern’s successful move to SiriusXM and Chris Evan’s jumps from BBC Radio 1 to Virgin Radio to Radio 2.

On stage, Clark offered a road map to building a successful radio show.


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He talked about the importance of defining roles and shared the initial roles outlined for Ryan Seacrest’s Show in 2005. He suggests revisiting personality profiles two times a year because life changes and you need to be able to reflect those changes on air. For instance, you might get engaged, divorced, lose a lot of weight, or your young child starts going to school.


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Clark made it clear there can only be one captain on the show and that is the host. “Every time you open the mic you have a new listener. Like a good party only one person opens the door to welcome the new people to the party. (On radio) that is the host. Introducing the around. Make them feel included.”

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It’s also important to Clark for shows to identify what they do as either “branding” or “humanity.” In the slide below, the bigger the cloud the more dominant of a role it plays on the show.

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There were great presentations throughout. Even I got a chuckle from the big room on Tuesday when I reimagined opening lines of famous novels to make a point about the power of a declarative sentence vs. asking a question.

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Here is a link to a blog written by Steve Martin (Just as funny and talented, but this one blogs) for Earshot Creative summarizing the “30 Ideas in 45  Minutes” session. Thanks to James Cridland for snapping the photo (really you should sign up for his newsletter: — you know it’s a smart piece because it ends in .net) and loads of appreciation to Nik Goodman for having me on his session. You can check out his fine company BOUNCE, right here.

Some of my takeaways… 

You can’t innovate without action.

To do social media well you need to invest in people and technology. And you need to do social well. (Sidebar: Snapchat is where it is at right now. Though that trend could vanish in the next six seconds.)

Your enemies and your flaws aren’t terrifying and gruesome. Think of them as future partners and your true distinctive features. Embrace them both.

Visualizing radio is unneccessary and getting less clunky and more exciting to do and do well. Make sure it enhances the on-air content and the show brand.

Up Next

The convention concluded with the announcement that Radiodays Europe 2016 will be held in Paris, France.


Loads more Radiodays Europe talk on Thursday in this week’s Radio Stuff PodcastSubscribe to the Larry Gifford Media “Radio Stuff” email and each Tuesday you’ll receive an email with all sorts of stuff about radio. Sign up here.

Radio Stuff “Radio News Quiz” – Week 2

Radio News Quiz 2The Weekly Radio Stuff “Radio News Quiz.” Each week in the Radio Stuff podcast I offer  up 10 questions about this week in radio news. You can listen to the quiz and answers here or read them below and click on links to stories to reveal the answers. Good Luck!


1. What superstar singer decided to release his first new song in a longtime on RADIO first this week? (A: Click here)

2.  At one point, he was the most listened to morning man in the U-S, this week his Spanish language show on SiriusXM was canceled. Who is he? (A: Click here)

3. The Mike Calta Show debuted this week on 102.5 The Bone in Tampa. What controversial host did he replace?  (A: Click here)

4. KIIS 106.5, the home of Australia’s Kyle & Jackie O, removed WHAT from the station website this week, but may face legal challenges anyway?  (A: Click here)

5. For 32 years, he’s been David Letterman’s band leader. At the end of this year Letterman is retiring, but this man promises to keep doing his radio show “Day in Rock.” Who is he? (A: Click here)

6. Over Labor Day weekend, Radio Station WDRC-FM in Hartford gave away hundreds of dollars away in a unique promotion. No one knew that a radio station was involved, until it was over. What did they do?  (A: Click here)

7,  What lightning rod ESPN TV host left his ESPN Radio Show in New York to join SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio this week?  (A: Click here)

8. Which interview conducted by Nick Grimshaw on BBC Radio 1 this week went viral? (A: Click here)

9. What former Playboy centerfold, who just married Donnie Wahlberg last weekend, now has her own show on SiriusXM titled “Dirty, Sexy, Funny?” (A: Click here)

10. For several minutes Scottish radio host Robin Galloway thought he was off air, he couldn’t hear his co-host and his producer feared for his job. What happened?  (A: Click here)

How many did you get correct? 

1-3 – A participation certificate

4-6 – A gold star!

7-8 – You’re pretty smart

9-10 – Way to go! (virtual pat on the back)

Making Sense of Another Radio Firing

DailyNewsFor nearly 20 years Opie & Anthony have been serving up their unique brand of radio. They’ve been called “shock jocks,” “Stern wannabes,” and now “racist.”

Anthony Cumia, the second half of Opie & Anthony, was fired by SiriusXM over the weekend for a series of offensive tweets he made about African-Americans after a woman physically assaulted him in New York City.

(You can read the tirade here if you dare and here’s a personal perspective from a former co-worker of Cumia.)

It brings up a couple of discussion points for radio.

Is your personal twitter account really personal? No. Not when you’re on the radio. Not even if you put a disclaimer on it. Your employer leases your brand via your compensation. It’s not a three-hour-a-day lease. It’s a lease. You get in trouble at home and you’re likely trouble at work.

Isn’t this America? Don’t we have freedom of speech? Yes. It is America. Yes. You do have freedom of speech. (for the record other countries have freedom of speech too). To be clear, while you are free to say what you want you are still responsible for your words. And the 1st Amendment only protects you from being penalized by the government, not your employer. (read up on it here )

Didn’t SiriusXM know the kind of personality they were hiring? I should think so. Opie & Anthony have been in trouble before for crazy, silly, stupid things (see: 100 grand giveaway, Mayor’s April Fool’s death, the Voyeur Bus, Sex for Sam, and Homeless Charlie – all detailed here:  )

So, Why Fire the Guy? This is where it gets interesting. While SiriusXM has seen recent revenue growth it’s below the industry average and hasn’t impacted the bottom line yet. The Street also reports the gross profit margin is mixed and trails the industry average. Additionally, O&A’s biggest advocate at SiriusXM, Tim Sabean, the SVP of Comedy and Entertainment, was let go from the company just a week ago and the guys voiced their disapproval of the move on twitter. Getting rid of an expensive, hard to control talent at the earliest possible convenience seems more than just a little coincidental.  You also must consider this is a publicly traded company who can’t be seen as supporting hate speech like what was spewed by Cumia over twitter.

Bottom Line: We live in a changing world. It didn’t take much to “shock” us before the horrors of the world were a mouse click away. Now it takes so much to get people’s attention that by the time you do it’s like pulling a boulder over a cliff. Once you tug hard enough to get it moving, you can’t pull it back and you are ultimately crushed by the weight of it. If you’re first instinct is to try to shock the world. Take a breath. Is the momentary “GASP!” worth what follows?