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Radio Stuff “Radio News Quiz” – Week 3

Radio News Quiz 3The Weekly Radio Stuff “Radio News Quiz” debuts on Thursday in the podcast. It’s 10 Questions about this week in radio news. In the podcast, we discuss the stories and use lots of great audio. Here we post the question and offer links to the answers. If you get all 10 correct you win the respect and admiration of your peers.

THE QUIZ

1. What RADIO event kicked off this week with a live, rocked-out version of the national anthem?

(Answer

2. At the Talkers 2014 session, Radio insider Jerry Del Colliano said music radio has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. This week, he made headlines for predicting the demise of another genre. What was it?

(Answer)

3. A Yankees reporter learned a valuable lesson this week about recording press conferences on an iPhone app. What was it?

(Answer)

4. Why did the Morning Zone at 91.3 Modern Rock in Victoria, Canada dial-up its sister-station 95.3 The Peak in Calgary?

(Answer)

5. Which popular radio host just launched a clothing line at Macy’s?

(Answer)

6. What did Mike Tyson do on Canadian TV that all radio interviewers can learn from?

(Answer)

7. Why did the San Francisco 49ers suspend play-by-play announcer Ted Robinson?

(Answer

8. What inappropriate or insensitive song was used to launch a format change in Rochester from Oldies to Country on 9/11?

(Answer)

9. Which talented podcaster was the host of the Fox Sports Radio 2001 Year in Review which paid tribute to 9/11 from a sports perspective?

(Answer)

10. What RADIO STATION did Joan Rivers debut on as a talk show host?

(Answer)

Lessons from NextRadio, London

September 16, 2013 1 comment

nextradioSo are you smarter? Did you learn anything? What’s your big takeaway?

Just some of the questions flying my way following Next Radio 2013 in London.

Briefly here are my answers: perhaps a little, yes, and radio has a future.

For those interested in the details read away. (or listen to the podcast)

 

Radio is full of ideas people.

This became clear quickly by just talking to the people seated around me. But on stage the creativity oozed at times. Towards the beginning off the day, there was a presentation about creating open source, personal radios from a box of doodads and thingamajigs which will allow you to avoid shows you don’t like to hear.

9728428525_7fe8a092b8_cTeam Rock’s Billy Anderson bound to the stage and paced like a rock-n-roll lion in cage as he explained his fledgling project.

“I created Team Rock by looking at what I need from radio.”

He emphasized it’s not a radio format, it’s a community. Radio serves as a marketing arm for the popular rock magazines he also acquired.

And Absolute Radio presenter Geoff Lloyd brought his quick wit, quirky insights and a very long pointer to explain that as long as we treat our listeners as idiots, they will be have as such. Which means it’s okay to talk about that things that may not be obvious for your target demo.

“People’s big passions fall through the cracks of research. Everybody has a thing that you wouldn’t expect about them. Great radio is interesting people being their authentic selves.”

Radio’s problems and opportunities are universal.

Mobile. Like most radio conferences “mobile” was buzzing around the room like a bee hovering over lemonade.

From field use:

“The iPhone changed broadcasting completely. It’s like a comrex built by someone with taste.” – Reporter Nick Garnett from BBC Radio 5live

To optimization:

BT0YostIAAAc13wJames Cridland declared, “mobile is massive!” as he shared escalating numbers of people who access websites through mobile devices. And not so subtly nudging radio stations who haven’t optimized for mobile to get with the program.

Mobile was one of the keys to electing President Barack Obama in 2012 according to Blue State Digital‘s Gregor Poynton. He talked about how his team’s digital media strategy helped to re-elect the President. And with everything they did they kept this mind:

“Tell a great story and let them be apart of it.”

It’s fairly easy to argue that radio isn’t always telling great stories on mobile and other platforms, and we’re even worse at engaging listeners.

It’s about them, not us

Over and over the mantra “know you audience,” and “use your data” were repeated by men, women and at the end by a computerized voice who unapologetically ripped radio for it’s “shit social media” practices.

“Only post stuff they will care about. Post stuff that will turn people into listeners. Be useful, meaningful.”

Bruce Daisley, the managing director for Twitter UK also beat the drum.

“Users first, last and always.”

And Michael Hill from UK Radio Player has designed the latest iterations of that platform  with a fans first mentality.

“It’s about discovery, getting them to listen to the radio they love.”

Ratings systems aren’t perfect no matter where you live

About half way through the day a gentleman from RAJAR (the UK equivalent to the Arbitron diary service though it measures listening on all devices) took the stage and the collective eye-rolling and faintly audible sighs let me know that no matter where you are in the world, ratings systems aren’t perfect.

Or as Radio Today‘s Trevor Dann tweeted:

“There have been some useful and some inspiring sessions at NextRadio. This is isn’t one of them.

Beer and Radio bring the World Together

Finally, I learned that despite our distances radio people from the UK, Germany, Serbia, Sweden, the U.S., Zimbabwe, and places in between are generally smart, fun, passionate, enjoy talking radio and love share stories over a drink.

 

 

 

Five Apps All Radio People Should Use

I realized the other day how much time, energy and money I’ve saved thanks to online, iPad and phone apps. I have more apps than I need, but some seem especially useful for radio work. So, from one radio guy to you — here are five apps that you may never have heard of that just may change your life or at least make you more productive and effective.

DAR.FM (a free website with an option to upgrade to commercial free and more storage)

DAR.FMThis is radio’s DVR. And it’s FREE! I use DAR.FM almost everyday. This is a digital audio recorder for radio. The geniuses here have figured out how to assemble nearly every radio stream you can imagine and gives you the ability to record what you want, when you want. They deliver it to you in nice 15 minute chunks, which are transferable  to iTunes if you wish.

You’ll see in the image  I’m set to record Bill Handel on KFI and Steve Allen on LBC 97.3 (London’s Biggest Conversation). Anytime there’s big breaking news somewhere I start rolling on a radio. Anytime I’m consulting a talent or station, this is how I can record the station and listen to it on my time.

SOUNDBOARD (iPad App)

This is a great $19.99 app that replaces the 360 system’s “Instant Replay” machine which retails for as much as $3,000. Seriously, this is great. It syncs with iTunes and is easy to use. It’s what Deb Slater and I use each week with the Radio Stuff podcast. You can change levels, pause and re-start, organize your audio in the order you want it or color code it. Seriously, why haven’t you started to use this yet?

soundboard

RODE REC LE (iPhone, iPad App) A free app with an option to upgrade.

Rode Rec2All the bells and whistles of a digital recorder, see the audio wave while you’re recording and it’s on your phone. It’s pretty good quality – not studio quality – but pretty good especially for a phone. There are also a number of ways to access the audio files on other devices including a file specific URL. A feature that catapulted this app from “alright, this is cool” to “now, that’s awesome.”

Since it is right on your phone – and free – there’s no excuse to never be able to report from a breaking news situation, interview someone interesting, or send notes to yourself.

This was the app that Deb used in Amsterdam to conduct her interview with the English Breakfast Radio show. (Listen FF to 34:00).

Seriously, it’s free. Just download it in case you need it. Soon you’ll be using it because you have it. It’s the 2013 version of a reporting carrying a pen and a pad of paper. You can’t afford not to have something like this handy at all times.

TRANSCRIBE (Google Chrome App) A free app via Google Chrome with an optional upgrade.

If you are someone who transcribes audio — and if you’re in radio that’s happening more and more as you need to file stories on-air and on-line, then this is a helpful tool. You identify the .mp3 you want to transcribe, you play it and being typing all on the same screen. You can slow down, speed up, pause: all the things you want to do while transcribing audio.

I use it for air checks. I like to use actual words and phrases as examples of what really worked in the segment. I don’t want to use only my impressions of what I heard, but what was actually said that made the impact. This tool helps with that. I also use the transcript to create Word Pictures (see next app).

Trascribe

WORDLE.NET (Website) Free and customizable.

This is a handy tool to make word pictures. I take the transcripts of air checks and put it through Wordle.net and SEE what the segment I just heard actually LOOKS like. The bigger the word, the more often the host said it. It can catch filler words and phrases, which is nice. It can also reflect for the host what the listener is hearing most versus the message he/she is trying to send. Here are two examples of segments I recently reviewed. Just by looking at the biggest words you should instantly get a sense of what the focus of the segment is. One of these works, the other doesn’t and it was apparent in the audio too.

EXAMPLE 1

Wordle 2

EXAMPLE 2

ARod Segment WPIE 08-07

You can see in the first example the hosts use “just” as a crutch word and it’s fairly unclear what the focus of the segment is. In the second example, there’s not doubt these guys are talking about A-Rod being “back” and what the “fans” think about it.

The application allows you to customize color palette, word direction and eliminate words that you don’t want to register. It’s pretty cool. You can also enter a URL or blog RSS feed to create a word picture.

WHAT ELSE? What online, iPad, or phone apps are you using that you can’t live without? Add them to the comments section.

 

Radio’s Dashboard Revolution

I’ve recently found myself in a position to take a step back, look at what’s happening in the radio industry and… think. Thinking is not a luxury I’ve had for a while. When you are caught up in the day-to-day operations of radio, you end up reacting, meeting, planning, meeting and meeting all the time, but spend little time just thinking. My latest thoughts have to do with the new car infotainment systems and how radio can capitalize on them.

TALK ABOUT  A REVOLUTION

The North American colonies battled Britain for independence. The French middle-class revolted against Bourbon King Charles X for bankrupting the country and still living a lavish lifestyle, and radio is battling (technology, automakers, the internet, each other, good ol’ days…) over position in the new world of in-car entertainment.

Revolution

Welcome to radio’s dashboard revolution.

When the infotainment systems, like Cadillac’s CUE, were unveiled a couple years ago, I believe we all let out a collective gasp. But, admittedly, I assumed the reality of losing our comfortable front row seat on the dash was downstream a bit and nothing we’d have to wrestle with too soon. I was mistaken.

Here’s the Cadillac Cue.

Last month, Cadillac upgraded the CUE to add more features, more internet connectivity, more iPhone capability, and more stuff that distracts people from the business of listening to the radio. BMW announced this week at the New York International Auto Show that it’s added Rhapsody, TuneIn, Audible, and Glympse to Pandora and MOG in its in-car entertainment system.

And now these kinds of systems are available in cars that cost less than $30,000.

Check themylinkse out.

Chevy Mylink 
MyFord Sync 
Hyundai Blue Link 
Chrysler’s U Connect 
KIA UVO Entertainment 
Toyota’s EnTune

All these systems include some of the following; SiriusXM satellite Radio, WiFi, Pandora, Stitcher, Bluetooth connectivity, CD Player, SD card slot, a USB port, an auxiliary jack for audio or video input, and/or an in-car interface for iPhone users.

Unfortunately, none tout the AM/FM receiver (though Chevy MyLink is now showing AM and FM buttons next to the others).

So, this brings me to some thoughts about how radio stations can seize this as an opportunity.

1. Own more than one button on the dash. Radio folk are all a tizzy wondering how they can get their station on the dash. I believe the question is how does your brand own more than one button on the dash? Let’s take radio station KFI in Los Angeles as an example. The programming and IT teams should be talking about how to set up 24-hour simultaneous streams for KFI Live, KFI News, KFI Traffic, KFI Bill Handel, KFI John & Ken, KFI Weekends, etc. It’s the ESPN model. Create brand extensions so that on the dash, I can sync up KFI News, KFI traffic, and KFI Live on 3 of my 6 to 8 buttons. Stations can then monetize each stream seperately.

2. Teach, Lead, Guide and Produce Content for other brands. I believe every brand is going to want a button in the dash; McDonalds, Nike, USAToday, American Red Cross, etc. It’s a great brand extension and a new way for consumers/fans to experience non-media brands on a “radio” without it being a commercial. As the experts of “ear-entertainment” we should be offering our studios and services to these brands to create streaming audio content that cuts through. We have the equipment, talent, creativity, and a desperate need for a new revenue stream. They have celebrity endorsers, experts in the field, storytellers, fans, the desire and money. It’s a no-brainer.

Bonus: In addition to charging for the studios and services and helping to create compelling content. These brands now have quality creative content that could be customized into short form snippets for 2- or 3-minute sponsor blocks on your radio station as “enhanced commercials.” It’s quality content (you created it) and it’s reflective of the sponsors brand with product placement and tags throughout. This allows you to continue building both tradition and non-traditional revenue streams.

3. Be THAT good. Yeah, radio has had it easy. No matter how much effort or money was invested (or not) into the product, it was always available at every driver’s fingertips. The game is changing. Now you need to create radio that people want to hear, because their options are limitless. Why are they going to pick you? Believe in your product, invest in people, and make your product available however your fans want it. If you’re that good, you’ll find your way onto the dash.

It likely won’t take a miracle to survive the dashboard revolution, just some creative problem solving and opportunity seizing.

Be An Owner

It doesn’t really matter if you are the GM, PD, GSM, LSM, APD, or director of coffee — everyone at your radio station should take ownership of it. What’s that mean? Well, great owners are courageous, passionate, focused, respectable, personable, committed, positive, organized and responsible. Help out. Be a part of the solution and inspire the people around you to be better tomorrow than they are today. Are you an owner of your radio station?

1. Courageous Make bold decisions. Don’t wait for a memo from the corner office. Be proactive and get things done. 

2. Passionate You are a leader. Your enthusiasm for the product will permeate the staff, clients and fans.

3. Focused Are you participating in meetings and conversations or checking your iPhone and thinking about your next meeting? Be in each moment and focus on what’s in front of you.

4. Respectable Your reputation is the station’s reputation. Make sure you are beyond reproach.

5. Personable Do you know the names of everyone on staff? Clients? The promo team supporting your events? Do you ask about  people’s families? Are you engaged with employees on a human level at all? People like to talk about themselves. Ask, listen and  you’ll be amazed at what you learn.

6. Positivity Your staff, clients and listeners are always looking for positive signs. You need to be waving the radio station’s flag. Recognize accomplishments, even small ones, and take time to celebrate.

7. Committed Be present. Walk the halls. Show up on weekends. Work late. Take action on employee issues/concerns. Show everyone how committed you are through actions.

8. Organized Don’t let piles of papers stack up on your desk. Develop a system. Know where to find things. Keep your calendar updated so you are on time to everything.

9. Responsible The buck stops with you. Share credit, but take the blame. Own up to mistakes. Apologize when necessary. Take appropriate action. Deliver the tough message.

You are an owner of your station. What kind of owner are you going to be?