Denver, Cleveland radio pros say depressed economy is a bigger foe than Net radio right now

Monday, June 4, 2012 - 8:15am

The Denver Post and the Cleveland Plain Dealer alike treated Sunday readers to accounts of how local radio personalities see their industry faring against new media competition like Pandora. In both articles, in both markets, the answer was the same: "Live and local."

In fact, pros in both markets say the current economy is a more powerful adversary than Pandora.

Chuck Lontine, managing director of media investment firm Marconi told the Denver paper, "The reversal in both station valuations and ad revenues are a function of the condition of the economy, not the loss of audience share."

Tom Herschel, market manager for CBS Radio in Cleveland, told his local paper, "The most recent figure is that 94% of adults in Cleveland listen to radio on a weekly basis. I'm bullish on where we are."

[The Chicago Tribune, by the way, this weekend covered the arrival of a local sales staff in Chicago, a development RAIN covered here. The photo here is from The Trib; it's part of Pandora's new sales office on the 21st floor of the Tribune Tower.]

Radio professionals in both markets testified to the power of live personalities, connecting to the community and delivering local info, as something Pandora and its ilk will never match. However, The Plain Dealer reports that -- with the exception of sports radio -- voice-tracking and out-of-town personalities are actually leading to less and less "live and local" personality on the radio.

Read The Denver Post here, the Cleveland Plain Dealer here, and the Chicago Tribune here.

Legendary on-air shocker Leykis to debut daily online show Monday

Monday, March 26, 2012 - 11:40am

On Monday when he clicks on the mic, West Coast shock-jock legend Tom Leykis will become the latest former on-air talent to begin producing a daily radio show on the Internet (e.g. Bubba the Love Sponge, coverage here)

Leykis left the airwaves in February 2009, when KLSX-FM/Los Angeles owner CBS Radio changed the format to top-40. Leykis has a 5-year contract with CBS that continued to pay him (much like Chicago legend Steve Dahl (more here)), so he sat on the sidelines.

In July 2010, Leykis launched New Normal Music, an online stream of independent and new rock and pop music. Today, that stream is just one of eight audio options on his site (there are two other music streams, several podcasts focused on high-end cocktails (including his own "The Tasting Room," which is syndicated on-air), and the daily "The Gary & Dino Show").

“We can produce the same or better content without real estate, without big, expensive and outdated equipment such as transmitters and satellite dishes, and without government regulation," he explains in the press release announcing his Monday debut. "We can be heard anywhere in the world rather than in select radio markets... We can sell advertising at a far more reasonable price than a local radio station... We are offering special rates to small and medium sized businesses that feel that they’ve been shut out from radio advertising..."

The new Tom Leykis Show will debut Monday and stream 3pm (PT) weekdays at Read the press release here.

Salem web revenues up 37% in Q4, making up 14% of total earnings

Friday, March 9, 2012 - 11:30am

SalemInternet revenues represented 14% of Salem's total earnings in Q4, the broadcaster announced yesterday. Web revenues grew 37% year-over-year, reaching $8.1 million.

That includes local websites (up 20%), national Christian websites (up 45%) and political opinion sites ("strong double digit" growth). For the total fiscal year, Internet revenues increased 35.8%.

Broadcast revenues were up 2.8% in Q4, reaching $45.8 million. Total revenue increased 6.2% to $57.1 million. You can find Salem's full financial results here.

Radio's biggest group drops "Radio" from its name to better reflect multi-platform business

Friday, January 13, 2012 - 12:25pm

Editor's Note: RAIN will return on Tuesday, January 17, 2012.

Clear Channel Radio today announced its immediate name change to Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, a move it says "better reflect(s) the evolution of its business... (and) clearly signals its successful expansion into new areas."

"Clear Channel Media and Entertainment represents our evolution as we prove our relationship with our listeners is so much more than just our transmitters and towers," Clear Channel Media and Entertainment CEO John Hogan said in the press release announcing the change. "We will continue to serve our increasingly diverse audiences and local communities... wherever they expect it, while supporting advertisers, strategic partners, music labels and artists with creative, multi-platform marketing opportunities..."

The new moniker covers Clear Channel's 850+ broadcast outlets, but also online (via iHeartRadio and on its stations’ hundreds of websites), HD digital radio, satellite, mobile (smartphones, tablet devices, and in-vehicle entertainment and navigation systems), and live events.

RAIN Analysis: This move is logical, especially if you buy into the notion that radio's future will be as itself a single strategy executed by multi-platform media companies (see TargetSpot's Andy Lipset's guest essay today, or our coverage of Jerry Del Colliano's blog yesterday, here). What's harder to comprehend is how, on one hand, radio's biggest player can so deeply accept its future as a multi-platform venture as to drop the word "Radio" from its name; yet on the other hand, there are those in the broadcast industry maintaining that Pandora and other pureplay webcasters belong in a completely separate sandbox. -- PM

Despite the fact even heavy Net users are listening, not many are compelled to visit station websites

Tuesday, January 3, 2012 - 11:00am

Internet "power users" still listen to a good amount of on-air radio, but they don't seem to visit station sites very much, says the Media Audit. The research company reported highlights from its National Radio Format Report last week.

The study indicates that radio listening is more than 22% of the average U.S. consumer's total daily media exposure, for the average consumer. For "heavy" Internet users (3 or more hours online a day), radio is still nearly 19% of their total daily media exposure. And for Facebook users, radio tops 21% of total daily media exposure.

But, just 17.6% of U.S. adults visited a local radio station website in the past month. This mark fluctuated quite a bit from market to market, indicating that at least a few local groups are doing something right! In the last month, 26% of adults in Austin, TX visited a local station site; 23.3% in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN; and 22.8% in San Jose, CA.

Looking further, it seems CHR listeners are most likely (72.8%) to be Facebook users (among all U.S. adults, 49.3% have logged onto Facebook in the past 30 days). Modern Rock listeners are pretty easily found on Facebook too. For Twitter, however, R&B/Urban is the top format: 17.4% Urban listeners used Twitter in the past 30 days.

Read more here.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011 - 12:00pm

A new post from BBC's new Radio1 websitethe BBC's Internet Blog details how they "re-invented" the Radio 1 and 1Xtra homepages following three principles: "They need to be as live as radio, content should be immediately and easily accessible and they should cater to your personal tastes."

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