Category Archives: Programming

Programming/Promotions/Research/Social Sessions Preview – GLBC

GLBC’s sessions kick into high gear beginning with our opening session speaker on Tuesday Morning, Valerie Geller.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
8:30 – 9:30am

Valerie Geller Presents: Get, Keep and BUILD Your Audience!

Valerie Geller
Valerie Geller

Content is king and those who create your content are what set you apart from every other “screen” or speaker you compete with. Everyone can improve and move to the next level of performance to create powerful content for news & personality TV & Radio, and work more effectively across ALL platforms!

The key to staying the most relevant content source for your audience is all about becoming a more powerful communicator and storyteller. There are no boring stories, only boring storytellers. In this session, learn proven techniques to grow not only your talent, but your audience as well.

These proven “Powerful Communicator” methods, in use by top broadcasters throughout the world, are based on just three things: “Tell the Truth, Make it Matter, and NEVER be BORING.” Aircheck coaching, finding and developing talent and powerful storytelling techniques, on-air performance coaching techniques are all included. Each participant will come away with actionable techniques to become stronger, more compelling broadcasters, armed with techniques they can put into practice immediately to engage and grow their audiences.

10:00 – 11:00am
Becoming a Powerful Storyteller
Presented by Valerie Geller

Whether you’re writing news, producing, an on-air personality, or writing copy for promotion, sales or public service it all starts with good writing and powerful storytelling – in this session you’ll learn proven techniques in use by top broadcasters throughout the world.

10:00 – 11:00am
Techsurvey 12: Part 1
Presented by Fred Jacobs & Paul Jacobs, Jacobs Media

(L-R) Fred and Paul Jacobs
(L-R) Fred Jacobs and Paul Jacobs

For more than three decades, Jacobs Media has become synonymous with media innovation and results. From their roots in radio in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the company has broken ground in the digital space, excelling in the integration of digital, mobile, and social strategies with heritage media brands.

In this two-part session, be one of the first in the country to review the results of Jacobs Media’s Techsurvey 12, an annual national web survey that tracks a highly evolving and changing media environment.

Previous Jacobs’ Techsurveys have been uncanny in their ability to predict consumer behavior, while providing actionable data. From the “cell phone only problem” in the first survey, to the satellite radio slowdown, to the rise of smartphones and tablets along with the ascent of Pandora, these national research studies have been predictive and an important part of the digital planning process.

11:30am – 12:00pm
Developing Talent is a Talent
Presented by Valerie Geller

Secrets of Finding, Developing, Airchecking and Coaching, Talent: No matter where you are in your on-air career, EVERYONE can improve working across all platforms. Learn proven techniques to help each member of your on-air staff grow to the next level. And, if you are on-air, learn these “diamond polishing” and “self check” techniques.

11:30am – 12:30pm
Techsurvey 12: Part 2
Presented by Fred Jacobs & Paul Jacobs, Jacobs Media

Register on-site for GLBC if you haven’t registered in advance!

2:30 – 3:30pm
When Local Tragedy Strikes Overnight
Panelists include: Duane Alverson, MacDonald Broadcasting; Peter Tanz, Midwest Communications; Steve Koles, WWMT/CW7-TV

iStock_000023801866_SmallMany radio and some television stations cut back staff overnight, going down to a skeleton staff. Or, with new technology, may even lock the doors and go home with no one at the station. Others may have the minimum wage operator on duty. How do you handle a major local threat that is not weather related? Are you prepared? Do you have an emergency news coverage plan? How will you serve your listeners and viewers under great stress and with diminished experienced staff capability. Our panel will use the recent tragic shooting in Kalamazoo as an example of how to handle breaking news on a Saturday night. The panel will offer “best practices” on how to handle a multi-location event when staffing is generally the lowest of the week.

2:30 – 3:30pm
The Secrets to Content Marketing: Part 1
Presented by Seth Resler, Jacobs Media

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

Today, broadcasters find themselves drowning in a sea of tools that can be used to reach a mass audience. From Facebook and Twitter, to YouTube and blogs, to whatever brand new social network the intern invented using Kickstarter funds over the weekend, there’s always a “next big thing.” This situation is a far cry from just a few years ago when we were only required to have competence in our own medium. The learning curve today is steep, not necessarily because any one tool is difficult to use, but because of the sheer number of tools available to us. It is easy to get overwhelmed.

It’s even easier to lose sight of why all these tools matter. At the end of the day, how do our Instagram photos, cat meme videos, and our podcast episodes fit into the larger picture? What is the impact of a retweet on our bottom line?

Radio and television stations need a strategy that connects all of our online tools together. This strategy, called Content Marketing, weaves our different digital elements together into a single coherent plan. Content Marketing is a strategy that is widely used outside the broadcasting industry, but can easily be adapted by radio and television stations.

4:00 – 5:00pm
Nielsen Total Audience Measurement
Presented by Robbie Lopez, VP/ Account Director, Local TV Client Services & Mario A. Christino, Account Director, Client Solutions, Nielsen Audio

The Media Landscape continues to evolve as options for media consumption increase for consumers. Join Nielsen as they discuss the latest on Total Audience Measurement across TV/Radio/Digital. We will also share local market audience trends and provide updates on the latest initiatives on measuring the local audience.

Register on-site for GLBC if you haven’t registered in advance!

Editorial: Active Hits That Really Rock, And the Alternative

Sean Ross webBy: Sean Ross
Twitter: @RossOnRadio

If you’ve been watching the monitors of Active Rock stations, it’s no secret that they have grown more gold-based over the years. And, that the nature of the gold has evolved as well. It started with playing a little more AC/DC and Ozzy Osbourne. Then PDs decided that Jimi Hendrix was timeless. Then they decided that maybe Van Halen was still relevant. Now, a lot more mainstream Classic Rock is fair game—“We Will Rock You,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” even “More Than A Feeling.”

Active Rock was digging into Classic Rock by necessity. In the early 2000s, the current rock world was essentially one guitar-driven entity with two different charts. As Alternative radio moved back to the indie side, the existing harder currents that lived primarily at Active Rock no longer had the same sort of lateral support. Even the biggest Volbeat and Avenged Sevenfold current titles rarely survived to become long-term library titles. Disturbed’s high-concept cover of “The Sounds of Silence,” currently the format’s No. 1 song, will probably continue to test, thanks to its familiar hook, but it’s not a solution for the format, it’s a stunt (albeit an appealing one).

Existing Active Rock stations have had to try and finesse all these disparate pieces. Alternative stations famously found themselves unable to go “from Tool to Jewel” in the mid-‘90s, something that drove Active and Alternative Rock together. Now, Active rock stations have to figure out how to go from Hendrix to Halestorm.

The last few years have seen a handful of launches of library-based hard(ish)-rocking stations that don’t sweat the issue of recent music. They play harder classic rock, but they’re not just “Classic Rock that Really Rocks” because they play grunge, they can play Linkin Park, and they can play the handful of alternative ‘00s titles with guitars (e.g., “Seven Nation Army”). The iHeart Media “Man Up” stations, often translator-driven flanker stations, of recent years worked this territory.

Then, there was KFMB-FM San Diego, which launched early this year. The new “KFM-BFM” ticks all of the above boxes, and, because it’s San Diego, a heritage Alternative market. And, there’s no traditional Adult Hits station, they also play Soft Cell and Stray Cats. And, they played “Hate To Say I Told You So” by the Hives four times last week. Although KFM-BFM actually dropped the “Jack-FM” handle, think of the current format as “Active Jack That Really Rocks.”

Since I profiled it earlier this year, KFMB-FM has gotten fast traction, up 2.9 – 3.4 – 3.8 in its first two PPM monthlies. A few weeks ago, Seattle got a similar station, KVRQ (Rock 98.9). The new station doesn’t have San Diego’s pop/new wave component, but it does span the Doors through Linkin Park. In doing so, they’ve parked between heritage rocker KISW and Classic Rock KZOK.

I’m also a fan of KZTI (Z105.3) Reno, Nev., launched last September with its own version of harder classic rock. KZTI covers a similar era span, but it goes a little deeper into earlier generations of metal. I’ve always loved UFO’s “Too Hot to Handle,” but I’ve never heard it on the radio until Z105.3. And that song is from 1977.

Here’s a recent hour of KZTI from the station’s Website:

Rainbow, “Street of Dreams”
Ozzy Osbourne, “Shot in the Dark”
Sammy Hagar, “I’ll Fall In Love Again”
Skid Row, “I Remember You”
Foghat, “Fool for the City”
Soundgarden, “Spoonman”
Def Leppard, “Animal”
Creed, “Torn”
Judas Priest, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’”
Smashing Pumpkins, “Cherub Rock”
Black Sabbath, “Fairies Wear Boots”
Warrant, “Cherry Pie”
AC/DC, “Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”
Whitesnake, “Still of the Night”
Staind, “Mudshovel”

San Diego and Seattle will almost certainly not be the last launches of this type. And the impact of a gold-based format will probably be felt on those Active Rock stations that still play currents. A few Active Rock PDs might see this as an opportunity to stop worrying about Bad Company and embrace “Bat Country.” More likely, PDs are already shoring up their gold libraries as a pre-emptive strike. And if you need to be told that “Bat Country” was Avenged Sevenfold’s breakthrough song, well, that’s why.

If there’s another way forward for Active Rock, it seems to lie in what made the format successful a little more than a decade ago. Until the White Stripes, Strokes, and Killers set Alternative off on a path of its own, the two formats were both guitar-based and differed largely in reporting status. Active Rock played early grunge before many markets even had a significant Alternative station. Now a lot of the harder grunge is defaulting to Active Rock. But even “Loser” by Beck has been a playable record for Active Rock for a while.

In other words, Active Rock’s franchise could be as the continuation of guitar-based Alternative. That was the successful formula for stations like KTBZ (the Buzz) Houston in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s, but the Buzz has experienced a ratings resurgence over the last year by rocking harder again. It’s still an Alternative reporter. The Lumineers, and Coldplay are still heard. But so are recent songs from Shinedown, Deftones, and Disturbed. Similarly, Cumulus’ Active Rock stations are taking more music from Alternative these days—Cold War Kids and Twenty One Pilots’ “Ride” most notably.

The late ‘90s paradigm in which most current-based stations were playing Active Rock, but reporting to the Alternative Rock chart (with its greater prestige) wasn’t entirely satisfying for listeners or PDs on either side. Alternative PDs got into the format to play the Smiths, not Trapt, and when the two formats diverged, both sides tended to default to the music that set them as far apart from each other as possible. And yet, when the two formats were more closely synched, the lateral exposure helped keep rock music more entrenched in the mainstream.

The ideal situation this time would be just enough overlap for two successful formats to exist, and for multi-format hits to emerge. There’s not a ton of music for Active to take from Alternative now, but we have certainly seen bands like Black Keys or Cage the Elephant, rooted in traditional rock but worked to Alternative first. AWOLNATION’s “Sail” initially seemed like a stretch to some Active Rock stations. But by the time they came to grips with it, Active Rock bands were already making songs that sounded like “Sail.”

I’ve really enjoyed the new handful of harder-rocking Classic Rock stations, particularly KZTI with its extra “oh-wow” factor. But it’s not where I want to see today’s rock radio end. In the late ‘80s, the rise of Classic Rock left existing “Album Rock” stations unsure how to react. Some became Classic Rock stations. Some found a path forward, once they were nudged.