Thursday, February 25, 2016


The station I.D. is one of the most fundamental elements of being on the air,
yet, it's one of the most misused items in broadcasting. By Station I.D., I don't
necessarily mean the legal or hourly I.D.  It your "handle", your station's 
identifier, who you are known as, etc. This may also be incorporated into a
station's jingles as well.  Are you "93 KHJ"; "The Big 610"; "Boss Radio" or
"More Music KHJ"; "Y-100"; "Magic 101.5"? Perhaps you'll say all of them.
When it comes to a listener identifying your station, they report to the ratings
services many sets of call letters in a radio market. I know this because I've seen
ratings that show this. Many years ago in Atlanta in a 15-18 station market then,
over 55 sets of call letters were reported. Same thing in San Diego when listeners
reported such non-existent stations as:KGBQ, Boss KDEO, 11-7 KPRI & B-1360.
Back in the day of the old Hooper and Pulse ratings services stations usually 
needed both call letters AND dial position. Hooper would give a station a half a
point if a listener could give one without the other...a full point when both were
known. Radio dials were different back then. Especially car radios. Due to the
shorter dial space, many had just a "5", a "10" or a "13". Also some dials were
odd numbered, some were even numbered. If your station was at 1260, but your
radio had an odd numbered configuration, the listener was probably confused.
Arbitron then came along and rated differently. A station would send a list of ident-
ifiers it wanted to be used for that ratings period. It could also be a contest or 
morning show for example. When I began in radio in the '50's it was imperative
to give both call letters and frequency..and give them often every set..everytime!
We would always have to say: "WING time____, WING temperature____" every
single time. This repetition got really tiresome, but it was effective. My belief now
is that not enough identification is given for the listener to remember if and when
he or she is contacted by a ratings company. Today, to complicate things even more,
we have simulcasting and streaming on a website. So, which "identifiers" and how
often is proper? Which do you think is most important? (a) call letters (b) dial
position (c) a combination (d) call letters first (e) dial position first (e)website ?
How often, (1) twice per hour (2) four times per hour (c) six or more per hour ?
I'd be interested to know. I also think stations lose ratings points when they stray
too far from their assigned call letters. If your call letters were WJJX for example,
and you wanted to known as "The Eagle" to your listeners...I wouldn't do it. I was
always told that BOTH call letters and dial position were best to maximize ratings
success. You look at your station as a "letter" you're mailing. The best way to make
sure the intended person receives it is to put BOTH name and address on the front.
I think a radio station is much the same. It seems like a small thing in programming,
but little things add up to big ratings in the end. We in the business know what we
mean, but the listening audience is not that sophisticated. It's best to keep it simple.
That's my RadiOpinion, what's yours?


Sunday, February 14, 2016

                                 KNOCK KNOCK.....ANYBODY THERE?

Well, the 2015 figures are in, and once again, the number of people listening 
to Radio in the United States is up...a stunning 245 million. That's per week!!
Nielsen reports that this number is an all time high. My question, among many
is, what is being done by the Radio media to utilize these listeners? What is
being offered to keep and sustain this audience? The NAB does little it seems.
If you do see or hear any promotional material, it's usually dull or poorly
produced. Not since Stan Freberg's award winning Radio promos of the 1960's
has there been any advertising extolling our virtues or advantages over other
forms of media competitors. Radio has been usually very good at selling air time
to advertisers, but it does a lackluster job at selling itself. Nielsen also points out
that Hispanics and Blacks listen more than any other group. I wonder why it is
that they find Radio more enjoyable than other groups?  And why doesn't Radio,
the NAB or other pro Radio associations do more to attract and keep more of 
these so called "other groups"?  Once again, Radio in general, has abdicated
it's responsibility as a media leader, and allowed the internet to take that role..
slowly but surely. Radio in many markets today do little advertising to attract 
listeners as in years past. I know in my area of Southern California, I see little,
if any; billboards, bus signage, television spots or newspaper ads like was seen 
in years/decades past. As my Mother used to say: "if you don't knock, nobody
will answer. How true Mother.  So, here they are...245 million people wanting
to listen, now it's Radio's turn to steer them in the right direction-YOUR
direction. Here's my new version of the old "knock-knock" joke:

#1   "Knock Knock!"
#2   "Who's there?" 
#1   "Radio."
#2   "Radio who?"
 That's what I want to know.  And That's my RadiOpinion..what's yours?