Speaking at the 35th Annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference today at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, CBS RADIO President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Mason called upon the radio industry to revitalize itself in the wake of electronic measurement (PPM), and to vigorously and proactively pursue advertising dollars across new categories, particularly political.
“Radio is king – there is no media that can better deliver more targeted, personalized messages to audiences and advertisers,” said Mason. “Today’s presentation was a call to arms to all our colleagues in the industry to better tell our story, and demonstrate the incredible opportunities for growth. Radio is going through one of the most transformative periods in the history of broadcasting, and it’s up to us to show the advertising and financial communities how we can seize these changes to our advantage.
Highlights of the presentation included:
→ Radio needs to better sell its story: “In New York, more people listen to radio than read all three newspapers combined, or visit Google, Yahoo or AOL on a monthly basis,” said Mason. “We have information like this in every one of our markets, but there is the lingering perception that radio is still old media and not on a growth track.” According to Scarborough Research, radio reaches 86 percent of adults 18+ on a weekly basis – 18 percent higher than newspapers and 20 percent above the Internet. “It’s imperative we go out there and share this kind of performance, as it speaks to our ability to attract desirable listenership across the country.
→ Radio needs to embrace new audience measurements: “Under previous measurements, radio listening has been severely under-reported,” said Mason. “With PPMs, we are seeing substantial cume increases because this new technology reflects actual listening as opposed to perceived listening. I have no doubt PPMs will level the playing field, and provide us better metrics in telling our story.”
→ Radio needs to go after political advertising: “Radio has not historically received its fair share of political dollars. In fact, it’s barely gotten any at all,” said Mason. “That will change in 2008 – we are aggressively going after this sector, targeting all the top decision makers to show them the power and impact radio can deliver. We’ve made changes internally so the process is more simplified and flexible, and we are engaged in discussions with many campaigns and buying agencies. This is of the highest priority for CBS RADIO, and hopefully for our brethren.”
→ Radio needs to embrace New Media: Over the past two years CBS RADIO’s online streaming audience has grown at a yearly rate of more than 140%. This phenomenal growth has resulted in a fourth place ranking among all Internet broadcasters with our goal of being No. 1 in the industry;
→ Radio needs to invest in better programming: Newly reformatted stations in New York, Detroit, Phoenix and Pittsburgh, among others, are delivering superior results with increases in listening up by as much as 85% year to year.
About CBS RADIO
CBS RADIO is one of the largest major-market operators in the United States with stations covering news, alternative rock, country, FM talk, classic rock, oldies, JACK and urban formats, among others. A division of CBS Corporation, CBS RADIO operates 140 radio stations, all of which are in the nation's top 50 markets. CBS RADIO also has made aggressive moves to converge new and traditional media through creative programming and advanced delivery methods, including online streaming, HD Radio, mobile messaging and podcasting. Audio streams of more than 143 CBS RADIO stations and custom channels are currently available online, and more than two thirds of the Company's stations are broadcasting in HD digital radio. Additionally, CBS RADIO is home to 27 of the country's leading sports franchises amongst MLB, the NFL, the NBA, the WNBA and the NHL, including the New York Yankees, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Chicago Bears and the Detroit Red Wings. For more information on CBS RADIO, please visit www.cbsradio.com.