Sports Talk Radio Continues To Prosper

RadioInk just completed its Sports Radio Conference out in San Diego, in which I was in attendance. Aside from being able to talk sports with these owners and GM’s, valuable insight was provided into understanding this format and ways to continue to grow sports talk radio nationwide.


Here are five key highlights that I took from this year’s show:

1. Content still remains king.

As a format that is best known for providing some of the most unique content, this still remains the most important factor in keeping listeners. The ability to manage your on-air talent, allowing them to have an opinion, while being entertaining is still what makes the best of stations stand apart from the rest.


2. Be Everywhere.

The ability to access content 24/7 from anywhere in the world is unlike any other time in history. People are busy individuals (or so they think) and feel that they should be able to access content on-demand. The ability to seamlessly provide this content to them on every platform is of the utmost importance.


3. Standout from the crowd.

Not only should your audio content standout to attract/keep listeners, so should the platforms that you are on stand out. Basic apps, boring websites, bad quality videos, etc are a sure fire way to lose an audience. Says Edison Research President, Larry Rosin, “people want apps that do so much more than simply stream. They want apps that do really cool things.”


4. Cross-Promotion

Pretty self explanatory. But if you are a cluster with a 3 or 4 stations, that importance to promote your other stations on-air or on various platforms can do wonders for driving traffic.


5. Go Mobile

This is piggy-backing off of point #2, but can not be overstated. Traffic, listening, and audience behaviors are quickly moving to digital mobile platforms (smartphones and tablets).

Mobile devices are rewiring behavior extremely quickly and you need a complete plan to stay competitive in that environment; especially to remain viable among younger fans.


To read the full Infinite Dial Sports Talk Edition, click here.






Reasons Why Radio Listeners Ignore Your Morning Show

Just last week, Mark Ramsey of Mark Ramsey Media wrote a terrific piece on why radio listeners ignore your morning show, and I wanted to give my take on it as well.


Much of what I say replicates what Mark says but I have 3 simple reasons why listeners will not listen to your morning show.


1. They are not any good

I listen to radio every morning during my commute to the office – and 90 percent of that listening is to sports talk/news talk radio. The local guys here in Kansas City offer something that is unique and compelling to me and that I can relate to, want to listen to, and feel compared to share with others.


I can remember when I was younger and I would tune in every evening to the local hip hop station because they offered me music that I couldn’t find elsewhere. But that was the main reason why I tuned in. Once the internet boomed and internet radio giants came around, I no longer needed the DJ. Besides all he/she was talking about was the upcoming song that they were about to play.


DJ’s today aren’t transparent, will not spend time to update you on the industry, nor will they engage the listener to really get the pulse of the audience. Which brings me to my next point…


2. Radio stations are too busy talking AT their audience and not TO their audience

The people that you are speaking to want to be heard. They want to feel that they are connected with you and the rest of the world around them. Too many times your radio personality sounds like a robot that is going to speak to a scheduled set of topics no matter how the show is going.


I am fan of ESPN’s Mike and Mike In The Morning and many times they will have topics that they are supposed to discuss, but that they simply change direction based on the discussions with the audience. As a formatted music station listener, I want to hear the gushy gossip of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and I want to talk about up and coming music artists.


Be prepared to be flexible with your topics of discussion.


3. Because management is simply too cheap

It is no wonder that the rich get richer. They simply put in the time, effort, and MONEY to get a return on their investment. Quit spending time on finding the most cost effective radio show host, and spend more time on finding the most effective radio show host at any cost.


I recently visited with a friend and client of ours, and asked them about their DJ’s. He mentioned that one of their best personalities couldn’t cut it at a different broadcast group, and so his station hired them. Now that sounds bass ackwards to me.


Eventually you will get what you pay for, and it won’t pay dividends.


So as a lasting note, spend more time on improving your product, and the easiest way to do that is to listen to your listeners and their needs and wants. At what point did we get away from offering quality over the air to offering quantity (ad commercials) over the air. Take back your radio programs and you will eventually take back the listeners who are no doubt leaving your station’s morning show.