Radio Rally Point connects top minds to discuss the radio industry. Here’s a short form interview that Connoisseur Media CEO, Jeff Wardhaw gave to Andrew Curran.
You’re an outspoken advocate for radio. How’s the industry doing?
Jeff: Radio gets great results for its advertisers. We offer compelling content that’s free and ubiquitous. Our personalities develop relationships with listeners that provide powerful connections between advertisers and audiences.
You’re also known to call it like you see it. How can radio improve?
Jeff: If stations cut spot loads, increased diversity of programming and enhanced local content, we would be better off. Too often radio is stuck in a vicious cycle. Too many units. Not investing in the product. A race to the bottom for rates. That’s death for radio.
Clearly that’s not a viable formula. What’s your approach?
Jeff: We don’t have a cynical approach to radio. Our company is entrenched in our communities. When adversity strikes a community, our personalities shine, which gives them a halo year round.
In fact, we like to flip vicious cycles on their head … replaced with just the opposite. The better product we provide, the more loyal our listeners will be. It’s what we call a virtuous cycle for communities, advertisers and ourselves.
How does this virtuous cycle and the relationship the audience has with your personalities get captured by advertisers in their media mix modeling?
Jeff: Local advertising drives radio’s business and is very much results oriented. When we have a one-to-one relationship with our clients and are solving their problems, we can monetize beyond the metrics. Small business owners know when units are moving off the shelf and our stations have delivered creative solutions to help solve their problems.
Just because these powerful relationships can’t easily be measured doesn’t mean there isn’t tremendous value. Small business owners use ratings to justify their decision, but you can’t eat a ratings point; it doesn’t help cover payroll. Results do that.