bad news is that because of the proliferation of new digital
platforms, people no longer need a radio to hear news, weather and
music. The good news? Radio can be heard on all of these platforms.
Savvy broadcasters have come to see smartphones, iPads and other
mobile media not as competition but as new ways to connect with
are Ivan Heredia, vice president of marketing at Radio Disney; Lauren
Devillier, vice president of digital media, Disney Channels
Worldwide, seated; Alyssa Talovic, director of digital marketing,
Radio Disney; and Jason Byers, senior manager, product management,
Disney Channels Worldwide.
a result, radio organizations now have a new breed of manager, one
focused on “digital” concerns.
goal is to enhance and grow the engagement level between our fans and
our brands,” said Tim Murphy, vice president for digital strategy,
Entercom. “I work with the programming and promotions side of the
house to drive ratings, and I work with our advertisers to develop
ways to generate more leads for their businesses and create awareness
of their brands.
not like a new business has emerged; the core function of local media
is the same. It’s just happening on a multitude of platforms.”
words do not sound like they came from a traditional broadcaster and,
indeed, Murphy’s background includes stints in packaged goods and
the digital division of the New York Times. He has been at Entercom
took a massive hit in the newspaper business,” he said. “It shook
our core assumptions about how media worked, and that was formative
for me. And there are a lot of themes and concepts that are constant
between newspapers and radio.”
discovered that in newspapers as well as broadcast, consumers want
their content to be available whenever and wherever.
job is to grant that wish,” he said. “If they want to consume us
on their phone on a bus, or time-shifted on a train to Philadelphia,
we must be nimble and adapt to that. So letting them know on Facebook
when an interview or concert is coming up is just a part of that.”
said that the average small business owner receives 20 to 35 pitches
a month from various marketing solutions companies.
of these are email-based, there is the online Yellow Pages, and we
have people out there who build social networking strategies. We in
radio need to position our capabilities in light of this new
competitive world,” he said.
believes that accurate ratings metrics are finally a reality, and
that this is a good thing.
is to radio what the click was to Google. What I mean is that we can
measure it and keep track of it. Because people can text quickly or
go to the Web on their phones, it reduces the friction between
advertisers and their potential customers. People must understand
that we drive measurable, actionable outcomes.”
Murphy think that this blast of new media options will settle down in
the near future?
think settling down is gone. That concept no longer exists, and
anyone who is thinking the industry will mature again is in for a
rude awakening. The pace of change will only accelerate, and the
thing that I really have hope and excitement about in the audio
industry is that everything is moving to mobile. We are positioned
well to exist in this mobile world.”
AND LOCAL JOBS
Murphy operates at the corporate level, digital directors are also
found at local station clusters. Such is the case with Larry Downes,
director of Emmis Marketing Group Indianapolis. Under his purview are
four radio stations’ promotions and digital operations.
have our own platforms, our website and our text stuff, all of which
we can monetize,” said Downes. “We use them to engage with
listeners in ways we can’t do over the air. Then we have other ways
of getting the word out through the marketing side. This includes
social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. It’s
harder to monetize those because they are someone else’s platforms.
We use them primarily to communicate with our audiences and entice
them to use our platforms where we can generate revenue.”
Emmis cluster in Indy can be heard via iHeartRadio (iheart.com)
and TuneIn (tunein.com), where visitors can hear streaming
radio stations from all over the United States or create their own.
really want to make sure we’re available wherever people are
looking for us,” said Downes. “Whatever we have online, we want
to be accessible in a mobile version. The best thing we can do is be
available and discoverable any way people want.”
has a staff of five helping to manage his sites and social media, and
there is also one person who focuses on digital sales. But where does
one go to find people with these skills?
staff is entirely people who have no radio background,” said
Downes. “Our videographer is just out of school. Our designers have
graphic arts backgrounds. We have them spend a lot of time in our
promotion and sales meetings learning the business. Translating radio
to what they do has not always been easy.”
of the people applying for jobs in the digital domain at Emmis are
freelancers seeking a more stable environment.
don’t want to turn skilled people into mediocre managers,” said
Downes. “Everyone wants a straight career path but there isn’t
stressed that broadcast radio is still the heart of the business at
I’ve been talking about, video, social media, makes any difference
if you don’t have a good on-air product.”
has been known for its innovations in film and television; and its
radio business is no different. With a combination of terrestrial
affiliates from New York to Burbank, Calif., and Internet operations
spanning the globe, Radio Disney is a network that uses multiple
digital channels to stay in touch with its target audience of very
is a two-way street for this station through its website
(radiodisney.com), the Radio Disney app and social networking.
With features such as on-air requests, voting for the Radio Disney
Music Awards, N.B.T. (Next Big Thing) and Music Mailbag, listeners
get to express themselves.
kids a voice is critical,” said Lauren DeVillier, vice president of
digital media at Disney Channels Worldwide. “It’s the
underpinning of what we do in that space. We track where our audience
is now, and where they are headed. We are constantly updating in
response to what our consumers are looking for.”
have been more than 4 million downloads of the Radio Disney App;
there are 860,000 followers on Twitter and more than a million fans
on Facebook. Only by utilizing these mobile aspects of Radio Disney
could the company move quickly when needed.
had a last-minute opportunity presented to us to feature (teen
singing group) Fifth Harmony live at Disney World in Orlando in
support of their participation in N.B.T.,” said Ivan Heredia, vice
president of marketing, Radio Disney. “With only 48 hours to get
the word out, we turned on the entire Radio Disney machine. That
included a live call-in on the air with the group, posting a blog and
promoting the event across all our social media platforms. The
group’s record company, Epic, expected several hundred guests to
show up for the concert but we had had thousands of screaming fans
CAREERS IN RADIO
career is typical of many digital directors in that he didn’t come
from a pure radio background. He moved from promoting records to
becoming vice president of marketing, Radio Disney.
a mature industry like radio, where job cuts frequently make
headlines, digital and mobile platforms are becoming a bright spot
for employment. And to be considered for these jobs, Radio Disney’s
Lauren DeVillier listed the main qualifications: “Understanding the
digital marketplace will help move your career in the direction our
consumers are already headed. You just have to have a little
expertise in application development and a passion for the product.”
Deutsch, a regular Radio World Contributor, owns a digital watch. You
can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.