National Aircheck is a media monitoring firm that specializes in radio, TV and podcast monitoring.
“We proactively record and can search by keyword 1,500 news/talk radio stations, tens of thousands of podcasts and virtually every TV station in the country coast to coast,” said Robb Wexler, CEO of National Aircheck.
For this installment in our Supply Side series, we asked Wexler to tell us more about the company.
Radio World: What is the potential benefit of this service to a radio station or other industry professional?
Robb Wexler: Radio stations use us for various forms of competitive intelligence and also auditing capabilities. Radio groups use us to audit their affiliates literally anywhere in the country.
Every other industry has a variety of needs that also includes the above. Politicians may want to know each time they are mentioned in their own state. PR firms need to know when their clients are mentioned randomly in the media that is not “earned media.” Ad agencies may need to track and confirm their live commercial spots. Publishers want to record their new author interviews for media training purposes.
Text and audio/video come with every report along with audience metrics.
RW: What kind of companies are your main customers?
Wexler: Public relations firms, ad agencies/marketing companies, radio stations, radio groups, TV groups, political PACS, corporate media, publishers, colleges and sports affiliated companies. Also, a guy named Phil in New Jersey.
Click here to see a National Aircheck sample report.
RW: Who founded the company, and who owns it? Who are its executive leaders?
Wexler: I founded the company in 1988. I’m also the owner. Our main execs are Joe Taylor (VP operations), Leah Keese (research director), Joe Gabriele (production director), Beth Phillips Jensen (sales manager), Linda Waltz (finance) and Chris Scardina (IT).
RW: What does your role entail?
Wexler: My role is to act as the sales lead for all our clients. I am also in charge of finding the best Mexican restaurants in all cities in which we attend conferences.
RW: You said the company has been doing this for 35 years. How has the underlying technology changed since then, and how does it work today?
Wexler: Example: It’s 1995. Someone’s client is being interviewed on 10 radio stations in different parts of the country. We contact our field people in those cities (we had about 2,500 back then) and they record the interviews for us when they are supposed to run. [We] Fed Ex them back, we edit them assuming they actually ran and then Fed Ex them to the client. Client gets them in 2-3 days.
It’s now 2023: We have a system that records and searches virtually any radio station or podcast in real-time on a continuing basis. Clients now gets their interviews within an hour or less. We are the only monitoring firm that doesn’t use speech to text to find content. We use a phonetic search engine to find the segment and then create text using our own proprietary TruText™ technology.
RW: Is your service sold on a monthly fee basis?
Wexler: We have subscriptions available for clients who need us year-round. But we are one of the few monitoring firms who offer ad hoc/use us as needed services.
RW: What else should we know about the company or its offering?
Wexler: Unlike virtually every other monitoring firm that wants you to simply subscribe to a platform and then do the work yourself, we do all the work for you. There is no platform to learn or to teach and to re-teach. When platforms became available back around 2005, everyone was like “Cool, I can search for myself!” 17 years later it’s now…”Really? I have to search for myself?”