Radio's Anti-Satellite Ads, Seen From the Other Side - Radio World

Radio's Anti-Satellite Ads, Seen From the Other Side

Radio's Anti-Satellite Ads, Seen From the Other Side
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Entercom recently began airing ads telling listeners why they should stick with their traditional radio services.
How is that playing on the satellite side?
We thought you'd be interested in this editorial titled "Rabid Radio" that appeared on trade Web site skyreport.com this week. Written by Evie Haskell, it appears here with permission:

George Bush does it. As does John Kerry. The cable operators have certainly slung their share while Charles W. might be called a master of the art. And now? Ah, now your "local" radio stations are in on the act and they're slinging it for all they can.
Yep, negative advertising, that great political and commercial pastime, has hit the radio waves. Neatly packaged into 30 and 60 second spots, our "local" broadcasters are now fuming, and mud slinging, against that scourge of the airwaves: Satellite radio.
The spots, aired by Entercom radio stations in four markets that we know of (and probably more), lambast satellite radio as a "lousy deal." And what's so lousy about it? Why, it "cut in and out just like my cell phone" ... it's "gonna be just like" cable where "the price went up, then it went up again" ... and worst of all, "If (it) eventually goes under, there're gonna be a lot of folks out there sitting on some expensive equipment they bought."
Yikes! All this for a service that's growing like topsy. By the end of 2003, XM and Sirius combined claimed 1.6 million-plus customers. An additional 2.4 million are expected by the end of 2004. And this is a "lousy deal"?
It is for the radio broadcasters. With their current average of 19 minutes of advertising per minute, the "local" free radio is rapidly losing appeal. But hey, it is "local," right? Ah, that's our very favorite part: The end of the spot where the announcer says "A message from your hometown stations." Sure thing, if Bala Cynwyd, Pa., is your home town. That's where Entercom, self-described as "one of the largest radio broadcasting companies in the United States," has its headquarters. "We operate multi-station operations with leading positions in virtually all of our markets, which includes many of the country's top markets," says the company's Web site. And you would trade this for something that might be "just like cable"? All we can say is: Get thee to the local DARS dealer; the service is a heck of a lot better than anything we've ever heard from those "local" broadcasters.

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Lessons From the Other Side

As U.S. radio broadcasters finally begin their digital transition, they can observe and benefit from the experience that U.S. television broadcasters have gained in their corresponding process, already in progress.