Our founder, Fred Jacobs, offers insights into the latest trends in broadcasting and digital media.
Running Out The Radio Clock
As the NAB gets underway in Las Vegas next weeked, the radio business has never needed an injection of energy and innovation like it does today. Post-pandemic, many broadcasters find themselves at a crossroads, contemplating retirement or simply running out the clock on their careers. Today’s post is an open discussion on the need for all of us to bring our A Game to an industry sorely in need of our best efforts. Sounds timely, right? But on a #TBT, this post is four years old.
I hope you’ll agree it resonates today. So where are YOU on the spectrum?
They Are The Champions!
A friend pulled me aside last week to talk about this blog. He commented, “You’re really on a tear this year.” And my response was that for radio, it’s already been a tumultuous quarter. A lot has been going on in and around the radio business. Much of it is, shall we say, sub-optimal. Or more to […]Read More
What Are Automakers Thinking About AM/FM Radio? (Based On A True Story)
In recent weeks and months, automakers have announced plans to eliminate AM radio, not just from EVs but other new car models. Radio is now fighting back – with passion and purpose. But now there’s compelling data you haven’t seen yet for keeping ALL radio front and center in new car dashboards. And one of the world’s most respected auto analysts has some friendly advice for where radio broadcasters can go from here. All of this in today’s blog post.Read More
Baseball And Radio: How To Game The Game
What happens when a century-old American institution installs radical and sweeping rules changes? No, I’m not talking about radio. Major League Baseball has changed the game – literally – providing radio broadcasters with a template for adapting the medium. But systemic change is hard for any “game” that’s been around a long time. So, new season, first inning. Let’s talk about how change might actually look. Play ball!Read More
We WILL Get Fooled Again
Be careful because April Fool’s Day is upon us – tomorrow to be exact. It’s an annual tradition where someone in our lives tries to pull one over on us. And many radio stations and their morning shows are all-in, for better and sometimes for worse. But today’s post isn’t about joy buzzers, whoopie cushions, or other gags. It’s about technology whose prime directive is to fool audiences. And of course, that’s proving to be very tempting for many radio execs.Read More
What It Was Like To Be A Programmer During The COVID Crisis
Three years ago right now, no Final Four, no Opening Day, no school, and not much of anything. While a global pandemic changed our personal lives, radio stations were business as usual. Kind of. Tasked with staying on the air was nothing short of impossible, but radio did it. And did it well. Back then, I talked to an elite group of radio programmers about resilience, creativity, and grit – all traits they displayed during those perilous and unpredictable times. And I often think, if we got through COVID, we can survive anything.Read More
Research Will Break Your Heart
We all love a good research project. It clarifies, illuminates, and provides guidance for programmers and marketers. Until it doesn’t. Because these days, there’s so much data out there, much of it conflicting. And then there’s the interpretation, another place where the truth and objectivity can be shaky. So, today’s blog post breaks it all down, points out a fascinating contradiction, and hopefully helps you get your head around the data.Read More
What’s The ONE Thing?
Today, radio PDs have unprecedented pressure. They often wear multiple hats, and most have little in the way of support staffs. They often put in long days, and may wonder when they head home, what they actually accomplished that day. So, the ideas is to focus on accomplishing just ONE thing that improves their station every day. I’ve put together a healthy list, but I bet many of you can easily add to it. What’s the ONE thing you can do that would make your station better today?Read More
Rethinking Radio Station Swag in Light of Social Identity
Radio swag has become a throwaway item for most radio stations these past few decades, the first item cut from every budget. In fact, many stations have totally put the brakes on producing branded T-shirts, hats, and other stuff because they feel it has no ROI. Jacobs Media’s Seth Resler has gone to school on this topic, and reached the conclusion that station swag is an undervalued community building tool that can build brands and social identity. Today’s post makes a great point — for radio, it’s more than just growing your listeners. It’s about giving them the opportunity to make a statement about who they are and what they stand for.Read More
The Art Of The Sale
All the radio vital signs continue to tell us broadcast revenue is “meh,” while the digital trajectory continues to rise. But not every marketer believes that’s a given. And in fact one expert has recently stepped up to ask why radio is consistently overlooked, undervalued, and underrated. His remarks are just what we need at the end of a long week to remind us of radio’s value – and why so much money is being left on the table. Bon appetit.Read More
What’s Your Name? Who’s Your Daddy?
What does it mean to “sell out,” and is there a price to be paid for doing it? Two years ago, Sinclair sold the naming rights to their 19 regional Fox Sports networks to Bally’s. Back then, Paul Jacobs warned about possible consequences. And here we are in 2023, and the entire operation has declared bankruptcy, potentially leaving millions of rabid sports fans in the lurch. We revisit this mess in today’s blogs, complete with new warnings about taking the money….and trying to steal a base.Read More
Playing The Classic(al) Music You Grew Up With
One thing about radio – even during the last dozen or so years of economic strife and a global pandemic – music research has endured. Stations and companies continue to incessantly play hooks and test music genres. And the industry is blessed with visionaries like Guy Zapoleon and Sean Ross, who always have their fingers on the pulse of music and popular trends. But there’s one genre -and it’s not new – that has snuck up in the last year without the least bit of cacophony or warning. And it’s been here all along – at least for the past few centuries.Read More
Seeing Eye Radio
Under the best of circumstances, carving out a solid career in radio is no easy task. Now imagine you have an impairment – like the loss of eyesight. Yesterday, we talked about the value of being clear-eyed and forward-looking. Today, it’s two truly amazing stories of overcoming the odds to achieve success despite blindness.Read More
The Eyes Have It
Now more than ever, we need “that vision thing” to help us navigate our way through the minefield of new technology and innovation. But in order to truly see the road ahead, we have to train our minds to take in what’s around us, without getting dismissive or defensive. It’s a real skill, and it’s something all of us in the media business need to work on. To get the new week off to a good start, today’s blog post is intended to be an eye-opener. And it’s caffeine-free. Dig in.Read More
The JacoBLOG Junk Drawer: The CRS 2023 Edition
I’m just back from the world-famous Country Radio Seminar in Nashville with a drawer-full of ideas, observations, and thoughts. I got the chance to meet a lot of engaged radio people talking about chat bots, music, and the state of the industry. Today’s blog post takes you backstage to CRS – and of course, Music City.Read More
How Radio Can Best Deal With A Global Pandemic: Live And Local, Of Course
Three years ago right now, we weren’t worried about the Academy Awards, spy balloons, March Madness, or our spring vacations. Today’s post looks back at the coronavirus (as we called it back then) and what became a defining moment for many of us. While you may not want to relive those scary days, that’s not what today’s #TBT post is all about. Just 36 months ago, we had to figure out radio’s mission at the most pivotal of times. And how broadcasters could distinguish themselves and the medium at a moment in time when local audiences and communities needed it most. Back then, radio did good. Why not remember that, and maybe even apply it to what we’re doing now – now that we’re all back to “normal?”Read More
Is AM Radio Walking “The Last Mile?”
AM radio has hit some pot holes already in this new year, especially from automakers who seem bound and determined to keep amplitude modulation out of their electric vehicles. But in just the past several days, the storm clouds are gathering around those AM towers. Today’s blog post has some news you likely have not heard regarding AM’s long-term future in car dashboards. Buckle up. The news isn’t good.Read More
How Radio Can Expand Its Audience Reach With Digital
Yesterday’s post about how radio broadcasters can successfully bridge the “digital divide” is a perfect lead-in to today’s topic: examples of how a “near-adjacent” model can provide a diverse portfolio of holdings as well as generating cash flow. Like all smart endeavors, this one isn’t easy or even quick. But it can work. Here’s how.Read More
Can Radio Broadcasters Navigate The Digital Divide?
As the weirdness of 2023 meanders on, it’s becoming clear the metrics that now matter for radio broadcasters. While earnings calls may fall under the banner of “Same as it ever was,” the KPI – or Key Performance Indicator, as CFOs love to call them – is now transcending revenue, profits, and margins. Sure, growth […]Read More
Classic Rock Currents?
Classic Rock CURRENTS? Talk about oxymorons. But that’s the theme of today’s post. I’ve got a buzzworthy 6-pack of them for you this morning, a TikTok video, a couple of mind-blowing vintage Classic Rock performances, and other fun facts that will entertain and amaze. After all, it’s a Friday and it’s been a long week – perfect for a lighter, positive radio point of view. Enjoy.Read More
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