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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.


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August 2011

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« This Is So Smart | Main | General Stupidity »


greg gillispie

Fred...Let's not forget when dereg hit all the broadcasters said it creates the opportunity to develop new formats to address opportunities and demos...and 10+ years later...

Larry Sharp

Hey, I'm just a PD, but count me in. I'm working on "Bone 2" our New Rock HD channel and hoping to use some of the ideas from what I saw at the NAB/R&R.

Dave Paulus

This is the single BIGGEST crisis radio faces over the next 10 to 20 years and just like "global warming", it's NOT OUR problem right?

The 12-24 year old demographic is growing up WITHOUT our product.

Want to see a example of a industry in my market that put their "money where their mouth is" when it comes to the youth market? It's our local NEWSPAPER!

Two weeks ago, the Virginia Pilot launched "Link", a DAILY, FREE newspaper designed specifically for the 12-34 year old adult. That medium is losing that audience in droves! It's a VERY good looking piece, that is distributed by a LINK street team of 40 people daily throughout our area!

They know they're gonna lose their butt on it for a while, but as their publisher told me..they have to try! If it works or not, who knows....but they made a significant investment ($$$) in it and TOOK the risk!

Who would have ever thought I'd be using NEWSPAPER for a example of what radio needs to do! Take some fricken risks and realize LONG TERM isn't the end of 2006!

Dick Hungate

I'll help, Fred. It's not just a radio marketing
problem (both nationally and locally) but also
one of our stations' deliberately "aiming over
the heads of" teens psychographically. This is
an old, old bias from the days when teens had just
a little allowance or earnings from mowing lawns...
and were not seen as a means of driving more than
Mountain Dew sales. Things have changed. That TV
spot where the teen girl hits-up her dad for a hundred
bucks for a freakin' pair of jeans and he says he
IS (!) interested in the latest school fads...and then
buys online a hundred shares of the company's stock---
THAT is more the reality today than the flip-side
where a kid hordes cash for 3 months so he can
afford a cheap skateboard. "Thar's GOLD in them
thar teenagers!" (if only because many of them are
given the "chore" of doing 100% of the family grocery
shopping...contemplate THAT power for a minute!) We
as air personalities need to TALK TO teens in a normal
and non-condescending, non-parental way on the air.
PICTURE them as included in our "mind's eye" image of
a typical cross-section of our listeners (all really
sharp jocks already use this mental imaging device
but, generally, visualize folks age 20 and older).
As far as the "lack of product" counter-argument.
I don't buy it. Starbucks, just to name one seller,
is blowing-out-the-door classic hits and rock
compilations like crazy...to "Britany" and 17-yr.-old
mall companion "Heather" with obvious $$$ to spend!
They love CLASSIC, timeless music...but the local
radio stations that play it simply aim over their
heads with their on-air demeanor and presentation.
It's an egregious, fatal error especially 4-11 pm!
Let me know how I can help, Fred...seriously.

David Martin

Fred - we have a leadership problem and a crisis in sales. Our staff was recently involved in a project which required pricing radio inventory in the top ten markets. Reviewing the numbers we found a Detroit station selling morning drive at $50. Feeling there had to have been an error we checked with a second source and were told "there might be a way to get it for less." Until we recognize and address this crisis in sales it is not likely funds will be made available for programming innovation, development nor the commitment of capital required to sustain a youth radio initiative. Of course there are examples of successful youth targeted stations - simply too few - Entercom's Kiss in Milwaukee comes to mind. Well programmed and well sold.

Dick Hungate

Having folks offer their two cents worth like this
is very healthy and makes for a much more compelling
blog. With as much work as Fred obviously puts into
this project...DAILY!...not weekly, as most bloggers
such as Lee Abrams (no diss there...I really enjoy
Lee's blog also) do...we all need to continue adding
our angles of view. And don't worry about signing
your name to what you say. If you make a valid,
well-supported point...be PROUD of your response
and "own" it. I have come extremely close to
starting a blog myself, but haven't because 90%
of the time folks get NO reaction to what they write.
How gratifying could THAT be? We owe it to Fred
to agree, disagree, to split the difference or do
ANYthing other than scroll through a month's worth
of blogs and see about 4 short replies, total. See
how much more interesting and provocative this one
topic became once people picked up the gauntlet
flung down by Fred? Let's all keep contributing!

Tony Waitekus

Fred, I agree with your comments here and your comments in the teen article in this weeks R&R. I find it interesting that a number of young end recording artists can sell huge amounts of product with almost no radio airplay. When I was in the Quad Cities, the local paper did a poll with some teens who voted the Veronicas one of their top 5 favorite groups. Their airplay was very limited. I know teens will come to radio if we only played what they like. It's so simple and basic, but everyone is afraid to do it. If I ever win the lottery, I'll buy a station (if I can)and do it myself. I can't think of anything that would be more fun.


WOW, so much stuff here, an excellent resource. Thanks guys!
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