As Clear Channel moves from the public arena to private ownership, how should we evaluate "Less Is More" as a strategic initiative to change the radio advertising model? In a recent Wall Street Journal article, CEO John Hogan indicated that three years after the debut of "Less Is More," that program is "yesterday's news."
Claiming success with "LIM," Hogan noted higher ratings and new customers. Many media buyers and other broadcasters don't share his view. Clearly, the program didn't change the game. In fact, many advertisers were able to buy :30s cheaper, allowing them to either spend dollars in other media (think Internet) or pocket the difference.
But the real target audience for "Less Is More" was Wall Street. And we can clearly see how impressed the markets have been with radio stocks. There's little doubt that flash and trash tactics won't move stocks anymore.
That's why you have to hand it to an operator like Cox's Bob Neil. With little fanfare, his stations have systematically cut back on the numbers of minutes they run, and the result is a more seamless, less annoying listening environment.