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View Diary: Has Cumulus Media Already Thrown in the Towel on Rush Limbaugh? (76 comments)

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  •  Understand your thoughts, (1+ / 0-)
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    LilithGardener

    but as someone who has been close to "media buys" and media issues for a long time, I can only tell you there is only ONE business model when all is said and done.  And that is to attract enough listeners to charge accordingly for ad time. No privately owned radio station has any other form of profit. Which is why what the flush Rush people have been doing is so darn effective---they have greatly cut the profit out from under the radio stations that carry him.

    The truth is progressives, as a whole, are not a big radio demographic. We can see this in the failure of Air America at the same time right wing radio bloomed. Progressives are much more likely to be on line, or maybe watching MSNBC. But they do NOT enter in much when it comes to radio. Conservatives OTOH, particularly of a certain age, are very much still listening to radio, and on a regular basis. This is why conservative radio thrives.

    Now, can a progressive radio station be marketed better? Sure. But it takes money to market effectively and with reach. The woman who owns the progressive station I listen to is severely limited in her marketing abilities, because she doesn't have the listeners to raise her profit levels enough to do the kind of marketing it takes. She is doing A LOT by just hanging in there, and keeping the station alive.  

    "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

    by StellaRay on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:24:30 PM PDT

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    •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StellaRay

      That's important context - that I didn't know.

      Mobile device radio - one of my old cellphones received AM/FM radio and I loved listening to my favorite radio while commuting by bus in the city.

      Mobile device advertising is just beginning.

      It sounds like what she, and progressive stations like hers need, are some young social media interns who can help design her web broadcast platform and convert each program to a podcast, or a set of podcasts, and a set of videos.

      I can go online and watch old PBS programs, and other programs, and be subject to 3 to 5 advertisements. And I can see myself and others even paying for good streaming radio subscriptions if I could listen to good content on long trips instead of the radio or CDs.

      Of course I have no idea what marketing in that industry involves, or what it would take for a little independent radio station to reach a national audience.

      "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

      by LilithGardener on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:56:03 PM PDT

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      •  You bring up some (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        very real, interesting and possible alternatives to the dessert that is progressive radio.  I heartily agree that progressive radio must find a way to connect w/the internet, where that has not been necessary for conservative radio, due to their differing demographics, and the way they negotiate their information.

        However, connection to the internet in terms of web broadcasts is not a silver bullet either. No one will listen to those podcasts or tune in on line, unless they KNOW it's there to begin with.

        For instance, TV is still the lead media in leading to on line site traffic. IOW, TV let's you know it's there. There are of course many on line sites that flourish without TV or radio advertising, but most of them, like this one, have built their audience over YEARS---or have very significant funding/backing to make the investment to advertise on line---those ads you see pop up on your screen.

        Also, just to clarify something, there is NO way a little independent radio station can reach a national audience because that small radio station will have an equivalently small signal that only goes so far. The smaller the station, in terms of profit, the shorter their signal will be, as it costs lots to build a bigger and better signal. For instance, the progressive radio station I listen to fades in and out anywhere on the outward parameters of my big city, and disappears all together a couple miles outside the city.

        Take a station like WLS in Chicago, a long standing war horse of radio success, and all the built up profits of such a station, and you've got a station with a signal strong enough to hear all the way to Madison Wisconsin, and clearly. But even WLS, with it's much more powerful signal, is hardly a national force.

        Sirrus radio is an exception to this rule, in that it will aggregate radio shows nationally, but not any one small radio station. And, you have to subscribe to it, which again brings up the demographics that listen to radio, who and what they listen to, and what it's worth to them.

        In any case, I've enjoyed this conversation. And you've got me thinking a lot about this. I would like nothing better than to see a way to make progressive radio more viable.

        "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

        by StellaRay on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 08:31:39 PM PDT

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        •  Oh, thanks again (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          StellaRay

          I know about radio signal strength. By national audience I meant somehow broadcasting through the web, downloadable through iTunes, or streaming through some mobile device app that mimics a radio.

          E.g. Customers pay $x for the app, and the app uses your device location to locate the nearest progressive radio stations, which you can choose from for live-streaming or for what I would call lag-streaming (where you can choose to sample programs that have already aired and either listen to them, or purchase them). Something related to the iTunes model, where the app developer would get paid, the listener would have options to opt-in to advertising in certain topics  (food, clothing, electronics, travel, kids toys, concerts, sports, etc.)

          Push advertising is going away - notice all those video adverts now that let you skip it after only 10 seconds? The advertisers are starting to wise up - if you haven't hooked the viewer virtually immediately, they are not interested in your product.

          "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

          by LilithGardener on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 08:46:59 PM PDT

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          •  I like the way you think. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LilithGardener

            More interesting ideas. Although I would say that most listeners will not "opt-in" to advertising, or at least not enough of them to support the radio broadcasting model. And that's the problem. You've got an old technology and new technology, and they both have very different needs to sustain themselves.

            Now, we can look at newspapers and see that they are trying very hard to make the transfer to being on line resources, and I think you're 100% right that progressive radio would be wise to do the same. But my little progressive radio station has as much problem doing that as a couple of very small progressive newspapers in my state. They ARE on line, but not enough folks know they're there.  

            And whether you call it "push advertising" or something else, SOME KIND OF ADVERTISING is necessary to support media, all media---with the exception of public radio or TV, and then you get fund raising drives instead of advertising. OR, it is pay per view or pay per song, or pay per whatever.

            Still, interesting thoughts. Thank you for hanging in there w/me on this.

            "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

            by StellaRay on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 09:27:26 PM PDT

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            •  Touche (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              StellaRay
              but not enough folks know they're there.  
              And then suddenly progressive folks around the world suddenly find out that a progressive local paper in TX is livestreaming the TX legislature and their laduience swells to 200,000 people.

              But I hear you - by opt-in adverts, I mean coupons.

              "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

              by LilithGardener on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 09:57:15 PM PDT

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              •  Their audience swells to (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LilithGardener

                200,000 people for a day or two. Then the larger news sources take over and I'll guarantee you those numbers collapse again, although there will be some pick up, but nothing like the overnight success you're imagining. Unless it happens over and over again and that news source becomes known for that.

                I'm thinking you must be from England, as this is where I understand ads or spots, to be called adverts. :)

                Coupons are a whole other animal. And they are still very relevant and useful in advertising. They have been primarily used in print mediums as opposed to broadcast, because they usually include copious amounts of fine print and legalese that must accompany the offer. But not always. Still, a coupon is an entirely different thing than a 30 second spot that sells the business and the brand.

                "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                by StellaRay on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 10:33:57 PM PDT

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                •  I'm a New Yorker (0+ / 0-)

                  And yes, that is a TV station and not a radio station.

                  Just following up on your point about how hard it is for independent local stations to become known to a wider audience. Of course their audience will not normally be that many, but that station is on the map now for progressives who want access to live un-filtered reporting on the TX legislature.

                  I have no idea how expensive it is to offer that local c-span type of coverage of their state house, but I like it as a cross-over medium since, maybe, just maybe, people who weren't up watching the live stream could now be offered important segments the next day on their website.

                  Back to the topic at hand. I feel tremendous pride and gratitude at the capacity of the Flush Rush groups to mobilize and keep the pressure on to expose the way that mega-business was exploiting the vulnerabilities of that business model to bilk customers out of their ad money.

                  "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

                  by LilithGardener on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 03:53:47 AM PDT

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