Lessons from Print

Who’d a thunk it?

That newspapers would lead the way for radio to understand the shape its own future will take.

The words we use mean everything, so check out this new wave thinking from this article in the American Journalism Review:

Old-school newspaper aficionados should bring along their decoders: instead of stories and readers, we now have “content” and “audience”; newspapers and their sister publications are “products” that together create a “portfolio.” And news itself is passé: We’re in the information business now.

“Content”? “Audience”? “Products”? “Portfolio”? “Information,” not News?

What the print folks are realizing is that they’re not in the newspaper business. They’re in the business of fulfilling the needs that the newspaper has traditionally fulfilled – no matter how folks want those needs fulfilled nowadays.

The same is true of radio. That’s why when Clear Channel’s Mark Mays says “we’re not just a radio company” he’s absolutely right. And anyone who doesn’t understand what Mark’s talking about had better take a very deep breath because you’re in for a rocky ride.

And you, my friends, are not in the radio business. From the listener standpoint, you’re in the business of giving them what radio has traditionally given them, no matter how they want it. THAT is why the “All News” stations are seeing their ratings decline. THAT is why the TV morning shows are copying the Talk Radio AM format. THAT is why ABC and NBC and CBS have their shows, their “content,” available online as well as on TV.

Understanding the implications of this and knowing how to navigate these waters is why we created hear2.0. And, naturally, only hints at the answers are going to be published on this blog.

Welcome to the journey.

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