iHeart Layoffs: What Role will Radio Play in the Digital Shift


Fear of Promotion is Accepting Demotion

I hate writing about layoffs, I really do which is why I held back all week. On the other hand, I need to post something about it because radio pros are asking What Role Will Radio Play in the Digital Shift which is not only here it’s going to explode. If podcasting, streaming, audiobooks and YouTube are not enough proof for you, let me inform you that YouTube is now only second to Google for searches. In addition, I am very versed in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and all terms related to “radio” are niche at best.

radio play, urban radio, layoffs, iheartmedia, ihreart radio, the breakfast club radio show

You Are Brilliant and an Asset to the Industry Your Station Knows it … .DO YOU?

No matter how many quarterly earnings reports come out about revenue increases at most radio corporations, a blind man can see that point and click access is what advertisers are most attracted to today. In addition, Facebook advertising is the best model I’ve ever seen for narrowing down a target to the most intricate aspects damn near to what kind of toilet paper they use and what kind of coffee they get at Starbucks and when they buy it. Radio just can’t do that (yet) and having point and click access to the target on Facebook MANY more hours a day than radio can have makes it much more appealing to advertisers.

Radio isn’t over, it’s still a behemoth in the industry because face-to-face (Radio Station events etc) contact is a lost form of “social media” that people still crave but the corporations still know they have to make some changes in order to compete with the burgeoning digital platforms. Bodies or ads, which one can we give up first? That’s a rhetorical question BTW.

Urban Radio Pro’s Fear of Promotion … a Haunting Issue

Over the years, MANY urban Radio DJs and PDs at urban radio Radio Stations have confessed that they fear promoting themselves because they think it’s best to remain under the radar with sensitive radio corporations protecting their brands. I get both sides. BUT I will tell you, that 1990 strategy will render you irrelevant to the current media industry standards … PROMOTE EVERYTHING THAT YOU DO (that is compelling or newsworthy) and NOT just on your social media platforms. Send your info to industry trades like Radio Facts, because the industry is too busy to read everybody’s social media but they DO read the aforementioned trades.

Begin with the End in Mind!

It might be a tough decision and only YOU can make it but you have to begin with the end in mind. If you lose your job, what do you have to fall back on? What kind of connections did you make? What kind of INTEGRAL relationships did you develop? As I always say, “Radio is a Springboard NOT a Recliner: it is the seed NOT the root nor the tree.” Take that opportunity and make the most of it instead of sitting back and waiting for someone else to drive your career vehicle. This is no dig on the 1200 people that just lost their gigs but if the most progressive company in the radio industry has to cut back in order to progress … the writing is on the wall.

The Breakfast Club Radio Show: A Great Example

Charlamagne Tha God, Envy and Angela Yee are a great example of what urban Radio DJs across the country could be doing. They are ALL over the place exploring their other passions and never mentioning Power 105.1 in the process. They are using the opportunity to expand. They do podcasts, events for the podcasts, real estate, juice bars, books, exclusive interviews, speaking engagements and more that have NOTHING to do with the Radio Station .

While I know other urban Radio DJs around the country may feel they are not in NY like the Breakfast Club, get out of that mindset because in the digital realm the opportunities like this are available in MOST markets. KNOW that we are in an entrepreneur and branding industry today which is the only reason that even I am still in it. I LOVE business and branding and you will see that this year as I will continue to show you ways on how you can build your brand in our industry. The end is not always the end, it could be an opportunity for a great beginning!

Don’t be discouraged, be educated!

My best

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