Radio Deserves Better Ratings

I applaud fellow radio researchers Mark Ramsey and Richard Harker calling for an end to radio’s unbalanced and dysfunctional relationship with Nielsen Ratings. I’ve been making the same suggestion for many years. Unfortunately, only the major radio groups can do anything about it, and so far, they have chosen not to do so. You would think they would be bothered by inadequate sample sizes, roller coaster ratings, and a Nielsen stock price that is higher than their own! Apparently not. Radio is horrible at representing itself as an industry, and no worse example exists than radio’s over-reliance on a flawed ratings system. […]

By | August 11th, 2016|Direction, Intelligence|1 Comment

VuHaus: Public Media Sets a Digital Stage for Music Discovery

Original story posted on CPB July 28, 2016 “Public radio has long been a place where audiences have discovered new music, from jazz, soul and hip hop to bluegrass and indie rock. Now, the digital platform VuHaus lets audiences across the country tap public radio’s expertise to spot new talent — and it gives artists a venue to connect with new audiences on a national and international scale. […]

By | August 4th, 2016|Creation, Direction, Interactive|0 Comments

Chicago’s Vocalo reins in eclectic approach but keeps focus on younger audience

Original story posted on Current July 21, 2016 By Tyler Falk “As the Chicago public radio station Vocalo approaches its tenth year, it’s entering a new stage of growth that’s testing its potential appeal to bigger audiences in its city and possibly across the country. Led by then-CEO Torey Malatia, Chicago Public Radio launched Vocalo in 2007 to reach a more racially diverse audience that would reflect its city’s demographics. It has since shifted from its original programming strategy, which emphasized listener-contributed content and social networking. Today’s Vocalo sounds more like a mix of commercial and community radio. Broadcasting from a translator on the John Hancock Center in downtown Chicago and a signal in northwestern Indiana, it features its own weekday morning talk show instead of Morning Edition and a music mix of hip-hop, R&B and indie rock during weekdays. […]

By | July 26th, 2016|Creation, Direction, Intelligence, Interactive|0 Comments

Community Radio Stations are the Peace Corps of Radio

Recently I was fortunate to attend the annual convention of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB). This was an eye-opening experience that helped me understand the critical nature of community radio in our society. The folks who run these stations do so with little money or resources, but they have a passion for serving their local community and for running the most hyper-local radio stations in America. Their conference, organized by NFCB president Sally Kane and her team of professionals, was also the most work-focused radio conference I’ve seen in a while. Community radio stations often work in difficult funding environments, and in rural and non-affluent areas. Community media is often the only locally-based, locally-focused media in communities of color and rural areas, giving it the opportunity to empower audiences and build community. Like commercial radio and the bigger non-comm stations, community radio audiences have continuous access to digital media on a multitude of devices. These stations are competing with quality, engaging programming on-air and through other channels (such as through digital media and live events). Community radio as a group is big and influential. There are 776 community radio stations currently in operation in America, 445 rural and 310 urban. Forty five of the stations are Latino, 52 are Native, and 32 are African-American. Only 404 of them receive funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, so many are 100% self-supported. I went into the conference with a lot of respect for what community radio is about. I came out with even more respect, specifically for the people who are literally dedicating their lives to their communities. Community radio stations and the people who run them are the Peace Corps of radio, and [...]

By | June 20th, 2016|Creation, Direction, Interactive|5 Comments