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Celebrating a 1st Communion

We have a granddaughter in New Jersey that will be making her 1st Communion and we’re on the road to celebrate this wonderful moment in her life.

We are so proud of Sadie Rose Taylor.

She is growing into a graceful, and Godly young lady.

Just as she is blessed with God’s love, we hope that she knows that our family is blessed by her every day.

Grandma & Grandpa

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P E R S O N A L I T Y

In 1959*, Lloyd Price released the song “Personality.”

It was about a girl and what made her special.

Here’s a sample:

            ‘Cause you got personality

            Walk, with personality

            Talk, with personality

            Smile, with personality

            Charm, with personality

            Love, with personality

With the exception of a daypart or two, it’s what most radio lacks today – PERSONALITY.

Rewound Radio

Every Saturday, Rewound Radio, a streaming-only radio station features its “DJ Hall of Fame.” They are air checks of some of America’s best radio personalities, like Dan Ingram, Ron Lundy, Robert W. Morgan, Charlie Tuna, The Real Don Steele and so many more. While everyone of the personalities I just mentioned are now in radio heaven, their recorded radio shows sound as vibrant and exciting as ever. That’s why people from all over the globe dial in to hear them, and not just radio people, radio listeners who grew up with them.

People like me.

Techsurvey 2022

So, it wasn’t really a surprise when Fred Jacobs gave us a sneak preview of his latest research on why people listen to over-the-air (OTA) radio.

People today listen to OTA radio for the very same reason that they always have, to hear their favorite radio personality. The unfortunate thing is, the radio industry talks the talk, but doesn’t really walk the talk.

Radio’s ultimate strength as a medium is dependent

on the power and popularity of its personalities.

-Fred Jacobs

Club DJs

When I walk the boardwalks in New Jersey, Delaware or Maryland in the summertime, you can’t help but be very aware of how important it is for each club to have a popular DJ. Club DJs get people dancing, having fun and spending their money in that particular club for hours.

The longer club patrons stay, the more money club owners make.

The reality is the role of a Club DJ could be easily automated and the music would be non-stop, but it is the special magic a live personality delivers that makes all the difference. Great performers make people feel things. They deliver an emotional experience that can’t be duplicated by automation.

“People are always neglecting something they can do

in trying to do something they can’t do.”

-Edgar Watson Howe

Living in a VUCA World

The world today is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous; it’s a VUCA existence. Many businesses are told they must innovate or die.

In radio’s race to stay relevant, it tries to compete with streaming audio services, where at best it can only be second best when it plays on their terms. What OTA radio should be heavily investing in is the development and promotion of outstanding, compelling, relatable radio talent.

“Treat talent with respect.

They are the reason radio remains so important.”

-Lori Lewis

Family Feud

Sue & I love watching Family Feud with Steve Harvey. This TV game show debuted on ABC on July 12, 1976 with host Richard Dawson. It would be broadcast for nine years before the network pulled the plug,  but would continue to air periodically over the following decades. The show has had six hosts, but only its original host and the current host have seen the show be an audience hit.

In fact, it was when Steve Harvey took over as host in 2010, that Family Feud was finally resuscitated. His hosting abilities with his stand-up comedy and radio background has the audience always wondering what he will say next and almost always producing laugh-out-loud moments on the game show. It also doesn’t hurt that Steve Harvey is as nice as he seems. Being genuine is always an asset in the media world.

I said there were six hosts of this show over the years, Richard Dawson was the first and Steve Harvey is the current host, but you probably can’t name the other four without looking it up on Google. And that’s my point.

Personalities are the difference maker.

Radio leaders talk a good game when it comes to telling us how important local talent is to the power of great radio, but it’s time they put their investment monies where their mouths are, by hiring and training the next generation of radio performers.

It’s time for the radio industry to focus on a change that matters.

Family Feud Hosts: Richard Dawson, Ray Combs, Louie Anderson, Richard Karn, John O’Hurley and Steve Harvey.
*Note: an earlier version of this post stated the date of Lloyd Price’s hit record “Personality” as 1957. It was updated to 1959 after a reader pointed out this error.

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Happy Glorious and Radiant Easter Morning

Dick has again asked me to share with you the beauty of this day through my word, and the spoken word.

My offering to you this day is definitely not radio, but more of a fire side reality chat of the heart.

“We have been created for greater things, to love and be loved”

– Mother Teresa

PASSION

Each and every one of us has a passion, a desire, a love.  This is something that you are born with, and if pursued- develops and grows with you in life.   It begins with a “word”- a spirited desire- It is the offing of many children’s books- “you can be anything or anyone that you want to be”. Starting with -“I want to be a fireman, policeman, garbage man, fisherman, teacher, president, doctor, lawyer, nurse, musician, or mom, the possibilities are endless.  If this path is followed, an energetic zeal develops into another category, something that ultimately joins forces with a degree, a certification or powerful idea.  These can then be put into action and move toward what and who you were born to be. With this sticktoitiveness the outcome always, always equals – “the want to care for someone other than yourself.” But whenever or wherever it is found, it is the influential entity of who you are, where your thoughts live, what you think and also the people you associate with that now is leading you to fulfilling – who you were meant to be. 

“If you can’t figure out your Purpose, figure out your passion.

For your Passion will lead you right into your Purpose.”

-T.D. Jakes

You most assuredly will find confusion in your own wants and thoughts, as the people around you try to direct and steer you toward “their” path of what’s best for you, where you should live, and what you should do in this life. But…

Do not abandon yourselves to despair.

You have been selected by a force greater than yourself

to step into your God given calling, listen and hear the conversation of your silent heart –

and then proceed.

IMAGINE

Now, take another “word” out of your pocket and put it in front of or behind your quiet inner passion-“Imagine.”                 

This is where “Passion” grows.

The following are just a few names of individuals who have walked thru many centuries of God’s time portal with a passion and a purpose to helping others and making a difference.  They took their “Imagine” and wrapped it in a “Passion.”

Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Alexander Graham Bell, Grace Hopper (Pioneer of Computer Programming), Larry Page (co-founder of Google), Albert Einstein(Quantum Theory of Light), Thomas Edison (sound recordings, mass communication, motion pictures), Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Nikola Tesla(1st alternating current-AC motor, AC generation and transmission technology), Gutenberg (printing press), Henry Ford (auto manufacturer also developing the assembly line), Leonardo da Vinci (inventor), Robert Fulton (Steamboat Inventor), Samuel Morse (Inventor of telegraph and Morse Code), the Lumiere Brothers (devised early motion picture camera and projector- known as the Cinématographe), George Washington Carver (known for inventing crop rotation), Marie Curie(discovery of Radium and Polonium), Louis Pasteur (Pasteurization), Oskar Schindler (credited with saving  the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust), Tom Jennings (first black man to receive a patent – Dry Scouring or Dry Cleaning), The Wright Brothers (aviation pioneers), Mother Teresa (dedicated her life to caring for the less fortunate), Jonas Salk (developed the polio vaccine), Tsukamoto (inventor and stem cell researcher) and Peter Tsai (inventor of N95 Mask).

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with Great Love.”

-Mother Teresa

Gratitude

This past year, we as God’s children, have been wrapped deep in the reality of a global pandemic, on the East coast the release of a 17 year cicada & lantern fly bug infestation, a drought in the West, environmental devastation by climate change, food insecurities, political unrest and now a senseless war in the Ukraine. If we are not actually living and experiencing these things, we are witnessing our fallen world through the news.

In spite of all these negatives, we should be so grateful for the other side of the coin, those that have come forward with their positive “Imagine” word. These people have put their “Passions” to work finding solutions and cures, bringing food and shelter to the homeless, defending and standing up for the weak and meek. These are God’s children in action. People with great passion can make the impossible happen. They choose not to yell, as yelling silences the message, they speak and move quietly so that one hears God’s voice.

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is not promised. We have only Today. Let us Begin”

-Mother Teresa

Imagine Your Passion

People of the world engaged in social media tend to post lovely quotes that sometimes make your heart sing with emotion. But why can’t we take God’s Hand and step into a different journey, by getting out there and actually trying to imagine a passion of serving, and stirring the pot of change. What is stopping us?

Do it quietly, be that walking sermon; one thing, each day, just one. Our time on this planet is getting shorter and shorter, and even though we are one person, we have been given this gift to change one life. Do this not for the benefit of your ego, but for walking the path that we have actually been directed to follow. Ask yourself, why not, and DO IT.  Find and discover the person you were created to be – If you can find the God inside yourself, you will be able to find the God inside every living creature.

“Spread Love Everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

-Mother Teresa

Reach for the Hand of God, see His beauty, develop your Imagined Passion to soar and reverberate throughout the ages.

“WE are all the Easter People and Hallelujah is OUR Song”

-Pope John Paul 11

Susan Towley is a graduate of Concordia University with a degree in Family Life Education, is a Certified Grief Counselor and Guided Imagery Therapist. God joined us together in 2018.

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Less Is More

When I was a market manager for Clear Channel, the company president introduced a new concept for reducing our commercial load, he called it “Less Is More.” It sounded good on the surface, however instead of reducing on-air clutter it introduced shorter length commercials. Each of my radio stations now aired ads that were as short as 5-seconds down to 1-second in length. This meant more ads could be run in a spot break. For example, the time it would take to run four minute length commercials, with Less Is More stations could now run six half-minute commercials or twelve 15-second commercials etc. Listeners don’t consider the length of a commercial break, but the number of different elements that air in a break.

Radio Commercials

If there’s one thing radio listeners tend to always agree on, when it comes to improving the radio listening experience, it’s reducing the number of commercials. That means the number of ads that air in a single commercial break, as well as the total number ads broadcast each hour.

Clear Channel recognized this listener issue, but by introducing shorter length ads, the “Less Is More” initiative added more elements to each stop-set. To the radio listener, the amount of clutter increased and in essence, made their favorite radio stations less listenable.

Commercial Free Radio

It was in 2008, when New York’s CD 101.9 WQCD dropped its Smooth Jazz format to switch to playing rock music with the new call letters WRXP.  Not finding any radio station in the greater New York City area that programmed the Smooth Jazz format, I would search online and discover Sky.FM.

They offered more than one flavor of Smooth Jazz music programming and it quickly filled my appetite for this musical genre. They only stopped the music twice an hour, once to tell me that I could hear this music without interruption by becoming a premium subscriber and the other announcement was about how they were looking to hire more IT personnel.

Those were the only two announcements and they lasted about 30-seconds in length, but over time, it was like Chinese water torture; so, I went online to find out how much it would cost to become a premium subscriber, learning it would cost me only $49/year. But that wasn’t all, that fee also increased the audio quality of the stream .

I was hooked and remained a subscriber, only leaving the service when I got my first Amazon Echo and Radio Tunes (formerly known as Sky.FM) wasn’t available on the service.

Recently a reader of this blog, told me that he listened to commercial free Radio Tunes on his Amazon smart speakers and I’m a subscriber once again.

My wife Sue loves Pandora and for Valentine’s Day 2022, I bought her Pandora Premium. This is their top service, it’s commercial-free and offers listeners the ability to ask for any song and immediately hear it. Plus she still can listen to any of Pandora’s wonderfully curated channels and skip any songs she doesn’t like.

Repetition Breeds Acceptance

I often hear people say they get tired of hearing the same songs over and over. Yet, successful radio stations often employ strategies that can seem counter-intuitive. They achieve the more variety music position by playing fewer songs. They reach a larger audience by targeting and focusing on a more narrowly defined audience.

By subscribing to Pandora and Radio Tunes we didn’t eliminate music repetition, we eliminated the programming elements that interrupted the music. It’s the music repetition of our favorite songs that actually attracts us.

In fact, I remember when Sirius and XM were still two separate subscription satellite radio entities, the most listened to commercial free music channels on both of them were HITS 1 and Top 20 on 20; both of which had the highest music repetition.

Dave Van Dyke, the President & CEO at Bridge Ratings Media Research, said that globally there are 3.6 music streamers for every paid subscriber. So, don’t completely count commercially supported radio out yet.

Great Radio Ads

When I was managing radio stations in Iowa back in 1999, my two sons came to visit. Before they left, they made what you might think is an unusual request, they wanted to know if I could make copies of the radio commercials my stations aired and put them on a cassette to bring back with them to New Jersey.

I also remember being at a house party and the radio station providing the music entertainment was largely background, until they stopped the music to play some commercials, and everyone would hush the conversation so they could listen. Yes, the radio ads this station created were that good.

I’m a graduate of The Wizard of Ads Wizard Academy in Austin, Texas. Roy H. Williams has been teaching radio folks for years about what makes an effective radio ad. Following Roy’s lessons, my advertisers have been very successful.

Radio commercials aren’t bad.

Bad radio commercials are.

Radio’s secret ingredient is the radio personality. Great radio talent has been effectively telling their listeners about all types of businesses, products and services for decades.

I need go no further than radio’s greatest salesman, Paul Harvey.

I own two BOSE Wave Radios because of Paul Harvey. What makes this so amazing is that I listened to him broadcasting on an AM radio station, but Paul was selling me a radio that would play FM stereo and CDs with the highest fidelity.  

While Paul Harvey was a news commentator, he called himself a salesman. His audience knew that he used the products and services he advertised. Harvey personally wrote the radio commercials he would broadcast.

Among his many accolades, the one Paul Harvey was most proud to have received was being named “Salesman of the Year.”

Paul Harvey loved his advertisers, saying “I am fiercely loyal to those willing to put their money where my mouth is.”

Creating great radio, means leveraging the power of the medium to deliver an engaged audience for its advertisers. That means reducing the number of ads in a commercial cluster and reducing the number of ads per hour, making sure every ad is about the listener and their life.  

Tomorrow has always been better than today.

And it always will be.

-Paul Harvey

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Hiking Time

Taking the weekend off to go hiking in the mountains of West Virginia, where it truly is “almost heaven.”

Back next Sunday with a new blog article on “What Makes Your Radio Station Unique?”

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Grateful for Your Readership

Back next week with the year’s most impactful articles

on DTB in 2021.

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Celebrating Our 3rd Anniversary

It seems like only yesterday, that we met,

yet I can’t remember my life before Sue.

Grateful for our Wonderful Life Together.

++++++++++++++++++

Back next week with a blog to motivate your thinking in a positive direction.

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Almost Heaven

Sue & I are taking a few days off to rejuvenate our souls and connect with the beauty that is fall in West Virginia.

John Denver got it right, when he penned “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

I hear her voice in the mornin’ hour, she calls me
The RADIO reminds me of my home far away
Drivin’ down the road, I get a feelin’
That I should’ve been home yesterday, yesterday

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain mama
Take me home, country roads

Coming next Sunday, a blog article about how

“Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast.”

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Still On The Beach

From north Jersey to south Jersey,

we’re loving summer at the Jersey Shore.

Back with a new blog article on Sunday, August 15th.

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It’s Beach Time

After a year of not traveling due to COVID19,

it’s good to be able to visit family once again.

Back with a new blog article on August 15th.

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