Over 247 million people tune in to radio every week. Their reason for tune-in varies; it may be to find out about the weather or to get traffic and transit updates. Whatever the reason, they all have one thing in common – they listen because of the connection they have with the radio station and the personalities on that station. During Advertising Week, radio’s ability to “provide a personal connection with listeners that no one else does” and “color a blank canvas” for sports fans was discussed during two separate sessions: “Let Us Entertain You” and “Huddle Up – Radio Sets the Score,” each moderated by RAB president and CEO Erica Farber.
“Let Us Entertain You,” a session comprised of some of radio’s CMOs and their powerhouse on-air talent, discussed radio’s ability to entertain listeners with live content, daily entertainment and news. When asked to explain “why radio,” each of the on-air talent on the panel expressed different reasons ranging from childhood experiences to being considered like a family member and connecting with the community. Danielle Monaro, Entertainment reporter on Z100’s Elvis Duran and the Morning Show, shared how the listeners trust her. “They feel like they are part of the family – like a sister or brother.” Radio also has the “ability to create experiences for people that they just can’t get anywhere else,’’ remarked Nikki Nite, VP of Programming & Operations at Entercom, Austin. John Tesh, host of the syndicated radio show “Intelligence For Your Life,” referenced how the information he provides is shared on social media, empowering his listeners to broadcast to their friends. These connections can deliver great value to advertisers.
Each of the personalities shared the partnership experiences that they have with various advertisers and the ability to brainstorm together. Boston’s 103.3 AMP host TJ Taormina commented that “everyone is willing to work with advertisers – don’t know if there’s another medium that is willing to do that.” If you would like to hear more, you can view the full session by clicking here.
“Huddle Up – Radio Sets the Score” tapped into how sports fans/radio listeners engage with not just the professional athletes they follow, but the radio personalities that report sports. Kevin Harlan, voice of Monday Night Football on Westwood One/Cumulus, spoke to the unique perspective that sports radio hosts provide fans in their “ability to feed the beast” and how his “words, expressions, etc. can color a blank canvas for listeners.” Sports fans are passionate about their teams as well as the players. Stephania Bell, Senior Writer & Injury Analyst at ESPN, noted that sports fans care about their players’ injuries. “They want to hear the stories about the recovery process – it’s the sentiment of watching an athlete go down and come back.”
Each of the personalities shared how they use social media. Evan Roberts, from Joe & Evan on WFAN-AM, sees social media as a way of extending his show – a way to speak to listeners past the time he is on- air. There were concerns raised about specific platforms. Michael Holley, co-host of the “Dale & Holley Show” on Boston’s WEEI-FM, believes that social media isn’t capable of capturing the entire conversation. “Radio is live. It’s happening while you are talking about it,” believes Harlan. There’s nothing casual about the audience. They know when you are right or wrong, Roberts commented. Len Berman, Emmy Award-winning sportscaster, New York Times Best-Selling author and co-host of “Len Berman and Todd Schnitt in the Morning” on WOR-AM, noted that radio is more personable. He has “made more of a connection, spoken and emailed with more listeners on radio than any of his years on TV.” If you would like to hear more, you can view the full session by clicking here.
So be it news, weather, traffic, sports or entertainment, people tune into radio because of the connection they have with the station and the on-air talent. They want to hear from someone they consider a friend – to make them laugh, share a story or hear about an experience. They listen to “see” the play-by-play action of the game or simply play Monday morning quarterback with the talent and other listeners. While reasons are all unique to the individual listener, the result is the same. Radio connects.
View “Let Us Entertain You” full session here.
View “Huddle Up – Radio Sets the Score” full session here.