December 16, 2016

Year-End AT ISSUE: Radio’s Future Path for 2017 and Beyond!
By Fred Deane


For this Year-End feature we asked our panel to address the suggested areas as outlined below, or to simply express their thoughts about the topic on their own terms.

  • What are the biggest challenges radio will confront in 2017, and which areas will these challenges predominantly come from?
  • Is radio’s product good enough (content and delivery) to successfully compete in the vast digital multi-media arena, and what advancements need to be addressed to insure growth and product optimization?   
  • What pitfalls must radio avoid to remain competitively astute and at the top of its game?    
  • What are your bold predictions for each of the radio and the music industries for the forthcoming year?


Dom Theodore

Dom Theodore, CEO, RadioAnimal Media Strategies and VP/Programming, The Blaze Radio Network

There are four areas I will address regarding our biggest challenges.
(1) Over-leveraging: Too many companies are over-leveraged positions and can't possibly make their notes. This will lead to further cuts that have already devastated the products at most radio stations. Add to that the fact that there's very little innovation going on right now because larger companies are so risk-adverse, and you can easily see the challenges. Sadly, this is self-inflicted.

(2) Revenue: Will continue to decline in 2017 overall due to competition for ad dollars from new media, combined with a very flawed ratings system where the sample churn is too low and the sample size is too small. Some of this is self-inflicted, and some of it is simply radio's lack of telling our story very well to the advertising community.

(3) Lack of compelling, exclusive content: The commoditization of radio content has taken away the special relationship that used to exist between a radio station and their listeners. This is having multiple bad affects. First, content beyond just the music is boring and not very interactive because the jock is usually recorded. Secondly, we are inspiring the audience less and less, which has made radio less attractive for creative young people to pursue a career, and lastly, the lack of engagement is not helping our position with advertisers. Sure, there's lots of perceptual data and even PPM analysis that will say we should "Shut up and play the hits," but the reason isn't simply because the audience simply doesn't want "talk.”  The reason is because the content really hasn't been very good. Again, this is self-inflicted.

(4) Lack of investment into the product: The downward spiral above has led to companies further cutting their investments into their products. This only amplifies the problem and causes even less audience engagement. The question isn't about how many people are still USING radio, the question is how much do they still CARE about radio? Sure, canned products can still produce an audience, but how passionate is that audience about their choice? If we are not creating passion on the part of the listener, we will simply watch our position decline year after year.

Regarding our delivery systems, they are not the problem. Most stations have kept up with new delivery systems, between streaming, apps, podcasts, etc. What we haven't improved are the 'deliveries' themselves. To me, this is the single biggest threat to radio. Whomever has the best 'delivery' will win regardless of 'delivery system.’

There's a reason savvy media types like Les Moonves are divesting from delivery systems such as radio stations and local TV stations. They want to focus on content. It used to be that whoever owned the delivery system was the king, because there really wasn't a more efficient way to reach mass audiences. Now? Everybody has their own digital delivery system, and consumers just gravitate toward great content whether it's delivered online directly or through a terrestrial broadcast system. Consumers for the most part don't make distinctions between delivery systems as long as the content is easy to obtain. They are simply looking for good content.

Just ask the record industry how well it worked for them trying to hang on to the old model of a single distribution system that they control. Remember the original Napster? The record industry lost control of their delivery system long ago, but didn't realize it until it was almost too late. Artists now have their own direct delivery system and the labels have realized their roles have changed in many ways.

Don't rely on the delivery system, focus on creating better 'deliveries.’ Radio needs to invest again in the single biggest point of differentiation we have - and that's TALENT. We need to resist the temptation to continue to cut and cheapen the product, and instead make investments into talent development and building great talent brands on the local level. This is the best opportunity we have, content exclusivity that's meaningful and relevant. We also need to focus our efforts on not just creating brands that people use, but creating brands that people are passionate about. If listeners have a genuine emotional attachment to your brand, they won't seek other brands. There is an art and a science to this, which is why most companies don't want to invest in it, because accountants don't like investing in 'art' since it's tough to quantify. We also need to become less risk-adverse. Companies need to take chances and try unconventional content concepts if we want to recapture audience passion. Let the creative types create! Give them the funding and support that they need to impact the audience. We simply aren't going to get innovation if we insist on doing what we've always done.

I am hopeful that 2017 will be a year of significant positive change in the radio industry, but not without some pain along the way. There will be a day of reckoning for some of the over-leveraged operators, and I believe some of those companies will be affordably acquired by creative operators that actually want to be in this space. You will see more innovation coming from smaller and mid-market operators who have longer-term operating plans. Revenue will continue to be a struggle for the reasons cited above. And morning shows will have lots and lots of new material as Trump takes office!



Toby Knapp

Toby Knapp, APD, WIHT (HOT 99.5)/Washington, DC

I think our biggest challenges will be - speaking as talent -  the challenges we create for ourselves. As talent, I think we need to realize we're not just personalities. We're influencers, and I think really owning that means we're going to have to live out loud even more so than we already do. Today's morning show host is competing with many others for the attention of those who just want to be entertained, who want a companion, whatever. If we as talent aren't willing to embrace it all, we will get left behind. Sadly, I've seen this happen over the last 10-15 years.  People who still think it's okay to do the four or five and hit the door. People who don't think they need to blog on station websites. Who don't think they need to be where our audience is. That's not gonna cut it anymore. Just like we said when we rolled out our now iconic iHeartRadio app on virtually every screen and device on the planet, we must be where our fans want us when they want us, vocal, willing to engage and ready to entertain, console, listen, talk and laugh. With or without the benefit of hit music. This excites me because as personalities, it means we'll have an even more engaging and intimate relationship with our fans. That brings up another challenge, which is engagement. Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook Messages, all of these are our new request line. We better not 'busy them out' or again, our fans will punch out. 
            We all face challenges. Everyone wants to move our cheese. Strap on your pads. Tighten the shoelaces. Put on your helmet. Get in the game and do amazing things. Use everything as a weapon and engage. Find every opportunity to win and create and entertain and do it out loud. Make more noise than your competitors and make it compelling noise. Remember that guerilla tactics can now be used on the streets, on-air and now, online. Everything is an advantage. Get the most passionate, most creative, most compelling misfits and personalities you can find and let 'em do what they do. Get the best radio scientists you can find and give them what they need to give you, the best data analysis you can get. And most importantly, get those who have gigantic hearts because that is what connects, and no algorithm or rotation or series of ones and zeroes or code can ever replace that, and that is our greatest weapon against anything which comes against us. Heart.

I don't like the idea that 'good enough' is a good idea. We need to be great. Our content needs to be great. The best. Because that's what wins. Great content from engaging personalities delivered to fans where they want it at any time they want it will always continue to win and as an added bonus. Our content comes with an awesome soundtrack.

The biggest pitfall, again speaking as talent, is staying stuck in the past. Yesterday already happened. Today is in progress. Tomorrow is on the way. You won't get a second chance at today. So make it count. We have to constantly be pushing the envelope to find out where the edges used to be and we cannot be afraid to leave our comfort zone as talent to do it. Embrace the unknown and ride the chaos. Same goes for our businesses. We have to try new things. We can't get by with 'good enough' and we can't think that something is okay just because it is what was always done before. I also believe we need to avoid the pitfall of “superficiality,” meaning we, as content artists and programmers, need to be mindful that the best music, the best songs, the content can come from anyone, anywhere and at any time from someone with something to say and we need to continue to pursue those who get the ‘real’ with abandon, who connect with the heart, and give them a platform to do just that. If we do, I believe our fans will love us for it.

As far bold predictions, compelling people with amazing content will be given more and more opportunities to create on even more levels and this will be awesome for our fans. I also think we're going to see more and more of the idea that we are 360-degree content artists, influencers and individual brands linked to our amazing broadcast brands who engage our audiences where they want us when they want us. The one prediction I know to be absolutely true is that change is a constant and we will continue to innovate with passion! The great thing about riding this whirlwind of constant change and evolution is that it's an amazing ride, and we all win as fans of music and content and the art of entertainment and Pop culture. We ALL win. 



Jimmy Steal

Jimmy Steal, VP Emmis Programming/Emmis Digital PD & PD, Power106, LA

The #1 most important challenge we continue to confront as an industry is finding the next wave of talented content creating personalities. Facebook claims they’re not a media company but a tech company, yet it’s not their “tech” but their user generated CONTENT bringing Facebook both billions in users and revenue.  

I’ve had some key openings last year at Power 106 casting a wide net to both those experienced and those outside our industry.  I’m blessed to be at Emmis where we believe unconventional places are a great place to look for talent (parking garage attendants, podcasters, street vendors, bartenders, etc.)  Yet no matter where you look the scarcity of truly compelling talent separating you from your competition is daunting. Are we all working hard enough on developing impactful personalities that create engaging content or are we focused elsewhere, managing things that have zero impact on our brands appeal?

How many true influencers do you have at your station?  Do people care about what your personalities have to say? Post? Endorse?  Is your product just another “me too” generic utility station, doomed to a Titanic-like fate by your 10 in a row mentality?  You can turn on a multitude of streams from any app on your phone and hear a freaking zillion songs in a row, so how’s that 10 in a row working for you? 

Unique talent drives consumption across ALL platforms.  Howard for Sirius, Rachel Maddow for MSNBC, the recently honored Vin Scully for Dodger baseball, James Cordon (Carpool Karaoke) for CBS-TV, and Kevin Spacey’s House of Cards for Netflix.  
Take the stars of The Big Bang Theory. They make a million dollars PER episode for just one reason, they’re NOT the 10 in a row sitcom!  These actors make a difference by creating something no one else can, unique content that drives ratings and revenue for their network. 

When was the last time you heard someone say I can’t miss listening to my favorite radio station because it’s the station everyone at work can agree on?  Really? Or how about because they play the most Variety of the 80s, 90s and Today?  Ugh. To paraphrase Bill Clinton, it’s the personality stupid!  

Our job is not for our brands to just have presence across all the digital portals, you get no points for just showing up, our job is to create unique content that engages by building daily cume and inspiring loyalty (TSL = habitual consumption)!  Take care of this challenge and all of our other challenges take care of themselves!

Find and develop personalities who are passionate about creating brilliant audio, social and video content now!  It is not easy to do, if it were easy every sitcom would be as successful as The Big Bang Theory and every personality would be as successful as Howard.  So please always prioritize talent!  If we fail to identify and attract the next generation of gifted entertainers to our industry today, we’ll have no stars in our broadcast universe tomorrow.



R Dub!

R Dub!, President Fusion Radio Networks & Director of Programming for Z90 & Magic 92.5/San Diego

Our biggest challenge will be the continued and brutal fight for attention with everything else mobile and digital. The number of “choices” for entertainment and how listeners consume it will continue to expand exponentially, and keeping people not just consuming, but intrigued, entertained, interested and vested in our business, content and methods of distribution, will continue to become more challenging than ever.

It’s tough to generalize if the product is good enough, because some products are absolutely stellar while others are downright embarrassing. First, I propose the industry get together and put together a minimum set of quality standards. This will be a hard conversation for many (if it ever happens at all) but is absolutely necessary. There’s an elephant in the room (poor content, little or no investment of product, etc.) that is rarely addressed. It’s only our future at stake.

We’ve got to look at the business as broadcasters and not just investment properties. This is essential not just for our growth but to save the future of the medium. How can we make our product better, every year; really improve it, not just talk in BS jargon and politically-correct phrases.  We have to give back the channels for training up-and-coming talent that we used to have…overnights, weekend shifts, live shows in small markets. We need to do a better job cultivating new talent, because our pool is drying up fast. We must put a renewed emphasis on talent and product and avoid short term, quarter-to-quarter thinking. A renewed investment in the product will cost up front, but will bring in long term dividends in the future.
 
I’d hurt too many people’s feelings if I gave all my honest predictions. I’ll say that I am very hopeful and am encouraged seeing the lead a few broadcast companies have taken lately, in re-focusing on being “broadcasters,” while still turning a profit. There are some guys out there really shaking things up and going back to the roots of broadcasting while at the same time adapting to the digital era. My hope is that others follow.



Jonathan Shuford

Jonathan Shuford, PD, WRVW/Nashville

Our biggest challenge is NOISE. We’ve pretty much figured out that the digital space is where we face our stiffest competition, and as more and more music-based products and that space continue to develop, radio has to do it’s part to not only keep up digitally but cut through the noise and be the option that consumers prefer.

Our product is absolutely good enough, but complacency brings failure.  We can’t say, “Well we have a website, we’re good” or “We have an app!” We have to continue to monitor trends, re-invent ourselves, and find new ways to engage with our listeners in ways that our competitors can’t.

As for the pitfalls to avoid, I’ve already mentioned complacency.  But I think the other obstacle that we as an industry face is negativity.  I’ve been in so many meetings over the years where people say, “Oh, that’d be cool but we don’t have the budget” or “Well yeah, if we had a staff.”  Those are excuses.  We’re a medium that was founded on creativity.  Get creative and focus on solutions rather than problems.  It’s amazing how much we as an industry can get accomplished if everyone embraces that mindset.

For the music industry, I think we’re not that far away from the “album deal” being a thing of the past.  You’ll start seeing artists signed for a specific number of singles, freeing them up to create on their own timetable and move product to their fan base more efficiently.

 


Jeff Hurley

Jeff Hurley, iHeartMedia SVPP, Allentown-Harrisburg Region

Our biggest challenge is telling OUR story and showing the enormous power of our brands.  Agencies and buyers need to be educated about our reach and continued high-levels of listenership, even in a fractured media landscape.  We remain MASS media with an unrivaled reach.

I believe we are competitive enough in the multi-media world but we can never rest on our laurels.  We need to be where our audience is, before they arrive. That’s why I’m so excited about the newest rollouts for the iHeartradio app.  The PLUS and ALL ACCESS tiers are complete gamechangers for our industry.

The biggest pitfall we should avoid is that we can’t program like it’s still 1996.  There’s so many stations that still sound and behave like they’re the only game in town for music.  There’s literally thousands of ways to get music.  We need to be a companion and provide the most compelling programs possible, across all platforms.

 


Mike Henry

Mike Henry CEO, Paragon
As with any competition, the biggest challenges come from within. Will radio invest in its on-air product? Will it serve the interests of the local community? Will there be local talent? Will it strive for relevance with meaningful external marketing? Radio is a survivor medium, but radio’s survival rate depends on the industry’s ability to invest in its own stations and serve local audiences, and not just stockholders.

As for the foundation of radio’s product…The notion of curated content for local audiences does absolutely have a big seat at the table. More and more, the inadequacies of digital media to touch the human soul grows, and the meaningfulness of curated local content and engagement increases. The execution of radio’s product comes down to a station-by-station process that sometimes fills this opportunity, but often times, it does not. All one has to do is look at the average age of users of every platform from radio on down to apps, which shows a clear contrast in platform users by age. It should be clear that radio must continue to push its content to wherever people can access it to stay relevant to younger demos. But, especially with younger targets, it still comes down to the content, which is still king. Radio stations must budget more aggressively in research and marketing to complete the mission.

Radio can’t afford to lose its position as being “local.” Most digital competition, by nature, is global. Radio stations with a tower, by nature, are local. Most streaming services are programmed by computers, not people. Radio must never lose its core local propositions as it fulfills digital distribution opportunities.

There will be at least three new music discovery stations launched on public radio in 2017. This is good for the listeners in the new service areas who gain exposure to emerging artists and a world of new music, and it’s good for artists and the music industry who reach new audiences.

 


Kobe

Kobe, PD, WWHT/Syracuse

Disruption is our biggest challenge. Now more than ever our listeners have more options and they are all fighting for the same thing…their attention and time. Radio is not just radio, it’s social, it’s digital, it’s social media, it’s video. We’re not just in the radio business, we’re in the content business.

Regarding the quality of radio’s product, I would say yes and no. Are there people just killing what they do? Yes, there are many great personalities creating some really compelling content while being authentic and creating a strong bond between them and the listener. But at the same time, there are some jocks who aren’t doing as good of a job, and it may not be their fault. Have they had a mentor or teacher to demonstrate the right way and the wrong way? To grow, we need to constantly teach our understudies to be the best they can be, even if that means they’ll be better than us.  

In order to remain at the top of our game, I think we just need to be real and authentic. Be aware that the CHR listener knows our tricks and tactics more than any other format in radio. They are savvy, they can smell our BS when we try to push it on them. The introduction of PPM helped us de-clutter and turn down the hype a great deal. We can’t forget that, we always need to be in that mindset.

I think for the record industry we are getting closer and closer each year to the end of CD’s. They’ll still exist, but more similarly to how vinyl exists now. Once the record labels have their majority of profits coming from streaming versus CD’s, that will change the game a bit.  For radio I think you’ll see more authenticity than ever before. Good jocks won’t be judged on how slick they are editing phones, or how they hit the post, or any other way we’ve judged jocks for the past 30 or 40 years. We’ll be judging how good a jock is by how well they connect with the audience, how active they are in the community, and how real they are on-air. Anyone can read liners, we need real personalities now more than ever.

 


Mike O’Donnell

Mike "OD" O’Donnell, OM, Entercom Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA & PD, WKRZ & WGGY

My concern going forward is how do we stay relevant as the digital space continues to expand with more choices and more distractions from what is good entertainment. With so many choices we also have so much clutter.

I have been following my ongoing belief that radio will ultimately survive on what made us great in the beginning. Unique brands, unique personalities, and unique ties to our community that creates a bond with your fans. You can find a thousand options out there that are generic and they all sound exactly the same. Let’s take our uniqueness and maximize our place in the digital arena. If radio does this, we will never get lost in the generic and in some cases bad sea of generic content out there.

Do not lose your identity as a brand. Do not forget who you are.  Remember why you are successful and why your brand wins while tackling what we need to do to be competitive in the future.

Radio will continue to hold its own compared to some of the other mediums that are experiencing a dying transformation. With that said, radio must expect more competition as the digital dash becomes more commonplace. The music industries will continue to find new and interested artists in non-traditional places. I also feel that we will continue to have a better cycle of music in 2017. We had some really good stuff come out in 2016 and I see it continuing.

 

Brad Kelly, Managing Director of Nielsen Audio
Media fragmentation continues to be the biggest challenge for radio programmers and brand managers. Consumer behavior is adapting rapidly to the relentless evolution of technology. These trends have sparked an ever-growing number of media choices. In the face of all these choices, it is more crucial than ever to understand radio’s brand, loyal consumers and what really cuts through the clutter. The good news is that radio has a huge advantage because it is the biggest weekly reach medium. The question is how to stay in front of your fans across all these new platforms while staying consistent with your brand’s strengths and position.

When you have 93% of the population tuning in on a weekly basis, it’s a pretty good indication that your product is fundamentally sound (forgive the pun). Radio has personalities and content that connect with the audience on an individual and locally relevant way, and it delivers a reach story that digital media simply can’t touch. When it comes to competing media, it’s not really a battle over technology. In the long run it’s about creating content that speaks to what’s important to our listeners and making sure they know where to find it. Anybody can stitch together a bunch of songs. Consistently delivering live, local content which will attract and engage a marketable audience and can’t be found anywhere else, is ultimately the real challenge. That’s what radio excels at and why it continues to be able to successfully cut through the competitive noise. Radio wins by focusing on its strengths. Radio wins by continuing to utilize this remarkable (and enviable) platform to reach, entertain, inform and motivate millions of local consumers. But admittedly the world is changing and we need to keep pace with the consumer. It’s important that we make our unique content available to consumers in a manner through which they are most comfortable. Whether that’s traditional over-the-air broadcast, streaming, podcast, social media or whatever new platform tomorrow brings us.

A 100-year-old medium and still the undisputed champ. What a story. Say it loud, say it proud! In addition to its tremendous reach, radio offers highly targeted audiences and delivers content that is relevant and important to local consumers everywhere. We are already incredibly competitive. We just need to believe it! The danger we face is falling into the trap of the algorithm-generated playlist “jukebox” approach that’s standard fare among so many digital audio providers. Never lose sight of the value of our unique personalities, “stationality” and branding that connects to the distinctive nature of our local audiences. If we continue to do that while also expanding our distribution to include all of the current and emerging delivery channels (broadcast, digital, social, events, etc.) audio will remain vital to our local communities.

My bold prediction (safe bet prediction) is that radio will maintain its huge reach advantage next year and well beyond, while the digital brands will make a lot of noise but won’t come close to matching what radio provides its local communities. It also wouldn’t surprise me to see accelerated consolidation on the digital side of the media world as online brands look for ways to compete with the scale of broadcast media. It’s interesting, we are already witnessing a fundamental shift with how people consume music. Americans (and millennials in particular) are increasingly consuming music via YouTube and a myriad of streaming services. But the time spent with these digital brands appears to be largely at the expense of their own music libraries, not live and local radio. Further testament to the staying power of this industry.

 


Robby Bridges

Robby Bridges, Cumulus Media, Director of FM Programming
I have a buzz word for radio (or really anyone with a brand marketing to the public): authenticity. Take politics out of the 2016 Presidential election and look at it sociologically. The supporters of both major party candidates fervently responded to their choice and believed the other was a liar or worse. An objective look at the President-elect: he certainly doesn't speak like most any other politician; he speaks plainly, he pushes emotional buttons for his supporters when addressing their interests and he speaks in second person even when addressing a big crowd. Folks that supported him respond to their perception that he is "authentic.” Frankly, I believe he overcame many controversial remarks because his voters put that "shoot straight" style above all else. Even her most vehement opponents, I would think, can agree that Secretary Clinton has far more experience in government and much more in-depth, detailed plans than Mr. Trump put forth.

Yes politics, demographics, etc. played a role in the outcome BUT I think the most interesting takeaway, at least as it applies to those of us marketing brands to the public: BE AUTHENTIC to your core audience. They will respond, they will be loyal, they will keep coming back. Present clear messaging, offer one-on-one intimacy in communicating, share their passion and fulfill what they need.

Radio is supremely well-poised to be the medium that super-serves in this way and I think with more slices of the pie, it's more important than it has ever been. (Although we don't always do it as well as we did when there were only three slices in the pie.) Our brands and the content they create need to resonate and connect: they'll listen, they'll use our digital services, social media...but it starts with the clarity of the core business.

 


Fred Jacobs

Fred Jacobs, Jacobs Media
My New Year’s wish is that 2017 is the period when radio gets serious about the pursuit of “other.”  That’s the term the industry uses to describe revenue that isn’t tied to :30s, :60s, :15s, and :10s.

In the realm of “other,” we’re talking digital content creation: video and podcasting at the top of the list, as well as event marketing. These are the categories with “up arrows” – it’s where eyeballs and dollars are heading, while traditional spot revenue is flat at best. It starts with understanding your audience. What are the platforms they prefer and use? What types of content can your station produce (videos, podcasts, streams, etc.) that your audience would embrace and consume? How can you use these tools to expand your “tent” – grow your audience and your revenue?

That’s why we continue to conduct our annual Techsurveys and why you should strongly consider participating this year. These national studies help the 200+ stakeholder stations that participate gain a better understanding of the platforms, gadgets, and outlets their audiences use to entertain and inform themselves. With these tools, and an honest assessment of what a brand has to offer, it is possible to create and design a viable digital strategy.

And not a moment too soon. Content creators across the spectrum are amping up their efforts to expand their brands into new audio and video spaces to keep pace with changing audiences. To make matters more challenging for broadcasters, radios both at home and in the workplace are disappearing, while the car dashboard creates a tougher environment for radio with each passing year.

That’s an important reason why our “New Pyramid” test is something that every radio station brand should take. It’s a reworking of the iconic Coleman Insights pyramid with a twist. While personalities and occupying a well-defined format lane are part of the foundation of this brand pyramid, other key content elements play major roles.

Specifically, SOMOVOPO – or social, mobile, video, and podcasting – are all essential building blocks in the development of a healthy radio brand. You’ll also notice the local piece, as well as event marketing, part of achieving the “other” goal mentioned earlier.

Radio’s ability to enjoy a successful 2017, as well as remaining healthy into the next decade, will not come from merely playing the hits, keeping it tight, locking in benchmarks, and giving away cash.

It will be about extending and growing its best brands into areas, platforms, and gadgets that are increasingly popular with consumers. Assessing how your station fares on a different branding yardstick is an important first step in unlocking the benefits of creating a successful “other” strategy.

 


Bob Quick

Bob Quick, Quick Radio Consulting
Some of the biggest challenges will be fighting the battle with agencies, advertisers, and other media (new and old) over the common perception of radio losing listeners. Whatever side you are on, the perception is we're a dying media. The battle for every dollar becomes harder and harder, and without some real research into this issue we will lose.  The research must come from an independent voice to support our strengths, not from Nielsen or the RAB or any stakeholder.

Our product won’t be good if we're relying on syndication and "that was, this is" local talent. People will find great talent wherever it is. If we don't have the resources to invest in our talent, we should search for the blogger, YouTube, or Instagram star to extend their brand to our medium.

One pitfall we should avoid is slashing costs to improve profitability. Building brands takes time and investment, and we've lost sight of that.

In 2017 one of the biggies will go bankrupt and someone we know will pick up some of the good pieces to get back in the game.

[eQB Content By Fred Deane]



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