Interep: Radio Must Embrace Technology or Face the Consequences
February 24, 2005
Interep held a meeting a New York last week that allowed advertising agency executives to have an open dialogue with several radio broadcasters and give their input on the major challenges that are facing radio. Some of the topics discussed were radio's relationship with new technologies, the importance of maintaining compelling radio content, and the opportunities presented by HD radio. The consensus was that radio must embrace the new technology that is out there or face the consequences.
David Kennedy, President and CEO of Susquehanna Media, said at the meeting, "Discussions on the future of radio often veer toward two poles on a continuum. On the one end, you hear, ‘Don’t worry about these new technologies... they’ll come, they’ll go, we’ll be fine.’ At the other extreme, you hear, ‘Radio is over. It’s dead.’ The truth is a lot closer to the middle. Radio is going to be fine if we pay attention." He continued, "There is awareness and understanding and motivation on the part of broadcasters to take advantage of new technologies – not fear them as much as understand them and embrace them. We know we can’t do it alone. The more we can talk together (with the ad community) and build this dialogue, the more effective we will be in achieving what we all want radio to accomplish."
Charles Warfield, President and COO of ICBC Broadcast Holdings, added, "We as broadcasters have not done the best job in communicating with the advertising community. There are a lot of projects that are being funded by broadcasters – that we are doing quietly – and we’re not talking about it. We as an industry have to bring these messages to the table. What we have been caught up in too long is selling against one another without talking about the value and benefits of radio. What you are going to start to hear is a different story about radio."
The discussion was the first in a series of meetings planned by Interep to increase the communication between radio stations and media decision makers.