December 7, 2018

If you were to summarize the year regarding radio’s growth in any areas, what would those areas be?

Java Joel, WAKS: Paying closer attention to what people are consuming. I remember a year ago around this time many were confounded by Post Malone’s “Rockstar”. Now, he’s a core artist. Let’s not let records by artists as disparate as Travis Scott & Lauren Daigle fall by the wayside simply because WE don’t think it “fits the format.” A hit is a hit. We are getting better at programming to the audience, rather than conforming to “stationality” every time.

Todd Shannon, WAPE: An increase in awareness and utilization of social platforms. The growth in our ability and desire to study the behaviors of the audience more and knowing when to shift focus and attention to other platforms. Essentially moving to where they’re at on a more frequent and timelier basis.

Buzz Knight, Beasley Media Group: Radio grew this past year in the manner that it embraced the world of podcasting. If you attended the great event Podcast Movement you could sense radio’s willingness to listen and learn from those far more familiar and comfortable in this space. We have a long way to go in building all of our own unique podcast brands, but many of us have begun the process with our eyes and ears opened.

Kobe, WWHT: I feel we’ve come a long way regarding digital integration and embracing podcasts. I’ve long been a proponent of extending our brands via podcasting. It’s convenient for the listeners, they listen on-demand on their time, and it’s pull content rather than push content.

Jeff Hurley, WLAN: As a whole, radio seemed to recognize that smart-speakers and podcasting were enormous opportunities for growth. It was refreshing to see almost the entire industry aggressively pursuing real-estate in those critical areas.

Kobi, WNRW/WLGX: Digital and streaming.

Jonathan Shuford, WRVW: As an industry, I think we grew in our ability to influence social media.

Kevin Kash, WIYY: Growth in digital platforms, social media. Radio also found a way back into homes with electronic assistants like Alexa, Google Home, etc.

Matt Johnson, KSLZ: I’m very pleased that we as an industry are finally fully embracing podcasting. It needs to be part of our formula going forward. We are audio entertainment, whether music or talk, and if we’re not there in a full committed way, we lose bigtime. Even if you’re an interesting personality on a music station, if someone wants to go deeper on you, why not give them the option when you have all the platform tools constantly at your disposable.

Chris K, The End: For us and our company in general, it was exciting to see the growth of the app which has been a big initiative for Entercom. It was the greatest growing music app of the year. It good to see that a lot of people are downloading it, liking it and making good use out of it.

Mike McVay, Cumulus Media: Podcasting is the growth area for the audio medium as of this moment. We’re in an ever-changing period, but podcasting has been the biggest news of the past year.

Fish Boy, WKRZ: Our war is with on-line streaming and with Top 40 our growth has to (and has) come from truly exposing the artists and embracing the artists in a way that we can highlight them in more detail on our various social platforms. In a concerted way, we can nurture artists and build them and make them into hit artists, you don’t get that with streaming.

Valentine, WBHT: It’s a tie between social media and streaming. I think everyone is finally embracing both.

Mike Miller, WZFT: Podcasts and streaming.

Rod Phillips, iHeartMedia: For Country, we really saw several artists who have launched in the last 3-4 years really settle in and join the ranks of the Country stars. From Luke Combs to Maren Morris to Russell Dickerson to Kane Brown to Jordan Davis to Brett Young, AND MANY more including Jon Pardi. It’s been fun to watch tomorrow’s superstars make a name for themselves now.

Brian Mack, WXXL: Radio broadcast companies are all finding ways to get in the mobile streaming game…they’re doing a great job!

Mike “OD” O’Donnell, WKRZ: Radio has done a good job expanding in the podcast space creating unique types of content. This allows us to not only find new audience niches, but also exposes that new audience to a brand that they may have never listened to before.

Sassy, WKXJ: Our ability as programmers to utilize analytics in a more constructive way regarding our evaluations of music. It will always be about our feel and sensibleness for our local markets, and given the local breakdown of the many consumer data points available to us, it makes our decisions that much more credible.

Jon Zellner, iHeartMedia: Streaming ad revenue, online listening, social engagement and podcast listenership.

Raphael Opida, WIOQ: From my perspective, radio’s growth this year is definitely coming from the smart speaker segment. Integration into these devices are key to radio’s long term success! You have to be where the people are, and Alexa / Google Siri are bringing the “radio” back into their homes (with a little more competition in Spotify/Pandora/Amazon Music).

Derrick “DC” Cole, WAEB: Podcasting! Need I say more? It doesn’t hurt to have another avenue for listeners to be able to connect to our brands and our personalities.

Gina Gray, WERO: In general, and for us at BOB 93 3, the ability to embrace all aspects of technology and diagonal options and put them to use more effectively than ever. We’re incorporating Alexa, Google and all of the digital platforms more into our imaging now. We feel totally plug in to our listenership.

Next Week’s Question Of The Week:
What have been your most rewarding moments both professionally and personally this year?
e-Mail your responses to: or