Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Lund Letter

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

This Week in The Lund Letter:  
>   Programming for Market Managers
>   Music software tune-up
>   Radio’s top mainstream formats
>   And the latest media trends

Lund Management Alert: What Every General Manager Should Know About Programming 

checklist1808.jpgCongratulations! You have just been appointed Market Manager for a cluster of radio stations.  You have experienced program directors skilled in formatics, music, and talent development.  But, what should you know about programming to help you achieve your revenue goals?

Cluster Strategy

What demos must your cluster need to own to maximize revenue?  Owning Persons 25-54 is typically a top priority that can be achieved combining the audiences of several stations.

For example, a cluster may have an Active Rock station focusing on Men 18-40 and a Classic Rock targeting Men 40-64; if they have four stations in the cluster, the Top 40 can focus on Women 18-40 and the AC on Women 40-64.  This cluster is positioned to dominate the Persons 25-54 age cell with four products targeted to four different demos.

The Competitive Landscape

Are your stations playing offense or defense?  If you have the leading CHR, you play defense.  If your competitor is the leader, you play offense.  Identify your strengths.  If one is your morning show, put them under contract; if your strength is music quantity, stay true to your inventory limits.  Review past ratings for cume, Time Spent Listening, and hourly changes.  If your competitor leads, identify their weaknesses and attack them where they cannot play defense.  Consider a flanker strategy where you specialize in a niche.  A Rhythmic Top 40 is a flanker to Top 40; Classic Country flanks Country.


Perform a SWOT exercise with your staff.  Identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to each of your stations, and do the same for your competitors.  Spend a day outside of the station listening to it, and brainstorm your findings.


Ask your PDs about the music on each station.  Discuss the categories, the eras they represent, the rotations of each category, and how the songs are researched.  Identity the core artists and how often they are exposed each day.  Do programmers review music scheduling software analysis tools on a regular basis?   Does your programming staff know the station policy regarding music additions and record labels?  How are music decisions made?  How often is the library reviewed and updated?

Air Talents

Who are the key air talents?  What are their off-air duties (music scheduling, production, promotion, social media, voice-tracking other stations, personal appearances, etc.)?  How do they do show prep and what resources are used?  How often do they have coaching meetings?  Do they understand payola/plugola and the station/FCC policy regarding content?  Do they understand station policy regarding personal appearances and social media postings?  How often are their aircheck coaching sessions?

The Coverage Area

Do the demographics of the population within the station’s coverage area fit the target of the radio station?  For example, you wouldn’t program an urban station for a rural audience or an alternative station to a retirement community.

Commercial Inventory

How many stopsets air per hour compared to the head-on competition?  How many commercials per hour?  Is it based upon units or minutes? Is there an opportunity to be less cluttered than competitors?


Does the station depend on big giveaways during every rating period?  Does the station do revenue-generating events several times a year?  What have been successful promotions in the past?


What are the long-standing benchmarks in the morning or other dayparts?  An example would be an AC station changing format to play All Christmas music for an entire month, the morning show doing “Impossible Trivia” every morning, or a Classic Rock station doing Triple Shot Weekends.

Internal Marketing

What’s the promotional inventory, live mentions and recorded promos?  Are the following promoted hourly – the website, the stream, the app, the morning show, and at-work listening?  Are station attributes like music quantity and music quality imaged frequently?

Would you like to know more about managing programming?  Whether you are the GM, Market Manager, or Program Director, John Lund can create a workshop for your group or broadcast convention.  If you are with a radio station in Nebraska, John Lund is a featured speaker next week at the Nebraska Broadcast Convention and looks forward to meeting you!  For more information, contact John Lund.

Is Your Music Perfect?

musicscheduling18.jpgIt’s the #1 reason people listen to FM music stations.   Playing the right songs and managing your software controls are vital to a station’s success.  If you are the Program Director or Music Director, you might question whether you are maximizing your software and playing the best songs for your target.  Lund Media can assist you with a comprehensive music review and software tune-up.  What will we do?  We’ll conduct a complete analysis of your active playlist along with every aspect of your music software – rules, clocks, and rotations.   We also provide a quick turn-around.

Here’s why you need this:  The fall ratings sweeps begin next month, and this analysis results in perfecting all aspects of your music.  Here’s what we do:

>   Using a backup of your music software, we review the active playlist along with station’s demographic goals.

>   We note songs that don’t research well as well as ones that should be played but aren’t, along with rotation levels.

>   We review song rules and clocks.

>   Recommended changes are detailed via email and phone call.

>   We can make agreed upon changes in the software, and provide a follow-up software tune-up after the update.

Capitalize on the very thing listeners want most – the best researched music played in the best rotation for your target demo.  Our goal is to provide you with a complete music software analysis and tune-up to assure you sound perfect. It’s a small investment for a big payback.

Email John Lund for details and timetable.  If you mention you read this article in today’s Lund Letter, you’ll receive $500 off the cost of a one time music review and follow-up service.

Lund Programming Clinic: America’s Top Radio Formats

Top10.JPGOver two-thirds of all radio listening is to stations that present one of the top 10 rated formats.  69.1% of the US radio audience listen to these ten formats.  Doing a mainstream format wins the most audience.  The top two formats (Country and News-Talk) have over one-quarter of all radio listening (25.5%).  When you are planning to launch a new station or update a poorly performing FM, consider a top mainstream format.

What were the top formats in the US in 2017 according to Nielsen?

+   Country remains the most listened-to format with a 13.2 AQH share, which is down slightly from the previous year.

+   News-Talk is #2 gaining audience last year after the 2016 election bump (12.3 share).

+   AC is #3 (8.1).  Nielsen reports that AC has pulled ahead of Country in the first six months of 2018.

+   CHR is #4 (7.1), but the format has declined in the last six months.

+   Classic Rock is the #5 format (5.9), just ahead of Classic Hits #6 (5.7). The Classic Hits format does especially well in PPM markets.

+   Hot AC is next (4.9), and like CHR it has declined recently.

+   #8 is Urban AC (4.3), and #9 All Sports tied with Contemporary Christian (3.8).

Mainstream formats win the most audience.

Promotion of the Week: Count the Songs

countingsongs18.jpgThis game can be played two ways. In the first, the listener must count the songs by a specified artist or group that are played during a designated time frame. In the second, it is every song played that must be counted.  It takes a lot of loyal listening to win this game. Sometimes the game stretches over a period of days.

The best radio contests of all time include Secret Sound and Hi-Lo, and they are detailed in the Lund Contest and Promotions Guide, along with 200 more contests and sales promotions.  This is the most comprehensive radio contest collection ever published.  Click here to order your copy.

Lund’s Top 3:  Fall Ratings Insurance 

ThTop3B.jpge fall Nielsen diary sweep begins September 13 (six weeks from tomorrow).  Here are a few programming strategies to help your station expand listening this fall.

1.   Exhibit music passion.  Sound as in love with the songs as your listeners and talk up the music you play.

2.   Develop regular daily benchmarks and audience interactives; present them at set times.

3.   Always talk to one listener; not a group.

Continues next week in the Lund Letter.  Visit for more Top 3’s!

Are you marketing to General Managers or Program Directors and want to reach the 9,400+ readers of the Lund Letter? Email John Lund.

This Week’s Music:

maroon518.jpgMaroon 5 now has the top spot on CHR and Hot AC with “Girls Like You.”  Brett Young is the leader at Country with “Mercy.” Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” takes over at Bright AC.  Weezer’s cover of “Africa” is still #1 for Alternative.  Lund clients receive weekly music research information on current music plus regular updates on the best-testing recurrent and gold titles.

Greetings, Nebraska Broadcasters!

nebraska18.pngJohn Lund is speaking next week – Wednesday, August 15 – at the Nebraska Broadcasters Association summer convention in Lincoln.  In the morning, John will conduct a radio seminar that highlights programming for more listeners in our digital era and how to strengthen your brand(s).  In a second session, John discusses the changing media landscape for radio listeners and television viewers and will benefit broadcasters from radio and television.  John looks forward to meeting you.

All Broadcasters:  If you would like to have John provide a timely and topical broadcast presentation or workshop for your state broadcast convention or corporate meeting, please contact John Lund.

Lund Trend Watch:

Mom’s Back-To-School List

schoolbus18.jpg70% of moms expect to spend more than $100 per child on school supplies alone, according to a Daily Clips survey of US mothers.  88% of moms will have their school supply shopping completed by the end of August.  85% donate supplies to their kids’ classrooms, mostly cleaning supplies, facial tissues and ink.  84% of those surveyed expect to spend $151 per child on clothes alone.  68% of moms expect to pack a lunch for their children every day.  48% will buy organizational items for their homes this time of year.  And a huge 94% will take a first day of school photo of their child.  Despite heavy digital and social media sharing of photos, many will still print copies for framing and sending to relatives like grandparents.

Eleven Hours of Media Per Day

tvMedia18.jpgUS adults are spending 11.2 hours consuming media each day according to Nielsen’s first-quarter 2018 report on US media consumption. That is an increase of 19 minutes over the last quarter.  TV-connected devices like Roku, Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire TV add to the use of television.  The numbers:

+   4.2 hours – Live TV
+   2.4 hours – App/web on a smartphone
+   1.8 hours – Radio

And a fraction of an hour will be spent with each of these: App/web on a tablet, Internet on a computer, Time-shifted TV, Internet-connected device, Game console, and DVD/Blu-ray device.  92% of US adults (93% of US persons 6+) still listen to radio every day.

Boomers Spend More Media Time Than Millennials

timeclocks18.jpgOverall media time is growing for all adults.  Boomers 50+ spend over twelve hours a day.

+   18-34 year old Millennials spend 8:45 per day on media
+   35-49… 11:09 per day
+   50-64… 12:50 per day
+   65+ …  12:16 minutes per day

Programmer’s Planner:
Here is a list of actions this week for the proactive program director:

Today, 8/8
dogdays18.jpgReview station music (software, playlist, rules, and rotations).  Make sure everything is perfect before the start of the fall ratings sweep.
TV Special – CMA Fest 2018 airs on ABC.  Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett return as hosts for this three-hour televised version of the four-day festival.
Movie Premieres – Dog Days and BlacKkKlansman.

Thurs., 8/9
Summer Nielsen diary ratings week #8 begins. Last week of the August PPM starts.
Plan your Labor Day promotion.

Fri., 8/10
themeg18.jpgStep up efforts to drive website, Facebook and Twitter traffic. 
Streaming Premieres – Netflix has a full slate of premieres today, including mini-series Ordeal By Innocence, movies The Package and Insatiable, and new seasons of family series Voltron and The Ponysitters Club.
Movie Premieres – The Meg and Slender Man.

Sat.-Sun., 8/11-12
Visit a competitor’s remote this weekend.  Adapt the best ideas to improve your sales remotes and personal appearances.  See The Lund Consultants’Remote Stylebook for innovative improvements.
TV Premieres – Sunday, HBO begins season four of Ballers and season three ofteenchoice18.jpgInsecure.  AMC has the midseason return of Fear The Walking Dead and Talking Dead.
TV Special – Teen Choice 2018 airs on Fox.

Mon., 8/13
Coach the morning talents.
Pick a random hour today and count the number of times the station name is said.

Tues., 8/14
Today’s programming meeting… What new ways can we recycle listeners to the morning show and other dayparts?

Thanks for reading
The Lund Letter
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Have suggestions for future articles?  Email John Lund

About the Lund Media Group:

For over 20 years, the Lund Media Group has provided programming, music consulting, operational guidance, and research to commercial and public broadcaststations throughout North America and overseas. Whether you program all sports, all tjclforLL.pngalk, or all music, the Lund Goal is to help stations get more listeners and keep them listening longer. The Lund Consultants are a multi-format custom programming and management consultancy. 

all John Lund for more information about how the Lund Media Group can help your stations achieve more listeners, higher ratings, and more revenue.
Phone: 650-692-7777.