Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Lund Letter

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

This Week in The Lund Letter:  
>   Connecting one 2 one
>   America’s top formats
>   A rosy holiday outlook and the latest media trends

Lund Programming Clinic: Announcer Clichés

onairmic.jpgSpeak to one listener at a time; thus, speak to the listener as if you are having a conversation with a friend, a spouse, or a child.  This is a one-to-one conversation.  Ever since the emergence of the car radio and transistor radio receiver, radio separated itself from television to become a personal mobile device, much like today’s smartphones.  Radio listening became an individual experience as opposed to sitting in a room listening with family and friends.  The goal of every radio personality is to connect with the radio listener on a one-to-one basis.  Your delivery should be similar to a conversational style you would have with a friend or co-worker.  You will engage and entertain the listener by connecting with them on an individual level.

If you’re on the air, make a New Year’s Resolution to eliminate all announcer clichés.  These clichés are hindrances to personally connecting with listeners.

Top Five Clichés

Saying your name:  Identify yourself several times an hour to develop a relationship with the listener, but be personal.  Radio talents often say, “this is Bill Smith,” “Bill Smith with you this afternoon,” “Bill Smith until seven tonight,” or “Bill hanging out with you.”  Imagine introducing yourself to a stranger (like at a party); just say “I’m Bill Smith.”

Beginning a live promo or PSA:  You want to begin with “what’s in it for the listener” as opposed to the common radio clichés like, “don’t forget”; “here’s a reminder”; “make sure,” “remember to,” etc.   You want to avoid sounding like the listener’s parent or teacher.   Put the focus on “you” and start with an inviting sentence that leads with the benefit to them.

Promoting ahead:  Since TV addresses a mass audience you hear phrases like, “we’ll be back after this,” “going to take a break,” or “we have to take care of some business.”  Radio is a personal medium and people don’t listen in groups.  There is no need to introduce the commercials. Instead, focus on something beneficial to the listener after the commercials – like the next artist or news story. You don’t want to signal you are going away as it gives them permission to do the same.

Music intros and outros:  Don’t put on the “announcer cap” on when front-selling and back-selling music.  Imagine friends visiting and you’re sharing your music collection with them.  You would not introduce songs with “this is,” “right now” or “here’s.”  Nor would say “that was” or “before that” after the songs played. You can improve your front sells and back sells by sharing your passion for the music with your friends.  By displaying your music knowledge (passion) you separate yourself from radio announcers and get personal with your friends (the audience).

Service elements:  Another area of radio clichés to eliminate is with service elements.  Time checks… many talents give the time by saying, “the time is,” “the time right now is,” or “looking at the clock on the wall the time is.”  If someone asked you for the time, you’d say “it’s 5:10.”  Say it conversationally, not like an announcer.  Temperature… if someone asked you “how cold is it,” you wouldn’t respond, “its sixty two degrees outside.”  Say it conversationally, “it’s 62.”

By eliminating these five radio announcer clichés, you become your listener’s friend instead of being an anonymous radio announcer.

What other “announcer clichés” drive you crazy?  Email John Lund.

Lund Management Memo: America’s Top Formats

18newtopten.jpgNielsen just released the Top 10 radio formats for 2018.  No surprise, News-Talk, Adult Contemporary, and Classic Hits are trending up.  AC is bolstered by the surge in the “Soft AC” arena, and Classic Hits continues to impress.

What formats are trending down this year?  Country, Pop CHR, Hot AC, Classic Rock, and Urban Contemporary.  Nielsen PPM data from the first eleven months of the year was released Dec. 10 and shows these format trends:

News-Talk remains #1 climbing in share every year from 2016 to 2017 and 2018 with a 10 share 6+. It is #3 tied 25-54 declining from #2 last year. Both commercial and NPR stations are represented here.

AC is America’s #1 music format and has enjoyed gains for four years.  It’s the #2 format 25-54 just behind CHR.  AC is also growing among 18-34s.

Country is the third most popular format in the US declining a bit since last year.    With 18-34, Country is #2 (behind CHR).   25-54 Country is tied with News-Talk for #3.

Pop CHR is #4 and is having a rocky road.  It was #2 in 2016, #4 in 2017, and it remains #4 but slides two shares in 2018.  CHR remains #1 18-34 (but it’s lost a share a year).  CHR remains #1 25-54 even though audience has declined each year.

Classic Hits has grown to be the #5 format in the US 6+ (in was #7 in 2017 and #8 in 2016).  It’s the #6 format among persons 25-54.

The #6 format is Hot AC, which like CHR, is losing audience every year.  It’s lost about a half a share a year in both 18-34 and 25-54.

Classic Rock is #7 and losing half a share since last year 6+ and 25-54.  #8 Urban AC is flat with last year.  #9 All Sports is up slightly and #10, Urban Contemporary, is down, especially with 18-34.

These rankings are based on the 48 Nielsen PPM markets in the US; diary markets may be different.

Music is the #1 reason listeners come to your station; is your music #1?

turnupradio.gifMusic is the #1 reason people listen to FM music stations.   Playing the right songs and managing your software are vital to your success.  Are you maximizing your software and playing the best songs for your target?

Lund Media can provide 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.

Capitalize on the very thing listeners want most – the best researched music played in the best rotation for your target demo.  Email for a complete music software analysis and tune-up to assure you sound perfect.

And if you just need a best-researched song list for your format – like Soft AC or Classic Hits, email us.

Lund’s Top 3:  Format Basics
Top3B.jpgProgramming meetings build consensus and morale, and they’re a great way to set the direction and spirit for fall. Consider the topic of Format Basics to discuss in your next programming meeting:

1.   Always put the station name on a pedestal. Deliver the name with pride and enthusiasm every time. Talents should articulate it with emphasis as if they are saying it for the first time to someone who has never heard the station. “Burn in” the station name.

2.   Mirror the listeners’ passion for the music frequently. Music is the first reason that listeners choose the station. Be passionate and sound like you love it as much as they do. Always treat the music with the same enthusiasm as the first day of the format.

3.   Relate to the listeners’ world, and not your own. Talk about things that are going on within their lifestyle, and don’t dwell on your life. “Internalizing” often shuts the listener out as they mumble, “Who cares?”

Format Basics continues next week.  Visit for more Top 3’s!

Promotion of the Week: (STATION) Digs You Out

snowshoveling.gifListeners register on the station website to have their driveway, walkway and the sidewalk in front of their house shoveled free of snow in the morning before they have to leave for work.  They are also in the running for a snow blower.

Are you marketing to General Managers or Program Directors and want to reach the 10,000 readers of the Lund Letter? Email John Lund.

Brighten Your On-Air Sound

lightbulb.gifYour imaging liners should be creative and fun, and they need to reinforce the station image.  Refresh your imaging liners today – Order 100 creative imaging liner scripts today.  For music stations order Volume A here and Volumes A&B here… News-Talk Volume A orderhere and Volumes A&B here.

Lund Trend Watch:

Holiday Outlook Rosy

rainingmoney.gifUS holiday spending is forecast to break the $1 trillion mark for the first time (a total of $1.0002 trillion is expected).  This will be the biggest increase since 2011.  eMarketer credits low unemployment, high consumer confidence and strong income growth as the biggest reasons behind the jump.  Adding to that is the longest-possible time span between Thanksgiving and Christmas (32 days).  Although online continues to grow every year, traditional stores still profit from the majority of holiday sales (87.7%).

Christmas Classics Still the Best

classicchristmas.gifThe classics continue to stand the test of time when it comes to Christmas songs.  Seven of the top ten songs were released between 1945 and 1963.  Christmas music is equally liked by both genders and consistently across adults 25-54.  CHR and Country listeners are most likely to tune in to a station playing all-Christmas music.  Men who listen to Rock and Alternative also show a strong interest in Christmas music.

Radio Drives Auto Shoppers

cardealer.jpgRadio is heard by 91% of consumers who intend to buy a vehicle in the next 12 months, according to the RAB and Analytic Owl.  The makes radio advertising the perfect platform to point consumers to an automaker’s website for research.  The vast majority of consumers research vehicles online before purchasing.  Auto dealers had 11% more new users on their website on days when an ad was run on radio compared to days when one didn’t run.

Make Sure You Get The Lund Letter

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Programmer’s Planner:
Dec 21: First day of Winter
Dec 24: Christmas Eve (Monday)
Dec 25: Christmas Day (Tuesday)
Dec 26: first day of Kwanzaa

Dec 31: New Year’s Eve (Monday)
Jan 1: New Year’s Day 2019 (Tuesday)

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, alljclforLL.pngtalk, 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.