Collective Trauma and Resilience

December 18, 2020

For years, we’ve used words like “crazy,” “unreal,” and “disaster” to describe ordinary problems. Little did we know what 2020 would have in store for us.

By April, we had already worn out “unprecedented.”

What words are left to accurately describe 2020?

As David Suissa in the Jewish Journal recently observed, “maybe the truest way to describe the collective trauma of 2020 is simply to admit that there are no words and be at peace with it.”

It’s quite a striking and candid statement from someone in the business of the written word, but it’s certainly been that kind of year.

Thankfully, the story doesn’t end there.

This year, we have witnessed amazing tenacity, resilience and loyalty amongst ourselves, our clients and the listeners we collectively serve.

Speaking of resilience, radio has truly demonstrated exactly that in 2020, which is a testament to you.


Psychology Today recently published an insightful article on the Habits of Highly Resilient People.

It starts with a growth mindset, a phrase coined by Carol Dweck of Stanford. It’s “the belief that defeat happens for you, not to you. If you have a growth mindset, you consider success and failure a package deal – like a hand and glove, milk and cookies, flip sides of the same coin – twins, not enemies.”

Other habits of highly resilient people include postponing immediate gratification and cultivating spring-back sustainability.

Ultimately, “you give yourself permission to make the mistakes necessary … and bounce back higher than you fall.”

The tenacity and resilience of radio is made possible by those working in the business and those who tune-in each day, especially as they mask up and go to work.

As listening continues to recover in 2021, our 360° Listener Engagement strategy is designed to maximize your ratings, rank and revenue by recruiting and engaging the employed listeners who matter most. 

Thank you for your resilience in the face of so much collective trauma this year.

On behalf of Catherine Jung, Tony Bannon, Jen Clayborn and everyone here at DMR/Interactive, thank you for continuing to drive radio forward.

Happy Holidays,

Andrew Curran
President and COO

From Majority to Minority: 2020 & Women in the Workforce

November 23, 2020

If you notice anything missing in your ratings, it might be the 865,000 women, who in October alone, dropped out of the U.S. workforce.

When the year started, there were more women than men in the workforce for the first time in a decade. Now, the share of women in the workforce has dropped to levels not seen since 1988.

The largest decrease is among mothers with a child between 2-6 years old. Not yet old enough to be in school full-time, the burden of childcare falls disproportionately on women, in part because of the gender pay gap, which accelerates as education and income levels rise (radio’s core, upwardly mobile audience). If someone is going to sacrifice their career to take care of the kids during the pandemic, it’s typically the one who makes less.

Even for those who don’t drop out of the workforce, the strain of childcare on women is profound. According to a recent survey of employees who work for large companies (over 500 employees), 40% “must hide their caregiving struggles from colleagues.”


Insights on the female workforce are of critical importance to radio’s ongoing recovery since employment outside the home is directly connected to heavy listening.

When examining the particularly sluggish recovery of morning drive in many PPM markets, you can see gaps in the full-time employment and out-of-home listening patterns between men and women. In some cases male full-time employment is 95%-98%, while females are 25%-30% behind. That puts an increased emphasis on winning more occasions from those females who remain full-time employed.

These macro level disruptions, including up to 75% of families in hybrid or full-time remote school settings, provide reasons for ongoing optimism. Despite short term headwinds in the coming weeks due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, as kids eventually return to school and women get back to the workforce, we believe there are opportunities for an even stronger recovery of listening beyond the resilience we’ve seen this fall.

The challenge remains – how will your stations drive daily cume and convert increased listening to rank and revenue growth? It’s incumbent to rebuild listening habits and grow cume, not just coming out of Christmas music, but on an ongoing basis as vaccines are distributed and local restrictions are lifted. 

Understanding the immense challenges of childcare on young families or older parents who according to Pew Research are seeing their grown children (18-29 year-olds) return home to live in record numbers, provides an opportunity to super serve your employed, heavy listeners. Focusing on the lives of your listeners will help you outperform the competition as well as streaming platforms built on algorithms not local companionship.

Don’t go into 2021 without a strategic growth plan. Invest time in your strategy on-air and off, so you are in a position to respond rather than react to whatever opportunities and challenges come your way. We look forward to helping you outperform the market as you drive rank and revenue growth.

On behalf of Catherine Jung, Tony Bannon, Jen Clayborn and everyone at DMR/Interactive, thank you for reading and working to drive radio forward.

Andrew Curran
President and COO

“As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly…”

November 20, 2020

Here’s a condensed version of a radio classic. ENJOY.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at DMR/Interactive.