With this post, we continue our Quick Insights: Reactions and insight from programmers featuring consultant Jon Quick’s interviews with prominent PPM programming & management veterans: Consultant Steve Reynolds, Jimmy Steal VP/Programming Emmis, Greater Media’s WMMR/Philly PD Bill Weston, Tom Langmyer VP/General Manager, WGN Chicago, Marv Nyren, SVP/Market Manager, Q 101, The Loop, Chicago and a leading veteran programmer from a top 10 southern market.
Morning show consultant Steve Reynolds crafted the quote “Cut out the foreplay and go right for the sex.” In terms everyone can relate to, it captures what talent and programmers need to do to be successful under PPM.
Emmis Vice President/Programming, Jimmy Steal adds, “Many times you’ll get only 30-40 seconds to engage the listener. Everyone is time starved. And today there are so many other choices, and not all are radio.”
In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Steal says “Now we can specifically see when the tune-ins and tune-outs were. I can sit down with talent and say, ‘OK, I’ve got a log. Here’s what you were talking about. Out of 30 meters, you lost 12.'”
In one instance, Steal decided not to invite back a guest after realizing the station lost listeners during each of his last three airings on the morning show. “He wasn’t exactly a lightning rod for the meters,” Steal, declining to name the guest.
He says the adjustments have helped KPWR regain the top overall slot among listeners ages 18-34 in Los Angeles, after slipping behind Clear Channel’s KIIS last year.
“In the long term, talent is still important,” according to WWMR’s Bill Weston. He also believes the amount of talk (in a music format) might need to be modified. Weston has gone to more breaks but of shorter duration. “Tease ahead — forward momentum is key,” he adds.
Better, Faster Means More Confidence
The veteran programmers agree that PPM allows for better experimentation providing almost instantaneous reaction to a new host, a certain topic, a genre of music, or an on-going bit.
Tom Langmyer says “PPM encourages stations to take smart risks in improving the product quickly. That is a very good thing for our business.”
Steal adds, “We can now find out more quickly what’s working and what’s not, but we don’t want to make rash decisions.”
Weston puts it this way, “I am more assured about making decisions overall. Generally I will be able to see results (positively or negatively) over several weeks. I really have way too much information and it never stops. I budget an hour or two each week to digest and analyze.”
What have you found? Do you disagree with any of these conclusions? How are you digesting PPM? Post your comments below.Jon Quick and The QConsulting Guys offer fresh new consulting services to talent and radio stations. Quick was named America’s Top Programmers for eight years in a row by Radio Ink magazine. He and his teams at stations like WCCO, WIBC, CKNW, KTAR and KLBJ Austin have been recognized with 10 Marconis, 4 Crystals and a Peabody. Reach Jon at 317-432-0309, QConsultingGuys@aol.com or log on to QConsultingGuys.com