Before I launch into Country Radio Convention stuff…Condolences to the family of Chuck Goff—the Toby Keith Band…Chuck was killed this week in a car accident. He was 54. Bandleader for Toby and bass player and friend for 25 years! Very sad week with the funeral of Mindy McCready…Vince gill saluted her at CRS with a powerful Go Rest High on that Mountain..take a deep breath) Now on to the busy of the day: If you feel confused after this week’s Country Radio Seminar, don’t feel alone. If you haven’t felt the wind yet it is coming. The wind of great change. We have all lived through consolidation. Life was never the same after that. Now the next phase is coming. National radio. One source on many stations. At least for the huge mega companies. Employees at local stations are overworked as it is. In fact many station have few people working at all. Automation,consolidation has thinned the herd. More job loses coming? Probably. Will the great experiments work? Not for me to say. The research people ( always a dangerous bunch—research people have never created a thing, they just use history to forecast the future—voodoo science) Research should be a guide along with experience. But if you are a rock jock thrown into a country station what else do you have but research? Research says the future is mobile. Well you had to be blind and dumb not to have that one figured out. I listen to I Heart radio every day. I also listen to sat radio everyday. Local radio in Nashville is ever thinning. WSM AM may be the only live local station after dark. The point of the convention is the spread the word about all the great music coming out of Nashville. And there is some fantastic talent. Too many to ever have a hope of getting airplay in this day of short playlists. The other obvious point is how to get more people to listen to your radio station. Here is where there is conflicting theory. Theory Number one was always be the BEST LOCAL station surviving your community on and off the air. Be involved in the community. Be the listeners friend. Talk to them like a friend. Don’t always be selling them something. Relate to the music..be excited and understand the emotion of the music. Read paragraph above three times then continue reading. Those rules should still apply. And do all over this country at radio stations. But how do you do that if you are automated with a show coming out of a distant city. All your shows coming out of a distant city. Answer: unknown. The great mystery of 2013. The music is such a bright light now. It is America’s music. A hybrid of traditional country and modern pop. The 2 had a baby and this is it. From Taylor Swift to others far more pop while the country singer is still on the prowl. No wonder younger audiences like it. It is good. Too many breakouts for the week to mention this week. I hope the rush to get teens to listen to country radio won’t kill off the non teen audiences or push them to other sources of music and a dare say information. TV took weather coverage away from radio. The numbers speak. Now if radio abandons its local feel then what? I don’t think I really want to know.
Entertainment reporter based in Nashville..updates on music,movies and everything else that could go on around the music community. Nashville news and commentary.