Why did this happen?
Is this going to be a revolution of
change or an evolution of change?
Welcome to Brand With On Demand,
your guide to rebooting radio.
One of the things I've noticed through
the years is that a lot of program
directors have a tendency to take
their hands off the steering wheel.
And when you take your hands
off the steering wheel, Fades.
Fades will happen.
VO: BRANDwidth on Demand.
Rebooting radio with a different
take on all radio can be.
Now your guides through the metamorphosis.
David Martin and author of
the book, BRANDwidth, Media
Branding, coach Kipper McGee.
Dave: Harry lyles is an accomplished
multi format programmer.
He's widely recognized as the foremost
expert in all forms of hip hop, R&
B, rhythmic, rhythmic AC, and gospel.
He covers the base.
As president of Lyles Media, Harry has
been the programming partner for some
of the most prominent broadcasting
and media companies in the business.
He's been named to the National Black
Radio Hall of Fame and is well known.
We're positioning companies for expansion
and rapid development while helping
broadcasters understand a better rating
story to help generate a better revenue.
Harry's standout programming career is
marked by cutting edge strategy, stellar
brand building skills, and achieving
and sustaining, most important, market
share by building inspired station teams.
When programming concepts with your local
audience happen and ratings and revenue
follow, It's all about hiring Harry.
That's what we say.
And he's with us today
on Branded on Demand.
We're proud to welcome the
one and only Harry Lyles.
Harry: Glad to be here, guys.
Thanks a lot.
Kipper: Well, we are so
glad you're here, Harry.
Kipper: So, first question.
You've been doing this for a while.
You're advising a lot of
different stations and companies.
So, when you first walk into a
radio station, what do you look for?
And how can you tell if they're
probably doing okay, or if they're
gonna need a lot of your attention?
Harry: Great question.
The first thing I do, I have a one
page questionnaire that I send in.
And that questionnaire is Is basically
asking them, what is your objective
for the format or vision of the format?
And of course, when you do that, you want
to make sure that they have some kind
of an understanding of the demographics
that they're going to go after.
The music that should be played for that
demographic, have a conversation with
them about talent, have a conversation
with them about their special programming,
contest and promotion, and also
community affairs and social media.
But what's the foundation of any great
radio station is going to be the music.
I have learned through the years,
if you can get those two things tied
together and let them work together,
you're probably going to have
yourself a pretty good radio station.
I think one of the things, guys,
that happens today, I've noticed
there in some of the projects that
I've done with clients and non
clients, that there's a disconnect.
And a lot of people want to
say, well, It's a PPM situation.
I disagree with that.
And when I look at the Nielsen PPM
numbers, I see a consistency from
large, medium to small markets.
So when I first go in, it's important
for me to do one thing, ask questions
and then help them put those pieces
together to help them move forward
and meet that objective or vision
that they have for the station.
And it's not hard.
Again, it's the basics.
That are gonna take to do one thing and
that's score in something called Nielsen.
Dave: Yeah, one of the great things we've
noticed about your method, Harry, is you
have an uncanny ability to break things
down into little bite sized pieces.
We were intrigued by your very
special radio ratings problem solving
method, which starts with what you
call a self reflection, can you?
Expand on that for
Yeah, one of the things that I've noticed
from station to station to station, the in
house situation is a little bit different.
Even sometimes, guys, when I ask a
program director, operations manager, or
general manager, well, what do you like
about your, especially if, maybe the
station's, you know, off a little bit, or
they think that it's off a little bit and
they think that they're having problems.
One of the questions I like to ask well,
okay, you think you have a problem, but is
there anything here that you would keep?
Because I think that's a
very important question.
We can sit here and self reflect
on all the elements and everything
that ties a radio station together.
But one of the things that I've noticed
through the years is that a lot of
program directors have a tendency to
take their hands off the steering wheel.
And when you take your hands
off the steering wheel,
things, things will happen.
Yeah, so all of a sudden the
impact that was there, I just
did a project two weeks ago.
For a very large size market that used to
be a dominant station, and they're now in
the threes, but it was all self inflicted.
In other words, musically,
they have a problem.
They have a talent issue.
They haven't done any contest
and promotion in over two years.
They downgraded their morning,
their legendary morning guy left.
And here's what happened.
Instead of hiring his equal
or upgrading, they downgraded.
And the morning show has now lost
70 percent of their audience.
My point being that didn't have
to happen, but it happened.
Now, can you fix that?
Well, you know, when it comes to the
self reflection of looking at what a
radio station is doing from a talent
standpoint, that's a mistake you really
want to avoid making if all possible.
I want to share something with you guys
because I remember when, when the Patriots
won the Super, the last Super Bowl here
in Atlanta on the CBS morning news.
They had Bob Kraft and they were talking
about to Bob Kraft, like, why are you, why
are the Patriots so consistent in winning
and you've been to the Super Bowl the
past 10, 15 years, more so than anybody
else, I never will forget his response.
Here's what he said.
It doesn't matter if it's on the
offensive side of the ball or
the defensive side of the ball.
Every time we have to replace a
player, if we don't re sign one,
we upgrade that side of the ball.
Hey guys, that's, that's what
we should do in radio, okay?
But that doesn't always happen.
When it comes to self reflecting, a lot
of times, in, look, it, it, it starts
right there inside that radio station.
The ones who are closest to it.
Should be able to figure out what's
happening, but again, when you
take your hands off the steering
wheel, she will go off the road.
So the self reflecting part
and the most important part
of this is asking questions.
Why did this happen?
Is this going to be a revolution of
change or an evolution of change?
And usually, guys, it gets down to either
an evolution or a revolution of change.
When there's a ratings problem.
Kipper: hopefully not dropping our
salary cap any more than we have to, huh?
Harry: That's right.
See, the thing is this.
I'm amazed at some people who are
confused about their objective.
I've run into a couple of situations
where you still have some general
managers and program directors
and even operations managers.
They want, they want to take a format
and be all things to all people.
Well, I had some pretty good teachers.
That's not the way it works.
If you can dominate two demographics,
you can spread yourself out
and become a pretty good radio
station, regardless of format.
I was just talking to a rock
friend of mine the other day.
And, uh, he was telling me about
the appeal of his classic hit
station, but he knew where the
epicenter of his format was.
That's the reason why he's successful.
And one of the things too, that
you're always talking about is
really, in addition to knowing who
you're talking to is knowing who
you've got on board and really.
Building that encouraging kind of winning
attitude like Belichick has done, but
you want that throughout the station.
So question number one is what are
some of the best ways for, say, a
new program director to do that?
And number two, what do you do when like
half your air staff is coming in from
other markets via voice track or whatever?
How do you build that winning
thing with people that you
Harry: never see?
Well, I'm going to be up front with his,
if you and Dave were clients, Kepper,
I'm not a fan of voice tracking, right?
I believe that one of radio's
biggest problems is we have
taken the companionship.
Out of the business of radio
and I think listeners are smart.
I give them credit.
I can't remember the last time I heard
somebody screaming because of a contest
where they won something it needs
to come back Something else again.
I'm not a huge voice track person I think
one of the things that's happened in radio
is I consider all day parts important.
I know some people say well We want
to spend the money in morning and
afternoon and we'll kind of Figure
out what to do in the other day.
Parts winning radio stations
are consistent in mornings.
They're consistent in mid days.
They're consistent in
afternoons and nights.
And it doesn't work any other way.
There are no shortcuts to this
and I, I have diplomatically had
to tell a few people where I did
some projects and they even had
studies that there are no shortcuts.
One of the things that when
it comes to program directors.
And, and, and I don't know why this is
happening and I'm assuming it's a new
day, new breed of program director.
They don't know their market.
They don't read and they don't sit there
and invert the numbers and Nielsen to
find out why they're losing audience.
Even when there's a research study in the
past 8 months, give you just 1 example.
I did 2 medium sized markets.
They had done a research project.
And both program directors
thought that the epicenter of
their audience was 18 to 34.
Well, based on their own in house
research, hey guys, one market,
the audience started at 35, and
the other market started at 40.
And so I pointed out, I said,
here's your problem right here.
Somebody hasn't read your own study.
But it happens, guys.
Dave: somebody just starting out,
maybe in their first or second job,
what advice would you give them?
What suggestions would you have
for them when they're ready
to take that next big step?
Harry: I will use myself as an example.
For that person that is starting out,
I want them to know that used to be me.
And I was lucky.
I was very lucky.
I worked for some winning radio stations.
First off, I worked at...
Three winning radio stations in my
hometown of Evansville, Indiana.
Great, great management,
great program directors.
But again, I want to say this
and I say it respectfully.
That was a different day in radio.
Okay, even when my first job was
at a country station in Evansville,
Indiana, WROZ, Jim Emery, who was the
program director, he came to talk to
our class, and he offered some of us
to cut an audition, and I did one.
I did one.
And guess what happened?
I got a job.
And so, my job was, I got to
run the Ralph Emery show, from
that, that was on, on disc.
So anyway, then Bloomington
Broadcasting bought an old MOR station.
And so I applied there, and got the 10 2
position, and worked with two legendary
guys that you guys probably know.
Jim Wood, who later was the
national guy at Mallwright.
And Buddy Scott, who
worked at, uh, CBN TV.
I'll stop right there.
Meeting those two guys in little
bitty Evansville, Indiana,
helped me start my career.
I watched, I asked questions.
I can remember Buddy and Jim
said, Hey, you're asking too
many damn questions, okay?
But guys, I did it
because I wanted to know.
And again, as Jim explained,
hey, we're a new station.
This thing will unfold
the longer you're here.
And of course, it was very tight, okay?
And I didn't understand at the
time playing a record every
75 minutes at the time, right?
Then all of a sudden 75 minutes
went to 90 then 90 went to about 210
or 215 Yeah, I was like, oh, okay.
So this is part of the chemistry of
what how radio works So for anybody
who is beginning I was lucky.
There's a lot of fool's gold out there
nowadays, but at the same time, there
are still some good broadcasters,
program directors, operations managers
and GMs who are interested in teaching
the next generation coming up.
I enjoy teaching the next generation.
I get to Georgia State at least
three times a year to talk to
the broadcasting school there.
I am noticing something though in the
classroom when I was in Columbus, Miami.
Louis, Louisville, Columbus,
and Cleveland, and would talk
to college students and even
some high school classes.
Radios doesn't seem to be as sexy to them.
As it was back when I was
in the in the 80s and 90s.
And there's a reason for that.
Most of the questions come
about streaming, podcasting.
In other words, there's
nothing wrong with that.
But it has kind of diluted the
interests of something called radio.
But I don't think that that has to happen.
And as I've told a couple of my friends.
I think that everything that has happened
to radio has been self inflicted by
companies who own radio stations.
There's a, there's a reason why some
stations are successful and companies
are successful and some are not.
And again, I'll say it one more time.
There are no shortcuts to this.
We talked about Bill
Belichick and Robert Kraft.
There's a reason why those
guys have been where they are.
It's the same thing as I've had
to say to a couple of program
directors who are into sports.
There's a reason why the Golden State
Warriors have done what they've done.
They've got a good coach and they
know how to put a team together.
And so when it comes to our team in
radio, I believe, you know, some people
say, well, if you can get that morning
engine, that guy, or that, that team in
the mornings, good things will happen.
What sure it does.
I think today we cannot take any
chances in midday afternoons or night.
So when you put those.
pieces together, and when they are
locked in together, guess what happens?
You get attention, the pieces are
working together, and I will tell you
this, I think the listeners hear that.
I know right here in Atlanta, when
I go to get gas or stop by a quick
mart or whatever, and somebody's
got a radio on, I'll ask them, Why
are you listening to that station?
And usually, nine times out of ten, it's
a station that's a top three, top five.
And they're doing a good job at doing one
thing that's satisfying their audience
great stuff And guys, it doesn't matter
what format it is as I was talking
to a rock friend of mine on the west
coast last week It doesn't matter.
You know, the basics are the
basic when the pieces are working
together good things happen A
Dave: terrific guy.
Hey, somebody you'd like to hear from.
We'd love to hear your suggestions.
Harry: them to show at brandwithondemand.
Kipper: And we've got some new
social media platforms to check out.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn.
All you have to do is
look for Brandwith Plus.
That's Brandwith P L U S.
One word and we look forward to seeing
what you have to say when you're there
Dave: coming up Harry share some
opportunities that many including
us may find hiding in plain
Spot: sight Music master less stress more.
Hi, this is Jerry Butler for the team
at music master One of my favorite
tips for classic format programmers
is to use the breakable one day,
one hour offset rule for artists.
It's not just for songs.
That way your listeners won't
have the same sampling of
artists each time they tune in.
And we turn the variety knob
Harry: up to 11.
Spot: Music master music
scheduling the way it
Harry: should be.
Kipper: Hey there, Kemper here.
So You want to have some great merchandise
for your radio station, but the
budget says, uh, we've got a solution.
Radio swag shop.
You select the items, give them your logo.
They create a store for you.
You link to it, you promote it, and
you sit back and collect the cash.
Radio Swag Shop is your answer.
Just go to radioswagshop.
com forward slash kipper.
My name, radioswagshop.
com forward slash kipper.
Your ratings and bottom line will
Spot: thank you.
VO: hidden in plain sight.
Bread with on demand.
Dave: We are with one of the
best and brightest, Harry Lyles.
Harry, thinking about traditional
radio, What's the one opportunity?
that you see that many station
people, no matter market size,
might find hiding in plain sight.
Harry: Well, what's hiding in plain
sight is something that you can hear
with your ears, and it's called the
overall essence of the radio station.
Once you grasp what your vision,
I'll say it one more time.
The vision are the objective of the
station, and you know what's happening.
You don't know what's happening, but
you should know what's happening.
And some program directors say,
well, I might know what's happening.
But the question is, you must know
what's happening for one thing to happen.
And that's for that radio
station to do one thing.
Have, have listeners and those locals
to wake up with it every morning, get in
the car with it, eat breakfast with it.
When, again, the station
pieces are connected.
From a music standpoint, talent
standpoint, marketing, social media, you
create an impact because that's called
engagement and that's what listeners want.
Dave: guy, Kipper.
Harry Lyles, links to his websites
and more in the show notes,
just scroll down on your phone.
Kipper: Also, we've got a special handout
going out the first quarter of this year.
It's Seth Godin's 22 quotes that
every radio person should know.
For 2022, just check the show notes
as always, thanks to executive
producer, Cindy Huber for putting
this all together and our associate
producer, Hannah B for handling the
guest bookings and coming up next.
Erica: I'm Erica Mandy with
the newsworthy podcast.
I'm going to be sharing how you can
make your newscasts more objective and
gain more trust from your audience.
That's coming up next
on brand with on demand.
Harry: That's a wrap Kipper.
Dave: history, all that good
stuff in the rear view mirror may
help you next week or tomorrow.
We'll talk about it.
One Minute Martinizing in the
show notes at brandwithondemand.
I'm Dave Martin.
Spot: Kipper McGee.
May all your brand with be wide.