The Hub Conference Center, site of this year’s event

2015 Media Solutions Conference Curriculum

Jerry Del Colliano


Presented By Jerry Del Colliano
The Hub Conference Center / Philadelphia
March 18, 2015

1. Attracting Millions To Your Website

How WTOP attracted 2 million visitors in January and 31.8 million page views. New audience growth as many are online only listeners.

I don’t know about you, but I want to know everything and I’m not afraid to ask. And you get to help me interview Laurie Cantillo, the former WTOP PD who oversees the operation so you can drill down to what is going to help your station succeed in web audience and revenue. Online is usually an insignificant add-on to audience and means near nothing in additional revenue for most stations. WTOP has a large screen in their newsroom for all to see online metrics in real time. We’ll dig in to how WTOP coordinates Facebook, Twitter, email and text activity together. How they sell it. Staffing. Working synergistically with on-air. Next question is yours.

2. Solutions To Commercial Clutter

How to stem tune-out by 30% & simultaneously increase billing by 15%

Radio has suffered the wrath of listeners who hate too many commercials — and two 8-minute stopsets per hour that sound like double that isn’t helping.

You’ll discover everything you need to know, like:

  • Why one type of commercial is a tune-in when most others invite immediate tune-out.
  • The thing you can put in the middle of commercial stopsets that will force listening to continue. Try it and test it.
  • Why experts now say more frequent stop sets are actually an advantage for today’s attention-deficit audiences.
  • 2 things you can do that will increase the effectiveness of commercials when you have some over producing it. In fact, listeners forget to leave the station when they hear these kinds of spots.
  • How to lower your risk of alienating audiences even if you lose them to overly long stopsets.
  • What one thing listeners hate even more than a radio station’s commercials? Is that possible? It sure is and 100% of all radio stations do this. You’ll discover what not to do.
  • The latest, most advanced ways to schedule commercial clusters by daypart with an eye toward reducing tune-out.
  • The results of actual station experiments when they made drastic reductions in commercial units aired per hour.
  • Information on whether it helps to position your station’s commercial limiting moves on-air.
  • The word you must never say on the air because it makes listeners go bye-bye.
  • How to improve tune-out by 30% and increase billing by 15% — helping advertisers make their commericals more effective. Remember, commercials can be a bigger attraction. Think about TV spots on Super Bowl Sunday. Viewers watch for the commercials. The radio stations that have figured this out are number one in ratings and billing in their markets.

3. How Much Radio, How Much Digital

Radio Distribution Models in the Digital Age.

Streaming just isn’t working out. It delivers only a very small percentage of additional audience and even that still doesn’t get counted along with on-air ratings.

Why it is important to do the best on-air programming possible (most stations don’t) and develop a separate stream of revenue in short-form video.

4. Listen Longer Strategies

Lots of luck in the attention deficit age, but … there are ways. After all, radio TSL has been declining since the early 90's when those figures were first counted so you can’t blame A.D.D. for that. Under 30's don’t listen to any song all the way through and music radio is based on the premise that if a station plays the right songs, the audience will come. That is no longer true. You will be presented with strategic approaches to keep listeners from straying even though they are now tuning out even that which they like. Clue: It isn’t longer music sweeps. You’ll learn how to get audiences to listen to songs all the way through or at the least the next best thing. We will cover how to add 2/3 more new music and still be considered a “play the hits” station.

5. Eliminating the 3 Biggest Listener Objections

Outdated morning shows, too many lousy commercials & repetitious music.

Outdated morning shows that offer what they already have in their hand (like real time traffic), those endless stopsets and the same repetitive music over and over again.

What I will share is ways to offer information audiences can’t get on their digital devices and you can sell it, too! We can do this. Let’s innovate.

6. Effective Ways To Compete With On-Demand Content

Millennials want to pick up the phone, get what they want and consume it — probably in a minute or less. How does 24-hour radio compete with that? Let’s count the ways: redo the format clock to be much shorter than an hour. Don’t repeat the same elements over and over. Make radio stations a discovery tool for all content that listeners may want to access and then play hardball and make it so compelling young audiences will turn to radio first (that’s not how it is now).
We’ll play dirty with Millennials developing content they can’t resist about employment, college loans, themselves.

7. What Millennials Want From Radio

From my work as a USC professor studying generations, the 7 things they don’t just want , that they crave. And most radio stations don’t deliver even one. That’s a fact. When I reveal the list, some of you are going to be convinced you are already complying with the wishes of money demo audiences. But to know these 7 critical things would be useless without knowing 7 ways to infuse them into everything you do on and off the air.
One of them is being authentic.
Do you know want Millennials mean when they want authenticity? And they hate hype. After all, what has more hype than a radio station? We’ll work together — you can get specific to your situation if you like — and eliminate the 7 things we’re doing that drives away audiences every time.

8. Selling Against Competitors Who Drop Rates

This is killing a lot of good operators who feel forced to kowtow to buyers who are getting insanely low ad rates from large radio groups under pressure to sell ads. If this keeps up, it doesn’t matter how good a local operator you are, you’re going down. Now, there are answers. Ways to get a premium for your spots where desperate competitors are throwing in the kitchen sink along with digital and taking a lower rate. We’ll focus on powering up your morning show so it can command an unnegotiable premium rate. How to walk from a deal that your larger competitor grabbed up. And — the secret to getting longer term contracts. These are not just pie in the sky. A few very smart stations are way ahead of the industry on this.

9. Start Your Own Short-Form Video Business

You may be in radio, but you’re not dead when it comes to the digital revolution. Why let teenagers — that’s right — teens outbill you in digital revenue. Okay, I can see your face — you don’t believe it. Here is teen YouTube star Meredith Foster who makes more money every year through product placement than most radio stations derive from all their digital revenue including streaming. See her video “How To Get Taylor Swift’s Curls Without Heat” that has recorded almost 7 million views here:

I will play some examples for you in Philly and we’ll discuss how you can think along the same lines. Radio sat out the Internet, ignored Napster, screwed up social media so don’t let the biggest prize of all get away — short-form video.
And yes, you can be in this business for well under $1,000 total investment. Hell, do you think teens have that much startup money?

10. Beyond Clicks — Listener Engagement

I don’t believe that digital is an adequate add-on to radio spot revenue (and the numbers prove me correct). But it should be a second and separate revenue stream for all content producers including radio stations. This is a major change in the way broadcasters see their digital efforts. Facebook is so over with 95 million Millennials. Twitter is nice but it’s a utility. Instagram is hot now, but there are new social media platforms in the pipeline you should be tracking. And, oh yes,
Millennials and the generation following them are getting more private — how that is going to affect social media outreach.

How to use Vine to expand your station’s social media reach:

11. Telling Stories — the New Spoken Word Radio

News is dead on radio — not because it won’t work, but because owners have made it a parody of itself with features no one cares about except account execs packaging advertisers. And talk is stuck in a generation black hole — the Baby Boomers who craved the red political meat that once made it so popular are over 60 and Millennials can’t relate. Doomed? Not if you consider the approach we’re going to present. You’ll want to come to our Philly meetup to be introduced to the spoken word station of the future. One that will dazzle younger demos and that doesn’t sound anything like what’s on the air now. Radio thinks taking the politics off talk radio will be enough to save the format. Nothing short of blowing up talk, news and spoken word will engage younger demos. This is it.

12. Why You Should Pass On Podcasting

The most popular podcast ever is Serial, delivered on iTunes and exquisitely put together by Sarah Koenig of WBEZ, Chicago. It’s the True Detective of Radio and as great as it was, it was downloaded over a million times per episode.Nothing has come close to that. What’s the big deal?

So podcasting is back or so they would have you think? Yet the biggest podcast ever other than Serial was under 400,000 downloads and there aren’t many attracting those kind of numbers.

There’s even evidence that stations who exceed at podcasting, actually drive their on-air ratings down in certain cases.

Millennials are not the sweetspot for podcasts — Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are. But as we’ll learn, Serial has given radio another tool it is now currently not using — storytelling. Let’s explore.

13. Millennial Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

At this year’s Media Solutions Conference, you’ll learn:
To change the way you do commercials — I’ll reveal the one commercial Millennials loved when they tested them in one of my USC honors classes.
Talk to listeners differently — Millennials feel radio djs talk down to them at worst and at best talk like phonies not real people. Come away with some advice on how to make major inroads in the way your station talks to radio listeners.
Take Millennial bingeing seriously — No, it’s not just for Netflix and HuluPlus. Millennials want to be the “program director” so with a little imagination, let’s talk about how to provide them with bingeworthy content from their local radio provider.
Kill the 8 minute stop set before it kills you — Seriously, you can have the best radio station in the world and too many commercials will do you in. But there are ways to schedule spots better. Look at the common PPM wisdom of creating wastelands of commercials in certain quarter hours and let me show you a better way.
• Don’t use social media to promote on-air —No one believes you anyway. If you have just a little bit of courage, try social media this way — sell nothing, promote nothing, illuminate, entertain and put your name on it.
Ditch voice tracking and syndication — You love it, audiences ignore you. What a deal. Let’s consider a solution that costs very little and improves on voice tracking — up for it?
Play games hey, this is the gaming generation — what a bad time to stop on-air contesting. But be warned — throwback radio contests won’t work today. Let’s talk what will.
Don’t brand or promote, make personalities your “brand” — Lew Dickey loves branding, not Millennials. Nash, Icon, even all-news or talk, greatest hits, you name it means nothing to today’s audience. You’re going to get mad at me now — personalities are everything on radio. I know they cost money and owners can’t wait to get rid of them but that’s what young listeners want. Want to know what it takes to find a Millennial radio personality — radio still hasn’t figured it out.
Two things radio listeners still can’t resist: service and humility.

14. Tons of Your Questions

In my USC classroom where I taugh music industry and generational media, I often fantasized about what it would be like if I could have my radio friends in the room to learn the way young Millennials do —they speak up, send up ideas, challenge everything, contribute to the teaching and laugh and have a good time. And all this in an atmosphere of approval and acceptance. So fire away — dig in and drill down to what would make the investment of your day produce the biggest payoff.

Our conference will not be available by stream or video — only live and in person.

Join the radio people and entrepreneurs who have already reserved their seats.

One day — Wednesday, March 18th —could make a more favorable outcome for 2015.

Register here
Inquire about group rates: / (480) 998–9898
Find nearby hotels here

That’s me with my better half, Cheryl, who makes these conferences run smoothly

Presented at The Hub Commerce Square, 2001 Market Street, Suite 210, Philadelphia, — walking distance from Amtrak’s 30th Street Station, 20 minutes from Philadelphia International Airport. Registration & breakfast begin at 8am. Conference starts at 9, ends at 4pm.


That’s Philly talk (translation: “did you eat, yet?”). You will and it’s on me — Breakfast, lunch and breaks by acclaimed James Beard Award-winning Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix, former executive chef at The Four Seasons, included.

For hotel information or questions: call Cheryl at (480) 998–9898 or email

To reserve a seat, click here
Inquire about group rates:

About Jerry

My background includes television, radio, publishing, Internet, digital, social media and Professor at the University of Southern California where I developed my interest in how generations differ in their media needs.

I also do workshops, brainstorming seminars and speeches.

(Shown here with Disney’s Ernest Martinez at my latest custom seminar, a February workshop in Burbank).




Jerry Del Colliano

Professor NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, Publisher and DayStarters, USC Professor Music Industry