Continuing Joint Communications' conference hopping, CEO John Parikhal attended Radio and Records' annual Talk Radio Seminar in Los Angeles.
His focus: Boomers, adapting media buying demos, and keeping on-air programming relevant through context and meaning.
Among the highlights, as reported by Radio and Records, context is talk radio's next growth cateogry:
Some things just make sense, and some things need explaining. And that simple process of making sense of things could very well be the next creative and growth category for talk radio. At least, that's the speculation of Joint Communications' John Parikhal, who has a very good record of cutting through life's fog.
Appearing as one of seven talk radio industry participants and observers at the opening session of the 12th annual Talk Radio Seminar in Marina Del Rey, Calif., Parikhal said more people want analysis -- someone to tell them "what it all means" and to give a topic context in their lives. "They want you to 'make sense of things for me; give me a context.' And they want you to stop shouting people down." He added, "People say they don't like politics, but they mean that they don't like the extreme in politics."
Al Peterson, Radio And Records's news/talk/sports editor and co-moderator of the panel with publisher and president Erica Farber, asked if anyone was aware that NPR -- National Public Radio -- is "talk radio's dirty little secret."
ABC Radio Network's John McConnell quickly responded, "It's been the biggest success story in talk radio for the last number of years." That is partly, he added, because it does analysis so well and so often.
Parikhal added that a contributing factor to NPR's talk success is that "NPR is using sound better than anyone else. I call it the 'sound of the goat.'" He then described a mock NPR story of "a man walking up the side of a hill, and you hear the sound of a goat in the background." Said Parikhal, "They use in-depth, really good production. They are the National Geographic of radio. They paint with sound."
At another session, Parikhal talked about how radio is forgetting about an important (and still big) demographic -- Baby Boomers. Among the quotes:
Advertisers and ad agencies are missing the boat on a great source of cash flow: the baby boomers. Particularly people 56 and older, who are left out of ad buys because they are perceived as being stuck in their buying habits. But that's a big mistake.For more on the Talk Radio Seminar, click here.
"Fifty-six and older are lonely, waiting to die, and no one is providing entertainment for us," cracked Joint Communications' John Parikhal, drawing laughter from the audience.
When an audience member suggested that older listeners tend not to try new products but buy what they know, Parikhal quickly attempted to set the record straight.
"Older people are not set in their buying ways," he said. He pointed to boomers' love of buying computers, cars and gizmos, all the way down to getting different toothpastes for the newest whitening additive. He said the audience member's sentiment is "really unfair and biased and one that keeps radio stuck."
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Saturday, March 10, 2007,