HD's (second) Biggest Obstacle

Written Jul. 14, 2007 by Tom Webster in HD Radio with 0 Comments

It has been over a year since I wrote The Next Ten Years: Radio's Biggest Challenge, an article that generated lots of constructive feedback, criticism and most importantly, dialogue. In that article, I articulated the Human Resources challenge radio must confront if it intends to remain a competitive venture (a challenge that was one of our primary motivations for starting 30 Under 30). I know my colleagues in business school generally hated the "soft skills" classes, gravitating instead towards Operations or Equity Analysis, but no matter how brilliant your operational strategy, it gets executed by people. Attracting, retaining, managing and compensating people is where the rubber meets the road as far as the radio industry is concerned.

I think that issue is at the heart of a point made recently by the BBC's James Cridland. Cridland points out the lack of cross promotion on US (and UK) commercial radio, and notes that program directors are incentivized on their own station's results, not the performance of their group or cluster. I have even heard myself of programmers being advised to make their HD2 channels "unlistenable" to partisans of the main terrestrial signal, which may be the only fiscally responsible position at the station level, but is hardly good for the strategic positioning of HD.

What you measure, you get--until programmers are paid based upon the performance of a given cluster or station's entire suite of offerings (and not just the 25-54 rank of their terrestrial station) they will continue to drive those ratings at the expense of HD or Internet initiatives, and with the current HR strategy of most broadcasters, they are not wrong to do so.

Reader Comments

Your 2¢, in chronological order — add your comment below.

Add Your Comment

No <p> tags necessary, valid XHTML is always appreciated.








Edison Research

Receive new research and insight first. Subscribe to the Edison Research mailing list today!

First Name
Last Name
Company
Email Address

What updates would you like to receive?

Election Research Updates
Broadcast Media Research Updates
Technology & Internet Research Updates
Consumer and Opinion Research Updates

Search The Infinite Dial


WWW Infinite Dial

About The Infinite Dial

No longer bound 'between 88 and 108 on your local FM Dial', radio has been liberated and now can be found virtually anywhere. This is a site to track radio in all its forms.

We are fans of great radio, whether it be on AM, FM, Satellite, Internet, HD, a Podcast, in any country on earth, or on any platform. The Infinite Dial will explore, analyze, and keep you informed about all the intersections of broadcast media and technology.

Have something to contribute? Just pop us a note and we'll get right back to you!