Radio Ink Hispanic Radio Conference: Full Coverage

ADAM R JACOBSON, reporting from San Diego 

DAY TWO HIGHLIGHTS

‘CULTURE IS WHAT LINKS US TOGETHER’

And, says SBS CFO Joe Garcia, culture is what will make Spanish-language radiocontinue to maintain a sizeable audience in the U.S. Hispanic market. Garcia was joined by other group heads at the Radio Ink Hispanic Radio Conference’s concluding “Super Session,” with Davidson Media Group chairman Sanjay Sanghoee noting that Spanish-language radio stations the company owns and/or operates are likely to stay Spanish for years to come. Adelante Media Group CEO Jay Meyers believes that it will be at least 20 years before Hispanics start to tune out of Spanish-language radio in great numbers. Today, use of Spanish, or English, or a mix of both languages is highly dependent on how a company should best serve its particular market, says Entravision Communications radio division president Jeff Liberman. And if it is German Polkas that the Hispanic 18-49-year adult wants, that’s what they’ll get, says Univision Radio president José Valle.

‘IT’S TOUGHER THAN IT WAS TWENTY YEARS AGO’

Entravision’s Jeff Liberman says Hispanic radio needs to step up in unison and start fighting for its rightful share of the ad dollars. “We have to do a better job in sales and provide our advertisers reasons to buy us. Today, we have a more competitive marketplace. Research has gotten better. We need to unite, as an industry, and go after Corporate America. We can worry about competition later, but we need to hit Corporate America over the head … I’m going to do it whether I am joined or not.” Taking a similar tone, Adelante head Jay Meyers said he’s not one to go into an agency to talk about getting Hispanic advertising dollars. “I’m here to talk about how 100 percent of the dollars are going to reach 87 percent of the market … and that’s stupid! If we got 33 cents on the dollar for the percentage of the audience that is Hispanic, we wouldn’t be here [in San Diego] today. We’d be in Maui, paying our own way.”

DIGITAL COMPREHENSION VITAL TO LONGTERM INDUSTRY GROWTH

In opening comments on the second day of the Radio Ink Hispanic confab,Radio Ink publisher Eric Rhoads implored broadcasters to understand the impact online radio presents to them. “If you cannot understand these devices, you cannot protect your brand. You need to understand because it is changing the way people listen to the radio.” He discussed Tunein Radio (see Andres Cantor interview, above, for more) as a one-stop platform for radio and how manufacturers of audio systems desire one central delivery platform. “Ultimately, you need to be where your listeners are.”

‘CONTENT FLUIDITY IS REALLY IMPORTANT’

Tapestry Media Director Victor Garcia believes developing content that the media buyer can take wherever they want, free from the restrictions presented by working with one broadcast company over another, will best monetize beyond the AM/FM band and bring greater ROI. “To depend on one specific vehicle will leave us all shut,” he said. Speaking on a panel devoted to finding new accounts and fostering advertiser growth, Garcia noted that Starcom Mediavest’s Tapestry unit “wants to hold our multicultural plans to the same rigor as the general market.” He’s seen many situations where an investment occurs, but without a goal. His job – to stop such scenarios.

SESSION SOUNDBYTES

“The recording industry through downloads and digital content have taken it on the chin and are now trying to recoup by putting it on the backs of radiobroadcasters.” – Francisco Montero, co-managing partner of Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth, discussing the Performance Rights Act.

“When you sit around and look at some of the regulations broadcasters are forced to deal with, it’s just stupid. Having a public file was great stuff in the sixties, and the fifties, and the fourties. In 1977 people actually came in and looked at our public file. But today?” – Adelante Media Group CEO Jay Meyers, on how Federal government regulations need to better reflect today’s consumer environment.

“We need to think about creating environments and programs that get people engaged and stop offering one-way messages and treat them as users – and not as consumers.” – Sensis Agency president José Villa.

 

DAY ONE HIGHLIGHTS

Action. Unity. Those were the two words Radio Ink publisher Eric Rhoads asked attendees of the Radio Ink Hispanic Radio Conference to write down and act upon. Kicking off the two-day confab yesterday, Rhoads advocated for industry unity. “This conference represents opportunity for the heart of the radio industry to make change.”

Still, the industry has come a long way since 1962, when honorary conference chair and industry icon Eduardo Caballero launched a Spanish-language radiostation in New York. Later, when he launched a national network advertising sales representation firm for Hispanic radio, there were still challenges – just 49 Spanish-language radio stations were on the air in the U.S., and agencies ignored him. This forced Caballero to go direct to the advertisers – something that gives Hispanic broadcasters an advantage today, capitalizing on the ability to sell to people without having a microfocus on CPM.

‘DON’T MISUNDERSTAND THE THREAT OF THE INTERNET’

In a moving acceptance speech of the 2012 Lifetime Achievement “Medallas de Cortez” award, Lotus Communications CEO Howard Kalmenson urged conference attendees to pay heed to the threat of in-vehicle internet access – something that will end radio‘s exclusivity while on the road. “Exclusivity in the car has been our life blood. Now, you’ve got competitors you’ve never dreamed of. They don’t need towers. They don’t need offices. Think over what’s really coming … and ask, ‘What do I do for the next 50 years?’” Going back to basics is one of Kalmenson’s suggestions; he refused to reveal the other ideas he has in mind. Receiving 2012 Medallas de Cortez as Station of the Year for Markets 1-25: Entravision’s Mexican Regional KDLD-FM 103.1 “El Gato” in Los Angeles. Taking the award for markets 25+ is Connoisseur Media’s KBBX-FM in Omaha. For a full list of award winners, visit http://www.radioink.com.

A POLITICAL STORY THAT MUST INCLUDE HISPANICS

Hispanic entrepreneur Charles Garcia, best-selling author of A Message from Garcia and Leadership Lessons of the White House Fellows, told conference attendees in a keynote address that radio‘s key business trait is its ability to touch people’s hearts. He devoted much of his conversation to the importance of Latinos in the 2012 Race to the White House: Of the 15 “swing states” Republicans must capture, the majority have significant numbers of registered Hispanic voters. Given the lack of support among Latinos of the two leading Republican presidential nominees, Garcia believes it is nearly impossible for President Obama to lose the November election. For radio, bringing the political message of both the Republican nominee and Obama’s reelection campaign to Latinos is essential – and the industry should do its part to foster political advertising at its stations.

In a prerecorded statement, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) noted that radio plays a critical role, not just in this year’s elections, but moving forward with respect to connecting to a large segment of voters. Politicians should rely on Spanish-language to get the message out, and to continuously inform the public on information pertinent to them.

SESSION SOUNDBYTES

“We have to keep a particular eye on what is going on in digital. It is growing and it is working and at the end of the day it is about the right ROI.” – MEC Managing Director Gonzalo Del Fa

“To win the game, you have to know what the rules are to win that game.” – Programming consultant Bob Perry, who says a station with both English-language and Spanish-language programming is dependent on the unique dynamics of each individual market.

“In the PPM world we’re programming on a minute-by-minute basis.” – Haz Montana, Operations Manager, Univision Radio/Los Angeles, who believes growing the “big tent” has led to the end of Spanish-language radio shows known for “shock moments” designed to aid recall when completing an Arbitron diary.

For complete conference coverage, please visit http://www.radioink.com

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