Radio station ARN has had a phenomenal year, with some of their programs hitting the number 1 and 2 spots every day. Their Group Manager Duncan Campbell attributes this success to their ability to change on the fly.
In the old days of radio, he explains, there was a need to wait for the ratings to come in to make changes. But now ratings are not the deciding factor for changes. Stations and managers can judge their listener feedback in the moment and make those changes well before the ratings ever appear.
This is thanks to improved technologies that allow for better tracking and the ability to switch up content more easily. If a song is not tracking well, it can be shuffled out of rotation much easier than before. And if listeners are responding to the topics being discussed during talk shows, managers can issue changes to the talking points list as the hosts are on the air.
These kinds of advances have made it possible for ARN to secure the #1 spot for afternoon time slots with Jason Staveley. The technology has allowed the stations to better listen to what their fans want and respond accordingly.
But of course their success has not been just because they reacted to listener comments. The station has done well because of smart managing. They have been pairing up ghosts that work well together and making sure relevant topics are being discussed. They understand that listeners are tuning in as much for the news and conversation about it as they are for entertainment. Balancing what hosts want to say and what listeners want to hear has been a game the station has proven to be skillful at.
And they’ve been successful on AM channels as well. They’ve managed ratings as high as 8 for some of their AM shows, which is almost unprecedented in the industry. ARN has been like the best robot vacuum, sucking up all the ratings, leaving little for the other stations to fight over. But like a vacuum, there has been some dust and dirt getting into the machine as well.
Not every show the station produces is a hit, and the management team is looking at eachone individually to see what it is doing wrong and how it can better appeal to its intended audiences. Sometimes, it is just a matter of the otherstationshaving superior programming at that time, something that is difficult to top. But the company has been aggressive in monitoring these problems as they happen and working out solutions quickly, constantly testing new strategies to make shows stick.…