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Are You Creating Buzz for Advertisers?


One-time radio exec Tom Calderone (pictured), now President of VH1, shared his challenges in the world of TV, many of which are similar to radio's own challenges. One observation he has is that advertisers like to jump on the band wagon of the next big thing, including Pandora. For radio to combat that, they need to make sure they are in the buzz. "Advertisers often say to us, 'you guys are really trending.' Sometimes, it seems the buzz is more impressive than ratings ... For us, our goal is to have the ratings and the buzz."

Calderone also stressed the value of focus groups, conducting them as often as every 4 -5 months, as well the importance of having the right team. "I look for team members who will challenge me, who don't think like me." He also sees the new millennial work force as a challenge in itself which companies will have to learn to adapt to. "They think differently. You're lucky if they stay more than 4 or 5 years. For them, it is often about a lifestyle choice rather than a career choice," and he noted, millennials look for a "Vibe" at company. VH1 creates that vibe by allowing and encouraging risk taking and experimentation of its products. "You have to serve up some innovative buckets, for your audience and your people."