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Driving The Industry Forward

6-20-2012

WBEB Philadelphia owner Jerry Lee says Erica Farber is going to make a great RAB President. "I see Erica methodically putting together a step-by-step plan to drive the industry forward. She has the leadership qualities to grow the industry by at least 25 percent over the next five years." That is a very bold statement from a highly respected and successful independent operator. So how does Farber see the industry transforming? She says we have to think about more than just transmitters. It's about doing a better job of branding our product.

In the latest issue of Radio Ink, RAB CEO Erica Farber is featured on the cover. In the interview we asked her how she sees the radio business transforming over the next five years. "Thats a big question. From the broadcasters standpoint, its gotten bigger than just thinking about your transmitter. The transmitter is critical, but for the first time in my career, we are able to compete with other mediums for budget in a different way. Whether its through your computer, handheld, or whatever device, thats where our consumers are going to be. That is what radio is focusing on. It is becoming more critical than ever."

Farber also says how we brand radio is key because of the number of ways consumers can now access audio products. "We always talk about how important product is, and how important branding is. But more important than ever is what our product is and what our branding is, because the competition is fierce. Getting our products on every device possible, and I know there are many people working to make this happen, is critical. The change thats occurring is, when you talk to the consumer about radio, their definition of radio is changing. They might be listening to a stream on their computer, but they call it radio. They might be listening to an audio service on a handheld, but they call it radio. When we look to the future, thats going to be a big issue whats going to be the definition of radio and audio services. Its important that broadcasters focus on their brands."

And, how important is local? "There is huge importance in local, but local has a broader definition. Its being the very best you can in your local marketplace. Sometimes that means taking a national brand and including it in your local station. Our challenge is, how do we stay up? How do we communicate? How do we learn? How do we stay ahead of all the new technology?"

We'll have more from our cover story with Erica Farber tomorrow.
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(7/8/2012 12:34:28 PM)
There are few who wouldn't wish the lady a massive amount of success. No matter the source, a loud and clear "forward 'harch" is definitely in order. For an extended period that could be measured in archeological time, this business has been marching in place... but, at a fevered pace.

- Ronald T. Robinson

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