A Conversation With The New Boss at DG
Paul Caine is very positive about Audio and very positive about radio. While at Time Inc., the company he's leaving to take over at Dial Global, he says using audio in the media mix is coming up more and more and that's one of the reasons he decided to take the Dial Global CEO job. He sees the audio space as a growth opportunity and believes Dial Global is in a unique position to be a leader in that space. And he sees big growth possibilities in digital and mobile. Caine took the time between meeting with clients yesterday to answer a few of our questions about taking over Dial Global.
RI: You're 48, Paul. Has it been a goal of yours to be a CEO?
Paul Caine: I wouldn't say that being a CEO has been a goal. Being a positive influence on the media industry, that has been my aspiration. I've had the benefit of having many different roles within the industry and within the company of Time Inc. This is just another step in the direction and I am really excited about it.
RI: Everything we've read said you were in line to be the next CEO of Time Inc. Why leave that company?
Paul Caine: I feel really good about where this company is going. When the opportunity in Dial Global came up, I got really excited. I am really excited because during the course of my travels and working with agencies and clients, I kept hearing how audio is becoming a more important part of the media mix. There were a lot of questions about how to effectively use audio and radio to do that. So, the idea of working with marketers who fully understand this medium and use it to it's fullest potential, that's what got me excited.
RI: How long were they pursuing you? How long was the process going on?
Paul Caine: The conversations were long enough that I got a really good understanding of what the business was, what the opportunity was and that the people involved in it were the right talent to see it forward. The more I got to know, not only the business and the industry, the more it seemed like the right opportunity for me.
RI: Is it safe to say that it was going on for longer than six weeks?
Paul Caine: The conversations go in all different directions. I think what is safe to say is that there was no question when it was really presented to me in a positive way, it seemed to be the exact right thing for me. More importantly, I felt like I could have an impact on the business and the category, which is what my main focus is.
RI: Do you consider this to be a turnaround?
Paul Caine: I see it as a growth opportunity. The category is growing, Dial Global has a unique position with the content that it creates and the consumers that it serves. It has a unique opportunity to be a leader in that side of it. There has been wonderful work going on in the category. Wonderful work by all the other companies in audio and also wonderful work done by dial. I am just looking forward to seeing the next stage of this.
RI: What have you determined to be the biggest challenge that you will face when you come on board?
Paul Caine: I think all media has challenges at this point. With each of the different mediums, we all have a responsibility to help our advertisers understand the power that the consumer has already recognized. I love that the consumers connection with audio is only increasing. Engagement scores are high. Listening of radio and audio has just been growing. The growth within the digital and mobile space is really inspiring. What I really see is an opportunity for us as a company to really participate in that growth and own the leadership position of the growth.
RI: Can you talk about what your vision is for mobile and digital?
Paul Caine: I think the consumers are leading us down a path where all content can be delivered on multiple devices. We are used to audio being distributed on traditional radio which is completely a healthy medium and in a healthy place. But, we are also watching consumers using more mobile devices like their literal mobile device and other digital devices to distribute audio content. It is important for Dial Global to be a leader in that space.
RI: What do you think are your best lines? Your best products at Dial Global?
Paul Caine: Dial Global has a wonderful strength in live events, especially in sports. But, it has a opportunity to grow in all radio.
RI: You were behind several launches when you were at Time Inc. Do you think there is room for more product?
Paul Caine: I think there is always room for growth and that is something that the consumers and the creativity amongst the staff is only limiting us by. I think we are going to continue down our path and seek out as many opportunities to engage with consumers in audio as we can.
RI: There have been some challenges on the business side. Can you talk about those at all? Do you think there will be cuts at Dial Global?
Paul Caine: I think we are going to be thoughtful about the way we are going to approach this business and look for the opportunities to grow it. Our goal is to invest in where our content is and invest in where the growth opportunities are going to be.
RI: Do you think that there is a lot of room for revenue growth at Dial Global?
Paul Caine: I definitely think there is revenue growth opportunities for the company and the industry. We are looking forward to seeking those out.
RI: Where do you want to see the company in two or three years?
Paul Caine: I would like to see the company building on its existing strengths to the consumer in the content and the partnerships that we have. I would like to see us build on that and continue to grow in an area that is going to allow us to be more important to the consumers, affiliates, and to the format, and to ultimately be more important and impactful to advertisers.