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June 16, 2009



Following my investigation, thousands of people all over the world get the mortgage loans at different banks. Therefore, there is great possibilities to get a college loan in all countries.


Wonder why my post was deleted?

Charlie Ferguson

This ranks right up there with the RAB's creation of O.E.S. - remember, the "Optimum Effective Schedule" which was interpreted to mean "the most ads I should EVER have to run in a week on a Radio station!" Small market broadcasters need people at the RAB who really believe in the power of Radio to drive business for advertisers, not a bunch of snobs who represent us and our industry telling us we're just not good enough. Unfortunately right now, it's easy to see the emperor has no clothes at RAB.

Diane Boslet

What about the stations that sent in entries, PAID entries, they were lead to believe they were competing for an award, 1st 2nd place, what ever...now they did not hold the competition at all, did they refund their money? if there was no competition, there should be no entry moneies kept. Some small market radio stations stick their neck, and dollars out their when they really can't afford it, hoping they could get an award and use the status to make a few extra sales.

El Arana

As you said, bye bye RAB. . . oh well.
On Hispanic Talk Radio [what????] yes, Hispanic Talk Radio. We have some amazing local spots... of course, nobody at RAB can understand them, what with "Boadas, Language, Cultuh" setting the savage stage to the exclusion of 15% of the national and 42% of California's population, but "who cayes," all those Hispanics elected that Socialist. . . What do they know???
Its time RAB figured out that Radio is like politics. The pollsters are always wrong on election day [just like Arbitron] and all politics is local politics, just like radio.

Marshall Johnson, Sr.

To say there is a lot of frustration in the radio industry these days is preaching the obvious. After 40 years in the business, and winner of several commercial production awards and contests, I personally find most of the creative in the business is less than brilliant. We don't teach the new kids the skills necessary to succeed at this artful business. We are communicators by trade, and at times, do a mighty poor job of communicating to our fellow radio station team members, advertisers and listeners. When do we wake up and not settle for being the tallest midget in the room. What ever happened to wanting to become "world famous", like we did before the creation of the beloved RAB? Many of the real award winners were created on the fly in the studio without script. All we needed was a concept to communicate and sell. How about the creative done by the Radio Ranch for the past 4 decades? Come on people, pull up your pants and get over it. Forget the RAB. Go to work starting right now and become world famous. Only you can acquire and use the skills that will take you there.

Larry Jennings

I agree with Eric 200%. This is the worst possible statement a radio advocacy group could make about local radio production. Unintended as it may hvae been, the stench of this decision will foul the air for months to come.

Mike Luoma

As a Production Director out of work since February, I vote for #2. Even had an AE from the station ask me after I was laid off if I could help him with some copy... it's bad out there.

clark smidt

Let's hope all these radio Old Boys don't keep throwing themselves under the bus and pull their heads outta "the sand." Put down the lunch booze and kick some newspaper, internet and satellite. If you're 60 and still in it, go to the gym and work it out. We're far from done. Local wins. Plenty of creative to go all around. Budgets likely eliminated entry fees. Many players never knew how to be creative in the first place. Countin' beans ain't spinnin' tunes. Own up to a timely PR mistake, promote radio and let's move forward. We can make radio work, again and forever. All hands on deck, if you care.

Jim Devis

RAB going the way of R & R????? As I recall RAB is supposed to be a tool to help radio get its message out and train our people. That is usually why we join and send our people to meetings, classes, seminars and conferences.

RAB in Orlando was almost non-existent. I guess RAB just is looking for a graceful way to bow out of radio.

Quite frankly, I don't think the RAB has done much for radio for a long time and maybe it is time to rethink the value if any they bring to our industry.

They should be helping the industry improve its image as one of the few national voices we have or had.

I agree with most of the other comments, the value of radio is that we send people into stores, restaurants and get them to buy products, WE DELIVER RESULTS! Some of our copy may not be the greatest, sometimes our advertisers want input sometimes too much, but it our jobs as Radio Sales People to produce results for our clients.

Unfortunately too many people that could help at higher levels have differing agendas.

Remember not to hire RAB as a PR firm, unless maybe satellite radio.

Randy W. Jordan


As one who has spent 35 years in this business in medium and major markets, and in every side of radio, I agree with your assessment almost in its entirety. I have spent the last 20 years selling niche formats, and stations with marginal signals, in major markets by selling ideas and stellar production concepts more than selling numbers.

I agree with those that would tout radio's results, but I also know good production drives better results even without numbers. It is about reaching enough people, enough times with a message that invades the mind. And by production, I don't mean just adding reverb and effects or slapstick humor. I mean well-written and communicated ideas. As Chris Lytle used to say: "Sometimes truth is better than creativity." We all know of commercials that were funny but didn't sell.

For a few decades radio has been an industry where everybody wants good production, but nobody wants to pay for it. So, creative guys (yes, like me) are driven to the place where there is more money (sales). There we can put our creative juices to work for our clients and get paid for it, while reaping the appreciation of clients for creatively branding their image and telling their story. (I still write and produce for most of my list).

As an industry we have increasingly failed to train creative producers in writing radio ideas. Writing has been left to uninspired/untrained AE's. And, production to uninspired/untrained jocks. I don't embrace having to hire a copywriter and producer, but do endorse teaching those who will do those jobs.

"Talent" today has no concept that their job is about selling for clients (both on the air and in the prod room). You may mass produce liner card jocks and some on air talent that will pass. But, it doesn't work with production. Anyone can put words on digital media. Not everyone can put themselves on the media, and even fewer can put selling magic on the air.

The truth is: We do everything we do (the music, the personalities, the features ...everything) so that people will listen to commercials. If our production doesn't work, sooner or later none of us will!

Shame on the RAB/Mercury Awards for sending the advertising community the message that there is no good local production! That just isn't so. Shame on the industry attitudes that brought us not only cookie cutter personalities, but now cookie cutter production too! Instead of mentoring and training the next generation of "radio pros".

Randy Jordan
Fuquay Varina, NC

Daniel P Mitchell

To say local radio is not creative is just plainly wrong. I write and produce over 200 local commercials every year and have been doing it for 40 years. Those commercials have sold millions of dollars worth of every product sold. Who needs awards, all we need is results. Local radio generates them.

Cliff Hunter

Eric - great article. Other posters have pretty well covered it from all angles. It appears the RAB is not what it used to be under "Radio Wayne"!
Cliff Hunter


I just thought of something!!

They should put ALL of the entries on a website and let US decide who the winner is!

Hell.. I'll even help find $$ for a prize!

BIG John Small

I'm sad to see the categories go away. There ARE some really good… even GREAT Radio ads produced at a local level, but they do not always get entered into a contest. There are many stations that just won’t part with the money to enter every contest out there.
When I worked AT a radio station, I NEVER entered my work in a contest of any kind. Since I started my own company I have only entered two contests. I have won awards in each.
This year I submitted an ad in the Radio Mercury Awards. It is a campaign that has done well in several states for numerous clients. I coughed up the dough to enter, but I have never heard back about anything. I do not know if I “made the cut” or if I did not. I was disappointed that I had to fill out a bunch of crap about the campaign, give them e-mail addresses for everyone that was involved and NONE of us heard a word about the entry.
Were we even IN the Radio Mercury Awards? We must have been in there SOMEWHERE because I have voice talents contacting me to get work. I had two of them mention RMA in their e-mails.
I hope they resurrect the PSA & Radio categories next year. I think you’ll get some people out there that want to PROVE they can do it.
Oh… and Eric, if you need a female voice or two we have a BUNCH available!! ;o)

John Small

Tim Johnston WZTR FM

Thanks Eric for responding in your forum to what I thought was a slap in the face to local radio, actually several slaps considering all of the catagories that were not good enough. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot, did the RAB forget who supports them. I would be insisting on my entrance fee back!
By the way, I would listen to local spots anytime over the absolute obnoxious stuff that the agencies are sending out over the Networks right now. Those guys are supposed to be in the creative business and wow!!! As a station we have called our Network partners and asked for spots to be changed or taken off because they have such a high channel changing affect on our listeners.

If there are stations that care enough to enter and compete for this award there should be a winner.

Rebecca Lambert

I have to say that I agree with the Rod Schwartz who said that creative in local radio is lack- luster at best. This could be caused by the added pressure to produce by radio corporations that have also seen downsizing in the industy. With agencies falling left and right, our largest desire is to back them up, but the fallout continues on radio, and local reps are no longer given the time to be "creative". Agencies do have the advantage of having a host of departments left, IE: copy writers, creative, production, even after the carnage. When you work in local radio, you don't have all of the bells and whistles, and so... when you do get a great creative piece coming out of the grinder (and you have all heard them) they deserve to be recognized, not just for the creative, but for the local AE who was able to keep on top of the reason we are in business, to create working campaigns for our clients.

Jim Kampschroer

I found that the RAB seemed to be only working with the corperate stations. Small local radio was not given much help.We canceled our RAB membership.
So, like you, I smell a rat.
Jim Kampschroer KTEA Cambria CA


As a micro market radio station that entered for the first time I knew we would be competing against larger stations with little chance of winning .When you send in the entry fee, the least they could do is acknowledge your entry and your efforts..I have a rather difficult time accepting there were no entries good enough.If that is the case, then perhaps they need to refund our money. It's definitely misleading to say they will present an award and refuse to refund our money when they decide no one is good enough.It smells like a scam..


Hey Eric, the best line in your article is about the Olympics - how the winner does not have to beat the former Olympic winners, he just has to beat the people in his own race. And you're right about this being a PR nightmare: People who don't deem radio ads worthy or creative are guilty of the worst form of pontificating. Give me a break. I’ve heard tons of very clever radio ads in the past few months – both here in Texas and also on the East Coast in New York on our recent trip. The RAB has gotten a black eye over the "downsizing" of many of its amazing executives and talent such as George Hyde, Mike Mahone, Mary Malone, etc., etc., who have built that association into one of the best -- and light years ahead of ANY media association; and it's a crying shame that this is yet another swing at an already beleaguered (and yes, still great) industry. Thanks for being the voice of reason in a world that is slightly insane.

Chuck Lontine

I think I side with RAB.

If what I hear on local radio in my travels is any indicator, local radio spot production has lost its way.

Long gone are the days when a local AE designs a custom spot for a local business that actually helps that customer sell product. I can not recall the last time I've heard that on local radio.

What happened to our creativity and more so, our curiosity to expand the medium through those little speakers?

Kinda sad.

Natalie Swed Stone

I have attended many Mercury Awards over the years and have always felt that there were too many awards and many of the spots (even winners) not good at all
The fact is that radio creative is not where it needs to be vis a vis other media --and I take the RAB at their word that the spots were not good enough --they are trying to keep the bar high and in fact raise it
this is not about keeping the stations happy--this is about recognizing and rewarding the best creative out there--wheteher or not it is politically expedient--
enough already

Rod Schwartz - Grace Broadcast Sales

As an annual entrant since 2004, I was disappointed to see the radio station-produced category dropped this year, and rather unceremoniously at that.

My hope is that the RAB-Radio Creative Fund will give serious thought to balancing the composition of the (final round) judging panel by including substantial, if not equal representation from the radio side. There were fourteen final round judges this year, all giants in the world of agency creative, but no radio folks.

Might it not help to avoid the appearance of elitism by inviting radio station creatives to sit side-by-side with the agency guys?

To the extent that this year's RMA competition was tainted by the wholesale exclusion of the Radio Station-produced category, resulting in more than a few unhappy stations who feel their work wasn't given a fair shake, let's hope that the RAB/RMA/RCF principals will attempt to make next year's Mercury Awards a happier occasion, by putting "Radio" back into them.

Meanwhile, I've posted my own two entries at Radio Sales Cafe and have invited other entrants to do likewise. I'd enjoy hearing the spots submitted by stations. I suspect more than a few other radio folks would, also.

Jim Kipping

I agree with Mike, and as one that actually submitted this year at the urging of Doug Zanger from RadioCreativeLand.com (a former Mercury winner), I would have liked a little more guidance from what the judges were looking for more than.. “break all the rules.” What does that mean exactly? Isn't that radio cliché? The spot I submitted was anything but a typical radio spot which many times is voice over music and 80 seconds of copy that needed to be shoved in a 60 second bag. Again like Mike above, this spot got tremendous response for the client. The client came to us in local radio because was getting lackluster if any response from a previous agency written spot that sat there like a dead fish, but we made the phone wring off the hook.

I also think, as an industry, we have also brought on ourselves the many so called "sub par" problems that the judges bring up, and that is the promise that "sure, we can get that on for you tomorrow, client xyz." Just because we have in the past shouldn't mean we do in the future. In fact, when did this become acceptable? Just last week I had a AE inform us that a “big client” was coming in with literally thirty minutes notice and we need to make them happy?

I would venture to say none of the spots that won Mercury had 24 hours to turn around something that would "work" for the client. Agencies often times have months of planning, prep, focus groups what have you to churn out their award winners. Why as an industry have we diluted ourselves so much where we have accepted horrible screaming car ads (many agency produced mind you) just because they guys across town do it? That is fear selling. In our situation we have close to 50 sales people including local national, ntr, community outreach and streaming for 6 stations. It is our main goal is to get results for client first. Many times, that's really hard to do with less than ample time to turn something around that will be an award winner. But more times than not we get results for our clients and they keep coming back.

Anyone go eat a Quizno's Sub because they saw that funky chinchilla puppet thing singing “... they got a pepper baaaaaarrrr.” Not me, because... it's still a 10 dollar sandwich! Was it entertaining? Sure, but as soon as the client wasn't seeing results, that campaign was yanked.

Yes Eric, I smell a rat too, except we keep feeding it and putting a little running wheel for him/her to play on. Let's stop feeding it and see what happens. I call first dibs on the running wheel thingy.

Mike Copeland

While it's true that I smell a rat too, it's time for radio to stop focusing on the superficial creative product and begin focusing on the results radio brings to the table.

I work in Atlanta, a top-tier market, and have successfully helped a roofer generate 250+ leads this year, a varicose vein center generate 115 leads in 3 months, a dog training facility generate nearly $30,000 in new business directly attributable to my radio station even in this economy.

While creative is fun, right now advertisers are looking for empirical evidence of increased sales and store traffic.

Smell a rat? Yes. But the bigger issue is it's high time that radio begins to be held accountable for measureable results not just lackluster creative.

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