The Management of A Radio Station
DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS Country 105 is a one of a kind radio station on Florida's Emerald Coast playing the perfect mix of country and western favorites from the 70's, 80's and the 90's. The call letters of Country 105 is WYZB-FM, Frequency 105.5. Country 105, like many country and western stations to pop up on the air within the last three years, is a conversion station. The original old format of country 105 was oldies and the station was known as COOL105. Despite the industry's long held belief that most markets can't sustain a country and western station, 42 of the top 100 markets now have a country and western station format with at least a 1.0 on the Arbitron rating scale. According to the M street Journal, there are now 1,703 country and western outlets operating in the country, making the country and western format the third most common format. Three years ago there were just 545 country and western stations. In terms of listening, country and western stations claim 6.5% of the nations audience in the summer according to the Billboard/Arbiton national format ratings. As further evidence of country and western growth, in recent months there have been several examples of markets where upstart country and western stations have dethroned their incumbent. A. External- Industry 1. Customer Profile Country 105 considers the entire population of the Emerald Coast their customer base. The primary audience listening to Country 105 is the 25-54 age group. According to a 1993 Simmons report, country and western music is the chosen format for both the young professional (19% of those surveyed) and college student (15% of those surveyed). The survey also indicated that 20% of all adult who identified their buying style as "Ad Believers" picked country as their favorite format. 2. Industry Structure a. Potential Entrants Entry to the country music business in the Emerald Coast arena appears to be limited. The three main players; Country 105, K-92, and Country 102.7 seem to provide adequate coverage and support for the listening population. Although these are not the only country stations in the area they are the strongest and look at each other as the main rivals. Since country music is "hot" at this time and these stations all play the favorite artists and service their clientele adequetly, it appears the strongest threat of a new entrant will come from another station converting their format to country. b. Intensity of Rivalry The rivalry among the country stations is county based. Country 105 and K-92 who are located in the Okaloosa county major metropoliton areas of Fort Walton Beach and Destin respectively, vie for the same market share on a daily basis. Country 102.7 is based in the Pensacola area and compete mainly with the few smaller stations in their local area and the neighboring Alabama cities such as Mobile, Foley, and Gulf Shores. 3. Competitors Profile B. Internal Audit 1. Management Country 105 organizational structure consists of a General Manager who has the overall responsibility to manage the smooth and efficient running of the radio station. Although the managers of each department have the run of managing their own department, any problems are brought to the General Manager's attention to be solved within, or brought to the owner's attention, if it requires further action. All in all, everyone works together and the managers have created an open door policy so that any ideas, big or small, whether it's sales promotion, radio image promotion, or inter-office improvements, it can be discussed and evaluated of its beneficial effect on the radio station. Many employees perform dual roles to stream line the workforce. The management strategy is for all employed to be involved in the stations overall strategy and this was echoed throughout each department. The management style seemed to be the collaborative approach and kept all workers (those we encountered) upbeat and geniuely postive toward the promotion of their station. 2. Operations a. Production The production department consists of the Operations Manager, Production Manager, and the on air personalities. The Operations Manager oversees the smooth operations of the department, the Production Manager ensures that all commercials and broadcasting materials are produced and ready to go on the air, and the on-air personalities provide the entertainment to the listening audience. The Creative Department which includes copy writers and production engineers perform the task of taking the message and making it come alive on the radio. It also has direct access to research facilities of the Radio Advertising Bureau for promotional ideas, industry trends, and background, as well as Co-Op research to uncover manufacturers money due to an advertiser to help pay the cost of a radio marketing campaign. b. Marketing The market profile of Country 105 based on the surveyed area of 152,200 people covering Okaloosa and Walton counties provided the following: Top 10 Employer Industries % of Workforce Eating and Drinking Places. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12.8% Health Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10.7% Engineering and Management Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6.1% Special trade Contractors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4% Business Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.2% Hotels and Other Lodging Places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.0% Food Stores . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.9% General Merchandise Stores. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.8% Miscellaneous Retail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.5% Automotive Dealers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.4% Top Occupations % of Workforce Technical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31.5% Managerial. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27.4% Service Worker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18.0% Precision Production. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11.4% Operators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.9% Farm workers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.8% c. Other Other aspects of Country 105's internal functions are the Administrative and Sales Department. The sales department sells air time to advertisers. The Sales Manager oversees the sales department to ensure they reach their sales quotas and provide morale support. Once they receive an order, this is brought to the attention of the Traffic Manager, who enters the data and schedules the commercials to air. Thereafter, the production order for the sale is given to the copywriter to write a script for, if needed, then passed on to the production department. The administrative side of the radio station, such as the Office/Traffic Manager and secretary do not get affected by sales quotas or Arbitron ratings. But performance and attitude are evaluated. Because they deal with the public, such as contest winners, advertisers, and listeners, as well as with the sales and production staff, positive attitude, personality, and the ability to perform their job efficiently are evaluated. II. STRATEGIC DATA BASE A. Significant Trends and Events For a positive community image, Country 105 along with sponsors tie-ins concerns itself with Public Service projects each year: "Hurricane Erin and Opal Relief," "Operation Raise the Flag to Honor our Desert Storm Heroes," major sponsor of American Cancer Society Fundraisers, and the Special Olympics Fundraisers are a few of the many community activities the radio station participated in the last few years or so. B. Current Strategic Position 1. Strategic Concepts a. Goal Country 105 has as a goal to be the most listened to radio station in Northwest Florida. According to the 93 spring Arbitron ratings, Country 105 was the choice of adults along the Emerald Coast, reaching 28,400 different persons 18 and older every week and ranked #1 during the time frame of Monday-Friday, 6 am, to 7 pm. Which comes to 21% of the population in Okaloosa County Metro tune into Country 105. b. Mission Their mission is to provide the best country music, news reporting, and community service to their audience. c. Strategies Country 105 strategy to stay the market leader is through technical advancement in their station equipment. Conversion to computers enabling the station to communicate on the Internet broadens greatly their market reach. They also use the Arbitron ratings survey analysis which comes out each spring to rate their effectiveness. Even though Country 105 ranks high with the younger listening audience (25-54 age group), its target demographic are the "baby boomers" or persons 35-64 years of age. According to the Prosper Business Develop Corportation this age group spends more than any other age group. Country 105 understands the importance of this age group to retailers and they strive to win the businesses over with their ability to reach this audience. 2. Implementing Strategies a. Program Strategies Country 105 organizes their program schedule based on the audience mostly being reached at any given time. The morning shows are geared to the working adults. The early evening shows attempt to attract the younger genre (after schoolers, young non-working mothers). The night time programs reach the young teenagers and require popular personalities to keep this fickle listener tuned in. They also use mobile broadcasting capabilities to augument their station and provide them more depth to service their listening area. b. Specific Objectives Country 105 sets as objectives to provide outstanding service and enhance the bussinesses that use the station through the use of the following: targetability where their unique formats provide advantage of delivering to the target consumer and ensuring the commercial reaches the right people, assertiveness through repetitiveness, primarily entertainment environment where the commerical will stand out, be heard, and generate results, imagery by utilizing the power of visualization to create images prospects will relate and react to. Listeners are impacted by their own imaginations. III. SITUATION ASSESSMENT 1. External Appraisal 2. 1. Opportunities Country 105's opportunities lay in their ability to stay on top of the local market through technology, creative advertising, and ability to reach the target audience more efficiently, effectively, and with the right message than their competitor. They know they can build a faithful listening audience thus opening up opportunities for more businesses to use their services. Use the Arbitron ratings, surveys, and computerized polls to identify the right mix of talk versus music to bring in the most listeners making the station more appealing to the local businesses for purchase of advertisement. 2. Threats The only real threat to Country 105 is the conversion of other stations to their country format and these station bringing over a very large faithful audience. This type of competition, especially if in the local area, could threaten their market leadership. This type of move by another station could also create a very competitive market and if the other station has a large amount of resources could take an offensive stance casuing Country 105 to retreat and regroup. B. Internal Appraisal 1. Strengths Country 105 is owned by Holladay BROADCASTING Co., Inc. whose office is in Meridian Mississippi. This company alos own 99 Rock and an AM talk radio station in the local area. This umbrella of stations provide Country 105 with the ability to trade strategies within the corporation and gain advantage over individual stations. This umbrella, if the owner chooses to supplement the stations with revenues of the other, could provide Country 105 the capital for expansion, innovation, and technological improvments that would bolster its market leader position. IV. DECISION ANALYSIS A. Strategic Concepts 1. Mission Adjustments The Arbitron ratings survey analysis creates an impact externally from advertiser's point of view. Basically, the higher the listening audience of a radio station, the better cost-per-point for an advertiser. In the same token, it makes a good selling tool for the sales person, if all else fails to get the prospective client's attention. Arbitron also create an impact within a radio station. A program, such as "The Larry King Show," may be taken off the air and replaced with different programming if it received a very low rating. The Arbitron survey also has a effect on evaluations of employees, on-air personalities are also evaluated by this survey. If their time frame received a low rating, there may be a turnover of personalities. Even the music format may be re-evaluated if, as a whole, the radio station received a low rating. the owner of a radio station evaluates the performance of the production staff and makes the decision for any changes. The owner also evaluates the General Manager's performance and decision making. 2. Goals and Objectives Change/Addition Although the goal of Country 105 will probably remain the same each department within the station must contribute to the overall station performance to be successful. If for instance the Arbitron ratings indicate a particular show is not getting the expected response then this program must be changed. Since the the sales department is not directly affected by the Arbitron ratings survey analysis it is affected by sales quotas. Each sales person objective is to meet their quota in order to be beneficial to the radio station. Re-evaluations takes place when sales personal do not meet their quota consistently. The Sales Manager is evaluated by the performance of his sales staff. B. Program Strategies Create unique entertainment that appeals to both young and old alike. Provide complete coverage of the news and community events. Interface with the listening public to become a valued member of the community. V. EVALUATION A. Conclusions Country 105 seems to be faring very well in the country music market in the metro area of Okaloosa, Walton, and Santa Rosa counties. They are staying on the cutting edge of technogoly and strive to provide their listeners with the most current country music from the hottest artists on the country scene. They seem to have a pleasant and productive working relation between the employees and the management of the station. The owners attitude seems to be a hands-off type of management unless absolutely necessary. Overall I believe Country 105 is positioned well in their market niche and their mission appears to support their overall goal. If they continue to scan the market and the market consumers for inputs to adjust strategies they should remain strong for years to come. B. Recommendations My recommendation to the staff at Country 105 would be to continue in their current strategies and then add the "dare to be different" focus. Through this approach they could move ahead or in some instances move further ahead of the competition. This different could also make them more attractive to potential customers who are looking for new ways to market their products. They should also thrive to exploit the value from the computer information highway and use this powerful tool to enhance their market position, gain a wider market area, and reach more people.