Independent and Optimistic: Why Smaller Can Be Better — and More Profitable
What Every Radio Group Can Learn from These Big Thinkers
Independents and smaller groups may seem to face a different set of challenges, especially when it comes to maintaining a competitive edge and commanding their due share of revenue against the bigger groups.
But smaller can be more flexible, nimbler, and easier to maneuver without layers of interference or corporate inertia.
So was “economy of scale” a myth? How does the independent maintain the level of talent and creativity needed to compete head-to-head with stations relying on “synergy”?
At Forecast 2018, we’ve gathered a uniquely qualified panel of experts from both the station and the agency sides of the table to explore “Why Smaller Can Be Better — and More Profitable.”
They will address questions and supply answers to issues that have implications far beyond market size and rank.
For example, what does it take to generate and grow revenues necessary to feed investors, compete with larger entities, and expand business profit at the end of the day?
Is smaller ever an advantage, and necessity truly the mother of invention? What plans and strategies are on their roadmap to 2018? What are the secrets to successful operation, independent or otherwise, in today’s media and economic worlds?
And what’s the view from the agency side of the coin? Do they see advantages in working with smaller or independent operators, ones that larger groups might learn from or even mimic?
There is no “small thinking” in smaller markets. Be prepared to take away big ideas from some big, familiar names in radio and advertising.
Frank Friedman is president/local investment at Publicis Media Exchange. He has spent the last 14 years in the group, in executive leadership positions across multiple countries. As president of PMX Local, he manages nearly $4 billion in local media investment across the Publicis Groupe agencies of Starcom, Spark Foundry, Zenith, and Blue 449. Publicis Media is one of the largest local radio spenders in the country, placing nearly a billion dollars across all markets, both large and small. Friedman spent two years as the CEO of Publicis Media Canada, as well as executive leadership positions in India. He joined the Publicis Groupe in 2003 as SVP/managing director of the Indianapolis Office of Optimedia and eventually moved to New York as EVP/managing director. With client-side experience at Circuit City and Louisiana, Friedman has worked on both sides and has a customer-focused approach that truly values relationships and long-term partnerships.
Bruce Mittman is president and CEO of Mittcom, a top 20 advertising agency in the Boston market, and operating partner and co-founder of Community Broadcasters. Mittman is a 40-year veteran of the marketing/advertising and broadcasting wars and has had extraordinary success with startups and turnarounds in both environments. Mittman sharpened his advertising teeth working with Boston’s top creative talent at Marvin and Leonard, followed by a long run at Arnold, Boston’s dominant retail agency at the time. As technology entered the picture, he headed up a 50-person database marketing group. Mittman then went on to build a successful New England sports network as owner of radio stations in Maine and Rhode Island. Community Broadcasters owns 46 radio signals in Watertown, St. Lawrence Valley, Olean and Elmira/Corning, NY; Florence, Sumter, and Orangeburg, SC; and Destin-Fort Walton Beach, FL.
Elizabeth (Beth) Neuhoff is president and CEO of Neuhoff Communications. Earlier in her career she served in various positions at Interep, beginning with national media sales rep and concluding a 13-year run as EVP of the Midwest Region. She oversaw over $200 million in media sales per year across five offices and 85 employees. Her specialty was new business development, with an emphasis in nontraditional media and strategic brand events. Neuhoff now serves as president and CEO of Neuhoff Communications, a broadcast company serving small and mid-size communities. She served on the board of Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation in Chicago and recently rolled on to its honorary board. She received the William J. Casey Hope Award from BNPCF in 2002 for her work with pediatric cancer patients. She also serves on the boards of the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust and the Broadcasters Foundation of America and was the board chairperson at the Palm Beach Infectious Disease Institute.
Duke Wright is president and CEO of Midwest Communications. He got into the radio business in 1958, with the family’s purchase of 250-watt WRIG/Wausau, WI. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1962 with a marketing major, and in 1964 added FM to the Wausau market, building 100kw WRIG-FM from a construction permit. In his first venture as a group owner, Wright built WROE-FM in Appleton-Oshkosh in 1971. Midwest added many other markets, building the company up to 75 stations today, ranging in size from market 43 (Nashville) to unrated Coldwater, MI, population 12,OOO. Wright was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in 2001. He is also in the Central Wisconsin Music Hall of Fame for recording, engineering, and producing numerous albums and singles.
Seating is limited — register today!