Friday, April 7, 2017



Jody Evans, CEO of the Public Radio Program Directors (PRPD), sends word that stations should sign up now for Public Radio Tech Survey 9. The annual survey conducted by Jacobs Media has become a benchmark study of media usage, platform preferences and perceptual trends.

click to enlarge
The chart on the left is the Media Usage Pyramid for 2016. Public Radio Tech Survey 9 will put increased emphasis on apps and the mobile web, the latest on Connected Cars, and acceptance and use of handsets and ear buds.

There is a modest fee for participating stations but the results are more than worth the expenditure. The Public Radio Tech Surveys have become an essential yardstick to understand how our listeners adopting various devices and platforms. Participating stations have access to national data and proprietary use of data for their own listeners.

Results will be presented at the Public Radio Content Conference, August 14 – 17. For more information call Lisa Riker at Jacobs Media 248.353.0709.


Public media’s gear heads, information technology and new media folks will gather Thursday, April 20th, and Friday, April 21st, a the Public Radio Engineering Conference (PREC) held concurrently with NAB Show. The PREC is being held at Tuscany Suites & Casino in Las Vegas. The Association of Public Radio Engineers are sponsoring the PREC.

Complete information, including a schedule of sessions, is available here

The Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS) will be making a special presentation at 8:15am on Friday (4/21) about the evolution of MetaPub and metadata trends. The session will feature Megan Williams, PRSS' Product Manager; Matt Walther, Senior Manager of Distribution Operations; NPR's David Julian Gray; and Phil Burger, KNPR Director of Broadcast Operations.

PRSS will also present an update on the work being done with the Future Systems, including an update on the RFP process, and the Technical Advisory Group. The session is at 11:15am, also on Friday (4/21). Featured speakers will be Mike Beach, NPR’s VP for Distribution and Ron Walker, Senior Director of Information Systems.


On March 31st, we announced and saluted three new members of the PRPD Board of Directors [link]. They are Kristen Muller of KPCC, Jacqueline Cincotta of WNYC and Fred Jacobs of Jacobs Media.

In the post we praised the ongoing work of Fred Jacobs on behalf of our collective enterprise. We said the Jacobs’ efforts have helped public radio become more effective and sustainable.

We received this note from Fred Jacobs:

Fred Jacobs
Ken, this is very kind and I am very appreciative. 

I am truly excited about this opportunity to serve PRPD, and by extension, public radio.  It’s an interesting shot for them to choose someone from the outside like me.  My brother, Paul, has served on the Greater Public board for several years now (and rose to chairman).  He’s done an amazing job in that capacity.  We probably paved the way for me with PRPD.

It is wonderful the big players in public radio welcome us into their world, and feel that we bring something a little different to the table because of our backgrounds.

Ken, truly thank you for this.



Neil Sargent & his grand kids in 2016
The past Wednesday (4/5) we paid tribute to one of my mentors, Neil Sargent, who passed away recently at the age of 85. Neil was my boss at Transtar Radio Network and a friend of many years.

Tom Taylor kindly mentioned my tribute to Neil in his daily newsletter [link] and I heard from several co-workers at Transtar who also praised Neil. I received this comment from one of them, Skip Joeckel, owner and operator of syndication firm Talk Shows USA [link]:

Ken, What you wrote about Neil was  beautiful!!

Thank you for saying what so many of us who worked for Neil would have said.

I saw the attached photo on Neil's Facebook page. 

KEN SAYS: What I learned from Neil was sales survival skills. Though I had been involved in business prior to working at Transtar, I had never received any sales training. Here are some skills I learned from Neil that I use everyday:

• Where did you prospect today?

Neil knew the importance of identifying new clients, a practice known in sales as “prospecting.” Neil’s tips for prospecting are essential to the success of my consulting business, now in it’s 20th year. Consulting is like a roller coaster: When you are at the top of the cycle, it is easy to get lazy.  When you are at the bottom, sometimes things are so grim you don’t know where to start. The way to deal with the highs and lows of sales is to have new clients in the wings.

• Are you talking to the monkey or the organ grinder?

This is an old-school way of saying “make certain you are talking to a decision maker.” In other words, don’t waste time by pitching to people who don’t have the authority to say “yes.”

• Have you checked the “intel” before contacting a potential client?

Neil stressed the importance of knowing the person and company before making a sales pitch. He was a believer is “G-2” word-on-the-street perspective sometimes offered by competitors. On of Neil’s favorite ways of getting information on a prospective client was to call the station after hours and talk with a part-timer who can tell you the “temperature” of the place you want to pitch.

• Make certain to arrive early at the airport and be your gate on time.

These are things Neil seldom did.  When I traveled with Neil, I was his “bag man” and helper. Before 9/11 air travel was more informal.  While waiting for a flight to depart Neil often had a few more calls to make.  This business was most often done in an airport bar. Neil typically wanted make calls and have a drink until the very last moment.  It was my job to make certain he got on the plane.

Thankfully, he always made it. However, I found Neil’s habits raised my blood pressure into the sky.  Now, I am always at an airport early and at the gate before boarding begins.

No comments:

Post a Comment