Broadcast radio is constant, curated, safe, and boils down to two options: AM and FM. But for David Field, CEO of radio operator Entercom, safe doesn’t have to be boring.
Field has become one of the industry’s prime advocates, often touting the fact that 93% of Americans tune in on a weekly basis. He believes his company’s 2017 acquisition of CBS Radio, and all the newfound scale that brings, renews radio’s value proposition as an advertising space.
Field succeeded his father, Joe, as CEO in 2002. Since then, listenership has splintered as streaming apps that siphoned off music lovers proliferated, says Russell Lindley, president and partner at radio specialist Ad Results Media.
But in a time when social media is populated by fake news, bots, and political rancor, brands are turning to the relatively safe environment of radio, where music, sports, and talk content are "carefully curated," notes Entercom corporate comms head Esther-Mireya Tejeda via email.
"Radio is unique in its ability to generate live real-time ads to large audiences," Field explains. "There are very few ways to do that anymore, so the future is bright for radio advertising."
Plus, new investments in formats such as podcasts, as well as its combination of traditional strengths — sports, news, and personalities — will buoy the industry.