Since Radio One promoted Reach Media president David Kantor to chief executive of the company’s radio division last October, the interplay between the network and the station group has never been higher. “We're doing more coordination between the radio stations and the network,” Kantor tells Inside Radio.
For instance, Reach Media network talent now voice local commercials for Radio One stations and some of the network’s larger affiliates. “That helps because if you can get a personality from a syndicated show to be an endorser on a local product, that helps sell ads locally,” Kantor tells Inside Radio in an exclusive Q&A. It’s just one way the company is working to better mesh its local and national sales efforts. For instance, when Reach Media syndicated morning man Tom Joyner embarks on a market tour of 5-6 cites, Radio One makes sure that three of them are to markets where it clears his show on its O&O stations.
So far the tighter integration is working. “Both our network and national sales efforts year-to-date are doing well and are outpacing their marketplaces,” Kantor says.
Whereas Kantor previously was only concerned with Reach Media, nowadays he works to find solutions that benefit both the network Radio One’s local stations. “I have to be much more understanding of both points of view and doing what’s best for the opportunity,” he says.
A major reshuffle of its Washington DC morning show lineup in January provides a good example. The domino-like effect began with the move of “The FAM with Lil Mo and DJ QuickSilva” from afternoons on Radio One urban “92-Q” WERQ-FM Baltimore to mornings on urban “93.9 Kiss FM” WKYS Washington. The younger-skewing show is a better fit for the hip-hop music on WKYS than “The Russ Parr Morning Show,” which had occupied that position. Parr, a longtime mainstay in the DC community, moved from WKYS to mornings on urban AC “Majic 102.3” WMMJ Washington. His arrival bumped “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” from “Majic” to “NewsTalk 1450” WOL.
“From a network point of view it would have been better to leave Tom where he was, but as a company as a whole Russ was doing so strongly on “Kiss” WKYS that it made sense to put him on WMMJ and rebuild that station,” Kantor says. “Now instead of looking whether it’s good for the network or stations—it’s what is the greater good for the whole company, not just an individual division.”
Kantor remains a staunch advocate for syndicated shows. “That’s not changed,” he says. “But in this capacity I have to be an advocate for what’s best for the individual situation and it may not be a syndicated solution.”
Read the complete Q&A with David Kantor HERE.