A calamity of events has placed the radio industry in perilous times, and the near-term forecast promises a torrent of more stormy weather is on the way.
Predatory practices, myopic thinking, the digital world, meatless hamburger—you name it and the radio industry has felt the jarring consequence of the tectonic change in the universe, and taking a whipping that has resulted in declines in audience size and advertising revenue.
But, it’s not game over.
Not by a long shot.
At least not in the mind of Ross Davies, the former broadcast executive whose career path included successful stints at a long list of once high-profile broadcast companies that have been swallowed whole by Bell, Rogers or Corus. More recently he was synonymous with broadcast data-tracking firm Numeris where his energetic approach, cheery disposition and velvet touch, as GM Radio, helped calm stormy seas between riled clients and the ratings agency.
Heck, even the means of measuring audiences in modern times has become a subject of heated debate as new technologies run faster than the systems in place to capture who’s using listening to what, and when. By example, Bluetooth headphones are just one of the latest devices stymying tracking services, as radio consultant Pat Holiday recently reported on in FYI.
So, revenues are down, living room radio sets are gone the way of the Dodo bird, in-dash consoles in late model cars are no more, and a galaxy of news and entertainment options available to Joe and Jessica Public are splintering their attention spans. It’s a war of domination or slow death in today’s world.
But Davies isn’t letting a hurricane of change move his compass bearing. Recently ‘retired’ from Numeris, he’s reactivated The Davies consultancy Company that offers a menu of services to broadcasters. He is open to anyone offering him a corner office with a fat salary (plus perks), but in today’s mercenary world of cut and kill, he’s not holding his breath.
My extrapolation of what he told me recently over a beverage at Grazie Ristorante, the mid-town, mid-priced Toronto eatery that is a personal favourite. Ross was in pitch mode, even as, he assured me, he is enjoying life in semi-retirement. His description, not mine. The pitch was simple—but complicated at the same time.
For the second consecutive year, Ross is teaming up with Neill Dixon to add some sparkle dust (meat on the bone?) to the Radioactive component that sits under the Canadian Music Week conference umbrella.
Here’s a bulleted list of what’s on his mind – continued here