Sharon Taylor Instagram profile shot
Sharon Taylor Instagram profile shot

Media Beat: November 11, 2019

Futureproofing Broadcasting – Connection 2019

Ontario Association of Broadcasters Annual Conference

Between Toronto traffic, the first snow of the season and general “hey, how are you” networking, not all sessions were covered.  A smattering of thoughts from a few of the sessions……


Radio reaches 85.1% weekly reach of the Canadian population.  27.3 million Canadians listen to radio each week.  We listen to the radio at home (47%), in the car (34%) and at work (18%). Canadians spend 16.3 hours per week with radio.

Morning Keynote – Tom Goodwin, EVP Innovation, Zenith Media

The most important thing I walked away from this session with is this:  When a speaker says you don’t need to take a picture of the slides, no need to take notes, everyone will get a copy of the presentation – don’t believe them.

Tom spent a great deal of time talking about the excellent position radio is in. 

Radio is now a survivor business and remains one of the best, if not the best reach media, period.  While we may not be thriving, radio is more than holding its own, particularly in comparison to the highly damaged print and TV industries.  I think I heard Goodwin say at one point “count yourself lucky”, and I know he stated that he felt this we are entering one of the best times for broadcasting.

Positive, confirming, informative.  Great start to the day.

How Radio and TV Can Generate Digital Revenue in 2019 and Beyond?

Tom Goodwin moderated this session with panelists Philippe Kleim – Head of Digital at Corus, Matt Mise – Commercial Integration Director at Rogers, and Michael O’Neil – Triton VP Programmatic

Mise from Rogers outlined how the company has stepped into the podcasting game big time and while there is not a lot of scale, they need to be there to be present, participating and growing.  Monetization, of course, was discussed as well as measurement around editorial success.

There was a discussion about the actual feet on the street selling, and the consensus was that reps are generally not up to speed on selling digital.  With strong editorial content the goal, benchmarks need to be determined and actualized for social content, and commercial content and reps should be content marketers.  Investment is being made on the programming side – the same is needed to standardize and monetarize digital revenue. 

Listen through vs skipped, hyper-targeting, there were more buzzwords during this session that all the other ones combined.  Drinking game for this panel?  Raising a glass everything you heard “dynamic ad insertion”.

Fostering Engaged Effective Staff

This panel on Coaching and Mentoring was moderated by JJ Johnston, President of International Media Management Solutions. He was joined by Paul Kaye VP of Product and Talent at Rogers and Madelyn Hamilton, founder of Satori Coaching and former broadcasting executive most recently with Standard Broadcasting and Astral.

Since she started her consulting practice, Hamilton goes into companies as an “outside” coach to help engage the workforce. In contrast, Paul works as the preeminent talent coach inside Rogers, working with the company's programming talent.    

The session kicked off with the statistic that 85% of the workforce is not engaged.  Coaching is a way to create a safe environment, build trust and enter into relationships that add value for the workers as well as the employers.

Trust, transparency, authenticity, honesty and a heavy dose of actually listening and caring are only part of what coaches provide to employees.  It’s a tool that can unlock potential and provide employees with someone who is invested in their success. 

Assessment tools can help uncover employees will respond well to coaching, and then developing a one on one relationship that includes deep listening, feedback, guidance and producing lots of trust.

Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned, Fighting Back from Bankruptcy while improving Ratings and Revenue

Mike McVay delivered an incredible message at the end of the day.  He openly discussed failures and humiliations in the course of a long and illustrious career in broadcasting.  Mike McVay loves radio, and it showed during this session.  He outlined how to pull a sunken and beaten company back up after a bankruptcy.  It was decided that they weren’t going to cut expenses, the operating costs were reasonable, it was the debt that was bad. 

Culture.  It had all been top-down.  Now instead of sending an email to head office and never hearing back, the 48-hour rule was put in effect. Going from never to 48 hours.  Small change or a big change? 

When he talked about how to create ratings, how to hire (pretend they can’t get any better, then make them better), teaching jocks how to tease, turning sterile hallways into radio station hallways McKay’s love of programming was easy to see.  I mean just talking about how back in the day, when you went into a store that sold radios, you would turn all of them to your station's frequency, reminded me how crazy you can be when you love something that much. 

Lots of grit, programming 101 and pure passion for the product had ratings growing every month for nearly three years.

Everything old is new again. 

That’s a wrap on OAB 2019.  Lots of good discussion and networking galore.  Check back next year, maybe by then I’ll understand better what those digital guys are talking about.

Sharon Taylor reports on radio-related stuff for fyimusicnews and spends her time in Toronto talking radio to anyone she can corner at a party.  Sharon can be reached at

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