Radio sets an all-time high in reach!

The Inside Story: Tale Of Radio’s Reach Must Be Told.

The news that radio’s weekly reach hit an all-time high of 245 million is being seen as a validation for the industry, a tangible confirmation of something that broadcasters have intrinsically felt for some time. But industry leaders say radio needs to spread the news far and wide, from agencies on Madison Ave. to hometown businesses on Main Street.

Andre Fernandez, who took over CBS Radio as president & CEO in April with a diverse media background honed at Journal Communications and GE/NBC, says it’s important to get the word out to an advertising community that continues to experiment with other forms of media. “Radio has shown great stability in their audience which puts it in a good position when taking our story out to the advertising community,” Fernandez told Inside Radio. “We also need to continue to spread the word on all the things we’re doing beyond broadcast radio as clients are increasingly faced with a growing number of digital advertising alternatives.”

Alpha Media founder Larry Wilson said more can be done to spread the news in the advertising community. “People need to hear the story and we haven’t been doing a good job as an industry telling it,” he told Inside Radio.

Several CEOs referenced the new reach stat in their earnings calls last week. Saga Communications CEO Ed Christian called the new reach stat “pretty impressive. If we do our craft properly, these 245 million people respond to our advertising messages and business continues to respect [our] power and reach,” Christian said. He asked investors and analysts to “please disregard” those who have overstated the importance of digital advertising. “We are not going to be replaced by targeted display,” Christian said. “There’s room for targeted display, but not entirely at our expense.”

Townsquare Media CEO Steven Price cited the new metric, in combination with an earlier Nielsen report that showed radio has surpassed TV as the nation’s No. 1 reach medium, as part of a series of recent positive developments for the industry. “We continue to believe that radio’s biggest problem is perception and hopefully these data points, as well as many others, will help combat this issue,” Price said during the company’s results call.

Entercom CEO David Field called the new penetration number, along with other recent radio studies, exciting for the industry. “The case for radio continues to strengthen at a time when so many media are facing continual disruption,” he said. “We are the No. 1 reach medium and the least disrupted media. This gives us a great opportunity for the space to grow significantly moving forward.”

Posted: Monday, August 10, 2015 1:45 am | Updated: 5:06 am, Mon Aug 10, 2015.