Publication date: May 30, 2023
Embracing Change: An Industry Where Tradition Meets Innovation
David Sams, Contributor
Throughout our journey through life, we often come across critical crossroads, forks where the well-trodden and untrodden paths meet. At these intersections you have two options. Either take refuge in the familiar or brave the unknown. As Steve Jobs insightfully proclaimed, “Innovation distinguishes leaders from followers.” The decision produced what I call an “evolutionary echo”.
Consider a time when network television was the darling of the industry and syndicates were practically the pariahs. The industry landscape was split between “us” and “them.” The network thrived, but syndication was sidelined. Stations were frustrated with the idea of introducing game shows in prime time. But in the same way that Steve Jobs recognized the transformative potential of his mouse-driven graphical interface at Xerox PARC, I sensed the untapped potential of syndication. With Michael and Roger King, he ventured into uncharted territory with Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!. The rest, as they say, is history. Today, 40 years later, these are more than just syndicated top shows. These are the most-watched shows in the entire telecast and set the stage for ABC’s primetime on Tuesday and Thursday nights this fall.
A few years later another important crossroads appeared with Keep The Faith Radio. With my partners Joe Battaglia and John Frost, our ambitions went beyond producing another syndicated show. We envisioned a symphony of high-impact content meticulously tailored to sound local, as if it were broadcast right down the hall at your local station. Dating back to this day, we have amassed an audio archive of over 40,000 carefully curated and distinctive content over 12 years of his career. This vast repository provides resources for creating countless local and national shows, as well as numerous subject-specific podcasts. We were ahead of the curve by choosing to innovate and invest in the future. We broke the traditional corporate mold and tapped into our global talent and production pool. Now KeepTheFaith is breaking down language barriers and leveraging AI to reach global audiences. This was an echo of our evolution.
The entire industry is now at a critical crossroads. A long shadow of AI, streaming platforms and podcasting looms over the future of AM and FM radio. But let’s not forget that the people who are crazy enough to believe they can change the world can. The future of radio is not a threat. It is an opportunity for a new evolutionary echo.
So what is our way forward? Here’s my roadmap:
- Leverage digital platforms: Expand your reach. Digital platforms are not a threat. These are powerful tools that help you reach and engage your audience like never before.
- Leverage AI: AI is not your enemy. it’s your friend. Strengthen your work, extend your reach, spread your voice.
- Promote community engagement: Radio is more than just broadcasting. It’s about fostering community. Allow your listeners to move from being just part of your audience to being an integral part of your journey.
- Break down language barriers: Leverage AI to break down language barriers. Your voice and content should transcend geographical and linguistic boundaries.
- Never stop learning: stay ahead of the curve. Embrace new technology, learn from it, and incorporate it into your work. Appoint an innovation officer to your station. It’s their job to keep you informed and engaged in the game. Maybe that person is you!
At this crossroads, I see the future of radio not as a challenge, but as an opportunity to move away from the ‘evolutionary echo’. The future of radio is to thrive, adapt, innovate and evolve through change.
As Steve Jobs once said, “Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world can.” Embrace change, redefine the radio broadcast landscape, and create lasting echoes of evolution. Radio broadcasters, on-air talent, radio enthusiasts – shape a future where the echoes of our evolution continue to echo throughout the industry.
Looking back at the triumphs of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!”, it’s clear that embracing the unknown can bring extraordinary rewards. Once considered underdogs, these shows are now the crowning jewels of broadcast television. Their journey is a testament to the power of innovation and daring.
So, all you broadcasters, on-air talents and radio enthusiasts out there, go ahead and change the world. The future of radio is as bright as our wildest imaginations. Despite changing circumstances, our commitment to creating impactful and engaging content remains unwavering. That is the enduring magic of radio, an echo of the evolution we continue to advocate.
To quote Steve Jobs, “Innovation is what separates leaders from followers.” For those of us standing at this critical crossroads, let us choose to be leaders. Choose to innovate. Choose to reflect our evolution into the future of radio. Change does not mean throwing away the past. It’s about shaping a future where our industry doesn’t just survive, it thrives. The future of radio is not yet written. we have a pen
We are bold enough to believe that we can change the world, and history shows that we can. Step into this new era with confidence by shaping the future of radio broadcasting with Echoes of Evolution. We stand at the intersection of tradition and innovation. It’s time to leave a lasting imprint. Keep your faith!
Co-founder and CEO of KeepTheFaith Radio, David Sams is one of the world’s most respected marketing architects and brand evangelists. A nine-time Emmy Award winner, he is an acclaimed television producer, author, speaker, and leading authority on emerging technologies.
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