Clear Channel Radio (CCR) Wednesday (April 15) announced a multipoint plan to raise the bar for radio programming across all day parts and platforms, including online and mobile.
The plan includes the launch of new programming and makes programming and on-air talent that's proven to be most popular with audiences, available more broadly to local program directors in all markets for all day parts.
"Our programming objective is to increase audience size and engagement across all day parts and all platforms," CCR president and CEO John Hogan said. "At the same time, we face a particularly difficult economy that makes it extremely challenging for some local stations to invest in developing the highest-quality programming and talent. Despite the difficult economy, we see enormous longterm opportunity in investing in things that immediately improve the competitive situation of our stations."
The plan gives local program directors total choice and flexibility in choosing the "Premium Choice" programming elements. They can elect large portions, single pieces or none of the offered programming.
Also central to CCR's plan is an expansion of the programming currently being created for the company's online and on-demand broadcasting platforms. The new channels will focus on either a specific music genre or specific on-air personality. Launching imminently in the genre category are Country Road and Soft Rock. They join existing channels including erockster, Pride, Smooth Jazz, Slow Jams and others. In the personality-driven side, new channels for Kidd Kraddick and Lex & Terry are on tap, joining existing channels for Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran and JohnJay and Rich.
As with the existing online and on-demand channels, CCR says this new programming will be available directly to audiences during a testing phase via three platforms: local-station Web sites, the iheartradio mobile broadcast application for iPhone and BlackBerry, and the company's HD2 multicasts.
And speaking of iheartradio, coming soon will be traffic-on-demand's expansion to 10 markets and the company's NEW! program. Since its inception, NEW! has showcased more than 15,000 new, emerging and unsigned music artists to millions of listeners.