In an effort to boost station affiliations and add flexibility for stations looking to add national programming in tough times, Business TalkRadio Network and Lifestyle TalkRadio Network are eliminating their standard one year affiliate contracts and will offer new open-ended agreements that allow cancellation with just thirty days’ written notice. EVP Jeff Weber said, “This is a move designed to allow more flexibility for stations to reduce their costs during these difficult economic times by utilizing our turnkey programming. The trend for the past couple of years has been talk stations brokering out time to local shows. It seemed like the cure for a decline in billing. But ultimately, it proved to be a short term revenue fix as a lack of continuity in programming caused listener tune out. And eventually, unless the shows get tremendous response, they go away-and so does the income.” Could this be this is the beginning of a trend where syndicators are more willing to trust that stations will give the programming an opportunity to grow an audience and not prematurely pull the plug before any revenues are realized by the syndicator? There is some risk here…this is one to watch.
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