You Give Us 20 Minutes and We’ll Give You The Mobile Phone

Remember that old WINS, New York all-news motto "You Give Us 20 Minutes and We’ll Give You the World”?

It may have to change.

Watch what the next generation can do with 20 minutes online, on the phone, with their mobile devices and you can see why we’ve got some work to do to even have a chance at this future market.

Why would anyone under 50 give a news station 20 minutes?

For garden reports and features that the station can easily sell, of course!

For a slow, tired rehash of the news droning on hour after hour or should I say every half hour.

For over 20 minutes of commercials, clutter and traffic reports that younger listeners don't necessarily need.

All-news is too good a franchise to stumble into the future. And it’s also too good a format to beat into the ground with tired formatics, a dumbing down of the news and endless clutter.

CBS has the best real estate in all-news. Imagine what they could do.

CBS owns the news brand in many important markets.

But the brand needs to find meaning with the next generation. That means a modern new format on-air. Less clutter. Strong anchors. Insight not just headlines. Reporters talking to reporters with listeners listening in. The addition of "appointment listening". Different looks so if you wanted to hear “Jane Doe’s” version of the headlines, you’ll always know to go to it at 4 pm.

Traffic and weather together is not going to be enough. I can get weather on my iPhone faster.

Radio really owns the all-news brand.

It now needs to find the digital future. This does not – I repeat – does not mean airing the stream of the terrestrial all-news stations. Young people don’t spend a lot of time with streams and they will likely spend less going forward especially listening to today's terrestrial news.

And all-news doesn't speak to a lot of people under 40.

Think a 15 or 20 minute compelling, addictive download for morning drive sent in real time to computers and mobile phones, branded, marketed and monetized.

Imagine, “take-out” news for use on your digital device or for play on your desktop. Not the news that drones on and on to a generation that does want change.

Present all-news listeners like it the way it is.

Radio is a natural for news, but younger listeners (your future) don't listen to radio.

Take the brand to them.

You can't say to the next generation, "give us 20 minutes and we'll give you the world". They want it now -- when they want it and how they want it.

So, 20 minutes is like 20 years and I can promise you this, the glorious all-news franchise for radio will become an endangered species even before the last baby boomer has gone to that newsroom in the sky without a better way to attract young people.

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