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2013 is already shaping up to be a big year for the Radio One family, with the announcement of a majorpartnership with REACH Media leaving both companies  excited about what’s next.  Radio One CEO and President Alfred Liggins and REACH Media CEO David Kantor talk to “The Frequency” about what this means, how they remain competitive, and the future of radio.

Why the latest merger between Radio One and REACH Media makes sense…

David: “Radio One already owned a significant portion, 53 percent, of REACH and we were both essentially in the same business.  REACH obviously was programming the ‘Tom Joyner Morning Show’ and weekend show and Radio One had its programming through Syndication One.  We both had ad sales forces calling on the network community.  REACH had its own as well as corporate sales, so it made sense to combine the two entities.”

What this means from a business perspective…

Alfred: “We have aligned the interests of all who are responsible for selling advertising revenue in our syndicated shows. This means that all shows are represented by the same knowledgeable and passionate sales folks.  We can package advertising on the shows any way that an advertiser needs for maximum impact.”

What this means for faithful listeners…

David: “I don’t think that anything changes necessarily except that we’re a much bigger organization.  We’re now, by a big margin, the largest radio network geared towards the African-American community and largest programmer for the African-American community on a national scale. So that elevation hopefully will bring in new advertisers.”

On creating opportunities in radio…

David:  “There (are) (opportunities) in the afternoon, not just in inspirational but probably in Urban AC and maybe Mainstream Urban.  We also see expanding some more into the news/talk arena to complement ‘The Carl Nelson Show’ and Reverend Sharpton’s show.  And maybe (we’ll) start to develop a News One brand for radio on a network basis, which hasn’t been done in the past.”

On the importance of investing in new talent…

Alfred: “Because REACH is in the business of providing programming, it has to look toward the future. Otherwise, it won’t have a business in the years to come. Discovering new talent secures the future of REACH.”

On what the future holds for the new merger…

Alfred: “It is the compelling story and unity with which we approach advertisers.  If an advertiser wants to reach any demographic of the African-American community in a significant way, it has to deal with REACH.”

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