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Better Communication Can Improve Radio And Records’ Relationship.


L-R: David Friedman, Kristen Williams, Kenny Jay, Marci Braun, Steve Stewart

Albright & O’Malley & Brenner Consultant Kenny Jay wasted no time getting started with “Radio & Records: Redefining The Relationship” at CRS on Tuesday afternoon. The fast-paced session featured two people from radio (Cox Media Group Director of Country Content Steve Stewart, Audacy “US99” WUSN Chicago PD/MD Marci Braun) and two more from labels (MCA Nashville VP/Promotion David Friedman and Warner Music Nashville Senior VP of Radio & Streaming Kristen Williams) offering insights about how each side can help the other. Everybody agreed that communication is key.


All the panelists filled the session with insightful quotes and important takeaways. Some of the best follow:

  • “Local research always wins, if you’re blessed enough to have it. … Everything is a tool in your arsenal, but, for me, more weight goes into local research. “ — Braun

  • “TikTok is new enough that we haven’t seen the superstar break, but we do know that it is incredibly important for driving consumption and fan engagement.” — Williams

  • “There was a time when we were 50:50 for men. Part of what's happening right now is we're seeing a lot of artists that target men, and we should be testing them.” — Stewart

  • “If you're an artist and a writer, you're making money, sometimes three or four times the amount of money, if you have a No. 1 versus a Top 10.” — Friedman

  • “I preach every day that adds don’t matter, airplay does.” — Williams

  • “I don’t really care if somebody has an add day of 80 stations that all got added into overnights. What I care about is where that song gets and how that song moves.” — Braun

  • “We always want to know the why behind something.” — Friedman

  • “We can do better. Simple communication. Your regionals just want an answer more than anything, even if it’s the wrong answer.” — Jay

  • “You have to look at streams on the new guys, and then you go to their shows and see what they’re building. And you see the guys that have been around for us forever and what they have continued to put into this format. They’re still incredibly important.” — Braun

  • “There is no one straight metric you can point to in every case. What I preach with my team is ‘Find the context behind the metric.’ … You have to have the best story.” — Williams

  • “What we get paid to do is to decide what is right for our radio station, regardless of where the starting metrics are. Then our hopes are that the metrics will grow.” — Stewart

  • “Know what’s in your backyard. Figure out what you can bring to the labels and say, ‘I have this really cool thing here.’” — Braun

  • “We are a relationship-driven format. We are a very small town. Nashville is a small community, and we are all connected.” — Williams

  • “The financial implication of a show is substantial when you talk about the number of shows that we are requested to do every year across a roster of 20 different artists. … If there is any expense that can be paid, please help in that regard.” — Williams

  • “This format was based on the fact that we develop artists. If we go to a singles-based format, we have lost our identity.” — Williams

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