Friday, February 26, 2016

Chuck McCoy: Radio is alive and well!

Canadian broadcasting giant and Canadian Music Hall of Fame member Chuck McCoy visited the 2nd year Radio Humber Diploma (soon-to-be) graduates today - offering advice and insight on the past, present and future of radio in Canada.

McCoy – whose CV includes more than 10 years as National Program Director for Rogers Broadcasting – shared observations and wisdom that only a 50 year industry veteran could.

First and foremost - contrary to ill-informed reports, Chuck confirms that radio is nowhere near dead. Again. (The first reported rumour of its imminent death, by the way, was with the invention of vinyl, followed by the invention of TV, followed by the launch of music-based TV, followed by the digitization of music, followed by the launch of satellite radio, followed by music sharing, followed by streaming, followed by the digital space in general, followed by --- well, you get it).

The latest so called ‘threat’ to radio is actually – according to Chuck - making radio 'better and stronger'. The digital space allows radio to go where it hasn’t gone before – using visuals to support the audio element, social media to promote and interact with listeners on another level, and sales opportunities which account for – in some cases – at least 20% of additional income generation.

As for advice for these students - a mere 2 months away from the job force? Here are some of the highlights…

·        Close to 90 percent of Canada’s population tunes into radio each and every week
·        Millennials don’t use radio? Guess again – 88 percent use radio weekly, compared to the use of smartphones - which came in at 80 percent; and almost 60% of the millennials  surveyed say they still discover their new music on radio first.
·        There were more listeners to the podcast ‘Serial’ than viewers of Mad Men. Which brings us to his next point…
·        Make no mistake; ‘podcasts’ ARE a form of radio.
·        There is progress being made ‘freeing the FM chip’ which allows smart phone users to listen to radio on their phones – for free - WITHOUT using their data
·        If Spotify was a radio station in Toronto – it would rank 5th in the market.
·        Yes people get information from many sources these days - but radio's strength is it has the opportunity to go deeper - and offer more meaning to those headlines

Chuck left the class with this reminder: nothing is below someone starting out in the radio industry; be the best at that job – get noticed – and work your way into what you REALLY want to do. He also reiterated something that we teachers like to enforce…

“Big opportunities start in small markets”

Learn more about Chuck and his latest venture – “Chuck McCoy International Media Services” by visiting

Twitter: @chuckmccoyradi

Sheila Walsh
Feb, 2016