My Midyear Letter to the Entercom Team

From Entercom President and CEO David Field

July 22, 2014

Twice each year, I step back to reflect and prepare my semi-annual letter to each of you, sharing my thoughts on our company and our future.  My hope is that through these candid letters, I am able to convey a deeper sense of how we are doing and where we are headed.

As we all know, we are living in a world of unprecedented and rapid change that is impacting virtually every part of our lives.  To compete effectively in this environment, all businesses must embrace change and innovate.  But it is also true that to navigate these choppy waters successfully, every company must remain firmly grounded with a clear understanding of its core beliefs and principles.   A strong set of beliefs and principles provide a compass to help guide a company forward – setting the right priorities, making smart decisions and staying true to its values.

So what are Entercom’s core beliefs and principles?

  • We believe in building the best local radio stations with the best local personalities in our markets.
  • We believe in building the strongest local marketing solutions company in our markets, equipped with a full line of radio, digital and experiential products.
  • We believe radio is an extraordinary medium, and we are committed to making it even better.
  • We believe we must be constantly innovating to improve the experience of listening to our stations, interacting with our brands, and advertising with our company.
  • We believe the formula for success is building a team of talented people, passionately engaged in their work, and acting with great energy, urgency and determination.
  • We believe in “I will”, not “I’ll try”.
  • We believe the work we do matters greatly in the lives of the American public.
  • We believe in being a responsible corporate citizen, supporting our communities, and reducing our environmental footprint.
  • We believe radio is America’s most undervalued medium (by far) and are committed to working with our peers to help radio fight for its fair share of ad spending.
  • And we believe in the outstanding men and women of Entercom whose daily contributions make a great impact in the lives of our listeners, customers, communities and colleagues.

And these aren’t just words.  We are committed to acting on these beliefs and principles.  Over the past couple of years, we have invested tens of millions of dollars and hired hundreds of new people to build a stronger and better Entercom, guided by these principles.  Here is a short list of some of the actions we have recently taken:

  • We have successfully launched a number of brand new local stations across the country, such as 96.3 RnB in Austin, Hot 103.7 in Seattle, 107.7 Alternative Buffalo, 3WL in New Orleans, and 107.9 The Mix in Indianapolis.
  • We have added dozens of compelling new local personalities to improve our ratings and increase audience engagement.
  • Earlier this year, we launched SmartReach Digital, our local digital marketing company.   Now in ten of our markets, SRD has over 50 employees and is a perfect complement to our radio stations, enabling us to provide our customers with the best lineup of radio, digital and experiential products.  Radio + SRD enables us to assert ourselves as the strongest marketing solutions company in our markets, growing our revenues at the expense of competitors in other media.
  • We also have been exploring numerous innovations to improve our listener and customer experience.  The relaunch of The End in Seattle, with the industry’s first #2minutepromise, is an important step in that effort.  Limited to six minutes of commercials per hour and never more than two minutes at a time, The End will also offer advertisers a “360 Millenial Integration” program enabling them to reach the End’s millennial audience across radio, digital and experiential platforms.
  • We have enthusiastically embraced NextRadio, TuneIn Radio, HD Radio, and our own station app platforms to enhance the experience of listening to our stations from mobile devices.
  • We have been aggressively boosting our investment in training, tools, systems, technology and support to ensure that each of you has the resources and the know-how to super-serve our listeners and customers.
  • We have recruited hundreds of highly talented women and men to join our team and enhance our capabilities in programming, sales, digital, business analytics and a number of other areas within the organization.
  • And we continue to make a profound difference in the lives of Americans on a daily basis.  Entercom contributes over $100 million per year in public service, touching the lives of those in need and aiding vitally important organizations that enhance our communities.  And we reach over 30 million Americans weekly, providing compelling music, entertainment, news, talk, sports and companionship, all for free.

We sometimes take what we do for granted, but when you step back and think about it, we should all feel incredibly proud of the importance and relevance of our work and how deeply we matter in the lives of the American people.

The opportunities in our business today are greater than ever.  Radio is a massive and growing medium, reaching an all-time record number of listeners.  And Nielsen is now providing us with outstanding new research, showing that radio is the #1 medium in the country from 5a-5p daily and that radio delivers a 6:1 Return on Investment, outperforming tv and digital.  With Nielsen as our partner, we now have powerful information from the world’s most respected research organization to support our efforts to get our fair share of ad spending by pulling dollars from other media.

It is a wonderful time to be at Entercom and in radio.  Like every business in today’s ever-changing world, there will be some bumps on the road ahead, but we remain fundamentally committed to our beliefs and principles and to making big investments in our people, our brands, our capabilities, and in innovation to ensure that we grow and thrive in the years ahead.  For those who are excited about being part of an innovative and dynamic organization, competing in the exciting, ever-changing world of media, and making a deep impact on the lives of the American public, Entercom is a pretty special place to be.

As always, many thanks for all you do on behalf of Entercom and the outstanding brands we operate across the country.  I wish each and every one of you all the best for a healthy, successful and fulfilling second half of 2014.