Every 1,000-Watt Station Can Help: A Strategy for Today’s Talk Radio Scene

December 2003
by Marsha Friedman

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Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, told Talkers magazine about how he cracked the bestseller list. “In the beginning, we couldn’t get on Good Morning America, or the Today show or any of that. Elite newspapers wouldn’t review the book. We had to rely on talk radio,” O’Reilly said. “Talk radio has shown a much better return” than advertising dollars.

There’s no doubt that talk radio is a great vehicle for authors, because it allows them to give in-depth answers and puts them in direct communication with people who may want to buy their book.

But talk radio is not what it used to be.

The hosts of major-market radio talk shows with great audiences used to bring authors into their studios for long chats. An author could knock off a couple of those interviews and send sales on the way to the top. Those days are gone. Unless an author is a truly big name, the chance of hitting pay dirt with a couple of big radio interviews is history.

Why is this? First, there aren’t as many big stations that accept talk show guests; many have gone to a music format or no longer want guests who have a product or service to sell. Second, the amount of time an author will probably be on the air has dwindled; radio talk shows have found that listeners are more likely to stay tuned if they have three 10-minute guests on a show than one guest for 30 minu…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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