The More Things Change

March 7, 2016

Peter Smyth

In the past decade, the radio broadcast industry has been challenged by change not seen since the evolution at the beginning of the television era.  In ten years’ time, like many other media, we have been disrupted by the digital revolution that has changed all of our lives.  We are now well into the mobile digital age where each of us carries a computer in our pocket and are connected on a 24/7 basis.

These changes rolling out of Silicon Valley and numerous tech shops around the world have been coming at breakneck speed; no sooner do we adapt to one innovation than another one is demanding our attention.  We struggle to understand, adapt, implement and educate as quickly as we can. In all of this tumult, it is vitally important to keep our organizational priorities clearly understood by everyone involved. The digital revolution has redefined every staff position in our company and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  We are committed to our transformation into a local, broad-based media solution provider.

But the more that our business redefines and adapts itself, the more I believe that things stay the same. We have always been a local medium.  That will continue to be our core strength in the future, but our relationship with our communities and listeners has been redefined.  We bring more solutions to our advertisers than just broadcast 60s and 30s.  Good radio brands have longstanding relationships with listeners that have been deepened and broadened through an entire portfolio of digital platforms such as social media.  Local radio brands have a personal and habitual relationship with our listeners; we are on a first name basis with them every day.

In addition, we have a long and intimate relationship with our advertisers.  We understand their challenges and we regularly custom-tailor integrated solutions to help them with their business.  By integrating our mass reach and awareness with the one-to-one targeting of digital, we can complete the sale for them in innovative and interesting ways.  Never before have we had such an ability to target individual listeners in our audiences or reach beyond our traditional audience to find like-minded prospective customers.

We know that many advertisers are embracing new software-based methods of audience buying, but there are also many who are more confused than ever before.  Clients have shifted budgets to allow them to dabble in targeted display banners or social media ads, often to be disappointed by the results.  They wonder what, if anything, they did wrong.  Perhaps they simply used the wrong tools for the goal to be accomplished.

Let’s face it.  As with any new product coming to market, digital marketing is not as easy as some make it out to be. There is a whole new world of metrics, vocabulary and software to be mastered. There are many promises, but performance is harder to prove.  It takes time, knowledge, effort and strategy to develop an effective digital marketing presence.  At its core, the digital world is a one-to-one, or a one-to-some world.  Users have different expectations when we use different digital platforms.  Our behavior on YouTube or Facebook is not the same as when we visit a website or receive an e-mail. Digital is not easy.  It cannot compare to broadcast’s reach and ability to create customer awareness, and radio’s proven ability to do that at a very reasonable price point.

Our relationship with our advertisers has been built on continually proving our value by producing results.  Today we are better equipped and more diversified than ever to address our advertisers’ challenges by combining our broadcast assets with our growing and complementary expertise in digital marketing strategy. We invite you to put us to the test.


Greater At Sixty

February 1, 2016


Peter Smyth

We are continuing in the tradition of our founder, Peter Bordes, who began our company with a single radio station in Southbridge, Massachusetts in 1956.  Along with his business partner, Peter worked tirelessly to build on that foundation, launching or acquiring radio stations, cable television systems, publishing operations and telecommunications properties.  His driving vision was to build a privately-held media company that did good business while serving the audience and the community.

By all measures, he succeeded.  When Peter passed away in 1999, he left a focused, entrepreneurially- oriented company to the care of his brother, John Bordes.  It was the result of constantly looking to the consumer for insights and new innovations that could be crafted into a business.  I had the honor to know and work with both men, and the Bordes work ethic and strategic decision-making was a source of inspiration.  But their ability to identify and hire great people and allow them to do their jobs was a lesson I will take with me always.

In my opinion, that is the secret to Greater Media’s success:  a singular vision that is implemented and improved upon by employees who are empowered and encouraged to take responsibility and contribute to the mission. At Greater Media, we trust the people at our locations to be intelligent and accountable for their actions, and they are. We encourage a healthy debate that draws out the best solutions to common problems, as well as a respect for the cultural differences in our various locations around the country.

Personally, I have been with Greater Media for the majority of my professional career and have called it my business home for the past 30 years.  I am excited and energized by coming to work each day and interacting with such a remarkable group of people.

Sixty years ago, Peter Bordes set ambitious goals, hired great people, gave them the tools to succeed, and let them do their job.

I’ve always kept that in mind and I hope I’ve followed his principles. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of our employees (past and present) for helping to make Greater Media greater over the past 60 years!


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