You might be listening to Out to Lunch from anywhere in the world, on your podcast app. Or you might listen on radio, on WWNO in New Orleans. What difference does it make how you listen to this, or any other show? It doesn’t make a difference to you. But it does make a difference if you own a radio station.
Broadcast radio survives on advertising, which is targeted at a local audience. Podcast listeners are anywhere in the world. So, an ad for Coca Cola works great on both mediums, but an ad for a local Bywater poboy shop isn’t going to do the poboy shop much good if a big chunk of listeners are loving a podcast from thousands of miles away.
Broadcast vs Podcast is just one of the many financial issues facing radio as it continues to transition from broadcast to on-demand, in the middle of a pandemic that is changing how we do pretty much everything, including making radio and podcasts out of our homes – which is what we’re doing right now with this show.
It might be difficult enough for Peter Ricchiuti to try to sound authoritative from his front room while the guy with the leaf-blower is about to start up across the street, but imagine how much more difficult things must be for Kevin Cassidy, the Senior Vice President and Market Manager for Entercom here in New Orleans.
Entercom is the company that owns the city’s dominant talk station WWL, as well as powerhouse music stations Bayou 95.7, Magic 101.9, B97, and Hot 92.9.
It’s not just people who make radio who have been affected by the pandemic – all of us in one way or another are working differently now, if we’re working at all. But, of all the careers you could think of that have been changed radically by the pandemic, it would be hard to find a career that has been affected as much as that of Peter’s other lunch guest today, Ann Parnes.
Ann is a matchmaker. She’s the founder of a company called Match Made in NOLA. It’s the opposite of online dating. Ann provides a very specialized service in which she herself personally finds partners and introduces them to each other.