The O’Reilly Factor

I wrote down this quote last summer and sent to all of our air talent:

“Go back and tell your personalities – if they are not on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and writing a daily blog two years from now – at the latest – they will be irrelevant.” (Leo Laporte at the Jacobs Media Summit XIII)

With all due respect to Mr. Laporte, I don’t think irrelevance is that far away.  It’s here.  Now.  I’ll even take his assertion one step further:  talent’s new media presence must include on demand demand – especially video – which is portable and compelling enough to be viral.

It’s 2009 and time for a serious review of your talent’s commitment to your digital platform.

Bill O’Reilly is a timely case study for the subject.  O’Reilly is leaving his nationally syndicated “The Radio Factor” at the end of February.  He claims that he’s too busy on the Fox News Channel for radio.  Tom Taylor notes on that Bill’s real plans are to spend more time working on his website and premium membership.  Here’s the posting:

“Just a few of the key features we’ll be rolling out over the next few months – The Factor ‘post-game’ web show.  Immediately after The Factor has wrapped up for the night, Bill will analyze and evaluate each show exclusively for Premium members.”  That will be on-demand, for access any time.  Then there’s this:  “Expanded backstage conversation webcasts.”  Bill currently does one of these a week but will expand that to three times weekly.  That’s “three times as many opportunities to have your questions answered directly by Bill.  Remember, he answers questions only from Premium Members.”  There’s also exclusive on-demand access to the two daily “Talking Points Memo” shorts that Bill will supply to Westwood One, and a searchable archive of Radio Factor shows back to 2005.

O’Reilly is no dummy.  He has seen his reach grow online and recognizes the potential for revenue opportunities in the future.


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