CBS Radio’s Dan Mason Stresses Personalities As Key to Success

“Everybody plays the hits or at least they should, but what differentiates radio stations are what the personalities bring to the table.”

This is just one of the insightful observations from our very own Dan Mason, President and CEO of CBS Radio, when he sat down (virtually) with Mark Ramsey, blogger and radio consultant, to discuss the changing landscape of radio.

This interview gives us a behind-the-scenes look at CBS Radio’s strategy, explaining how strong local content across both traditional and digital platforms engages the audience like never before. Yet, the line between the two platforms is a fine one to walk.

“The lesson we have learned is that we are not so much interested in taking our radio stations and shifting listeners to a different platform through digital tools,” Mason explained. “But what we are interested in is taking the digital tools to engage our listeners more.”

Mason is hoping to do just that with two new digital applications,  Audio Roadshow and YourDay.

Audio Roadshow, used on Mike Francesa’s afternoon sports talk show on WFAN, supplements the show’s content and allows listeners to interact with the show beyond the simple call-in model: “It’s about building apps to get engagement and longer time spent listening out of the existing product.”

Meanwhile, YourDay brings the best of local content of 24 major markets to people’s fingertips. “This [iPad app] is all about local commerce. It brings together advertisers; it brings together listeners with trusted brands that they know. It’s just a fabulous collection of digital assets right there,” Mason said.

Though CBS Radio and Mason are leading the exploration into the digital world, they are also acutely aware that without great personalities on the air, their digital tools aren’t worth the iPhones they live on.

“It’s about encouraging our people to be great disc jockeys,” Mason concluded.  And then building delightful, engaging digital tools, of course.

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