Senior VP of Programming
Localism = Radio Ratings…
Jan Jeffries rose to his current position overseeing Cumulus’ music programming in all formats in 2007. Without Jeffries’ approval no song is added to stations in 68 U.S. cities. His more than four-decade broadcasting résumé includes prior terms operating his own consulting firm and serving as president of Stratford Research. In the latter position, he succeeded current Cumulus chairman/president/CEO Lew Dickey (see No. 31). Such a background informs Cumulus’ research-minded approach to its playlists. What else shapes Jeffries’ programming philosophy? He told since-shuttered Billboard sister publication Radio & Records in 2006 that what’s in between the music can be more important to gaining audience loyalty than song selection: “If all we are is a music jukebox, then we’re going to lose because there’s that thing called the iPod. That’s why the talent has to be entertaining and local, and [it has] to create the feeling that if you don’t listen every day, you’re going to miss something.” Jeffries believes that, ultimately, the radio business is show business. “We’re at a turning point and have to absolutely excel at entertainment and information,” he says. “We have to use old-school knowledge and experience with today’s technology and stay on the cutting edge as much as [we] possibly can.”
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