Audio’s 30 Under 30: Why they made the list

Edison Research and RAIN News sorted through A LOT of talented nominees to create the 2014 list of Audio’s 30 Under 30. Want to know why we picked these young men and women to represent the next generation of radio and audio? Just read their bios below.


Adéllyn Polomski

Director of Artist Relations and EDM Initiatives for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment; Program Director for Evolution

Adéllyn joined Clear Channel in 2011 as an Executive Assistant and quickly rose through the ranks to become the Director of Artist Relations for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment and has established herself as one of the most influential people in the EDM space. Adéllyn focuses on developing integrated campaigns between artists, advertisers, and Clear Channel.  Her close work with the artists and their labels truly brings unparalleled value to Clear Channel brands and its advertisers. With extensive music knowledge and an intuitive sense of what will be the next big thing, Adéllyn is instrumental in bringing about innovative new partnerships and knows the broadcast radio space inside and out, producing live broadcasts for events like the iHeartRadio Live series and the iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party.

Adéllyn is also the Director of EDM Initiatives and Program Director for Evolution, the first-ever “All Things Dance” station for iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s all-in-one digital radio service.  Adéllyn was the driving force behind the creation of Evolution and oversees its programming as well as its operational and promotional direction.  As the Director of EDM Initiatives, Adéllyn introduced acts like Krewella, Armin van Buuren and Calvin Harris to an extensive broadcast and digital radio audience, and syndicates Pete Tong, dance music tastemaker and Diplo, world-renowned music producer.  Adéllyn has spearheaded the booking of prominent dance music artists for world-class Clear Channel events including the iHeartRadio Music Festival and iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party.

Prior to these roles, Adéllyn served on the programming team for Premiere Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. During her time with Premiere Networks, she executed a number of live broadcasts from Clear Channel’s high-profile events including the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief and the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Festival.  Adéllyn graduated from Leeds University with a degree in Honors History and she holds a Master’s Degree in International Events Management from Leeds Metropolitan University. It was in the UK that she first began her radio career with Leeds Student Radio and became immersed in the electronic music scene.


Amy Cherry

Assistant News Director and a general assignment reporter and anchor  / WDEL-AM

Amy Cherry joined WDEL’s award-winning news team in 2010 from WBZ Newsradio 1030 in Boston.  Amy is also President and co-founder of the Society of Professional Journalists Delaware Chapter.

Amy has earned the esteemed honor of “Best of Show” in 2013 from the Associated Press, beating out reporters in major markets in the Mid-Atlantic for the title.  She’s also been named “Best Reporter” by the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association three years in a row.  Amy is a four-time regional Edward R. Murrow award winner for her investigative and feature reporting.  She was also selected as a fellow in the Radio, Television, Digital News Foundation’s prestigious RIAS program in Germany in 2013.  She’s also received the 2013 Terry Harper Scholarship from the Society of Professional Journalists and was chosen to participate in Poynter’s “Covering Guns” workshop.

In her free time, Amy enjoys singing, going to the beach, and drinking a good craft beer.  She lives in Wilmington, Delaware with her French bulldog “Stanley” and her bunny, “Monster.”


Collin Jones

Director of M&A, Corporate Development & Strategy / Cumulus Media

Collin Jones is the head of M&A and corporate development for Cumulus Media, leading the structuring of business development and strategic initiatives as well as origination and execution of mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and portfolio management.  Additionally, he serves as the key point of contact for investor relations for Cumulus.  Prior to joining Cumulus, Collin was an investment banker with Macquarie Capital, a leading Australian-based bank, focused on M&A, debt restructuring and capital markets transactions.  He graduated from Duke University in 2008 with a BS in Economics and minor in Psychology.


Ed Hooper

Co-Founder & CEO / 121cast, Inc.

Ed is a business-minded technology enthusiast who has worked on start-ups (Omny, rome2rio, SOAK) and for large enterprise (Groupon, ANZ Bank, Microsoft) in both Australia and Silicon Valley.

In 2012 Ed co-founded 121cast Inc to reinvent radio by creating Omny, which provides a personalized listening experience for each individual user that’s tailored to them based on their interests, location, and listening behavior. Check out for more information.


Emily Lawrence

Vice President, Mobile & Video Initiatives / CBS Local  

Emily grew up in Denver, Colorado. After graduating from Colby College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, she moved to New York City and worked in Investment Banking at Bank of America for two years.  In 2009, Emily joined MTV Networks in the Corporate Strategy Group for Comedy Central.  It was here that she developed a strong interest in digital content strategies and the way new platforms were challenging and expanding traditional media.  In 2011, Emily joined CBS Local as Director of Business Development but within the year took over as head of all Mobile & Video Initiatives. As Vice President of Mobile & Video Initiatives, her responsibilities span app development, mobile web optimization, YouTube channel operations, and managing a growing portfolio of live video simulcasts of their top radio shows.


Grant Paulsen

Talk-show host and beat reporter / 106.7 The Fan in Washington, DC.

Grant Paulsen, 26, co-hosts 106.7 THE FAN’s midday show, “Grant and Danny,” which airs from 10am-2pm each weekday in Washington, DC. Having covered the Redskins daily beat for four seasons, Paulsen provides an insider expertise on the Redskins as a respected football analyst for CBS Radio and multiple DC-based television stations. The Virginia-native also hosts national baseball talk shows on MLB Network Radio. When Paulsen isn’t on the air he’s probably at a movie eating popcorn or on a driving range, slicing golf balls into the woods.


Jack Krawczyk

Director, Product Management / Pandora

As Director of Product Management at Pandora, Jack Krawczyk is focused on leading
the product technology team that is responsible for delivering advertising solutions. His focus is on creating experiences that allow brands and products to resonate with listeners.

Prior to joining Pandora, Jack was the Head of Monetization at StumbleUpon, where he
was responsible for the product management of advertising and partnership solutions.
In his time at StumbleUpon, he launched Paid Discovery, a social distribution platform enabling brands to maximize the reach of their produced content.
Additional previous work experience includes a position at Google where he worked on
the development of Google+, and previously industry marketing management of Fortune
500 advertising relationships. He has also worked as an analyst at Banc of America Securities. Jack is a frequent contributor to trade publications such as Advertising Age, TechCrunch, and iMedia, and was named to the Forbes “30 Under 30” list for his contributions in Marketing & Advertising.

Jack holds a BS in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University.


Jordan Bernfield

Sportscaster & Host, WGN Radio / 87.7 The Game

Jordan Bernfield works as the afternoon sportscaster on Chicago’s WGN Radio, and is frequently heard hosting the “Cubs Central Post Game” on the WGN/Chicago Cubs Radio Network.  In addition, Bernfield works as a host and reporter for Chicago’s newest sports station, 87.7 The Game.  Bernfield also works as the television play-by-play voice for both the University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) and Loyola University Chicago’s men’s basketball programs.  A suburban Chicago native and a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Bernfield is heard as the host and fill-in play-by-play voice for Northwestern football and basketball broadcasts as well.


Justin Case

Director of Programming & Imaging / Benztown  

Since the mid 90’s, Justin Case has immersed himself in everything radio. He made his radio debut in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the young age of 14. He’s done it all from part time before he could drive, to afternoons/mix-show coordinator/imaging director/voice over artist and more.  Justin received his Master’s certificate in music production & technology from the Berklee School of Music in 2008.  In 2012 Justin took a leap and became the Director of Programming & Imaging with Benztown. Justin, age 30, is a true Radio Renaissance Man. He oversees all Programming, Voiceover, Custom Imaging, and Commercial VO for Benztown, an international radio imaging, production library, programming, and voiceover services company based in Burbank, CA, and Stuttgart, Germany.  Justin’s work serves over 1,900 affiliates on 6 different continents. Along with Andreas Sanneman, Benztown CEO, he oversees the curation of all 20 of Benztown’s production libraries across 13 formats including AC, Hot AC, CHR, Country, Urban, Rhythmic, Classic Hits, Rock, News/Talk, Sports and JACK. He produces content for 4 of these libraries, and oversees a team of 8 Production Directors/Format Captains around the world.

Justin produces all imaging for “America’s Morning Show with Blair Garner” (for Cumulus/Westwood One); “The Ace & TJ Show”; “Your Weekend with Jim Brickman”; the Dr. Laura Show’ (for Compass Media); and provides custom imaging for: XHTZ and XHRM – San Diego; KOAS and KCYE-Las Vegas; KABG and KDLW-Albuquerque; KBEE-Salt Lake City; KMVN-Anchorage; KQIE/KCAQ-Oxnard/Ventura; WBNQ-Bloomington; WJLI-Paducah; WLEV-Bethlehem; WVPL-Oxford; WVVV-Parkersburg; and WVVE-Panama City Beach.

Justin has been honored by the New Mexico Broadcasters Association) with an award for Best :60 commercial. He was also named “Best Radio DJ” by Albuquerque Local IQ and “Best Club DJ” by Albuquerque Alibi.


Kaitlyn Tracy

General Manager / Spring Arbor University Radio

Kaitlyn Tracy is General Manager of Spring Arbor University Radio in Spring Arbor, MI. She graduated from Spring Arbor University with a Bachelor of Science in 2010.  Kaitlyn honestly never intended to work in the broadcasting field; she was originally hired to help with underwriting and fundraising for their two FM non-profit stations. After a short while, Kaitlyn was given her own on-air shift. This was a huge step for Kaitlyn, since she never intended to be an on-air personality! She was promoted to GM in December 2012 and has enjoyed learning the ins and outs of radio. Outside of work, Kaitlyn and her husband love to travel and hang out with their pets. They have two cats: Sandy & Omar, and a yellow lab, Charlie. Kaitlyn also enjoys running and is training for my first marathon.


Katherine Larner

Sr. Sales Executive / Pandora Media Inc.

Katherine has quickly moved up the ranks in her 6 years at Pandora. She started managing ad campaigns, next moved to Pandora’s NYC office to learn the tricks of the advertising trade, and then back to the Bay Area to focus on the radio market where she is now a senior radio & digital sales executive. Her focus is on creating experiences that allow brands such as Taco Bell, Playstation, and MINI Cooper to resonate with listeners.

During her time at Pandora, Katherine has been on the steering committee for Pandora’s Women in Business group, co-chairing both the Speaker Series & Networking Committees.  As a part of these groups, she has met with high level women across The Bay (such as The Mayor of Oakland, Pandora’s Board of Directors, Sr. Producer @ Pixar, Founder of StitchFix etc.).

Katherine has been quoted in Dan Schawbel’s book, “10 Ways to Promote Yourself at Work” and wrote an article for his “Gen Y Rockstar Series” blog advising on the Keys to Millennials’ Success.

In January of 2013, Katherine received San Francisco Bay Area Innovation Group (SF BIG’s) All Star award for “Next Big Digital Sales Person” for her contributions in Marketing & Advertising. Katherine holds a BA in Business Marketing from Loyola Marymount University.



Afternoon Drive/Assistant Music Director / KPNT 105.7 / The Point Emmis Communications

Lux is the lone she-wolf in the 105.7 The Point wolf pack. This St. Louis native and ex-sorority girl is pumped to be the sister in radio you never had. Having started in the promotions department in May of 2007 (before getting her bachelor’s degree in Media Communications from Webster University in 2009), she soon scored her first on air show – 10p to Midnight – once a week on Fridays, which was her introduction to the STL airwaves. Closing her chapter in the promotions department and as a weekend warrior, in 2011 she moved to the programming department full time as the midday DJ. Yet, one short year later, she flipped shifts and took on the afternoon drive gig before adding Assistant Music Director to her resume in 2013. Committed to promoting the KPNT brand, Lux loves entertaining her audience on air, meeting listeners at station events, interacting with artists in the alternative rock world and helping highlight the wonderful clients she endorses. Having an alternative rock heart of gold, it’s no surprise that when Lux closes the mic at the end of her shift, she tunes in to her own station on the drive home – strictly as a fan.


Maggie Stapleton

Assistant Program Director / Classical KING FM 98.1

Maggie Stapleton is the Assistant Program Director at Classical KING FM and manager of all programming and platforms for Second Inversion, KING FM’s 24/7 stream of new classical music. Interviews, music programming & hosting, community event appearances, social media, and blog writing are just a few of her fun daily tasks for Second Inversion.

Maggie holds B.M. (Furman University) and M.M. (University of Washington) degrees in Flute Performance and is currently a member of the Seattle Rock Orchestra, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber Orchestra, Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra, and Parnassus Project.

Outside of the office and rehearsal hall, Maggie loves to cook, climb, run, bike, hike, and explore the beautiful city of Seattle and surrounding areas of Western Washington.


Mamie Shepherd

Program Coordinator for Seacrest Studios at Levine Children’s Hospital; On-air Talent at WNKS Kiss 95.1

Mamie Shepherd is a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.  While in college, Mamie interned for the Ryan Seacrest Foundation and worked for NBC’s The Voice, New York’s, and STAR 94 FM in Atlanta, GA.  Upon graduation, Mamie was hired to open, and run, Seacrest Studios (Ryan Seacrest Foundation) at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC.  In addition to her work for the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, Mamie serves as on-air talent, on the weekends, at Kiss 95.1 (CBS Radio).  Mamie is affiliated with a number of organizations, including the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.  She was also named the inaugural winner of the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation’s Radio Personality Project and, this year, Mamie was named to the “Top 30 Under 30 Future Leaders of Charlotte” list by Elevate Lifestyle Magazine.


Marissa Morris

Vice President, Artist Relations / Clear Channel Media + Entertainment 

Marissa Morris, Vice President of Artist Relations for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, is a trailblazer in the industry and has established a career that has put her front and center with some of the most influential executives in the music industry by the age of 27. In her position, Marissa works closely with label and management teams on developing marketing programs in support of emerging and established artists, and integrating talent into iHeartRadio’s signature events. Additionally, she partners with the company’s National Sales, Marketing and Strategic Partnership team on marrying talent with brand partnership opportunities.

Through hard work, leadership and perseverance, Marissa has worked her way through the ranks demonstrating creativity and results at every step.  Starting at Clear Channel in 2008 as the executive assistant to Tom Poleman, current President of National Programming Platforms at Clear Channel, she quickly became involved in national contest programs and oversaw relationships between the company and record labels. While working closely with the markets, artists and their labels, Marissa saw an opportunity for Clear Channel to develop the now very successful Artist Integration Program – the first program to join all local market efforts with national research and multi-platform implementation in order to drive unmatched visibility for new artist projects. In 2011, when the National Programming Platform division was created, Marissa became the very first Director of Artist Relations for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.

Marissa quickly became an integral part in the creation of several iHeartRadio branded events and initiatives such as iHeartRadio Theater performances and iHeartRadio Album Release Parties, where artists play songs from their new albums and sit down to discuss what it means to them for the first time.  Keeping music discovery at the forefront of the radio industry, Marissa was instrumental in developing Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio “On The Verge” program.  This program looks at key tracks and artists that Clear Channel radio programmers are excited about and know their listeners will love. Each month Marissa works with programmers at each format based on surveys and feedback from these programmers to launch a six-week program that includes on-air exposure as well as significant digital and social support across Clear Channel’s entire network.  These programs successfully utilize the power of Clear Channel’s multimedia platforms and unparalleled broadcast reach to maximize song exposure and create a deeper connection between fans and new music.

In addition, Marissa plays a key role in talent booking for all of iHeartRadio’s marquee events including the annual star-studded two-day iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, the new iHeartRadio Music Awards show, national iHeartRadio Jingle Ball holiday tour, client events and iHeartRadio Theater performances.


Melony Torres

Asst. Program Director/Music Director/Midday Talent at WRQX 107.3/Cumulus Media

Melony grew up in Orlando, FL and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in Marketing in 2010. When Melony was in high school, she was the producer of her news network. Melody thought it would be cool to get a job at her favorite radio station since she had no clue what she wanted to do post grad. Eight years later, Melony is still doing what she loves and has worked in Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, Los Angeles and now the DMV! Currently, Melony is the Assistant Program Director/Music Director/Midday Talent at Cumulus’ WRQX/DC’s 107.3 in Washington, DC! Melony is so grateful that her passion for music and hard work has gotten her where she is today… she is a lucky one.


Michael Hermalyn

Vice President / CBS Altitude Group

Michael Hermalyn is Vice President, Strategic Sales at CBS Altitude Group, local engagement experts marketing CBS’s television, radio, digital and out of home assets. His responsibilities consist of enhancing relationships with clients and educating them on product and service offerings. In addition, Mike is responsible for making sure all members of his team deliver proactive customer service.

Mike is one of a kind, in every sense of the word; he defies all the conventional expectations of a radio salesperson. His ability to forge and maintain lasting and results driven relationships is unmatched. From Fortune 500 businesses alone, Mike has made numerous important clients and closed top deals during his six years with CBS Altitude – but he wouldn’t call them clients, he’d call them friends. One of the hallmark characteristics of Mike is his ability to stop at nothing to deliver for his clients, while merging marketing challenges into creative ideas and executions. He re-imagines opportunities to see the potential that others may not.

Mike’s behavior is infectious due to his extremely outgoing personality and creative form of leadership. He knows how to make successful business deals while creating relationships and maintaining a sense of fun and excitement at the same time. According to many, working with Mike does not feel like “work” at all and his humor, empathy and warmth are genuine.

He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University in 2007.


Paul (The Web Guy) Costabile

Host / Personality / iHeartRadio 

Paul (The Web Guy) Costabile is a Web, TV, and Radio personality as well as a writer and producer for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. As iHeartRadio, Clear Channel’s national digital radio service, expanded to include its own original content and event coverage, Paul quickly became known as iHeartRadio’s Paul The Web Guy, the face of the platform and its exclusive digital correspondent.  He is the host of iHeartRadio’s “5 Things You Need to Know,” a weekly roundup show of buzz-worthy music, entertainment and viral news surrounding the music and entertainment industry, “At the iHeartRadio Backdoor” featuring fun segments with top artists before they hit the stage at the iHeartRadio Theater, and provides red carpet and backstage coverage at national events including the iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party, Jingle Ball and Music Festivals, as well as movie premieres.

Paul has ‘gone viral’ with numerous guerilla-style street videos for Clear Channel and iHeartRadio including Gangnam Style and Harlem Shake flash mobs and his newly created “Lyrics on the Street” series – some of which have been featured on NBC’s The Today Show, The CW Network, YouTube’s homepage, Buzzfeed,, Huffington Post, People Magazine and more. He also appears weekly on behalf of iHeartRadio on OK! TV, highlighting top stories of the week with his trademark ‘fun and unique’ segments and interviews with artists and celebrities, and can be heard on Clear Channel’s CHR stations across the country promoting iHeartRadio.

Paul’s charismatic personality has allowed him to seamlessly cross platforms between on-air, online and television, landing him national segments with The CW and E! News, as well as local segments with NBC, providing exclusive iHeartRadio coverage of its national and local events. He has interviewed numerous celebrities such as Elton John, Oprah Winfrey, Ryan Seacrest, Justin Timberlake, Keith Urban, Enrique Iglesias, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Kesha, Selena Gomez, John Legend, J Lo and more.


Ralphie Aversa

Host, “Ralphie Tonight,” WPLJ-FM / Cumulus Media

Ralphie Aversa is a quadruple threat. His platforms in television, radio, print, and the Internet allow him to tell compelling stories in a variety of fashions to a vast audience.

“Ralphie Tonight” currently airs on Cumulus Media’s 95.5 PLJ in New York, 92 PRO-FM in Providence, RI, Q105 in New London, CT, and 97 BHT in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA. Aversa offers exclusive interviews, hit music, and candid commentary on the stories of the day.

Aversa has also ventured outside of radio. In June, he became the host of “Inside Rising Star.” The 30 minute program is a companion show to the ABC singing competition “Rising Star,” and airs on Music Choice Play. Aversa also served as a host and reporter for Yahoo News, fronting the popular “Trending Now” segment until this past June.

“The Ralphie Report” runs in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s The Weekender (Circulation: 170,000). Started in 2008, the column is a print version of the best content from “Ralphie Tonight.” A TV rendition was also seen on NBC affiliate WBRE TV from 2011 to 2014.

Aversa has also contributed to WPIX TV (New York), ABC News, FOX, CNN, HLN, MSNBC, TMZ, Life & Style Weekly, and MTV News.

Ralphie attended Syracuse University. He hails from Niagara Falls, NY and currently resides in Manhattan.



Co-Host of The Mason & Remy Show | Mornings on KLOU & Afternoons on 93.7 The Bull in St. Louis / Clear Channel

Remy originally hails from market 232…Bloomington-Normal, IL.  For those who are unfamiliar with the location, it’s centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis & lots of corn.  He got his start in radio at Illinois State University’s student-run radio station, WZND-FM.  From there he moved to the heritage Top 40 station, 101.5 WBNQ in Bloomington, IL.  While doing the night show he was also employed at State Farm Insurance in the Creative Services department.  He was immersed in audio, video & photography while traveling the country with State Farm.  Eventually, he was given the opportunity to study directing at New York Film Academy in Los Angeles.  Through his video and photography experience, he brings an interesting blend of media experience to the world of radio.

Currently, Remy is one half of the Mason & Remy Show in St. Louis, MO.  The show broadcasts on 103.3 KLOU from 6-9a & on 93.7 The Bull from 2-7p.


Rick Hall

Program Director, Star 99.1 (New York)

Rick Hall joined Star 99.1 as Program Director in July 2014. In this role, he is responsible for the programming operation of WAWZ-FM in the nation’s No. 1 market. Hall also serves as Program Director of Star 107.1, Long Island’s only Christian music radio station.

During his near 15 year broadcasting career, Hall has also worked as Program Director for Life 101.9 in Cedar Rapids, IA; and Assistant Program Director of the SOS Radio Network in Las Vegas. He also worked as on-air personality with CBS Radio’s US99.5 and Fresh 105.9 in Chicago; and Music Director at The Fish in Milwaukee.

He studied Pastoral Studies at the Carlson Institute at North Central University. Hall resides in New Jersey with his wife and daughter.


Sam Alex

Host, “Taste of Country Nights” / Townsquare Media

Sam Alex is the host of Taste of Country Nights, a radio show that is based in Nashville and syndicated to over 53 radio stations nationwide. His career began as an intern at WLIT in Chicago his senior year of high school. Alex is a graduate of Illinois State University where he studied to be a teacher.


Sam ‘Nugget’ Dababneh

Morning Show Host at 94.1 KTFM San Antonio / Alpha Media

Sam ‘Nugget’ Dababneh started his radio career in Detroit where he grew up, working for Dom Theodore at WKQI (Channel 955) and later moving with Theodore to (WDZH) 98.7 Amp Radio.

His first full-time gig was in Fort Wayne, Indiana at WJFX (Hot 107.9) where he learned from PD Phil Becker. After Becker taught him how to do a killer night show, he then got the call from “Chunky” to be his producer and co-host for the night show in NYC at WNOW (92.3 NOW).

Working with Chunky taught him the skills necessary to start his first morning show, returning to Phil Becker and Fort Wayne to work at 106.3 Clickhop (WHPP) – a fully interactive radio station where the listeners had a real say in what music was played. Nugget then moved on to 106.9 K-Hits (KHTT) in Tulsa Oklahoma to work with PD Jet Black.

Nugget most recently got the call from now-VP of programming for Alpha Media, Phil Becker and Scott Mahalick to work for Mark Landis at 94.1 KTFM in San Antonio Texas. Nugget is currently at KTFM doing mornings alongside Blondie. The show has taken off with the help of consultant Randy Lane and PD Mark Landis.

Nugget is also dabbling in stand-up comedy and taking selfies.


Sam Peasley

Director of Digital Media / Bonneville LA

Sam Peasley is the Director of Digital Media at Bonneville Los Angeles. He manages the digital assets at 100.3 The Sound, a Los Angeles based classic rock radio station. His focus to the online user experience with the radio station is leading the way to The Sound’s future in the digital and mobile age.


Sean Plater

Deputy General Manager, 96.3 WHUR & The Howard University Radio Network

Sean Plater currently serves as Deputy General Manager of 96.3 WHUR-FM and The Howard University Radio Network in Washington, D.C. Sean knew at the age of 13 that he wanted to be in radio. He studied Radio and Broadcast Management at Howard University and in 2012 graduated from the University of Maryland with an MBA. Sean has worked in various capacities at WHUR, Radio-One and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.


Stephen Valenta

Director of Operations & Finance / 8tracks

Stephen has degrees in Music Business from Belmont and in Accounting from Vanderbilt. He worked as a CPA at Deloitte before joining 8tracks in 2012. He lives in San Francisco.


TJ Taormina

Host of The TJ Show on 103.3 Amp Radio / CBS Radio Boston

TJ Taormina was the kid who walked to school with his headphones plugged into his radio. Having discovered morning talk shows as a 13 year old while growing up in Hillsdale, NJ, he became hooked. In high school, he called countless radio stations–asking to intern, organize CDs, sweep the floors, anything!–just to get his foot in the door.

Finally, in his junior year, Fairleigh Dickinson University gave him a chance. He started out running public service tapes on Sunday mornings for WFDU-FM, his mom giving him a ride to the station, since he was still too young to drive.

In 2002, after getting accepted into FDU’s broadcasting department, he landed an internship at Elvis Duran and the Z100 Morning Show in New York City. During the ten years he spent there, he learned as much as he could from the different positions he held: answering phones, doing phone pranks, producing, and eventually becoming a co-host on Elvis’ show in 2010.

In 2013, TJ left Elvis’ show for an opportunity to host his own morning show in Boston.  He is currently the host of 103.3 Amp Radio’s “The TJ Show.”


Zach Sang

Creator, Executive Producer and host of nationally syndicated Top 40 Night Show Zach Sang and The Gang / WYD

Zach Sang is already a multimedia superstar with a new generation of followers. He is a radio prodigy, Nickelodeon personality, social media addict, pop culture junkie… and everyone’s best friend. The best part – he’s only 21 and just getting started. Zach is one of the most recognizable voices and TV Personalities to people 12-28 years old. He became an instant internet radio star at just age 14 when he began broadcasting nightly from his parents’ home in Wayne, New Jersey. Zach quickly amassed an online following of 2.6 million teens from coast to coast. Zach has done over 10,000 interviews with every major celebrity from Justin Bieber to Ben Stiller. Zach was also the host of “Zach Sang & The Student Body” which incorporated hit music and aired nightly from 7-9P on GOOM Radio. Zach served as the executive producer as well as the music director of Zang Radio – the second largest teen radio channel in the country. Today Zach is the youngest national radio host in the history of radio. His national show “Zach Sang and The Gang” is heard every night on over 27 Top 40 Radio Stations all over the country.


Zachary Claudio

Director of Digital Sales / CBS Local and CBS Radio

As Director of Digital Sales at CBS Radio, Zachary Claudio is responsible for overseeing CBS Radio’s mid-sized markets. Zachary works with markets around the country providing the support and expertise necessary to ensure that they are hitting their digital revenue goals. He has been with CBS for over 6 years, working his way up from Sales Person to Director of Digital Sales. He grew up in New Jersey, went to school in Massachusetts and has lived in Boston and New York since graduation. He is a die-hard Yankees, Jets, Rangers, and Knicks fan.


To read more about Audio’s 30 Under 30 visit:

Edison Research and RAIN News Announce Audio’s 30 Under 30 at RAIN Indy Summit

Edison Research and RAIN News has announced the honorees from their 2014 search for “Audio’s 30 Under 30.” The list highlights thirty promising and accomplished young men and women representing the next generation of radio and audio.

In addition to talented hosts and programmers, honorees range from Clear Channel’s Vice President of Artist Relations to 121cast’s Co-founder & CEO. Among the youngest on the list: Zach Sang, the 21 year old host of nationally syndicated Top 40 Night Show Zach Sang and The Gang.

Edison President Larry Rosin says, “The 2104 list of future leaders in the audio industry truly reflects the diversity of our world today. We have young people representing almost every facet of the audio industry. From Broadcast to Online, entrepreneurs and successful executives at large legacy companies, programmers and air talents everything in between. Knowing that such fantastic young talent is now in the world of audio should make us optimistic for the future.”

2014-30U30 centeredAll “Audio’s 30 Under 30” honorees received free registration to The RAIN Summit Indy and were honored at the event on September 9th.

Edison first introduced the “30 Under 30” concept to radio with international searches for talented young broadcasters in 2007. Honorees had to be no older than 30-years-old as of September 9, 2014, and may not have been previously recognized.

Brad Hill, VP and Managing Editor of RAIN News says, “RAIN News is proud to be part of 30 Under 30. Reading the accomplishments and talents of these 30 outstanding young professionals is invigorating. It is wonderful to see passion for the medium inspiring new generations. Onward and upward!”


Adéllyn Polomski – Director, Artist Relations and Promotions / Clear Channel
Amy Cherry – Assistant News Director / 1150 AM WDEL
Collin R. Jones – Director of M&A, Corporate Development & Strategy / Cumulus Media
Edward Hooper – Co-founder & CEO / 121cast, Inc
Emily Lawrence – Vice President, Mobile & Video Initiatives / CBS Local
Grant Paulsen – Talk-show host and beat reporter / 106.7 The Fan in Washington, DC.
Jack Krawczyk – Director, Product Management / Pandora
Jordan Bernfield – Sportscaster & Host, WGN Radio / 87.7 The Game
Justin Case – Director of Programming & Imaging / Benztown
Kaitlyn Tracy – General Manager / Spring Arbor University Radio
Katherine Larner – Sr. Sales Executive / Pandora Media Inc.
Lux – Afternoon Drive/Assistant Music Director / KPNT 105.7 / The Point Emmis Communications
Maggie Stapleton – Assistant Program Director / Classical KING FM 98.1
Mamie Shepherd – Program Coordinator for Seacrest Studios at Levine Children’s Hospital; On-air Talent at WNKS Kiss 95.1
Marissa Morris – Vice President, Artist Relations / Clear Channel Media + Entertainment
Melony Torres – Asst. Program Director/Music Director/Midday Talent at WRQX 107.3/Cumulus Media
Michael Hermalyn – Vice President / CBS Altitude Group
Nugget – Morning Show Host at 94.1 KTFM San Antonio / Alpha Media
Paul (The Web Guy) Costabile – Host/Personality / iHeartRadio
Ralphie Aversa – Host, “Ralphie Tonight,” WPLJ-FM / Cumulus Media
Remy – Co-Host of The Mason & Remy Show | Mornings on KLOU & Afternoons on 93.7 The Bull in St. Louis / Clear Channel Media & Entertainment
Rick Hall – Program Director / Star 99.1 (New York, NY)
Ruben Perez – Digital Business and Traffic Operations Manager / Univision Communications
Sam Alex – Host, “Taste of Country Nights” / Townsquare Media
Sam Peasley – Director of Digital Media / Bonneville LA
Sean Plater – Deputy General Manager, 96.3 WHUR & The Howard University Radio Network
Stephen Valenta – Director of Operations & Finance / 8tracks
TJ Taormina – Host of The TJ Show on 103.3 Amp Radio / CBS Radio Boston
Zach Sang – Creator, Executive Producer and host of nationally syndicated Top 40 Night Show Zach Sang and The Gang / WYD Media/WestWood One
Zachary Claudio – Director of Digital Sales / CBS Local and CBS Radio

To read more about the honorees visit:

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About Edison Research

Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Gulf News, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Time Warner and Oracle. Edison Research works with many of the largest American radio ownership groups, including Bonneville, Emmis, Entercom, CBS Radio and Radio One. Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Edison Research is the sole provider of election exit poll data for the National Election Pool comprised of ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC and the Associated Press. Edison is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue.

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About RAIN News

RAIN News lives at the Nexus of traditional radio and new media. Informative, insightful, influential, entertaining — RAIN News is the preeminent source of information and commentary about the future of radio and the emergence of streaming audio. RAIN was started in 1999 by Kurt Hanson, founder of AccuRadio, a pioneering Internet radio platform. In the 14 years since its beginning, RAIN has kept a forward-looking view, both documenting and predicting the future of radio and the evolution of listening.

A core component of RAIN News is the daily RAIN Newsletter, a curated package of knowledge points and original analysis. The newsletter is a crucial touchstone for thousands of readers who have relied on its progressive daily drumbeat for over a decade of change in the radio and digital music industries.

First Listen: Nash Icon

By: Sean Ross

Over the years, it’s been difficult for any Country station to pull too far away from the format mainstream. “Young Country” stations buckle and play the current George Strait single after a while. Stations specializing in “the hits and legends” often play enough current music to continue to report to the charts, punctuated by a few heavily staged Hank Williams, Jr., cuts.

So it was hard to know where Cumulus was really going to put the “Nash Icons” format it announced in May. There was a promise to play new material from classic artists, so it wasn’t going to be Country Oldies. But was it going to be the Country equivalent of heritage rock? Would “Nash Icons” be the format where Reba McEntire and (Cumulus syndicated host) Kix Brooks can still expect support for a new record?

When the format launched on August 15 in Nashville, Atlanta and a number of other markets it had been clunkily renamed “Nash Icon.” In its first hours, the new format wasn’t as old or quite as focused on legacy acts as the initial publicity might have suggested. With three ’80s songs an hour, the new Nash Icon isn’t quite new enough to report to the Country charts, but it’s essentially the “Hits & Legends” model we’re already familiar with in Country radio.

The gold that Nash Icon played in the hour I heard was mostly the gold that would test for any Country station that still tests the late ’80s and ’90s – most just don’t play it anymore. The currents weren’t only traditional leaning, or by heritage artists. At least one of the currents bordered on the younger, more aggressive “bro country” genre, that music is both propelling Country’s current all-ages success and, perhaps, creating the demand for an older skewing, more gold-based format like this one.

Then again, even KFKF Kansas City, the best example of a successful yesterday-and-today Country station, has Brantley Gilbert’s “Small Town Throwdown’ among its most-played titles. KFKF has increasingly traded ’70s and ’80s titles for ’00s Country instead. The two most-played oldies on KFKF this week are Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” and Dierks Bentley’s “Free And Easy (Down The Road I Go).” Even for yesterday-and-today stations, it’s hard to resist the excitement of “today.”

When “Nash Icons” was announced in May, I suggested that if Cumulus wanted to have a gold-based country station in multiple markets, it could force the format to fragment in a way that Country radio had thus far resisted.  Nash Icon appeared Friday on a few of the second Country stations that you would choose for just such an approach: WSM-FM Nashville and KJJY Des Moines among them. In Atlanta, however, the new format is on an FM translator, while sister WKHX (Kicks 101.5) has gone more current than ever.

When I wrote the May article, Edison’s Larry Rosin suggested that the really radical format fragmentation would be a truly young Country station. That station – not afraid of Country rap or sitting out George Strait, no matter how much they wanted to give away tickets to his farewell tour – would indeed be radical. Instead, the radical move turned out to be WKAZ (Tailgate 107.3) Charleston, W. Va., the Country/Top 40/party songs hybrid that plays the mix you hear between acts at a Country concert.  Short of playing Limp Bizkit (as Tailgate 107.3 does), it’s hard to do a truly young Country station because the mainstream format gets just close enough to cover you. As time marches on, and mainstream AC gets newer as well, the “yesterday-and-today” Country franchise is only likely to become more pronounced.

Here’s Nash Icon as heard at 2:10 p.m. on Friday (15) on its Atlanta affiliate:

Judds, “Why Not Me”

Brad Paisley, “River Bank”

Toby Keith, “How Do You Like Me Now”

Chase Rice, “Ready Set Roll”

Hank Williams, Jr., “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight”

Carrie Underwood, “All-American Girl”

Tim McGraw w/Taylor Swift & Keith Urban, “The Highway Don’t Care”

Kenny Chesney, “How Forever Feels”

Don Williams, “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good”

Thompson Square, “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About”

Rascal Flatts, “Love You Out Loud”

John Michael Montgomery, “I Love The Way You Love Me”

Tim McGraw, “Everywhere”

Florida Georgia Line, “Dirt”

Keith Urban, “Better Life”

George Strait, “Write This Down”

Miranda Lambert, “Automatic”

Fresh Listen: Quickhitz (90.3 Amp Calgary)

By: Sean Ross

In the decade that it took for the “Quickhitz” format, or something like it, to get to the radio, it seemed inevitable that an artist would complain about a format that relies on edited versions of contemporary songs. It didn’t happen when Quickhitz finally debuted on WYDS Decatur, Ill., last September, partially because the small-market station’s modest debut didn’t generate sustained industry attention.

Then Quickhitz debuted Aug. 1 on Newcap’s CKMP (90.3 Amp) Calgary, Alberta. In its first few days, the station’s buzz was among Canadian radio people—notable enough since it’s been a while since even an industry person called me to talk about a new station. Then there were local press stories that explained what the station was doing, although on-air Amp says nothing more explicit than “twice the music.”

On day 6, Jann Arden weighed in. Arden’s one top 15 U.S. song, 1996″s “Insensitive,” was one of the first Modern AC hits. In Canada, she’s up to 13 albums and three books. You may remember that song’s mix of earnestness and pre-Alanis annoyance, but Arden’s tweets have little of the former:

“Don’t listen to #AMP radio Calgary . . . they are fucking with art that took thousands of hours to create. #dickheads.”

“Dear AMP radio Calgary. Please don’t play my music. Thank you you dorks.”

“How the fuck would you play any of Leonard Cohen’s songs cut in half? #ampradiocalgary? Impossible and unethical.”

“Just don’t listen to them. It’s such a giant pile of bullshit. #ampcalgary.”

“Apparently #ampradiocalgary doesn’t like things that are big and long. Hhmmmm?”

Within hours, Arden’s contretemps with Amp was a national news story.  Through Amp’s first week, I had wondered if listeners would even notice the change. Amp was already CHR and already based around music quantity. By last Friday, that was no longer the issue.

Edison Research works with Amp-owner Newcap. We do not work with Amp or Quickhitz, but Edison’s Larry Rosin is a fervent longtime supporter of the concept. And I had some nice things to say last year when I took my “First Listen” to WYDS, long before Newcap became involved with the format.

There were early execution issues on the first QuickHitz affiliate. There were two syndicated dayparts on WYDS that did not match the rest of the station. The initial slogan, “twice the music in half the time” was confusing, and the promised 24 songs an hour didn’t always materialize. But I liked the energy rush of the station. I liked the additional slots for new songs. And at a time when the hits reach critical mass quickly, I was happy to have some of the most saturated hit songs over with after two minutes or so.

Nine months later, that’s true for me listening to Amp as well. And from a radio standpoint, a lot of the initial issues have been worked out. I’ve listened a few times and been able to hear the seams of only one edit. I’m tired of Zedd’s “Clarity” at any length at this moment, but I can listen to it for two minutes on Amp. Confronted with its full length, I would have punched it out. Amp has also been spotlighting imports and new releases in a way that few North American Top 40s do at the moment.

The press reports (and angry tweets) have Amp playing songs at half their length. With many songs, it’s more like two-thirds, although that’s unlikely to sway anybody opposed to the concept to begin with. Here’s a half hour of the station and the approximate length of Amp’s versions vs. the regular radio versions. (In the case of some Canadian hits, I didn’t have access to the radio version and used the length of the song on the iTunes Music Store.)

Kiesza, “Hideaway,” 2:10 (vs. 3:41);

Sia, “Chandelier,” 1:56 (vs. 3:34)

Shawn Desman, “Electric,” 2:14 (vs. 3:11)

Nico & Vinz, “Am I Wrong,” 2:17 (vs. 3:39)

Lorde, “Team,” 1:52 (vs. 3:32)

Clean Bandit, “Never Be,” 2:23 (vs. 3:45)

Magic!, “Don’t Kill The Magic,” 2:13 (vs. 3:39)

Iggy Azalea, “Fancy,” 2:07 (vs. 3:16)

JRDN, “Can’t Choose,” 2:20 (vs. 3:57)

Sam Smith, “Stay With Me,” 2:02 (vs. 2:53)

Marianas Trench, “Pop Music 101,” 2:11 (vs. 4:07)

Zedd. “Clarity,” 2:00 (vs. 3:56)

There was one ironic moment here. The Marianas Trench song is literally about the construction of a pop hit (as well as a poke at the conventions of today’s hit music). At 2:11, I still got the joke.

For those applauding Arden on Thursday and Friday, and there were many, their beef with Amp was often not just that it could potentially edit Leonard Cohen, but that radio wasn’t playing him (or any other “quality music”) in the first place. Many opined that mainstream radio sucked. Nobody tweeted, “I love today’s hits. Please don’t mess with them.”

I wonder if that listener exists. Arden and I are a few months apart in age. So perhaps she remembers rock stations and certain top 40s bragging about playing long versions as a point of differentiation from those bogus other stations. Perhaps the press coverage of this dust-up will give that concept new currency, but until this week, it’s been a distant memory. Before QuickHitz debuted last year, PDs were already experimenting with shorter versions of new songs (and longer versions of established hits) without incident. More telling, top 40 and R&B listeners had long become used to hearing very truncated versions of songs in the mix shows that are some stations’ most-popular features.

Mostly, however, listeners have been voting on all songs with their index finger. One Twitter reply to Arden decried “stupid changes . . . such as this” as a “main factor to why radio is becoming obsolete.” Programmers know that if anything truly threatens broadcast radio, it’s the inability to match Internet radio’s skip button with anything of similar intent.

In some regards, QuickHitz is an easy lightning rod for artists’ frustration with a new generation’s odd relationship to music in general – streaming, not owning; listening to songs, not albums; and, yes, hitting skip. Instead of going to see live music, they pay to see superstar DJs deconstruct recorded music. But unless you’ve never decided you just weren’t in the mood for all 6:28 of “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald” at any point over the last 38 years, you’ve been callous toward somebody’s artistry as well.

Arden has allowed her label to release radio edits of her own songs. On the Friday morning after the controversy broke, she released her new single, “Karolina” — a new version of a song from her recent album with additional vocals from a Canadian country act, meaning that she does not consider the original to be a final, non-negotiable statement. She is not one of the handful of artists unwilling to let their songs be sold as individual downloads, outside the context of the intended album experience.

But I understand that making hard decisions about your art is not the same as having someone make them for you. Arden comes by her beliefs honestly. And now I’d like radio programmers to get the same respect for their artform – or at least an acknowledgement of the right to practice it – that artists would want for themselves. These days, attacking another recording act for sampling or interpolating an existing work would mark an artist as a crank. But attacking radio for seeing music as similarly porous is an easy applause line. And I can pretty much guess what Arden would have to say about research.

As to the prospect of an edited Leonard Cohen, I can only offer the following. The generation of listeners whose attention spans have led broadcasters to the QuickHitz concept are the same ones who nevertheless made his “Hallelujah” a standard over the last decade.

Cohen’s version of “Hallelujah” is 4:38. Jeff Buckley, whose version is definitive for many, made it 6:53. The British hit version, by X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke, deleted three verses, brought it in at 3:37, and sold more than two million singles and albums. The answer to “more of a good thing?” or “less of a good thing?” has variously turned out to be “yes,” and listeners seem to gravitate to the answer that’s right for them.

"SteacieLibrary" by Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -

The Expert’s Guide To Content Marketing with Research

One aspect of Edison’s business that is booming right now is conducting research studies to help companies gain exposure through thought leadership. It’s something we know a little bit about, since that’s exactly how Edison itself has built its own business over the last 20+ years. We’ve also been the sole providers of U.S. Election Exit Polling for the past decade, which is the largest research project for content marketing in the world, among other things. Having your company or brand attached to a significant piece of research that actually reveals new, useful information is one of the best ways to show your prospects that you are not just trying to sell your stuff, but also trying to contribute to the field. These days, however, it can be a bit tricky to get your studies and research findings out there, since the Internets are lousy with quick stats, infographics, and other ephemera. When everyone is doing the same thing, and no one is standing out, there is only one thing to do–you need to do what others will not do. Here are five ways to do just that.

1. Answer the Question on Everyone’s Lips

Often, the best way to determine what your brand could study is simply to listen to your customers, or your competitors’ customers, to see the most common types of inquiries. What you are looking for are what the poet Rumsfeld might call “Knowable Unknowns”: things we do not know, but are knowable through proper study. Last year, for instance, Netbase contacted us to get to the bottom of the true impact of social media on fashion buying decisions. Anyone with web analytics facility can tell you that a link or impression led to an online purchase, but what the vertical they were trying to serve really wondered was this: how much does what your friends say on Facebook or show on Instagram affect your decisions when you buy something offline? (We love researching the things you can’t click.)

This was a “knowable unknown,” and led to a very successful series of white papers and mainstream trade press placements for Netbase, and taught me a little bit more about shoes than I wanted to know.

Questions like this are everywhere, by the way. On this week’s episode of The Beancast (Bob Knorpp’s wonderful and well-produced marketing podcast) we discussed the fact that most people who view YouTube ads skip the ads just as soon as they can, five seconds in. Clickstream analytics can tell you that a potentially appallingly low number of ads are watched in their entirety, but they can’t tell you want the impact of those five seconds are in terms of branding. Good question, eh?

2. Answer the Hard Questions

Recently, Edison put out a study that not only met criterion #1 in spades, but also had an added bonus: it wasn’t an easy question to answer! We have put out research on the online radio space for years, but one question kept popping up from media buyers, agencies, and investment analysts alike: how much of the total time spent with audio goes to online radio, compared to terrestrial? How much time is spent listening to “owned music” (your own CDs or MP3 files) versus podcasts, or satellite radio?

We were asked this question enough to know that it was worth finding the answer. Turns out, it wasn’t an easy question to answer, but it was, in fact, a “knowable unknown.” We saw the fact that it was a hard question as our opportunity to answer it–again, to do what others will not, in order to cut through the din. So we answered it, in the first of what will be a regular research series for us called Share of Ear℠ (covered here in Billboard).

3. Know How to Reach your Audience

For us, getting a gazillion hits on Buzzfeed is gratifying, but ultimately does not put food on our table, in terms of our specific prospects. For example, part of our business is election research, so it is far more important for us to produce the kind of quality work that will get covered by Huffington Post’s Pollster column or Politico than to get hundreds of irrelevant placements. And we love getting picked up by the print editions of things like The New York Times, or The Wall Street Journal. Not only do our prospective clients read those publications, they also tend to respect and acknowledge the level of scrutiny those resources place on research they cover.

So, when we are working with clients to produce research studies that will motivate action with a desired target, we learn as much about that target as we possibly can (yes, by doing some research–we drink our own champagne here at Edison). This helps us to work with a brand’s PR agency or their internal communications department to ensure that our research isn’t just “interesting” (the damnable faint praise of the Internet) but useful and well-targeted to the kinds of placements that matter.

4. Don’t be Known. Be Known for Something.

Here is a little secret: getting your research-based content marketing shared a million times or featured on Mashable and Techcrunch could be wonderful on the surface, but devastating to your brand if you didn’t do the work right. The initial venues that post your work will do so if it sounds interesting, or has a slick, well-designed infographic, or addresses a hot topic. This will put your pie charts in front of a lot of eyeballs, and your vanity metrics will soar. This is good, if you get paid with eyeballs. If, however, you get paid with cash, there is a very real danger here: if your work won’t hold up to scrutiny, was shoddily conducted, mis-reported or otherwise will not stand the test of time or numeracy, all you have done is get famous amongst those who will not buy, and infamous to those who might.

I see this all the time–a prospect will reach out to me asking me if I have seen (famously shared study X), and then proceed to tell me how awful it is. Essentially, you’ve had a grand opening for your store, but left the shelves dirty and bare. Doing your study quickly and cheaply is the best way to maximize your eyeballs to dollars ratio. But doing it right is the best way to be known for doing things right, and for the quiet minority–the brand managers, the B2B customers, the Agencies–to recognize that your company cares about actually advancing the field. People notice.

5. Illustrate your Findings Simply, Clearly and Accurately

This is as much as I will say about actually presenting and illustrating your data: just be clear. We don’t use 3D graphs, pie charts with dozens of slices, or tiny-fonted footnotes about the sample. We want our audience (and your audience) to see exactly what the point is of even displaying the data in a graph in the first place. Ultimately, we want our data to live, both on and off the screen. What we have found, over and over, is that if we do the work right (#4, again) and present it in the clearest, simplest way possible, our data gets more uptake to reputable sources and curators of data. Period.

For us, this means we don’t have to have the shiniest graphs, or the most vividly illustrated infographics. If we have done our job right, it is the data, and its usefulness, that will live on. Indeed, it’s the only thing that truly does. We LOVE it when reputable sources for research like Statista (below) and eMarketer not only cover our data, but regraph it (with attribution, of course :) ) Again, that gets it not only shared more widely, but also lends more credence to the work. If a sharp, clear graph like the one below from Statista can’t be drawn from your data, you’re doing it wrong.

Infographic: Pandora Maintains Lead In Crowded Audio Streaming Space | Statista

Final Thoughts

There has been a lot of talk about the flood of content that overwhelms us (my friend Mark Schaefer calls it “content shock“) and there is no question that it is harder than ever to stand out with research studies or any other kind of content. Certainly one way to do so is to establish genuine expertise, and to be known for not just quantity, but unimpeachable quality. When 80% of the players at the poker table are similarly skilled, the only way to win even marginal gains is to do what others will not. In the case of fielding and publishing research data for the purposes of content marketing, we’ve been holding to the last full measure of research devotion for two decades now. Take these five principles to heart, do the work, and you’ll do more than create content, you’ll create value.