Should radio stay local? Depends on who you ask

There are a lot of changes happening in radio. Massive layoffs, companies restructuring, and the whispers of more cuts have many in the industry on edge. As with any industry facing change, now is the time for radio stations to take that long hard look in the mirror. With change comes opportunity; and now more than ever companies have the opportunity to forge their own path in the radio landscape.

Should radio stay local?

Radio has always been a source of information. From news, weather, traffic, and emergency services radio has provided¬† listeners with necessary insights for their daily lives. But is that what it means to “be local”? Is that the only benefit proximity provides?

According to Jacob’s Media, 86% of listeners believe that radio’s primary advantage is its local feel.

Staying local for some media companies, is more than just delivering the news to listeners. It is a consistent practice of intentional integration. 5 Star Media practices intentional integration on a daily basis, with eight radio stations in the local Clarksville, Tn – Hopkinsville, Ky market.

What does it mean to be intentional?

There are so many opportunities and options for media companies to become involved. It is very easy to be pulled in multiple directions and attempt to be “all the things” to “many different people”. Intention is bred from a continued focus on who our stations serve and what their daily mission must be. We are intentional when we choose the community groups with which we partner. We are intentional when we deliver a news story or good news message. The music and stories are intentionally crafted to create a positive experience for our listeners.

When our stations are crafted with intention, we know we’re focusing on local people, real stories, and honest information that will make our listeners engage.

What does ‘local’ look like at 5 Star?

Local (intentional) integration can be seen throughout the year at 5 Star Media. Each of our stations have the opportunity to choose their area of particular focus. The result is an entire year of engagement, giving back, and continued service to our community.

Camp Rainbow Radiothon: Beaver 100.3 chose to integrate with Camp Rainbow 11 years ago, in 2009. The camp, held locally at Brandon Springs Camp in Dover, TN caters to children with severe and terminal illness who are unable to enjoy traditional camp. A team of doctors, a 1:1 counselor to camper ratio, and a week of making dreams come true makes Camp Rainbow something these children look forward to every year.

The Beaver team spends two-days sharing stories, interviewing counselors, campers, and parents on how camp has impacted their lives. Over $550,000 has been raised since the beginning of the radiothon. There are no plans to stop there. Learn more about Camp Rainbow.

Night to Shine: After volunteering for the event one year, on a whim, the Q108 team is now ‘all in’ with the local Night to Shine event in Clarksville. Part of the overall event created by the Tim Tebow Foundation, Night to Shine allows residents in our community with special needs the night to be an honored guest at a prom created just for them. Held each February, hundreds of guests and volunteers pack into a local church and enjoy an evening of dinner, dancing, and inclusion.

Q108 plays a supportive role with the foundation, focusing on specific needs vs overall fundraising. In 2020, the Night to Shine committee was having trouble raising money for crowns and tiaras. These gifts are made given to every honored guest during the evening, and a special part of the Night to Shine experience. Taking to the airwaves, Q108 staff encouraged residents to open their hearts. Within hours, the committee had more than enough money for the tiaras and crowns for the evening.

Disaster Relief: When disaster strikes, it is neither expected or a situation in which victims are prepared. The past few years, 5 Star Media has stepped in with all of our stations coming together to support different causes effecting either our local community or those that create such a need we must do something. The fires in Gatlinburg were met with a two day donation drive. The fire that consumed an entire apartment complex saw same day donation support and on-air news coverage as to where people could provide safe and secure donation. Whether a tornado, a flood, or a fire, 5 Star Media is there to provide credible news coverage and a plan of action. Working closely with local Emergency Management, the radio stations pride themselves on the unique opportunity afforded by being a trusted community partner.

If you’re looking for a local partner that not only understands marketing, but also understands your community, then consider a conversation with 5 Star Media. We take pride in our community and the people we serve. As a local business owner, or a business that has decided to make Clarksville one of your focus communities, local should matter to you as well.


Jessica GoldbergBy: Jessica Goldberg

Jessica is the Director of Digital Media for 5 Star Media Group. She has over 10 years experience branding and planning community events in the Montgomery County area, and understands the needs and struggles community organizations have in maximizing their share of voice in the community. 

To speak with a marketing consultant on branding your business as a community-minded leader, email or call 931-648-7720.