Perspective, as they say, is everything. In order to fully understand something, you really do need to view it from multiple angles. At least such is my personal experience. With that in mind, I would like to take you on a trip — no, not to India again, at least not yet. It’s a trip to the northernmost state of the union, the land of the midnight sun: Alaska.
I’ve recently had the pleasure of exchanging emails with D. Matt Duncan, the National Sales Manager of Tati Broadcasting. As our discussion progressed, I realized that being located where he is afforded a different and unique perspective on the usefulness of radio and he has consented kindly to share his views with us.
Without further ado, here is D. Matt Duncan:
You asked for my comments on radio in Alaska; I am tempted to spin a story right out of Northern Exposure, but I won’t. Anchorage, Alaska, is a small town that is booming. Despite the woes of the rest of the nation we are a wealthy state and the development dollars are pouring in. $100 million projects pop up every year, and when you start talking about the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline you can throw on an extra three zeros to anything you are talking about. There are lots of young men here making lots of money and spending it as fast as they can. Being far enough north that we don’t have to even deal with the objections of satellite radio is very nice. The fact that we are so isolated and much of our population has been in town less than ten years, there is a huge appetite for communications technology that can keep our young workforce in touch with their family and friends in the lower 48 and around the world.Radio has two seasons in Anchorage. The first season is winter. People leave town less but commuting times increase dramatically. Not everyone gets cabin fever, but it is common. PFD’s (you know the free money) come out in September and fuel the economy through Christmas. There is a definite feeling of scarcity after the PFD comes out and the lines at REI grow longer than a one hour wait. Then there is summer. Tourists pour into town and the locals all split.The beauty of Anchorage is in order to have a amazing time in the Alaskan bush you do not have to leave the signal area of most of the radio stations targeting the Anchhorage market. TSL’s can go way up as the radio is the preferred entertainment on the open road and at the campsite. Perhaps the midnight sun contributes to the extended TSL. That is radio in my town from one NSM’s point of view.D. Matt Duncan, National Sales ManagerTati Broadcasting, Anchorage, AK