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October 27, 2014:
The BEST
MANAGERS
in RADIO

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ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones





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Buzz Knight

MORE PD Lessons From Terry Francona

By Buzz Knight

So in all fairness, what I wrote Monday about Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, may have had an unfair tone in retrospect. I stand by what I wrote with regard to the need for firm leadership to set the proper tone in your clubhouse or radio station. But I need to be fair and acknowledge some positive lessons that you, as a Program Director, can take from a guy who won TWO World Series titles after a drought of 86 years.

He may end up going down in history as the greatest Manager in Red Sox history even if he allegedly had been letting players drink beer in the clubhouse during games the last two seasons. My intention in writing about the man they called Tito one last time is to give him his just due and try to find some lessons from his ultimately successful run as Manager of the Red Sox.


1). Be True to Who You Are
Terry Francona wasnt about to become someone who he wasnt. He was apparently not a screamer and was an easy going guy to be around. Talent certainly can read right thru phony if youre trying to be someone you are not.

2). Always Keep An Open Door Policy
His style afforded players the opportunity to share ideas about a variety of things such as re-arranging the batting order at crucial moments in the season. Your on-air talent should always feel comfortable approaching you about ideas to improve.

3). Dont Let Them See you Sweat
Francona never seemed to snap under the pressure of the hideous end of the season (even though I would guarantee you part of the lining of his stomach rotted away). When your ratings are challenged, your entire staff is watching to see how you lead and hold up under pressure.

4). Manage your Marketplace and be Liked.
There were never stories in the gossip columns about Terry out carousing till the wee hours. He lives and loves what he does. The market and ownership demanded success and he generally gave it to them during his run. Your perceptions in radio and your reputation in the marketplace with your staff, listeners and advertisers is critical to your success.

5). Be Polite.
Francona created a legitimate perception in the marketplace at being a gentleman. His team had a vibe and atmosphere that became a team others wanted to play for.

Buzz Knight is the Vice President of Program Development Greater Media, Inc and can be reached at bknight@greatermediaboston.com



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