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How To Win Big In A Small Market

11-29-2011

Robert Wynne is the President of Wynne Broadcasting Company, a cluster of five radio stations in Klamath Falls, Oregon. In the most recent issue of radio Ink magazine Wynne was voted one of Radio's top managers for 2011. Wynne has put in years of tireless dedication to the radio business. His detailed concern for what his station puts out over the air every day and dedication to the local community were just a few of the traits that put him on our list for this year. He says those two things are more important than titles or personal benefits. "I buy the best equipment we can afford, devote resources to multiple backups of our equipment plants for consistency, carefully scrutinize every minor detail of anything that affects our image and give back to the community in every way I can. I pay close attention to all aspects of my operation on a daily basis but also spent abundant time envisioning and creating future plans and strategic alliances."


What are you most proud of about your people and station(s)?
I am most proud of the integrity, consistency, longevity and dedication that I see every day from my people. We have an outstanding Program Director that has been waking up our community on our Soft Rock station for the better part of his career. His dedication and commitment to not just our stations, but our community is something that makes me proud every day. In addition I am blessed to have key employees leading my Traffic and Sales departments as well. Again, these are people that have been with the stations for a long time and are truly dedicated to serving our clients, listeners and our community. These people have a passion for radio and it shows.

I am proud of the fact that my stations are locally owned and operated. Todays radio world is dominated by giant radio corporations and out of town owners. A local operation and owner such as myself is becoming increasingly rare in our industry.

Although we are in a small market, I am proud of the fact that year to date we have donated over $200,000 in airtime to help local groups and organizations make our community a better place to live. In the last three years of this difficult economy we have donated over $650,000 in airtime to our community. I can hold my head up high anytime our stations or my broadcast group name is mentioned in public and feel blessed we have been able to help our community by our commitment to local public service.

Describe the makeup of a successful GM/Market Manager in Radio
A successful GM/Market Manager must be versed in all aspects of the radio stations he or she is leading. By definition, the owners of most radio stations believe the GM must be strong in sales and relationship building in the community. However, they must also be capable in all departments, Traffic, On Air, Production, Accounting, Engineering, IT and Marketing. A successful GM/Market Manager must be able to talk intelligently to all employees in every department and truly lead the team by example, dedication and the ability to “roll up their sleeves” and help out in any situation. A successful GM/Market Manager must also have the ability to envision the big picture and develop and constantly modify a strategic plan for success without getting mired down in marginal situations.

What is it about YOU that makes you successful?
Never ask anyone to do something that you are not willing to do yourself. The dirtiest jobs in a radio station are an important part of what makes the whole system work. I believe I am successful because of the tireless dedication to the radio business that I have built over the years. I am more concerned about our on air product and our reputation in the community than I am about titles and personal benefits. We may be in a small market but that is no reason to think small. I buy the best equipment we can afford, devote resources to multiple backups of our equipment plants for consistency, carefully scrutinize every minor detail of anything that affects our image and give back to the community in every way I can. I pay close attention to all aspects of my operation on a daily basis but also spent abundant time envisioning and creating future plans and strategic alliances.

What will the top three challenges of 2012 be for radio managers?
Number one….keeping radio local and relevant. As the number of music, news and entertainment distribution options continue to increase it is imperative that local radio super serves the local community on all levels. It is all about local content and programming. As the saying goes “All politics is local”….and the same applies to radio in the future. Your station may sound and look great but if it is not a relevant part of your local listeners day to day life your future is rather bleak.

Number two…finding and keeping talented people. The amount of talented people entering radio as a career has fallen to dangerous levels. We are seeing a new generation that has no interest in working in radio and the unique challenges that make it a business that “gets in your blood”. As each year passes it will become harder and harder to find capable individuals dedicated to our business.

Number three…understanding and embracing the technological advances and creations that lie ahead and having the wisdom to embrace those that can advance our local image and disregard those that offer no practical improvement to our core audience. We need to understand that not everything new and shiny should be embraced with our limited budgets. Some may look or sound great but in reality offer a very limited return on investment and affect a minimal portion of our precious audience.

Reach out to Wynne HERE to congratulate him or discuss his successes.




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