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Leykis: "Budget Cuts Are Coming Your Way."


In an upcoming issue of Radio Ink magazine, former syndicated talker Tom Leykis has some sobering news for on-air talent: "Budget cuts are coming to you." Leykis discusses how his online broadcasting business is coming along after launching it just a few months ago. He was getting paid by CBS for three years to sit on the beach after a format flip cost him his job but not his income. Now, he has about $1 million invested into his online business, which includes his daily talk show. 

Leykis says he thought about never coming back because he didn't need the money. It was in his third year of receiving nice big checks from CBS for doing nothing that he decided what his plan would be. And by staying in touch with his listeners and advertisers, Leykis says he had over 400,000 people tune in during his first week back and over 1.3 million the first month. Here's a sneak preview of how he put his plan together, how you can follow in his footsteps online, and what you should avoid along the way.

"First of all, I want to give some advice to people who are hiding under their desks, worried that the budget cuts are coming to them...and they are coming to them. Number one, do the gut check. Make sure that your content is unique, valuable, exciting, and different, and that your show doesn't consist of you saying that you agree with everything Rush Limbaugh said this morning or you agree with everything Sean Hannity said this afternoon. Make sure that your content is special. On top of that, make sure you develop all of the outside resources that you are going to need down the line; your own website that is not the station website, your own email address that you can take with you when you go. Make sure you develop relationships with your advertisers. Do not leave that to the sales department. Do not clock in and clock out. Go see your advertisers. Talk to your advertisers. Develop an emotional bond with your advertisers. Make sure that you have you have a conversation with them about, "What if I do this on my own? Would you come with me?" Don't be shy. Down the line, when you leave the radio station, or when they tell you to go, you will be left with nothing but scorched earth. That is my advice to people who are currently doing this."

Our Tom Leykis cover story will be released in the print issue of Radio Ink on August 6.
To subscribe in order to receive this issue call 561-655-8778 or go HERE
Check out Tom's website HERE
Reach out to Tom HERE

(7/11/2012 1:21:40 AM)
The exact kick in the pants I needed to look out for who REALLY cares about my family........ME !

- Brad
(7/10/2012 10:16:30 PM)
He's right. Voicetracking, text to speech futures, radio is changing. The only place for us is online. I should know. Started my company in 2005 with nothing and now pay myself much more than I have ever earned in radio as a large market PD or manager.

Listen to him. Take your talents away from the idiots with the money and go to the great equalizer... the web. You can do it. Find a way.

If you are fired, you wont have many options then. It may be hard now - but it IS worth it.

- Dave
(7/10/2012 3:49:35 PM)
So he makes a name for himself in radio, rides the rocket that CBS built for him and then brags about the success of his new podcast. We used to call theses people "blowhards"....

- Jackson Weaver
(7/10/2012 12:48:54 PM)
Good advice, particularly for those in morning drive-slots. Presenters on the other day-parts - bound, gagged and time-limited as they are - may as well just practice taking the assumed position. Soon enough, it will be BOHICA-time.

- Ronald T. Robinson
(7/10/2012 10:18:28 AM)
This is very excellent advice.

Consumers (listeners) are not the only ones with more power because of social media and technology, but it is only power if you do the work for yourself.

If you are a radio personality with any 'local fame,' you should be thinking about the difference between your employers' objectives and your own career path and how those ties might be cut by any variety of factors not associated with performance in today's broadcast economy. You should build value for yourself alongside the value you are investing in your employer.

Five minutes after they cut you, they won't care anymore.

If you are a personality with any fame, follow this advice and grow your own depth with listeners and advertisers in ways you can control. This is not to suggest you shouldn't be doing excellent content work for your employers on-line and off, but you should always invest in yourself and the possibility that they might cut you loose.

You'll be better if you've built something for yourself to leverage.

- Loyd Ford

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