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10 Questions With Beau Phillips

Why did you resign?
On paper, it makes no sense to leave a good salary. But I was repeating myself, painting in one corner of the canvas over and over. Ive taken DGs products as far as I can and am leaving the company is very good shape. I am inspired by growing things, exploring new ideas, and developing creative solutions. So, I intend to combine all of my skills and reinvent myself. Im a product guy with good marketing instincts. I am a proven leader with a history of winning. So, I hope to bundle my skills and dive into an exciting, new venture.

How long were you with DG and what were your responsibilities?
I joined Dial Global in 2008 to oversee all of the companys programming. I led a staff of 150 programmers, jocks, and imaging and promotion people. On my first day, DG acquired Jones Radio Networks. So, my first job was to merge their 24/7 formats business with Dial Globals. I did the same when we acquired the Waitt Networks. I was responsible for programing 20 formats, delivered to 1650 stations. Dial has an 80 share of the formats business.

Ive also been responsible for sharpening all of DGs shows and services. Most recently, Ive been retooling the programming we inherited from Westwood One.

How are you leaving your position? Is someone taking over or is that position being eliminated?
The EVP Programming role is being eliminated. My job duties will be spread among Kirk Stirland (President), Phil Barry (VP/GM), and my Programming VPs (David Felker, Tim Maranville, and John Paul). That said, DG's programming is in great shape and Ive assembled a great team wholl continue the mission.

Are you leaving the company on good terms?
Absolutely. I dont burn bridges and chose to leave on a high note. Spencer Brown, David Landau, and Ken Williams have been great to me. And I leave feeling proud of what Ive built for DG. So, Im making a seamless transition and intend remain friends with the company. I remain their biggest fan.

What is your opinion of the network business?
Stations have fewer resources now. So, Dial Globals philosophy was to deliver what stations need, but cant do on their own. We evolved the definition of radio syndication beyond late-night filler programs. So, I spent a lot of time talking with programmers to better understand their challenges. Then wed go to work developing must-have shows, services and products to suit stations needs.

What were your biggest accomplishments at Dial Global?
1) The company entrusted me with the creative reins to shape our 24/7 formats, shows, and services. So I led the charge to make Dial Globals products be the gold standard. Today, DGs formats are heard on 1600-plus stations, with an 80 share of the formats business. They sound great and can compete in any size market.

2) I managed DGs programming through a tremendous amount of change. The company has quadrupled in size over the last four years. I was the architect who recruited and reorganized the programming team, while setting high quality standards for all of our products.

3) Along the way, I was asked to manage Dial Globals Marketing and Promotion departments (in my spare time). I restructured those teams and established a vision and wove them into our programming and sales

4) I recently installed a plan to reinvigorate TM Studios, including a new line of 360 Imaging packages. Also evolved our MTV Networks prep services with a video-centric approach. I am most inspired by reading the marketplace and launching exciting new products to fill those needs.

Where do you think DG will be five years from now?
Dial Global has a strong management team whos already pursuing other revenue streams to supplement spot sales. That will be a big priority, I suspect. Strategic partnerships are likely, Now with DGs sports assets (NFL, NCAA etc.), you may see an emphasis on event marketing.

Give us your thoughts on the radio industry as a whole right now?
- I am a product guy, so I am biased. But I believe that many broadcasters are focusing on the wrong things. Our problems will not be solved by getting FM chips in mobile phones, station apps, or streaming channels. To paraphrase Bill Clinton, Its the content, stupid." Without compelling personalities and relevant content, the distribution doesnt matter.
- Ratings dont matter if you cant deliver for your advertisers. Clients have too many options that quantify who theyre reaching, and their effectiveness. Our six-minute "bowtie" spot sets cant compete with page views and click-throughs.
- I love Bob Pittmans enthusiasm. And I know that many people like radio. But I wonder how many love it? To me, thats what missing on many stations.

What should radio concentrate on?
I would start with:
- Build a lasting brand. Radio jukeboxes cant compete against stations who create an emotional bond with listeners. Engage listeners and create loyalty through clever personalities, topical and timely info, and music discovery.
- Stop trying to outsmart PPM.
- Invest in personalities. They are our biggest competitive advantage. Not one station in the Top 50 markets wins with more music in AM Drive.
- Focus on adding great content. Too much attention is being paid to eliminating anything that listeners might tune OUT. But not enough effort is made to add exciting content to encourage tune IN. The game is all about creating more listening instances."
- Realize that you cant "cut to success." Now that broadcasters are running lean operations, its time for Act II -- Growing The Stations. Look to brilliant stations like WTOP, KISW, and WBEB as your beacon. Successful companies know the winning formula is People, Product, Promotion, Profitin that order. The shrink and starve approach just cant sustain. You cant, and will drive yourself crazy trying.

What do you plan to do next?
I am naturally drawn to innovation and creative ideas. So, I plan to follow my entrepreneurial spirit. I am excited by digital products, mobile gaming, and social media opportunities. If theres a music, entertainment, or media angle, all the better. Ive got a proven history of leadership. From creating the vision, developing a plan, motivating my team, and leading the charge. So, I am considering several options and may not take one job. I might get involved in several ventures until one takes off. It would take something extraordinary to keep me in radio.

Reach out to Beau at beau.phillips@gmail.com




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