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Former Renda COO Launches Consulting Company


Rob Adair started selling radio at the University of Oklahoma at the age of 19. He was a sales manager at 22. He says helping businesses grow using the power of radio has been his life. He just completed his 41st year in radio. Adair worked for Salem as a Senior VP responsible for LA, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and six other cities. He spent 15 years with Renda as a GM, VP, and COO. Now, Adair is launching Pinnacle Solving, where he'll focus on providing businesses with fresh ideas, growth solutions, advertising, branding, and differentiation strategies. We asked Adair what he thought about the evolution of the radio industry.

Why did you decide to get out?
I actually launched Pinnacle Solving in late 2008 when I left Salem. Tony Renda was my first client. I postponed my consulting plan and returned to Renda as COO, where Ive been these past four years. The answer to your question is that now is just the right time. Pinnacle Solving has been a plan of mine for years. Its time to teach, train, and help radio companies grow revenue. Lenders, investors, and non-broadcast clients will also be served.

Give us your thoughts on the radio industry today. Are we better off than we were 10, 20 years ago?
My faith in radio has never changed. We have never weakened as an industry and we wont. Few industries have taken the punches radio has. Weve not only survived, but stayed strong and meaningful.

My concern is that in all the time and energy being devoted to radios role in new media, that we not forget what got us here meeting a business owner, uncovering a problem, and solving it with great creative, a good campaign on broadcast radio!

I believe were better operators and better business people than 10 to 20 years ago. Were smarter, too. We have a few more scars, but we are hugely significant and we remain the single-most cost-effective way to influence the most people. Period.

2012 has been, for the most part, flat despite big expectations from political. What's in store for radio revenue in 2013? Look, Im an optimist. Ive never budgeted flat in my career. I believe we can grow low, single-digit regardless of the odds. Were good enough to do that.

What is your impression of radio salespeople out on the street these days?
I wish I could have four hours with every one of them, everywhere. There are many that are very, very good. In my career, Ive worked directly with well over a thousand sellers. Ive personally trained over 600 in over 30 cities. We have great sales talent in radio. The question is how are we doing as sales managers, general managers, leaders? Are we teaching and growing our army? Ive spent hours upon hours with individual sellers from LA to Atlanta on what Id call life support," turning them around and reversing a failing track, getting them back on the road to success. Radio sellers are only as good as the people leading them.

What do they need to do better?
I'm going to change your question from they to we." Management must be involved in the day-to-day selling process. We must practice what we teach, get dirty in the trenches of battle every day and stay on the front line with our soldiers. We must be sure as GMs and sales managers were practicing Next Level School," always growing our team for the next level, always teaching, constantly training. We must constantly be growing ourselves. The better we are, the better theyll be. Sellers need to put the phone down and go meet someone who owns a business. Even overseeing regions or companies, Ive always handled my own accounts. I needed my sellers seeing me do what they must do. I love it, too. I took a lot of heat years ago for pulling all the chairs and phones out of a sales department for a month, but it made us better and it made the point. Lastly, we must never forget the greatest, most effective selling tool we have and thats a great commercial. Nothing, to this day, inspires a business owner to hire us more than great creative that is written to address a specific challenge. It is the biggest gun we carry!

What do they need to stop doing right away?
Waiting for the order, waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for the next ratings to come out, and living off of transactional business from agencies!

You've launched a new company. Tell us about it.
Pinnacle Solving is just what it says. There are lots of potential solutions to the problems clients have, but one solution is the pinnacle, the best solution. I have spent my life, not just growing radio revenue to new heights, but writing client campaigns and getting deeply involved in their advertising and their businesses. Two years ago I wrote and produced a 15-spot campaign for a small university. I had over 40 studio hours invested in this campaign; interview after interview. With the power of radio, this campaign helped enrollment grow from 800 to over 2,000 students in the last two years. Pinnacle Solving will serve broadcasters, lenders, investors, and non-broadcast clients that want to grow revenue, build their brand, and truly differentiate from their competition. My website,, tells it all. Its payback time for me. Im going to help the clients I can. Im not just going to serve them. Im going to spoil them. Its my calling now. Its time to teach and help others.

Reach out to Rob via e-mail at Rob Adair
Check out his new website
On Twitter @adair_rob

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