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Lisa Miller - "How I Got Into Radio"

Cumulus NY Market Manager Kim Bryant

4-26-2013

Ive had the pleasure of knowing and working with Kim Bryant for the past 15 years. When she was market manager for Clear Channel in San Francisco, we met on a regular basis as I negotiated contracts and she ran the juggernaut of stations that dominated the market and owned the female audience. As one of the few female market managers in radio, Kim has the distinct honor and demanding responsibility of demonstrating that women can provide the same, if not better, leadership than the men. I think Kim makes us proud and now that she is leading the Cumulus team in New York she does so with the same dignity and quality she applied in San Francisco.

Now, in her own words, here's how VP/Market Manager Cumulus New York Kim Bryant got into radio.

While I was attending Fresno State University to obtain my teaching credentials, I had a few girlfriends who were driving hot new cars, owned cell phones (before it was common to own one), having dinner at the finest restaurants, and were decked out in new clothes every time I saw them. In addition, they went to every rock concert and every cool event in the city. I, on the other hand, was wearing the same old clothes, driving a Datson 200SX, and waitressing for tips. There was something wrong with this picture. So I put on my best dress, my highest heels, and trotted myself to the offices of Buckley Radio.

At the recommendation of a girlfriend, I secured a sales job at KMJ. Rush Limbaugh had just started and the other stations were well rated; but my sales position started in a cubicle with a phone book, a pad, and a pen. I would spend the day on the phone, cold calling everyone or walking door to door in an attempt to get any business to buy radio time. When I finally had an appointment, I would park my aging Datson around the block and change my shoes as to not ruin the only pair of expensive shoes I owned. My girlfriends lent me their clothes and I lived off the lunches provided by my sales calls. I earned my first agency after six months but it took three years before I went through a sales training program. A bit backwards, but I knew the business from the bottom to the top.

I was a genius at co-op; I prided myself in detail and follow-through. I over-serviced my clients and worked seven days a week if necessary. Times were different. I faxed my orders back and forth or waited for the mail to deliver signed deals. I forget how slow things were and how the process has changed.

My first major call was with the head of an agency that was considered one of the nicest people in the business. I prepared for my sales call for days. I researched every one of his clients and was prepared to sell my brains off. As I sat in his office across the desk, I noticed his eyes never left my chest. I was dismayed how this pinnacle of the advertising community was such a creep. I tried to ignore his glare and went through my pitch with great pains and in impeccable detail. I finished my pitch, stood up, shook his hand, and left his office. As I got into my car and went to put on my seatbelt I was shocked to find that my giant shoulder pad (a staple of the female wardrobe in the 80s) had dropped from my jacket and was resting in front of my chest. I look like a porn star on one side and myself on the other. How this poor man was able to get through the meeting without breaking out in hysterics was a miracle.

Within a few years, I had my new shiny car, my fancy clothes and shoes; I was attending the best events and dining at the finest restaurants. (And, gratefully, no one wears shoulder pads any more). Radio was everything I could ask for and today its still a great job with an amazing lifestyle. It doesnt get any better than this.

Kim can be reached at kim.bryant@cumulus.com

Lisa Miller is president of Miller Broadcast Management
in Chicago and can be reached at lisa@millerbroadcast.com or 312-454-1111.

Read more of her feature How I Got Into Radio Sponsored by www.localfocusllc.com  HERE


 
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