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Buzz Knight

Cardinal Traits For A Radio World

10-16-2013

The St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) are in the hunt for another World Series appearance and they remind us of some useful examples that  relate to our business. Full disclosure: I'm a lifelong Cardinals Fan!

1) Core Managerial Leadership and a Steady Hand

Manager Mike Matheny (@mikematheny22) is an even-tempered leader who is  supremely aware of his team's history and what they need to compete today. The team model is always fundamentally sound and the unit is well prepared for every opponent. Matheny makes it look incredibly easy, but you know his level of preparation, and what he expects from his team, are both very high. The message for radio is to emulate the Cardinals' in terms of strong core management.

2) Create a Team That Has Diverse Talent Assets

The Cardinals team benefits from many role players who aren't afraid to be available in other key roles. A starting pitcher who can be relegated to a relief pitcher, and visa versa,  has been a frequent occurrence over the years on Cardinal teams. There is a "do what it takes to win" approach that seems to permeate the organization. As we look for people to fill roles at our properties, we must be certain they have the willingness to always expand their skill set.

3) The Cardinals Keep the Plan Simple

The Cardinals don't beat teams with high-priced stars or over-the-top home run performances. They win with pitching and with timely hitting. The defense is solid and pitchers get ahead in the counts. The Cardinals don't take big chances. A mundane, simple plan for success for your radio brand can sometimes feel bland internally but frequently the less complicated approach will win. Always tweak and improve your plan but insure that it is simple and clear.

4) The Cardinals Are One of the Best at Growing Their Own Talent

Homegrown talent is a hallmark of this successful franchise. With a deep farm system and a continuous plan to teach and coach the "young guns," they are always finding the "next big star" to bring to the foreground. We must more consistently develop new talent from our bench as we plan for the future.

5) The Cardinals Have Great Respect for Their Past

Respect for great past players who toiled away to build outstanding careers should never be forgotten when thinking of a successful brand. Our business has to walk the fine line of respecting the past yet going  headfirst into the future.

Buzz Knight is the Vice President of Program Development for Greater Media and he can be reached at bknight@greatermediaboston.com. Knight was named among “Best Programmers” by Radio Ink Magazine in 2007 and 2010. He has served on the programming subcommittee of the National Association of Broadcasters(NAB) and is currently a member of the Arbitron Radio Advisory Council and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) COLRAM Committee.



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