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(TALENT) Wanted: Radio Therapy (Part 2)



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(3/18/2013 11:31:27 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
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- NY
(1/4/2013 12:43:25 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Very entertainingly written, both large and small words included. If one listens to and accepts what passes for a "radio show" from many operators, I guess asking someone to learn a little something new everyday would simply be asking too much.
I have a hunch that there may yet be a future for broadcasters, once the monopoly has been broken. Now though, it is all for the greedy bastards who are just trying to be the "one who dies with the most toys", believing that will leave a mark somewhere.
Kids don't listen to the radio anyway so you might as well fire all the actual radio personalities. I'd rather be engaging one person at a time, over the telephone in a higher paying sales job than to just be a voice in the clutter of piss-poorly produced propaganda that populates, no that is pollutes, the airwaves...

- Mark 3:26
(1/4/2013 10:37:43 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Thank you for those well thought-out and articulate comments, BC.
I'm going to disagree with your prognosis, however, and for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that accepting your position means packing up and quitting the entire enterprise. Fortunately, we are not at war, and many will live on to maintain the struggle. :)

Corporate radio may crumble under its own weight and it might not. But the industry will have a chance - not only at survival, but at a transformation.
Unless the services (commercials) and products (talent presentations) are massively upgraded, we will still be in a loser's position of weakness and a lack of adaptability.

The other point I'd like to make here is that the principles, techniques and strategies I have either offered explicitly and the ones to which I have only alluded to or implied have all been tested - thoroughly and over years - with spectacular results. Unorthodox approach? Only when perceived by radio-folk for whom the information is new and non-traditional.

This is my personal reason, BC, for keepin' on keepin' on.

- Ronald T. Robinson
(1/4/2013 7:52:50 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
I've been reading your comments about what's needed in the radio industry for quite some time. I enjoy them. Like you, I cut my teeth in radio in an earlier era, and I cringe when I listen to a lot of what comes out of my speakers today.

But I think the renaissance that you're calling for will not come; it is precluded by ongoing changes in the way people use media, and by the economic structure of the advertising industry.

I believe that radio is going through a change as wrenching as that which ended the so-called "golden age" of the 1920s-1940s. TV forced radio to completely reinvent itself. The pioneers of the 1950s understood that if radio was to survive, it had to start doing different things, because playing "The Lone Ranger" and the "Jack Benny Show", etc. were no longer options.

A return to robust profitability hinge on three things, IMHO. 1. The development of new, unorthodox ways and means of engaging with audience and business that are predicated on the current economic realities; 2. A more agile leadership and management structure; and 3. The abandonment of multiple shibboleths from the 1950s-1990s. All of these are going to be very difficult, and there is no guarantee of success. It will be hardest for two sets of people: the current leadership (especially of the big consolidators) because many are not really grounded in either entertainment or advertising, and old-timers like you and I who "know" what radio is "supposed" to be like and believe passionately that a return to "common sense" and "the basics" is absolutely necessary. Letting go of these hard-won and formerly successful rules of thumb is the hardest thing of all.

Forgive me if I appropriate some advice from warfare, something that a lot of people who do not know what they are talking about do too much of. (I do not think that this observation applies to me. Although I've spent most of my career in radio, my education is in war; I hold an MA in military leadership, and post masters certificates in asymmetrical warfare).

2500 years ago, the author(s) of the book we know as Sun Tzu's "Art of War" offered two key insights:

1. The most important key to victory is knowledge: knowledge of self, knowledge of the enemy, and knowledge of the terrain. I suspect that we do not know enough of any of the three domains. Somewhat paradoxically, for a business as old as this one, we know very little about ourselves, and we will not face facts about enemy and terrain (which I interpret as being the needs/wants of consumers and businesses. Radio stopped researching its customers and listeners. It needs to go back to work on that key business (and in ways we've never thought of before).

2. The second most important key to victory is the understanding of the difference between what Sun Tzu called the "cheng" and what he called the "chi". "Cheng" is orthodox, conventional force. "Chi" is the unorthodox. "Chi" is the key to battlefield success. We don't know what our "chi" is today. For us, repackaging songs recorded 30 years ago in different ways is considered revolutionary. That's "cheng." "Chi" would be the modern equivalent of what Gordon McLendon and Todd Storz did...finding a new way to successfully operate the medium.

BC

- BC
(1/4/2013 6:32:14 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Advice for the New Year;
Be leery of those who use big words when small ones will do nicely.

- observer


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