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Lisa Miller - "How I Got Into Radio"

Blasting Out The Past

Although I love music, I am certainly no expert; except when it comes to what I like, and then Im a genius. I feel as if I am being robbed of the music I love. Yes, I admit it, I am a classic hit, classic rock fan. I am a product of the late 60s early 70s and Im proud to tell you that I recently saw the Rascals and Eric Burdon in concert.


CBS Radio President Dan Mason

CBS Radio President Dan Mason

For those of us who are lucky enough to be in the radio industry, we meet new people every day. Whether its on a sales call, meeting with a vendor, interviewing a new employee, or just walking through the halls of the station or the offices in which we work. Our industry is ever-changing, and by the time we've reached the milestone of several decades in the business, we've met hundreds of people. The one thing we all share is the story of how we found our way into the business."


Saga President and CEO Ed Christian

Saga President and CEO Ed Christian

When I began my career as an agent, Ed Christian was one of the first people I met at an NAB in the 80s. He was so nice to me that I wanted to do business with him just to spend time with him. I quickly learned that before owning stations he had worked in a similar career as me and knew a great deal more than I did. What Ed taught me was to know my client and know the product. It wasnt long before our paths crossed and one of my clients went to work for Saga Communications.


Saga's Steve Goldstein

Saga's Steve Goldstein

(By Lisa Miller) When I started MBM, one of the first National Program Directors I met was Steve Goldstein. In the 1980s, Saga was an outstanding company to work for and Steve was a genius at finding great talent. Steve was smart: He wanted to hire 100K talent for 30K. For every opening Steve would tell you money was not an issue, and then when it came time to offer the talent a position he would quote you 30K!


Senior VP CBS Radio New York Don Bouloukos

Senior VP CBS Radio New York Don Bouloukos

(By Lisa Miller) Upon my return to Chicago in 1977, one of the first people I met was a sales manager from WLS Radio, Don Bouloukos. He was a tall, dark, handsome, and mysterious man who quietly led the WLS sales team. The sales staff at WLS was the best in the city -- all young guys who knew everyone and lunched every day. But Don was different.


Lincoln Financial Media CEO Don Benson

Lincoln Financial Media CEO Don Benson

I honestly cant remember the first time I met Don Benson, but it's like Ive known him forever. Hes hard to miss, with his warm smile and charismatic style. A soft-spoken Southern gentleman who never takes himself too seriously, but everything he does professionally is serious business. His leadership is evident by the enormous effort he puts forth on behalf of the NAB, RAB, and Arbitron Advisory Council, along with the stations he heads up for Lincoln Financial Media. Don is not one to brag, boast, or rave about himself, which makes him the perfect leader for a heritage ownership.


How it All Began for Hubbard's Drew Horowitz

How it All Began for Hubbard's Drew Horowitz

(By Lisa Miller) When I rejoined McCann Erickson in Chicago in 1977, I met Drew Horowitz who was then the SM and eventually GSM of WFYR. Drew was a soft-spoken dynamo who knew the radio business inside and out. He treated his staff with respect and expected effort in return. Because he was so kind and nice you wanted to please him, and his staff did just that. WFYR was one of the most economically successful stations in the market.


CBS Detroit VP Debbie Kenyon

CBS Detroit VP Debbie Kenyon

(By Lisa Miller) I met Debbie at a casino. Now that may seem like a line from a Martin Scorcese film, but when you need to stay in downtown Detroit, the casino hotels are some of the best in the city. Debbie was a breath of fresh air; she was smart, knew the market inside and out, and had a full understanding of her stations from sales to programming and everything in between.


John Records Landecker

John Records Landecker

By Lisa Miller) I first met John in 1977 when my husband went to work at WLS. John was the night jock and the hot young guy on the station. All the girls loved him and at every appearance he had a huge following of dedicated and loyal fans. John was a great ambassador for WLS and, for the 18-34 demographic, John was the hippest, coolest, edgiest guy in radio.


Premiere Networks' Julie Talbott

Premiere Networks' Julie Talbott

(By Lisa Miller) The best part of any business is when you have the opportunity to work with someone you not only admire, but consider a friend. This for me is Julie Talbott.


How Funny Man Rick Rumble Got Into Radio

How Funny Man Rick Rumble Got Into Radio

(By Lisa Miller) Rick Rumble is truly one of the funniest people I know. His natural sense of humor, ability to look at life from a slanted view that makes complete sense, and his brilliant impressions make him one of a kind. To this day, one of the funniest bits Ive ever heard was Rick imitating Sammy Davis, Jr. waking up Robert Goulet at a St. Louis hotel and asking him to sing Some Enchanted Evening.


Everybody Knows Gary Berkowitz

Everybody Knows Gary Berkowitz

(By Lisa Miller) I dont know anyone in the radio business who doesnt know Gary Berkowitz. Whether your background is in AC or CHR, in markets all around the country, it seems people have run into Gary. As the consummate programming guru, Gary has touched many successful stations and its his expertise that makes them enduringly successful.


How Bruce Gilbert Got Into Radio

How Bruce Gilbert Got Into Radio

I first met Bruce at an NAB convention in Dallas. He had heard my name bandied about the halls of Susquehanna after I had finished a renewal for a client who had a long and successful run at one of their stations. After hearing my name next to several spicy four- and-five letter words in reference to my negotiations, Bruce must have thought I was a raving lunatic.


ESPN Senior Vice President Traug Keller

ESPN Senior Vice President Traug Keller

In 1994, I was representing The Fabulous Sports Babe whom we had just taken to ESPN Radio. As the first female hosting a show for the testosterone-driven ESPN, the Babe made quite an entrance. ESPN Radio was in its infancy and the addition of the Babe drew attention to the first national sports radio network. The studios and offices were filled with energy and employed some of our industry's most respected professionals. Among them was a young man who stood tall and had a grin that seemed to span the entire island of Manhattan. Never stressed, always calm, impeccably dressed and never shaken, Traug Keller was a breath of fresh air amongst the chaos that is a staple of New York.


The Story of How Norm Feuer Started in Radio

The Story of How Norm Feuer Started in Radio

(By Lisa Miller) Somehow, I think Ive always known Norm Feuer. Hes a wonderful man with a warm and winning smile, and a personality. But the memory of Norm thats engraved in my mind is the photo I have of him from the mid-1980s lined up with Jeff Smylan, Norm Pattiz, Carl Hirsch, and a couple other owners celebrating the expansion of their respective companies and the growth of radio at an NAB.


President of Trumper Communications Jeff Trumper

President of Trumper Communications Jeff Trumper

On my first trip to the beautiful city of Des Moines, Iowa, for McCann Erickson, I met with the General Manager Jeff Trumper. Because the station had a swimming pool behind the building we decided to shoot a TV spot for Coca Cola. Jeff was a dream to work with and made the process a pleasure, which is not the norm when shooting TV spots in bikinis in the dead of winter.


President of Programming Emmis Communications - Rick Cummings

President of Programming Emmis Communications - Rick Cummings

Since I started Miller Broadcast Management, I have worked with Rick Cummings. The 1980s acquisition of the NBC stations added a large group of major-market stations, all of which needed premium talent. But, on December 7, 1987, I conducted my most bizarre negotiations with Rick.


Sr. VP of Programming Entercom Pat Paxton

Sr. VP of  Programming Entercom Pat Paxton

Pat has always reminded me of someone who could have lived in the '50s. He is a suave and debonair charmer who walks through the room as if he was accompanied by Frank and Dean. But as the head of programming for Entercom, he is always working well into the future. Pat is unique in that he is very serious about his business, yet he has a wonderful sense of humor.


Cumulus NY Market Manager Kim Bryant

Cumulus NY Market Manager Kim Bryant

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.


ESPN 1000 Chicago John Cravens

ESPN 1000 Chicago John Cravens

(By Lisa Miller) The first time I met John Cravens was at a tag football game on a fall Sunday in Lincoln Park, Chicago. John was a young intern working at WLS. He was a pretty good sportsman, and when I inquired if he had played college ball, I was told that he was a cheerleader. "A cheerleader; what guy was a cheerleader? But John was and he wore it well. Now, in his own words, is how VP/ General Manager ESPN 1000 John Cravens got into radio


Brian "Big Bear" Davis

Brian "Big Bear" Davis

(By Lisa Miller) As a tall and handsome man with a voice that sounds like a warm summer night, Brian Big Bear Davis puts Barry White to shame. As the man entrusted with seven stations, overseeing 23, Brian can implement almost any format with intelligence, confidence, clarity, creativity, and competence. His stations compete at the highest level, and Brian will not rest until each station is a finely tuned machine.


Cary Pahigian

Cary Pahigian

There are a lot of nice guys in radio, but when it comes to Cary Pahigian it's totally true to say, Hes one of the nicest guys in radio. I first met Cary back in the mid 80s via the telephone, which is where we initially meet most of our business contacts. He was programming a station on the east coast and was in need of a morning host.


WUSN-FM Morning Host Ramblin' Ray Stevens

WUSN-FM Morning Host Ramblin' Ray Stevens

(By Lisa Miller) Ray Stevens is one of the funniest people I know, quick as they come with a one-liner and slaying everyone with a rapid comeback. I met Ray via my husband who was doing weather on US99. We spent our first meeting sparring verbally back and forth, and before we knew it we were planning on having dinner together. I soon came to realize that Ray was not just the life of the party, he was smart as a whip and really understood our business. Rays Chicago macho style, along with his punchy personality, makes him a talent to be reckoned with; he keeps me on my toes and reminds me every day how lucky I am to know him.


Jim Richards, Operations Manager WLUP / WKQX / WIQI

Jim Richards, Operations Manager WLUP / WKQX / WIQI

(By Lisa Miller) Jim Richards is a man of many formats. In fact, I dont know a format the man cant program. I have worked with Jim in many of these formats and found that he really does know what hes talking about. How refreshing! But, its Jims love of radio that makes him who he is and how good he is at it. He is passionate about his stations, believes in his people and finds winning is the only acceptable way to program. And the fact that hes so good looking doesnt hurt either.


Paul Barsky

Paul Barsky

I first met Paul Barsky in the early 80s when he came to work for WLS-FM. He had come from New York and the short-lived success of SuperRadio under the genius of the late Rick Sklar. I thought Paul was quick-witted and had certain sophistication in his on-air sound that was a pleasure to hear each morning.


How Two-Station Host Bill Carroll Got His Start

How Two-Station Host Bill Carroll Got His Start

(By Lisa Miller) Im ordinarily not a jealous person, but I find myself envious of my friend and colleague Eric Weiss who has the distinct honor of representing Bill Carroll. Bill has the unique task of working both in Los Angeles at KFI in middays, and in afternoons at 640 Talk Radio in Toronto. Its not a matter of how does he do it, its more about, How can you afford to miss Bills show? A loving husband and father, a man of ethics and morals, a guy who you would be lucky to have as a friend, and above all, a guy who gives great radio to his listeners.


The Kevin Rolston Story

The Kevin Rolston Story

(By Lisa Miller) Meeting Kevin Rolston reminded me of all that radio is and what I love about what I do for a living. His popularity in South Florida is that kind of success where bus drivers stop mid-route to say hello and shake your hand and people stop you on the street and start a conversation as if they are old friends with whom you share memories.


The Story of Sarah Frazier

The Story of Sarah Frazier

In our industry, we often work closely with people we have never physically met. We develop telephone, e-mail, fax, and sometimes Facebook relationships with these people, yet, the opportunity never presents itself for us to sit across a table from each other or even shake hands. Although we have met in a business setting, if we are very lucky we grow to consider these people our friends; and thats how it is with Sarah Frazier and me.


I Met This Guy In A Bar

At least once a year I am privy to a story that focuses on why a friend, colleague, client, or associate is doing business with someone Ive never heard of. I listen intently as they tell me how this person (I never heard of) is going to save the planet, get them something clearly unattainable to everyone else, bequeath them millions, and make their life oh-so-much better than anyone elses.


Get The Chair And Grow From There

Radio has always been a business of 12 chairs and 15 people. Qualified, tenured, earned, deserved, recognized, appropriate or not getting the chair in radio has never followed the protocol you might expect in more standard business practices. So when you get the opportunity to take the best job, with the best opportunity for success, dont blow it...


How Digital Changes The Lives Of Talent

I thought the world became a better place with e-mail. It was fantastic; Id write something at my desk and within a minute or two, Id get a response. No Telex, no Twix, no fax nothing with an x, just e-mail. But then I saw what happened when people didnt edit their comments, and thoughts that would never have left their mouths were leaving their fingers.


Whats In A Name? Its Your Brand.

There was a time when you could work for a station with one on-air name, then move across country or across the street, change your name, and become a completely different person. Those days are long gone. Your name is your brand, and your brand is more crucial, and more global, than ever. Station owners, GMs, and PDs are only a few clicks away from finding out everything about you -- your successes and failures, your impact or lack thereof. Like Coke, Pepsi, McDonalds, or Disney, your name defines you.


Have We Reversed Radio's Role?

Listeners used to set their day around the schedule on the radio. Now radio bases its day on the schedule of the listener. But are we doing things backward? Yes, we need to give listeners what they want. Weve learned a lot about the habits of the listeners and have made smart adjustments to be more effective and efficient.


The Next Great Format

Every day Im asked: What is the next great format, and when will it be here? The answer: Its already here. Whats its name? Ive heard every type of description, definition, and clever alliteration proposed as a moniker, but Ill call it Contemporary Talk.Yes,Talk.


Are You Listening?

What happens when you dont listen to your station? How do you sit in front of a prospective advertiser and express your conviction that your station is a must buy when you don't even listen? Who is the morning host? What benchmarks or features can be sponsored? How does the audience feel about the station? What are the strengths of the station?





 
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