Monday, October 23, 2006

Leading At A Higher Level

Do you want to make your station, cluster or company more people-oriented, customer [read: listener & advertiser]-centered, and performance-driven? If your answer is yes, it’s time to start leading at a higher level. Here’s some advice from leadership expert and author Ken Blanchard on how you can become a better leader:

  • Set the right targets and follow the right vision: Focus on the “bottom lines” that really matter.
  • Serve your customers at a higher level: Deliver your ideal customer experience, and create “raving fans.”
  • Go beyond your ego: Listen, praise, support, guide, and help your people win!

For more of Ken Blanchard’s leadership insights, click here.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Re-Imagine! Radio

I believe that business—especially the business of radio [audio entertainment]—can be amazing. Here’s one of my favorite recent quotes from business guru Tom Peters:

"[The Radio] Business [at its "excellent" best] can be: An emotional, vital, audacious, innovative, joyful, frightening, risky, creative, entrepreneurial endeavor that breathes life & fire into our work & life & elicits maximum concerted human potential in the wholehearted effort to help others [employees, listeners, advertisers, communities, vendors, partners, corporate owners and shareholders] succeed & profit & imagine & reach places they'd never dreamed they could go."

That’s big thinking on business at its best. Let’s try to re-imagine radio this way starting today!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Digital Differences

If you are a manager, programmer, personality or marketer for a contemporary radio station or a cluster with one or more contemporary stations—CHR, CHR-Rhythmic, Hot AC or Urban/Hip Hop—read the following for insights into your listeners’ digital lifestyle. Then, think about two things: (1) how can you make your content more interactive and compelling to this “connected generation,” and (2) how can you expand the number of ways your content reaches this audience across multiple touchpoints.

The latest from the Center for Media Research…

A new study by Universal McCann, "The New 'Digital Divide', How the New Generation of Digital Consumers are Transforming Mass Communication," concludes that consumers are increasingly relying on non-traditional platforms for entertainment, news, social interactions, shopping, and other daily activities.

The Executive Summary reports that there was a time when music was the great divide between generations. Today, technology has become the source of the "generation gap." A younger, tech savvy segment adopting new media platforms, with the 16-34 age group leading the way in socializing:

  • The age group 16-34 is 25% more likely than ages 35-49 to use instant messenger, with over 75% of ages 16-34 currently using at least one service.
  • About 40% age P16-34 belong to a social network site; this is twice the percentage of 35-49 year olds.
  • Nearly 40% of are16-34 have met someone face to face after meeting on the Internet.
  • Yahoo, AOL and MSN Messenger are among the top Internet services in terms of awareness and use by ages16-34.
  • This is followed closely behind by social networking site, with 43% of 16-34's being current users. In comparison, only 16% of 35-49's are using Myspace.

David Cohen EVP, U.S. Director of Digital Communications concluded that "there is no doubt that we are moving rapidly from a world of passive receptivity to active engagement. No longer can we simply broadcast our messages to a mass audience and hope that our standard metrics of reach and frequency will guarantee success. Accountable engagement innovation is the battlefield of the 21st century..."

The younger set has adopted many of these emerging technologies at a faster rate with three out of four of the 16-34 heavy Internet users currently using instant messenger. Additionally, there are twice as many 16-34s visiting social networking sites than those 35-49. Other findings include:

  • 71% of the 16-34 year olds have participated in a blogging activity.
  • The 16-34's are three times more likely (25%) than those 35-49 to manage and/or write their own blog.
  • While personal and family/friend are the most common types of blogs among the younger group, more than 40% are developing photo and pop culture (music/film) blogs as well.
  • One third of 16-34's have participated in peer-to-peer file sharing compared to just 12% of those 35-49.
  • Thus far, just 10% of 16-34 year old heavy Internet users say they have used IPTV and only 14% have used voice over Internet protocol.
  • When asked which information source they would miss the most, television came out on top, with 27% of 16-34's and 29% of 35-49's saying they would miss this medium.
  • There are still low levels of usage and intention to use RSS feeds, with nearly half of our sample unaware of what they are.

Click here to see the full study.

Radio Show Replay

If you’re just back from The NAB Radio Show and are hungry for even more added value. Or, if you couldn’t attend, get a free taste of what you’ve missed during the hottest week in Radio.

Here are five “redefining radio” session podcasts now available at

NAB President and CEO, David Rehr's State of the Industry
Extreme Thinker Super Session
Redefining Radio
The Talent to Lead
The Technology to Succeed

Click here to download or stream the podcasts.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Media Meltdown

Since the consolidation of the radio industry in the mid-90s until now, the competitive landscape has evolved dramatically. Long gone are the days of just anticipating, tracking and responding to the encroaching moves of a direct, or indirect, format competitor. There are more formats due to fragmentation and more competitive media due to technical and creative innovation. Competition for listeners’ time, attention and ears is everywhere.

So, what’s on the horizon in 2007, 2010, and beyond? Well, be assured that there will only be more exciting challenges and changes ahead—including competitive threats we haven’t imagined yet. As they say, the only thing in life (or in business) that’s constant is change. But now, help is on the way. Leadership expert John Kotter and co-author Holger Rathgeber offer new strategies for dealing with change in their new book, “Our Iceberg is Melting,” a simple business fable with profound lessons for working and living in an ever-changing world.

Here are John and Holger’s 8-steps for Changing And Succeeding Under Any Conditions:

Step 1:
Create a Sense of Urgency
Help others see the need for change and the importance of acting immediately.

Step 2:
Pull Together The Guiding Team
Make sure there is a powerful group guiding the change—one with leadership skills, bias for action, credibility, communications ability, authority, analytical skills.

Step 3:
Develop the Change Vision and Strategy
Clarify how the future will be different from the past, and how you can make that future a reality.

Step 4:
Communicate for Understanding and Buy-in
Make sure as many others as possible understand and accept the vision and the strategy.

Step 5:
Empower Others to Act
Remove as many barriers as possible so that those who want to make the vision a reality can do so.

Step 6:
Produce Short-Term Wins
Create some visible, unambiguous successes as soon as possible.

Step 7:
Don’t Let Up
Press harder and faster after the first successes. Be relentless with instituting change after change until the vision is a reality.

Step 8:
Create a New Culture
Hold on to the new ways of behaving, and make sure they succeed, until they become a part of the very culture of the group.

For more from these change agents, click here.

A Great General Manager

In my career, I’ve had the good fortune to work with, interact with or compete against many great General Managers. A few who have been influential to me include (in no particular order): Butch Guest, Cliff Fletcher, Alan Lincoln, Rick Caffey, Tony Washington, Ben Hill, Wayne Brown and Ron Davenport. Others like Barry Mayo, Judy Ellis and Dave Martin, I’ve followed closely to carefully observe their winning ways.

There’s nothing like working for a General Manager who “gets it.” An OM/PD can deliver superior results with the support of a great GM.

Broadcast legend Dave Martin writes:

“A great general manager is an advocate for ownership, an effective business leader who adds value and creates wealth. A great general manager understands leadership is an art, believes leadership is being then doing, and she/he knows you can’t lead unless someone is willing to follow. A great general manager values ‘people skills’ and is devoted to being a good and fair person with a reputation for creating a stimulating, positive and challenging environment...”

Everyone enjoys working with a great GM!

For Dave’s complete profile of “A Great General Manager,” click

Prescription for Ratings Success

Dr. Jerry Boulding has the right prescription for ratings success:

"Winning radio stations have to be inspiring, passionate, imaginative and caring. And they must offer compelling content. They should become something the audience looks forward to every morning and goes to bed with every night. They should be a part of the very fabric of people's lives."

For more of the doctor's orders, click on (free subscription required) here.