Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I got this from one of my on air personalities. It's from the book, "The Energy Bus", by Jon Gordon and has some great points.

The day you die, you will still have 30 or 40 emails in your in-box that will not be answered. You’ll never get it all done, so you might as well relax and enjoy the ride.

The best legacy you could leave is not some building that is named after you or a piece of jewelry, but rather a world that has been impacted and touched by your presence, your joy, and your positive actions.

Your positive energy and vision must be greater than anyone’s and everyone’s negativity. Your certainty must be greater than everyone’s doubt.

When you are enthusiastic, you project an energy that convinces people to get on and stay on your bus.

People are always buying you and your energy.

When you use the signs to find the right path and make a decision to follow it, God will move heaven and earth to support you.

The higher you get in an organization, the more it is your duty to serve the people below you rather than having the people below serve you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This is a re-post of something I did last year. I think it's worth seeing again.

Thanksgiving is this week and I thought it would be good to reflect on some things we should be thankful for working in radio. Now before you roll your eyes, I realize the last couple of years have been really tough with downsizing, cut backs, programming options forced down our throats and more. This is not just something radio is dealing with, it's everywhere. All businesses and industries are suffering. Radio is still a great gig and here are a few things to be thankful for:

• We work in radio. We play music and connect with people for a living. Pretty cool.

• We get to go to concerts for free and many times meet the artists backstage.

• We don't have to get up at 5am in the pouring rain to collect people’s trash.

• We get to talk to thousands of people each day that think of us as a friend. We have thousands of friends!

• We get to create magic (or at least you should be creating magic).

• We get to listen to music and get paid for it.

• Many of the biggest stars in country music know us by name.

• The chicks (Just kidding. Seeing if you are still paying attention).

• Our office environment is unlike any other place on the planet. Try working for a lawyer or CPA. Their offices are boring and stale. I've never worked in a radio station where someone didn't have a guitar in their office and played it often.

• Most of us are doing what we've wanted to do since we were kids. I bet most of your non radio friends can't say that.

• Over 90% of all Americans listen to radio each week. That's an impressive number. Very few media outlets connect with that many people each week.

• Each day we get to make people laugh, cry and think.

• Every day is different. Perfect for radio people that have ADD...which is most of us.

• We get free tickets to nearly everything.

• Competition makes us all better and radio has a lot of it.

Stay positive and take this weekend to think about all the great things that come with working in radio. There are many.

Monday, November 7, 2011


With the passing of Andy Rooney, I thought it was time for me to do "Ya Know What Bugs Me (in my best Andy Rooney voice)?"

So here goes. These are a few of the things that I hear on the radio that bug me.

If someone doesn't know that websites start with "WWW", then they aren't online and don't care about the website you are giving out.

There are a ton of them. "Hump Day", "Comin' Atcha", "Around the Corner", "Let's Go To The Phones", "Happy (day of the week) to you", and many more. Why do people on the radio feel the need to talk different than a regular person when they are on the air?

Jocks that run phoners from listeners saying how great they are, or how much they love listening to them. Edit that out.

Also, there are very few real "Legendary" or "World Famous" stations in the country. Those descriptions should be reserved for the true ones. There may have been more legendary stations 40 or 50 years ago, but not today. Listeners don't care. It's hype.

It's the start of my weekend. The last thing I want to think about is Monday morning. Have your morning show promo start on Saturday, not Friday afternoon.

The best radio is one on one. Just YOU and ONE listener. Talk to just one person. Use "you" and "I", not "everybody", "folks", "our listeners" or "all you people."

I hear this a lot. Jocks that talk so fast and sound so rushed (because they only have a few seconds before the listener turns them off) that it's fatiguing to listen to. Let your show breathe. There's no need to sound like you are in a hurry to finish the break.

I get that Facebook is important and we need to be where our listeners are, but I hear jocks that talk about nothing more than their Facebook page. I would bet your AQH is much higher than the number of people that would ever friend you or check out your Facebook page. Even for national shows. Play to the masses and the biggest common denominator. That's your listener, not your Facebook Fans.

OK, I'm stepping off my soap box now.

I miss Andy Rooney.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


With all the recent layoffs in our industry, I thought it would be good to re-visit a past blog of mine on the right way to apply for that next gig.

It’s been my experience whenever I’ve posted for a job opening most of the applicants I get are awful. I’m not talking the demos themselves, but the overall package and presentation. I’ve realized that many people have no idea how to apply for a job in today’s radio environment.

Times have changed. PD’s are doing more and moving faster than ever before. Trying to find great talent to fill an opening is a massive chore. The easier you can make it on me, the better shot you have at getting the gig.

If you are looking for work, this is your one chance to impress me and get my attention.

Here’s a list of what NOT to do the next time you have to send a demo.

1) Send everything I asked for in the posting all in one e-mail. I don’t have time to chase you down for your references (I hate the line “references available upon request.” That tells me you don’t have any and you need to call some people to get them). I’ve actually had several people not even send an audio demo with their resume.

2) Don’t just send me a line in an e-mail that says “check out my website” and not include anything else. I don’t have time. I want (and many times need for HR purposes) hard copies of the demo and resume. Again, if I have to chase you down for this, you probably won’t get the job.

3) If you attach your demo and resume file to the e-mail, label it with your name and what it is. I’ve gotten some that were generically labeled “Resume” or “Demo.” I had to re-name them so when I put them into my “Opening” file on my computer, I know whose who. Again, it’s a small thing that can really help a busy PD. A few people did include their name and phone number of the file name. I liked that a lot.

4) Send me a demo that’s about three minutes. One guy sent me an eight minute demo (that locked up my e-mail) and another guy sent me a :14 second, one break demo. Obviously, send your best stuff and put the best of the best at the start of the demo. I know you’ve heard that before, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t put a lot of time or effort into the demo. That’s the single biggest thing you are sending me. Make it count.

5) On the topic of demos, don’t open your audio demo with an artist saying “hi this is (famous star) and you’re listening to …”. I want to hear you, not the artist saying your name. Most PD’s are not impressed by that.

6) Do your research. With the web, you can research a ton about the station and the market. Know who is getting the demo and a little about the station. It’s amazing how many people still write “Dear Sir/Madam. I’m always impressed when someone out of town knows a lot about the station and the area.

This last part is for the PD’s that may be looking for someone.

I was a former jock once that sent out airchecks and never got a call back. It was frustrating and demoralizing. I vowed that one day, no matter how hard it is, I would respond to everyone. Even if it was a short e-mail saying “thanks, but it’s filled.”

We as PD’s owe it the applicants to return their phone calls, or respond to their e-mails. I realize it may not be the same day, or even the same week but as PD’s, its part of our job. I constantly hear PD’s saying “where’s tomorrow’s talent coming from?” If we’re not making time to respond to them (or even offer advice/critiques to them) then we are just as much to blame at the lack of talent as anyone else in this industry.

I was lucky enough when I started to have a few PD’s help me and to this day, I’ve never forgot them and still look up to them. I love this business and think we as PD’s owe it to all talent to give them some attention and coaching, even when they don’t work for us. Trust me, it will pay off.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


1. Do what you love. Jobs once said, "People with passion can change the world for the better." Asked about the advice he would offer would-be entrepreneurs, he said, "I'd get a job as a busboy or something until I figured out what I was really passionate about." That's how much it meant to him. Passion is everything.

2. Put a dent in the universe. Jobs believed in the power of vision. He once asked then-Pepsi President, John Sculley, "Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water or do you want to change the world?" Don't lose sight of the big vision.

3. Make connections. Jobs once said creativity is connecting things. He meant that people with a broad set of life experiences can often see things that others miss. He took calligraphy classes that didn't have any practical use in his life -- until he built the Macintosh. Jobs traveled to India and Asia. He studied design and hospitality. Don't live in a bubble. Connect ideas from different fields.

4. Say no to 1,000 things. Jobs was as proud of what Apple chose not to do as he was of what Apple did. When he returned in Apple in 1997, he took a company with 350 products and reduced them to 10 products in a two-year period. Why? So he could put the "A-Team" on each product. What are you saying "no" to?

5. Create insanely different experiences. Jobs also sought innovation in the customer-service experience. When he first came up with the concept for the Apple Stores, he said they would be different because instead of just moving boxes, the stores would enrich lives. Everything about the experience you have when you walk into an Apple store is intended to enrich your life and to create an emotional connection between you and the Apple brand. What are you doing to enrich the lives of your customers?

6. Master the message. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can't communicate your ideas, it doesn't matter. Jobs was the world's greatest corporate storyteller. Instead of simply delivering a presentation like most people do, he informed, he educated, he inspired and he entertained, all in one presentation.

7. Sell dreams, not products. Jobs captured our imagination because he really understood his customer. He knew that tablets would not capture our imaginations if they were too complicated. The result? One button on the front of an iPad. It's so simple, a 2-year-old can use it. Your customers don't care about your product. They care about themselves, their hopes, their ambitions. Jobs taught us that if you help your customers reach their dreams, you'll win them over.