Friday, November 20, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like...

It's been awhile since I devoted time to the blog...I promise I'll be posting more frequently:

Tonight in C'Ville they light the tree on the downtown Mall, Santa arrives during a parade
in the morning...and much of retail has been ready for the Holiday Season since...well about 2 weeks after Labor Day!
I commented to someone the other day, that for the radio biz...Christmas truly is "the biggest promotion there is..." If you can't attract attention to your stations, create some warm & fuzzies, AND make some revenue as we countdown to Christmas...maybe you should re-think things.

Get out and support Toy drives, food drives...adopt Santa like a long-lost relative. Candycane stripe your website...your vehicles...your logo. Be present at traditional community events, and find ways to take your clients along! It really is the "most wonderful time of the year!" Make the most of it.
I also invite you to follow Santa Claus @northpoletweet...yep even Santa is on Twitter, and take a few minutes to check out the holiday web pages I created within 4 of our station websites. HOT 101.9 Generation 102.3
Some of our listeners fondest memories are those of the holiday season...tap into those memories!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Don't You Forget About Me

20-some years ago, I was in love with Molly Ringwald. OK, I still like her a little, don't tell my wife. The much too-early passing of 80's pop culture movie director John Hughes inspired me to
jot down some thoughts. Hughes taught a generation that high school stereotypes didn't matter...that the jock doesn't always get the girl and that the cheerleader doesn't always get the guy. Movies like "16 Candles", "Pretty in Pink", "The Breakfast Club" and of course "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" are staples of a generation. Ferris just wanting to have a little fun and break the rules was what everyone wanted to do. Director Hughes created characters and dialogue that we all remember, and quote. When we say those lines from those movies, nearly everyone knows the reference point. When you hear, "Bueller?....Bueller?" in that low monotone you instantly go back and remember. It was what Hughes said and how he said it that still strikes a chord.
Presenting something in an interesting compelling way that people remember certainly applies to our business of radio. Did you give your listeners a "Bueller" moment today?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I'm B-a-a-a-c-c-c-k-k!!!

I don't just mean writing this blog (sorry, it's been a couple of days) I mean back in the biz! Tomorrow is my first day with Monticello Media in Charlottesville, VA as Director of Interactive Media! 71 days on the beach is more than enough to recharge my batteries, get energized again and get excited about all the possibilities!

I'm grateful for this opportunity to develop on-line opportunities for our clients and listeners, and especially thankful for the support of MM management and their belief in interactive media and how it can work hand-in-hand with radio.
Thanks for all my friends in and out of radio for their support...I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Man in the Mirror

I've been to my share of funerals; family, friends, business associates...
They all left me with the same feelings. Sorrow, emptiness, loss...from the first funeral for a young classmate who tragically died when I was about 8 to the last I attended a few months ago for a high school friend..the feelings were the same.
So today, I found myself surprised when I felt those same feelings during the MJ memorial.
Along with a billion or 2 others, I parked in front of CNN to watch the spectacle...the circus...the funeral for an entertainer who most recently has been known for his bizzare behavior than his abilities to entertain.
Proud to be a smart-ass in the first-degree, I was ready to ridicule the proceedings...but the afternoon took a turn when speaker after speaker, performer after performer paid tribute to a man who truly was an unbelievable entertainer, with a career that spanned my entire life.
The memories of Brooke Shields...and love and anguish of his young daughter put a very human face on someone who's life had taken on very un-human qualities...and with them I felt sorrow, emptiness and loss.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Checking out the neighbors

We arrived safely in VA on Wednesday and have been busy unpacking and unpacking and...oh yea, unpacking.
Today we did take some time to check out the neighbors, so we headed a few miles down the road to to meet Mr. Madison at his place, "Montpelier", the in-progress renovation of the beautiful home of our 4th President, James Madison. Of course the President was not home...but our guide made it easy to feel the presence of the aptly named "Father of the Constitution."
Our afternoon road trip was an effort to explore our new chosen home, and we didn't orignally plan to visit Montpelier, but as we waited for our tour to begin I realized it was exactly 173 years to the day, the Madison died there. For you radio folks, Madison it turns out, also could be called the "Father of Reseach." In preparation for the 2nd Continental Congress, Madison developed the Virginia Plan, by researching great governments of the ages to come up with a plan that would work for our own young country.
Kind of a great way to do things-taking the best of what works and using it. Not imitating, not taking a cookie-cutter approach...taking the best of everything and adapting it for your needs...or the needs of your residents (listeners). What a great way to run a radio staion (country)!
Thanks Mr. Madison, stop over some time and I'll show you how to use Selector.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Knock a Lil Louder, Sugarland!"

I enjoyed every second of the Sugarland/B52's performance of "Love Shack" during the 09 CMT Video awards. Taylor Swift rapping "Thug Story" with T-Pain made me smile, too. I know some people get all bent out of shape with the increasing pop influence in country music and CMT always does it's best to include performances like these...but c' was FUN.
Plus you still have Brad Paisley taking home 3 awards and performing "Then"...and Trace with, "You're Gonna Miss This" (shout out to Wayne Addleman on pedal steel!)...two real country songs with real country themes.
Before the purists start bitchin'...remember...there have always been lots of people coloring outside of the lines. Thinking of you Mr. Cash.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tom and Karen + 6 minus 4

With apologies (not really) to Jon and Kate who are very busy trying to screw up the lives of their young children.
As many of you know, we're in the middle of a life-changing move. Our pursuit of radio is taking us 300 miles from home to central VA. Karen & I and 2 of the boys will call VA home in 2 short weeks. Our other 4 children are in school, on their own and will visit.
For the radio crowd...moving comes with the gig, I know...but so far we have taken short journeys.
My wife has been away and on the job for 5 weeks...we've been packing and trying to sell a home. I've interviewed and searched for a new job in radio. Together we've searched on-line and in person for a new place to live.
I'm happy to report we've found a wonderful place perfect for us, close to work, with the amenities that will make a difficult situation much easier.
This is where I admit it IS difficult. Our career-based decision affects all of us in different ways, but in the end, is the right decision.
Radio people have always moved across the country for the next gig...because they feel so strongly about what they do, and because they feel so strongly...the business of radio is better. The passion that exists in the radio business is the reason it WILL survive all the BS...all the challenges and changes.
No offense to the man with the pipe wrench, but I don't know of many plumbers who uproot it all to install a toilet.
You have to care about what you do enough to step off the edge. The decision to move wasn't a premium was our choice. I'm glad we made it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


It was bound to happen right? As the industry changes, do we really need a publication called Radio & Records. Actually...yes. Take away the highly researched, over "Big Brothered" stations and you have a huge chunk of the radio industry, smaller operators without budgets, without research, without consultants who can use this info. R & R charts can help point the way for some, provide contacts for others and be a source of great ideas and information about music, sales, promotions and more. A lot of good people are out of work (like in the rest of our industry)
and I feel for them...and for those who looked forward to weekly updates about many aspects of our business. There are still avenues to find the info, online, other publications, etc. - but no more R & R? That would be like losing local announcers in favor of generic across the board programming...and that wouldn't be very P.C. now would it?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Two sides of the same coin

I'm always looking for new music and right now 2 country artists fill the bill and demonstrate the range that defines the format. Trace Adkins, "All I Ask for Anymore" and Craig Morgan's "Bonfire." With Trace you get the thought provoking side of country music...songs with deep feeling. Craig provides the uptempo feel-good, rowdy summer-song with "Bonfire" a way
it's "Redneck Yacht Club '09" but that's OK. I love these both for different reasons, and that's what the format is all about, isn't it?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hug your listeners!

NBC News and the NY Times did a feature today on how the "Hug" is the "high-5" of 2009.
Apparently lots of people are hugging much so that some schools have tried to ban hugs!
Hug all you feels good and makes you feel better...which is why we should be "hugging" our listeners. Giving them what they expect...information, good content...reliable info. Make them comfortable...just like a good hug. Keep them coming back for more.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

George Strait is right!

Not only is King George a country music icon...he's pretty damn smart. At the conclusion of Wednesday night's "Artist of the Decade" tribute, George made a reference to all the artists that took the stage and performed his songs and said, "I'm glad I gotta holda them songs before they did."
That sums up why country music is so's always about the songs. George recognized all the great songs that made his three-decade career so memorable. It was good to hear a handful of the 50+ that have been #1 done by some of today's best. It was great to hear George himself wrap it up and let us know he's not done yet!

Stepping off the edge...

I've spent nearly 28 years in the radio business...some days I wonder how it got to be that long! And choice... I've stepped off the edge into the wide world of unemployment.
It actually feels a little guilty to choose to get out of radio when so many of you are out of jobs through no fault of your own.
This business can be crazy...and right now is no different. We're seems more and more each day.
I'm confident that most of us will find ways to adapt, to continue to do great radio, and continue on in the business that we all love so much.
For me, my decision came about when my wife, a Director of Sales accepted a new position in central VA. As we prepare to move our family, I'm energized by the possibilities that await.
If you're out on the edge right now...I hope some of those opportunities and possibilities find you too.