Monday, September 28, 2009


If you care about your future in the broadcast business and the future of your family, I urge you to read this entire article. We feel there are important things included in this article that could enhance or change the way you look at your employment and money.

If you are like me, you began working in the broadcast business because you were passionate about radio, records or both. While I was originally attracted to radio because I was passionate about both, I added to my list of things I was passionate about when I started programming and realized that my ability to use strategy to impact outcome in terms of ratings and revenue could be rewarding.

If you are like me, you didn’t really think much about income, debt and wealth until a certain age when you began to see that life has a scorecard for your family. That scorecard is not about money, but having money and having balance when it comes to personal finance is key to having options for you, your spouse and your children at important times in their lives.

As we move through this economy and this time, we are going to urge you to shake up the way you look at your paycheck, your checking account and your goals.


Everyone in the radio business with very few exceptions is concerned about continued employment. That’s the way fear operates. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, you cannot really afford to lose your job and be out of work for an extended period of time. If you have a little savings, you still are not likely to be able to afford to be out of work for an extended period of time.

What is the solution?

I ask you to think about the end result of your personal finance goals. What if you had a significant savings built up and you had a personal finance program with goals that actually worked and allowed you to build savings regularly at first and then wealth? Would that make a difference when things got tough in your cluster?

Would you be as worried as you might be right now?

You bet it could make a big difference. In just a moment we are going to encourage you to build your own plan that will help you generate a sizable savings that can help you sustain yourself in this crazy business we all love so much without changing much about your lifestyle in the process.


I remember when consolidation began, many of my friends in radio would talk about how lucky I was to be with the acquiring company. I thought they were confused because I knew these fat cats (broadcast company CEOs) were all sitting around a poker table in a game of high stakes poker. We (employees, stations, clusters) were only cards in the game. Cards never win in a poker game. Technically, they are in the game. However, they cannot win or lose.

The same is true in today’s environment. Debt pressures and economic pressures are forcing a variety of difficulties on the companies that own these broadcast properties and you need to be aware of that impact on you and develop a plan that helps you navigate successfully the continuing turbulent times in this business.

Rule # 1. If you are not a fat cat, you need to have a different plan.

Today broadcasting looks different than it did in 1993. Big is not-so-in and little is more fun (reasonable). While we can debate local radio Vs big corporate radio, this article really focuses on your finances. Today it looks as if broadcast companies are under intense pressure and will be forced in many situations to carefully sell off clusters or individual stations in order to successfully reduce debt, deal with the economic issues facing all media and organize themselves in a more appropriate fashion for today’s razor sharp competitive media world.


The huge debt these broadcast companies have built should be a lesson to all of us. Debt is a real destroyer of wealth potential. The best news is that you don’t have to accept that you will have debt forever. There are important keys to fighting back.


You shouldn’t consider the things happening to broadcast companies as necessarily good for you either. Until they sort out the debt and economic issues impacting their bottom line goals, employees are on a potential bubble. However, you can survive and even thrive in the current business cycle and broadcast economy if you are careful and have a plan of your own to do the three key things that will give you more security for you and your family.

1. Work to reduce interest rates on any outstanding credit cards and reduce and then eliminate all credit card debt (and eventually all debt). Debt is the #1 impairment of wealth with the middle class today.

2. Launch a regular and automatic savings program that is not optional for your family. If you have not been saving a percentage of each of your paychecks you are playing the poor man’s game. (If you want to see more about a way to establish a regular and automatic savings program without killing your lifestyle, read our blogs at and look for the “1% Plan in the historic blog entries).

3. Work to secure the proper emergency fund for 2009. We recommend that you see this amount as 15 to 18 months of expenses in FDIC-insured money market and certificates of deposit. Yes, we know this is more than the standard 3 to 6 months that people have been recommending since the 1970s, but we don’t live in the 1970s either. This is 2009. If you lose your job, you may not be able to get another job for 12 months and may not EVER be able to replace your current income. This is why saving is not an option. You won’t be able to plop down 15 to 18 months of expenses in a savings account right away, but you can build this over time. We can show you how to do this. (see to learn tricks on how you can build this fund over time). No one likes to see layoffs and downsizing, but you will feel 90% better knowing you have a plan and that you are building this fund.


We urge you to see the two critical elements that are important in retooling your thinking for the future and for your family.

1. Your checking account is a money laundering account for other people’s money. If you can find an excuse to pull money from your checking account and push it to savings, DO IT. This is an extension of the idea “Pay Yourself First.” Only we like to say: “Pay Yourself First AND Pay Yourself Often.”

2. It’s not really about what you earn. It is about what percentage of your earnings go first to savings and eventually to asset production that counts.


Today can be a big day in the history of your family. Maybe you are already doing these things to calm the financial waters of your life. Chances are good that your grandparents retooled the way they saw jobs, personal finance and saving during or after The Great Depression. Now, it’s our turn. Maybe you would like to be saving more money but don’t see how that it possible with your bills.

Read our blogs. They will showcase how you can put pressure on your own bills (companies that send bills to your home) and pressure on credit card companies while you pay off debt and reduce spending and push money to savings by percentage.

Eventually, your goal should be to reach a point where you are saving 15 – 20% of your income. If you do this over a period of time, you will be able to make different decisions about where you work, who you work for, what you have to put up with and what you don’t.

Your family deserves those options. This is our area of focus.

I hate to see some really great people struggling at the employee level in this business. In the end, it is your family that matters the most. We work in an industry that many of us love. Still, it is an important time to review where you are, look at how you can change the dynamics of your debt and savings and move to a more secure place financially. That will earn your family a spot in their own big game for getting ahead. That’s worth doing.

We started writing the personal finance blogs because of my children. I love them and want them to have opportunity to live a better life than I have so far in mine. I have made all the personal finance mistakes a person can make. Our personal blogs and personal finance habits are not about saying we have it all figured out. I have learned hard lessons (as I am sure you have, too). Our work in the area of personal finance is about helping ourselves and helping others. I watch others in this business struggle at the hands of some things that are out of our control and I am working to be helpful to those interested in gaining some sanity and maybe some personal finance traction for their family.

Are you interested in building your own plan for financial security? Would you like to get easy access to the knowledge we have really dug for to share with our own children? It’s easy to say yes. You can join our personal finance group on Facebook called “Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves™.” Just search for the group on Facebook and click on “become a fan.” This will give you instant access to our two free personal finance blogs and an opportunity to connect with people interested in building savings and eventually getting out of the rat race.

It is important to point out that we are not offering get rich quick strategies. This is real persistent work focused on the real and steady production of savings and eventual wealth. They are strategies that are known to produce results. We are also not seeking to be paid to develop a plan for you. There are enough fees in the personal finance business. The only thing we ever sell is “How To Survive Any Financial Crisis” (an e-book written originally for our children). We make that optional, but most of what we do is offered for free through the blogs, e-saver and the Facebook personal finance group. All of our blogs, e-saver and our personal finance Facebook group (Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves™) are free.

I’m not in your family. At the same time, I recognize that we are all connected.

Most everyone at our level in the broadcast business are middle class people trying to get through what I call “the hard middle.” We all have kids. We all have bills. We are all trying to survive and get ahead.

Hopefully, you find this information to be helpful to you. If you do, we are excited to be able to be a small part of your thinking when it comes to building savings and thinking about ways to build wealth.

Rich people don’t just get richer because they have money. They think differently than most middle class Americans. How would you like to investigate “thinking like a rich person”?

There’s no better time to start than right now.

Loyd Ford

On Facebook: Personal finance group: “Live The Lifestyle Your Family Deserves™

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