Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Folks have been talking about the lower than average expected attendance at the 2010 Country Radio Seminar. This article we sent out as an email yesterday and I have received responses ranging from "you are wanting to kill the fun and make it like a corporate convention" to "You are right on the money". It's now condensed and edited in Weds and out Friday or Saturday Morning. CRB Interim Executive Director Bill Mayne says, “Our slogan of It’s A Whole New Decade is designed to let everyone know that Country Radio Broadcasters has heard the call of our radio industry and worked hard to give our seminar a face-lift. Our work is not done, but we feel that CRS 2010 is a positive step towards our goal as we begin this new decade.” A few thoughts that could turn CRS into Could Really Succeed:
  1. We need to tie owners and market managers along with head of programming into this convention.
  2. Country-oriented broadcast groups could have meetings to gear up for Spring at these meetings. Clear Channel/Jacor did this.Bring some of the cool points from The NAB to CRS to entice group heads.
  3. Establish think tanks for heads of labels and Country radio groups to brainstorm new adventures in digital delivery and promotion of products.
  4. More owners on panels other than Larry Wilson.
  5. Market Managers need to become part of the CRS process.
  6. Encourage the Market Managers and their bosses to plan and budget for the meeting every year.
  7. Stop the label participation in convention related expenses.
  8. Brainstorm to find better panels and contributors. The same old song and dance needs to give way to purposeful presentations and panels.
  9. Learn from Broadcast corporate meetings, to execute panels and learning pods.
When we stop the Vegas party attitude and let's hang part of this convention, more Market Manager's and group heads will become involved. 




  1. Chuck—
    You’re right on, Bud! I’m sure Bill Mayne, IF he gets the Exec Dir gig (if CRB can afford one), will be asking a lot of questions this week. I seriously doubt you’ll see him at the Bridge Bar jostling with the ghurms and wannabees who’ve taken over the place. To your list, I’d like to add a couple of things:

    Kill the Panel format altogether! The panels are an old, tired and slow way of philosophizing the same ol’ same ol’. Get worthwhile speakers who make worthwhile presentations. Consultants!!!! They do it all the time, complete with PowerPoints, charts and audio. Pick a subject and go all the way. Take it a conclusion that invites conversations in the hallways that continue long into the night—away from the Bridge Bar.
    Forget the Self-Help Speakers! If I want self-help, I’ll attend THEIR seminars. This needs to be about COUNTRY Music and COUNTRY Radio and how we get better.
    If you want Market Managers and Owners, stop having showcases in bars and nightclubs! These are upper-echelon Managers who expect to be treated with respect and dignity. Standing on a concrete floor in the middle of The Hard Rock waiting for a baby act to come out and play won’t get it!
    Remember…this is the COUNTRY Radio Seminar. Why do so many acts think we want to hear Aerosmith cover songs? There are plenty of bar bands who’ll do that for me when I’m partying in my hometown. And besides, I don’t know a single COUNTRY PD/MD who’ll be playing Aerosmith songs on his station…do you?
    Get CRS out of Downtown Nashville! Nice experiment. Didn’t work. There’s no way to keep the ghurms and wannabees out. I can’t imagine how frustrated our core artists must feel when they see a PD across the hall and can’t get over to him because of all the tourists/ghurms/wannabees and therefore, they’re own entourage gets in their way.
    The practice of doing the majority of the showcases off-site MUST end! The Labels are in competition to get PD’s and MD’s away from each other and keeping them captive all night long. I’m tired of being carted up to Fontanel or Mount Richmore…or to some venue 30-miles out of town and then making me stand around and wait for their artists to show up, while I COULD be seeing another important act.
    Limit registration to DECISION MAKERS ONLY. Wives, girlfriends, Sales Managers need to stay home! This is for COUNTRY Radio Professionals ONLY…the ones the artists, label reps and artist’s managers need to meet and get to know. Once we limit things to decision-makers, the artists can once again walk and talk freely to the people who’ll be playing their music in the coming year. The handlers, publicists and other “security dudes” can stay outside and drink coffee. It’s time to repair the rift between Radio’s decision-makers and COUNTRY artists. That happens from talking—freely. Give Radio folks a chance to get to know the artist—personally. Give the artist a chance to make a friend for when they tour our towns.
    Forget the Music City Jam! Is there a Radio Guy ANYWHERE who can’t get in to see Taylor Swift when she comes to town? Big Machine doesn’t miss an opportunity to invite Radio people to Taylor’s shows—anywhere within 200-miles…sometimes more. We don’t need to pay $600, hotel and airfare to see somebody we can see when she comes to our hometown.
    New Faces Show? How about some NEW FACES??? Every one of these artists has had hits! What’s new about their faces?

    Now, Chuck, I do want to point out that groups having “Programming Meetings” in Nashville ahead of CRS has been tried. In 2001 and 2002. Clear Channel, Cumulus and CBS came in early expecting their own “private CRS”. And they got it! The rest of the attendees—the ones who PAID to come in got ripped off big time! I’ll never forget seeing Epic running around CRS with no budget left over after kissing the “Big 3’s” Asses.

    Otherwise…those are my suggestions. Rip ‘em up! --j

  2. I liked several of these. While I believe country radio and Nashville labels have had and continue to have good working relationships there is a problem. Established Nashville labels and the record community want the life of a record to be handled a certain way. They have a certain number of singles they want released and a time frame for it from start to finish. The real problem is that's what is best for Nashville and it's agenda. It's old school and not what's best for radio. I'm all for figuring out how to make it work for both but as long as this seminar doesn't change.. Well than neither will the results for either party. I remeber well Scott Borchetta saying he didn't need radio to develop an artist anymore that there were more avenues and I'm paraphrasing. The same can be said for radio to some degree. I don't need your development act either. The problem with the seminar is mirrored in the business. Radio isn't better or worst it's just different now and our business models for both Nashville and Country Radio are different. Why is the semi ar the same? I will be there and hope I find some refreshing changes.

  3. From John Hendrix first comment and second comment from Lance Tidwell