I ask a PD who just left programming a small town Country station to summarize what I have been telling people for two years about the disconnect between the staff and the new PD in a small market CMR station. If you are aggressive, you are looked at as not fitting in and rocking the boat. Due in part to the staff not understanding or wanting to understand a full-throttle posture for the station. They think because it's a small market they can sound small and play 100 songs as currents. Check out the following and you might agree:
Well, here I am in in “ Small Market USA. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with small market radio. I have actually have heard and done some of the best radio in the small markets and yes the budgets are smaller, but sometimes you can actually get more done with less and be more creative.
The problem is the people and the mentality. Just because you are in a small market, you do not have to think small. The problem with the people is that they are under paid and they have that IJDGAF attitude. There were a few people that had a great attitude, but she was the one that was sleeping with the boss and then the boss has to cater to her needs to make sure the nighttime was the right time, if you know what I mean. Sales were selling commercials for next to nothing and dropping their pants even more just to get the sale, so there was no rate credibility.
Consultants tried to help with this station from 3000 miles away, never coming to our small city and adding music that was researched from the same region 3000 miles away. There was theft, nepotism, dissension and a bunch of people that really didn’t care, mainly the people that were running the group. There was one situation where one in charge stated that if we make too much money, the price for the station will go up and I will have to pay more for it when it comes time for me to buy it. So not only was sales dropping their pants, management was allowing it.
I saw a ton of pocketing prizes for there own personal use and or a client and the listeners never really had a chance of winning. Promotions was handled by management and used as they saw fit. In this market there was no need for a PD or a promotions person. I guess the good thing in this small market was, the trade was a flowing and you could trade almost anything, but you had to keep it under the radar. Waaaaay under. So it really wasn’t good for the client. When I got there, commercial sets were 8 minutes long, remotes were not booked as commercials and promos belonged to sales.
Plus let’s not talk about local sports starting at 5pm on a 100k flame-thrower. This station was bartered to death and was sold out and not making budget. No inventory management and no rate credibility. Not a good place to be. The web site was dismal and they had no idea on how to monetize it. I brought a few ideas in, yet they gave it away for that five-dollar rate. Let me end by saying, you can run a small market on a small budget as long as the ideas are BIG. It’s not a money thing. It’s not a market size thing. It’s an attitude thing. They think small in small markets. It just doesn’t have to be that way~