Monday, June 6, 2011

This is why radio is so vanilla - Don't blame PPM

Yesterday I posted an article on employment during the rescission and nmber 6 really jumped out at me.

6. You avoid risk. After rounds of layoffs, workers often suffer from low-grade anxiety, Ashforth said. Since they aren't sure whether or not they will lose their jobs, workers "hunker down," do what the boss says and they avoid risk, he said.

"They basically do things to protect themselves in a way that doesn't call attention to themselves. So you tend to lose innovation. There's less bold decision-making. Things that really do matter to the long-term future of the organization," the professor said.

We are avoiding risk in programming and producing sizzling radio elements. I started to notice this in 2007 when working for Clear Channel in Fresno. Most of the senior managers just came to work each day with no motivation to make the product better. Everyone figures it's bosses job to make the product better and instruct the subordinates on how to do so. No manager ever told me how to program and maintain a buzz with the listeners.

How to skillfully program and market a radio station should be an inherent gene. You are not going to learn this from a manager. You will get ideas on the execution from protege-mentor relationships, if they even exist today. Everyone is worried about losing their jobs, they don't share what little information they have with anyone.


  1. Not to mention that the Clear Channels and Cumulus' have 1 person programming several stations; that's another reason. If you're that srpead out, you don't have time to devote to making things "sizzle". Honestly, the only way radio will ever regain relevance and be good, again, will be if and when the Clear Channel and Cumulus (and others) monopolies are broken up. I can't believe that something can't be done under the Sherman Antitrust laws.

  2. I think it's getting to the boiling point and something has to happen.

  3. Risk taking is what out of the box radio was all about.