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The Most Inspirational Video EVER – Nick Vujicic

The next time you try to justify why you cannot do something or get what you really want out of life, let this video remind you that your perceived obstacles

Perfect thought to a day in which the world was getting awfully heavy


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You are what you are

There’s a famous quote from Marshall McLuhan that takes me back to my J School days.  “The medium is the message.”  Simple, and deep.  You may have said it about people you’ve met before.  Like the homeless guy on the street.  You immediately judge the person.  Or the overweight person who’s clothes are too tight.  Or the woman who’s dressed so scantily that…well.

“The medium is the message”   What you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you are saying.

Radio, and really all media are in that boat.  We are old.  We are irrelevant.  We are boring. We play too many commercials and repeat the same 10 songs.

Not my point of view.  Its the listeners view.  Particularly those under 40. Ask them.

We run the risk of becoming McLuhan’s description of a light bulb.  A medium that provides a social benefit.  And has no content.

Changing that is going to be as much of a challenge, as convincing you the homeless guy on the street has an IQ of 145, and worked for Boeing.

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The new World order

Radio and Records, the paper of record for 35 years in broadcasting, is suddenly gone.  Unthinkable really.  Everything I’ve been seeing about the demise of the unit points toward the economy, the rapid decline in the ad business, and an even faster decline in the record business.

But one part of the disappearance is strangely unmentioned.  And I’m really not sure why.

We faced it in radio years ago.  When duopoly (remember you could only own two or three to a market then) first launched, there were occasions of competitors buying up the other like formatted station and blowing it up.  Happened not that long ago in St. Louis when Bonneville blew up Kix106.5 to change formats after they acquired WIL-FM.

When Billboard, now Nielsen bought R&R, the handwriting was on the wall.  Several staff members left R&R pretty quickly on the take over.  It really did remind me at the time a lot of what radio did in the early days on consolidation.

Wednesday, the show stopped.  No more need for an additional staff or the costs involved.  Now R&R is gone.  The cash flow rate became too low, so rather than prop it up, Billboard which does a lot of the same things, made R&R vanish.

Its a cash flow world.  This is just one of the segments that happen in capitalism.  Its the death cycle of many industries, print clearly being one of them.

I wanted to be a journalist when I was young.  I was inspired by Woodward and Bernstein and their efforts at bringing down the Nixon administration through Watergate.  I wanted to do that.  I wanted to make that difference.

Reality hit me when I walked into my first J class and discovered 1) all the writers were as good or better than me 2) reporters made squat.  I decided business was the better career path.

Change seems to come faster and faster.  We have a President who’s popularity rating as measured by Rasmussen just hit ZERO.  And that’s in the first 130 days.  Employment is at a 35 year high, newspapers are going away, gold prices are skyrocketing.

And R&R is gone.  Just like Liquid Paper, the dial up modem, reel to reel tape machines and the clack clack on the UPI/AP machines.

Not good.  Not bad.  Just is.

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Why radio can’t be Pandora

I have a confession.  I bought into the Pandora hype.  I really believed they had some secret ju-ju that could figure out what I liked and what I didn’t.  I began to believe the “music genome project” was REAL!

Silly me.

And I’ve been marketing all my life.  And almost missed it.  Its a game.  Like match the 4 numbers in the envelope I’m holding to win a million bucks.  Or if your birthday is in the envelope when I open it tomorrow, you win.

Its all about the marketing.

When they play something I don’t like, I tell them.  Or stop listening.  Just like I would a radio station.  Must be something wrong with the “music genome project tonight”, I mutter.

Nope, its plain marketing.

Radio can do this.  It doesn’t want to.  We used to run variety promos talking about the largest music library in the (fill in the blank)  Playing more different songs than (blank)

We don’t do that now.  Because there’s no trust.

When a marketer loses his listener or subscriber trust, there’s hell to pay.  Radio can’t be trusted.  Pandora, as it begins running commercials, is blowing the trust it gained.

What’s next?

How about the truth?

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Radio as it SHOULD be

Thanks for coming to my pages.  Its not really a web site.  Just a collection of  audio, photos, philosophies, and history of my 34 years in radio.  With all the changes in radio and the disaster to the public that has been radio consolidation, I wanted to remember the way radio worked properly.

The kind of radio I’ve always done, is radio that is local.  I believe local media can be local, and MUST be local in order to survive.  I believe the incredible debt loads taken on by many companies are more onerous than that taken on by sub prime mortgage buyers.  There is only one result for most of them.

Unfortunately, many good people will be taken out of the business forever because of the “throw everything overboard” thinking process of the big companies.  In my many years in the business, I’ve worked for the biggest companies, the best and worst operators.  I’ve found one thing about radio that works.

Its people.

Our listeners.

Taking a short memory stroll, I recollect walking into South County Mall in St. Louis to see my WIL staff busting their butt for 48 consecutive hours to raise money for cancer research.  They didn’t know while they were doing it, and I didn’t either at the time, that my younger brother lay dying from the disease at that moment.

Or the occasion at KFRG in Riverside, when my wife read a story of a young boy whom all hope was lost.  All his parents wanted was grass in the backyard for their son so he could play for what time he had left.  The response of the listeners to the station was overwhelming.  Grass, watering system, playground equipment, toys, and a computer system made it to the child’s home in 48 hours.  The generosity of that effort brings tears to my eyes now.

Finally the incredible odds that the staff from KNIX faced in the Million Can Crusade.  In just 19 days, we set out to collect one million cans of food for the local food bank.  I’m sure you would agree it was impossible.  One thing I’ve learned is radio can make it right.  If you have the public good at heart and approach the problem with a grateful heart, the world stops and helps.

We collected those million cans.  And lots of valley residents ate during the following months.  Because radio really can work.

There are always the tricks and games we played on competitors.  The people who feared my reputation more than me in different businesses.  There is a true story of one of my stations playing a commercial for our website on our direct competitor.  Not just once…but for an ENTIRE run of schedule.   Yes, we bought the time, but still.  The arrest of one of my staff for super gluing one of our bumper sticker on the back of the competitions truck.  Didn’t seem to hurt his political career later.  Our t-shirts that happened to show up on the members of a national hit act on stage, playing a concert that the competition promoted.  I still remember the look on the GM’s face.  🙂

Radio to me is about making a difference in people’s lives.  Its about loving our local communities and being such a part of it, that it can’t be moved.  If we do it right, the community is served, and our company makes good money.

I hope you enjoy the photos, the memories, and the audio as much as I did in posting them.

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Twittering Radio

Here’s a thought.  Twitter.  Ever monitor thru using the function to see who’s talking about you?  Its commonplace in people who understand social media.  Just use the keyword or words you want Twitter to look for, then have it sent to your RSS reader for later consumption.

I’ve been watching the word ‘radio’ in a couple of markets I’m interested in.  Plus call letters of the stations.  Finding out something that we knew instinctively…but its painful to see.  Or rather not see.


Heck, I’m even looking at PR groups…who’s goal in life is to find a pitch to use on our morning shows so clients can get free air time.  They (PR) gets paid.  We (radio) get used.

They don’t even talk about us.  That includes rock stations and younger targeted stations whom you would think Twitter would be a target.


I used Twitter in Phoenix to keep track of the other guys morning show, their calls, my calls, my morning show, etc.  If people had conversations about them, I wanted to get involved.

Didn’t take much of my time.  Cause there was rarely anything there.

One of two conclusions.  All the focus on Twitter is wrong for radio cause our listeners don’t give a damn.


Our listeners don’t give a damn about us.

Then there’s how we use Twitter.  I follow the highest profile guy in radio in America.  The use is astoundingly bad.  I mean…the weather in LA.  Give me a break. If that’s all the interesting you are, how are you getting paid? 

I’d like to buy a clue please. 

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Radio in a “measured” world

One of the reasons radio fails to recollect in “post buy surveys”  is the ubiquity of what we do.  The other is in running 11 units at a time and being amazed that listeners aren’t listening, and clients aren’t getting results.  Of course, we could add to that problem the disastrous copy writing and poor production that goes into many of the commercials, and we get where we are.

Here’s an idea that would take time, but might help.  Put the spots online.  I don’t mean in the streams…I mean put the audio of every single advertiser on line in a searchable database.  Listeners don’t know the client sometimes…but they’ll remember they heard a car spot…or a weight loss commercial, or get out of debt spot.  Why aren’t these online?  Why do we make it so damn hard for listeners to get what they want?

Go further.  Transcribe and post the copy too.  Tag the spots so they can be searched at ease by a listener…like you would I tunes.  Heck, use an I-tunes like interface to help listeners find the copy.  We are already putting our copy into computers now…what’s one more step.

Any of that work would go further in helping our audiences and our advertisers.  We look to maintain a difference…a way to build value.  Here’s one.

Of course some NTR person will think…oh look something else I can charge for?  Or a seller…look something else I can giveaway.

See anything about the listener in either of these statements.

One final thought on social media and radio.  If we actually had earned trust from our listeners…if they actually thought what we did had value…wouldn’t it be easier to go on Twitter say, and tell people about a great deal that might interest them.  You only earn the right to market to them after you’ve earned their trust and conviction.  We used to have a program in place for our morning show endorsements.  It was a Make Right policy.  If a listener called to complain about anything that happened at an endorsed business, the business must make the listener happy.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  If they didn’t, we didn’t endorse them.

Sell that idea to a seller today.  Credibility.  What BS!

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