Thursday, April 21, 2011

SIZE DOES MATTER- Making Your 'Little Thing' Really Big

Despite the apparently cheap and gratuitous lure of this posting's title, the thoughts I'm about to share are genuine and sincere.

I was inspired by reading several pieces this week, including Fred Jacobs' great blog post with the story behind Van Halen's brown M&M obsession (the parent story at, Business Advice From Van Halen) plus a good read shared on Facebook asking, "Is Good Radio Winning?".

Spoiler alert:  this will not be a 'corporate-radio-sucks' rant.  Those of you who know me well won't be surprised that I refuse to blather on about what I can't control but focus on what we can...and, what we, as Programmers and Air Talent, can influence is what we do.  I also don't intend this to be preachy but encouraging...that it's so important to find the time, to make the time, to put as much TLC into the sound of our product as we can.

As Programming talent, we're asked to do more than ever these days; being great multi-taskers is an assumed part of the gig.  But, is the price we're paying all the 'little things', the mundane details and routines that now concern not just one but, in many cases, multiple stations?  I commented on Fred Jacobs' blog that I'd remembered (since the advent of digital delivery systems like AV and NexGen) fellow PDs and colleagues sort of ribbing me for going through every day's loaded logs (music/imaging/spots) to check every hour for missing elements, for tweaking & tightening music-imaging-music elements, re-stacking stopsets for the best sound. I've even gotten some strange looks when talking about editing and massaging every hour of each day's Selector logs for spending around 30-45 minutes each day on tweaking, double-checking, etc.  My response was always, "if we want the best 24 hours of content possible, isn't it worth about an hour a day? I'd love my stock portfolio to deliver that...1 share invested, 24 returned".

All these little things indeed add up to one big thing:  our product.  What comes out of the speakers means everything...every piece, every hour, every day, all the time.  Nothing less than our best is expected by our audience.  A recent road trip made me realize how many stations were existing but not succeeding, not inspired; how so many voicetrack talent were basically mailing it in vs. producing a kick-ass radio show. 

We're all busy-we get it.  Our customers (our listeners, consumers of our product), however, don't know and they really don't care.  What they expect is our best.  If you're thinking, "this isn't very big-picture" considering where our industry is these days, I just hope your station is already something in which you take great pride and is a top performer.  In the end, all the slick logos, huge signals, big voices, marketing & research and Facebook posts will be useless if the product you're promoting isn't consistently great.

Let's let 'the suits' do what they do because Programmers and Personalities carping about it isn't going to change that end our industry.  Let us focus all our energies, the heart & soul, blood & sweat, that makes great radio great, 24/7/365. 

Thanks & KEEP ROCKIN'!

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