Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Who Are We Trying To Impress?

You've got to love radio. It's an amazing business, isn't it? Just when you think you've got it figured out something new comes along. I've been doing this a while and I thought I had a good handle on it but I'll be darned if I can understand why you'd stick a guy's first name on your perfectly good radio station?

"Well Jim, it's all about branding."

Ah...yes... 'branding'. What? Is that supposed to be something new? The only thing new about 'branding' is the name 'branding'. It's an advertising buzzword that crossed-over. You know, sometimes I think that we 'schlock' up the business with words like that, just to impress our peers.

Who starts this stuff?

Is it the pseudo-sophisticated programming consultant? You know the type; the guy who acts Ivy League but actually went to Ivy Tech. Did some lackluster GM somewhere have a vision? No that I think about it, it had to be a consultant. General Manager's and local programmers are too busy doing the day to day stuff. Only someone who makes a living trying to keep his client baffled, confused and dependent would introduce this nouveau vogue term. We've been 'branding' in this business since the beginning of this business. If you don't know this then you don't know radio.

"Well Jim, it's different today. There are unique challenges and opportunities."

Oh...and they are what? Selling a cluster of stations as opposed to just one or two? You've always had to define your station and promote it in the marketplace. It's not new and it's not rocket science. You find a niche, you decide on what it is you want to program, you refine your presentation to your satisfaction, you maintain consistency and you promote your tail off. Radio was that way, radio is that way and radio will always be that way.

I'm sorry but the buzzwords and baloney only confuse the issue. Radio is all about information and entertainment. It's that simple. Great general managers and programmers know that. They realize that the real key is creativity.

Those are my thoughts...what do you think?

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