Wednesday, September 22, 2004

"The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it" Michelangelo

Bob Henabery has always aimed high. He is a lion in media's forest. Wiser than a tree full of owls, Bob is a gifted collaborator, a keen intellect and an engaging personality. The estimable Mr. Henabery has been at the center of many seminal creative initiatives. As PD of WRKO he introduced New England listeners to the "Drake format", while serving ABC Radio as the senior programming officer he and Alan Shaw created the first album rock format ("Rock in Stereo"), giving formatic structure to what was then the so-called "underground" or "progressive radio" format. The incredible success of the ABC FM group served as a wake up call to FM operators and a watershed moment in contemporary radio programming. Later, as a consultant, Bob continued to be an important player leading innovations including invention of the Disco (Dance), soft AC (Lite FM), and sports radio (WFAN) formats.

Friday it will be my privilege to share a writing by Bob Henabery. In his writing -Top 40, The Fox and The Hedgehog - Mr. Henabery suggests "Bill Drake at KHJ and Rick Sklar at WABC are the two most consequential programmers in American radio history." His arresting proffer,
that Drake was a fox (pluralist) while Sklar was a hedgehog (monist) is inspired by that famous fragment of Greek poet Archilochus (i.e.,"the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing") and the later brilliant writing of philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin (The Hedgehog and the Fox: an Essay on Tolstoy's View of History). I thank Bob for allowing me the honor of sharing this great read.

Should you have arrived at this page from Claude Hall's website, you may find Bob Henabery's writing posted here.