Monday, July 04, 2005

"The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get the old ones out" Dee Hock

Once upon a time Dee Hock suggested financial institutions collaborate to create new financial products. Captains of the banking industry thought him crazy. Today we enjoy the convenience of Dee's once radical and revolutionary notion because it's everywhere we want to be, his idea was VISA.

Lots of good reading to share. First Doc nails it again. This from his Syndicate keynote:

"New media never replace old media. They only "threaten" the old media that fight them.
The old always fights the new. Right up to the point where they adapt, fail, or get borged.
Language is always a problem. You can never make sense of the new in terms of the old.
Language is our biggest problem right now." Check out his slides here

Gerry Cagle has always been a maverick. From his salad days as wunderkind and uber-cool programmer (KCBQ, KHJ, KFRC, et al) up to and including his present groundbreaking projects, Gerry has continually been one to make things happen. Check out his commentary, "What's Next", Gerry is spot on about the mess music radio is in, you may read it here.

Sean Ross gets the conversation started on jockless v. jocked, he also provides a good preface to the subject matter - find it here. Jaye Albright blogs about...just about everything and she is so... right on time, read all about it here.

The legendary, and brilliant, John Rook offers up a fresh pov, time and time again, check him out here.

Jesse Walker opines on the format named in honor of Brookline's most famous son and offers a suggestion about what's next:

The point is to embrace radio's unique strengths as a medium—the ones the broadcast business has been burying for years.

Jesse says create a new kind of radio, read him here. His thoughts brought Big Daddy Tom to mind. That gentleman's great legacy lives on today at Jive95.

For the record, evoking the "shuffle" analogy (ala ipod) while perhaps vogue is nothing new. My recall is it was Dennis Constantine, the architect of KBCO, who first used "shuffle" on-air way back in the 1980s.

Got some emails from my former Chicago colleagues about another credit where credit is due item. The facts this time around concern the first promotion focused on gaining office listening. Creative suggesting a station is one everyone in the office can agree upon, the so-called office compromise approach. It did not first happen in the 1980s as suggested by some, it happened in the early 1970s when Jim Schulke popularized what he called "the office listening game." Listeners designed posters as part of the in-office event. "Everyone at the office agrees...WJIB soothes the savage beast" was one such poster. Jim's format was the first to dominate offices nationwide via FM radio. We stole the idea when we launched WFYR in 1977 and reworked it again as the "Listen while you work game" for Bonneville in 1982. Clark Schmidt and others of the CBS FM O&O gang were early pioneers in this area as well. I liberated my share of Clark's cool Cozy copy back in the late 1970s. Jack Kelly, now living in Italy where he presides over his Italian and French Riveria media empire, may have been the first to use Schulke's everyone agrees at work suggestion in a TV creative circa 1979. Jack created an animated cartoon while at WCLR (now WTMX), Chicago. In it a character walked a tight rope - "not to hard, not too soft, just right, and everyone at the office agrees". The Viacom tribe reinvented the daypart strategy around the mid-1980s. They were the first to focus all of their marketing on a single listening location, very savvy and successful and totally misunderstood at the time. My thought is WLIT (when it was WLAK), Chicago may have been the first Viacom to use this strategy (Jack Taddeo). Mark Edwards, Kurt Johnson, Phil Redo and Gary Nolan also made significant contributions in this area.

Finally, the concepts of clustering spots and sweeping music came nationwide first to FM via Schulke and his SRP team. It was Jim who told me he was inspired by Drake's "More Music" model. My recall is the first FM station to use this approach was early "album rocker" KGB, San Diego when programmed by genius and former Drake collaborator Ron Jacobs.

Of course with each and all of these so-called firsts it is certain others also played a role, should you wish to name someone not properly recognized here please do get in touch. We promise to help set the record straight as best we can. Thanks.