Thursday, August 03, 2006

"The biggest problem in AOR radio is bad sales departments. My sales department knows how to go out there and sell rock 'n' roll. They don't see clients who want 25-34 women. That's a waste of their time."
Lee Arnold

That's classic Lee Arnold from 1983, the entire piece may be found on Lee's new blog here. Sales remains a big problem in all of broadcast.

Yesterday, a morning meeting in Milwaukee and then a cruise up 43 for lunch with the always amazing Lee Arnold.

Pandl's in Bayside.
Lee's choice, my first time, highly recommended.

Killer opening: Listening to Lee hold forth while savoring the "house cold smoked salmon with potato pancakes and wasabi cream sauce" (these folk do it right, they smoke their own fish).

Should you not know Lee, the next time you hear a radio station doing a "no-repeat" feature (e.g., no-repeat workday, no-repeat weekend, et al) you may thank him. An original thinker, Lee is responsible for more than he has been ascribed. The hours flew by, Lee deftly serving up his fresh, cogent takes on the passing parade of all things media. Lee's rendering of candor, the scrupulosity of his discernment in full bloom. Lee spoke of John Sebastian, John Duncan, Peter Smyth, Doug Podell, Mark Pennington, Lee Abrams, Dave Hamilton and Ralph Barnes.

Lee went on to talk about those satradio folk. His take, and I agree, we should be calling them what they radio. Broadcasting is free radio. Pay versus free. Dave Robbins has also been out front in this differentiation. That said the pay radio gang is in really bad shape, their business model and related fuzzy math ain't making it. Stay tuned, once everyone has a look at their listening estimates...the party's over.

Case closed. Lee agrees with me, Brian Kelly continues to stage one of the greatest shows on earth.

On his blog Lee features an article on the creative genius Lee Clow...

A conductor's baton given to him as a gift is cause for reflection. "I was a pretty good soloist when I joined the orchestra," he said. "But I think I'm a much better conductor than I was a soloist. If we can make beautiful music, that makes me happy. ... And different people end up getting to do the solos and get the standing ovations. ... I'd love to have the most famous virtuosos on the planet working in this network." Reminds me of Zander's line "the conductor is the only person in the orchestra that doesn't make a sound."

The next time your team wants a different perspective, a fresh creative take, a smart solution from scratch, get Lee Arnold involved. Lee's blog is here

Hardball: Fig, your friendly neighborhood COO in residence at Softwave Media Exchange gives a heads up (via email) to the first tribe of wireless, to wit:

To Fellow Broadcasters,

Google has made a clear statement in choosing to partner with XM, and the satellite business in general. At SWMX, we built our business by providing new revenue electronically to the over the air broadcast industry. That is where our commitment will remain. We believe the industry is with us as evidenced by our results, including adding over 150 smart, progressive, radio stations in the past month alone.This brings our total penetration to a national daily average quarter hour audience of over 9 million listeners, representing 40% of the total US broadcast radio market.* The broadcast industry has been a great partner for The Softwave Media Exchange. At SWMX, and we're not going to forget where we came from.


I must respectfully disagree with my pal Fig. Broadcast should not shut out Google simply because they are working with the pay radio guys. Turn money away? You must be kidding. Pass on new dollars from advertisers we have not called on? Of course there is a creative way to make it happen, a way to work together for mutual benefit, without resorting to such cavalier dismissal. Just as we would never give up and stop calling on shops that placed a flight on pay radio. Fortress Broadcast seems a romantic notion. More and more it's about audio and video rather than radio and television. The delivery is transparent to listeners and viewers. Broadcast will be served best by offering content using as many platforms as possible. By creative collaboration to create new business. Greater Media gets it. Their Detroit operation is participating in the Google beta. Fig, the solution here is to play well with others, to demonstrate how much better you are at delivering new dollars. The industry "is with" those that bring new dollars to the table, broadcast is cash agnostic and should be. Media sales ain't monogamous. Provided the relative and relevant amount of ad spend that radio is getting there is nothing but upside here. Seems to me it's not where you came from that's critical but where you're going. You're as good as your last order Fig (once the check clears). But wait, there's more...a sign post up ahead, Redmond.

Bonus: Cartlidge & Browne
Syrah, 2002 - drinks like a $40 wine, available for under $10. Highly recommended.


Anonymous said...

Dave, the point you missed or decided not to mention is Fig's employer is now publically traded. My reading of the email is he is trying to position his company as the one the industry is supporting while he runs down Google calling them out as traitors, sell outs and satellite lovers. Fig is just doing some shameless self promotion (WHAT ELSE IS NEW). The national reps will end up taking on the chin again you just wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Do you really expect an honest and sincere statement from these guys at Softwave? Come on! They already went public with no real enterprise value so the hucksters at the top can cash out and leave all others holding the bag once its time to sell shares. If you've seen their weak (and constant) press releases, it ain't hard to tell something smells bad.