Monday, September 18, 2006

"A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter - or to others - is not a nice person. (This rule never fails.)" William Swanson

Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management: unwritten rule number 32...

"Watch out for people who have situational value systems - who can turn the charm on and off depending on the status of the person they are interacting with.

Be especially wary of those who are rude to people perceived to be in subordinate roles. This kind of behavior is not the mark of a leader."

Swanson delivers more wise counsel, could not agree more with number 32. He's also correct about the "never fails" quality of his rule. One of the reasons to get candidates "out" of the office and into different situations requiring interaction with others (restaurants and coffee shops included). Bruce Johnson taught me to conduct part of the interview process over dinner making certain to include significant others.

Nothing like attending the birthday party of a three-year-old: Reminded that it's always the story telling that makes or breaks the program, the package, the writing, the presentation. Here's what Robert Hutchins and Mortimer Adler said about the subject...

"'Tell me a story,' says the child, and the storyteller begins. In an instant, the world of common reality is left behind, and a new reality - more captivating, more intense, more real - catches up the listener on the wings of imagination."

It's all about the story. What's yours? How is it dramatically different from all others?

Ed Bark tells his story: The former Dallas Morning News writer is blogging...

"DMN management's recent decision to mostly cover national network television with wire service copy left me without much of a playing field. "Localism" is the new mantra, but I'd been muzzled on that front since Feb. 3, 2000. That's when Belo Corp., owner of the DMN and Dallas affiliate WFAA-TV (Channel 8), instituted a ban on critiquing or covering local TV news stations in what now is the country's sixth-largest TV market.

Exceptions to that edict have been ratings stories during the three annual major "sweeps" months and a bare handful of enterprise efforts. They've included a Nov. 13, 2003 column on anchor Clarice Tinsley's 25th anniversary at KDFW-TV (Channel 4). I had to lobby hard for that one, though, after the paper began promoting its considerable sports section coverage of anchor Dale Hansen's 20th anniversary at Belo-owned Channel 8. Somehow that didn't seem quite fair. Even top management had no defense for honoring
Dale and ignoring Clarice."

Read Ed's The Bark Starts Here - here (FD: Clarice and her husband, Steven are friends. Worked with Steven when he served as one of our NSMs at CBS/Infinity Dallas - Dave).

Ed is a son of Racine and a UW-Madison grad. Cheers and congrats on the new blog Ed! All the best to you.

Down-sizing the newsroom: DMN cuts 111, LA Times cuts 140. More at Romenesko
(Excellent opportunity for local broadcast to hire on experienced local writers.)

Radio Revitalized! A new book by our friend and serial entrepreneur Kurt Hanson will begin with a dedicated blog. Kurt launches the blog this Wednesday 9/20. Bookmark it now here. Congrats and kudos to Kurt, the book is certain to be a good read.

the cw debuts: Inside the network debut. Dale Hrabi has the inside at Radar Online here

Speaking of launches: NAB has a very cool new website. Congrats to David Rehr and team for a job well done. Check out the new site here. Members - watch your email this afternoon for new member id codes.

Good things happen to good people. Former Air America prexy and friend Gary Krantz named Chief Digital Media Officer at Westwood One. Release here

Shut Up! Rachael Ray debuts her new syndi show today. Find her show site here.

Claude Hall remembers WNEW and The Night Bird...

" Only Alison Steele remained from the all-female WNEW-FM. She was pretty, she was good. Her show, unknown to most people, was taped. Duncan, being a man, could not conceive at that time of a woman working all night. Unthinkable. However, it was Alison Steele and the image of Alison that led to every progressive rock station having at least one woman personality at some time of the broadcast day, including KMET-FM in Los Angeles. And, in fact, Alison on WNEW-FM probably contributed largely to the overall acceptance of women in radio. Prior to her success (mild though it was) on WNEW-FM, it was thought that even women wouldn't listen to women and men especially didn't care to hear women on the radio.

WNEW-FM became so vastly successful in advertising that it path-blazed new ideas and concepts in mass media advertising." More from Claude Hall on the history of WNEW here

The Night Bird was a part of my life. Never missed her show. At Christmas time she would read the cards sent to her. The three FM stations that you would hear playing all over the city in those days were WNEW, WBLS and WXLO. Thank you Claude for remembering Alison and WNEW. It was during those days, while attending Pace, that I auditioned for a news anchor job at WXLO (99X). ND Keeve Berman was polite and passed. A few years later I joined the company (RKO) in Chicago. Mike Prelee (sp?) WHN ND was also kind enough to interview me and also passed. Years later while at Doubleday we bought WHN and I officed at the station during my last days with the firm. Small world. Both Keeve and Mike were good news directors. They took the time to interview a kid and their advice was solid - go get a reporter job, which I did.

Fun with Orbitz. Schedule change required me to change the return segment of my air. The website provided me with the news that my ticket could NOT be changed online. After calling their customer service (automated) and getting a person to assist the options became clear. Have elected to opt-out of the Orbitz suggested protocol. $100 change fee, $30 Orbitz service charge PLUS any remaining fare difference. Purchase of a one-off one-way return turns out to be cheaper. The lesson here appears to be...Orbitz is very cool IF you do not have a change of plans.