Image: Wolf vs. Sheep by Hugh MacLeod. Bravos Hugh! Thank you for sharing.
"In the absence of money, we'll have to make do with talent." Sir Michael Balcon
"There are no rules in film-making. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness." Frank Capra
"Studio executives are intelligent, brutally overworked men and women who share one thing in common with baseball managers: They wake up every morning of the world with the knowledge that sooner or later they're going to get fired." William Goldman
Lewis Lazare writes about the iPhone "...we can only tip our hat to Apple for having successfully executed one of the most impressive buzz campaigns in marketing history" Read Lew's column here. Those in the know tell me the AT&T connect is s l o w. Scobleizer and son are first in line at the Palo Alto store, follow the action here.
The King and the heiress = 3.2 mil: Biggest audience of 2007 for the King but fails to make the man's top forty shows of all time. Perspective: 14 years ago, the Al Gore v Ross Perot NAFTA debate captured 16.8 mil, that King show remains the record high of basic cable.
Congrats & cheers: DDB Chicago for bringing home the Lions and to Pete Stacker the great voice of the winners, DDB's Real Men of Genius for Bud Light. Steve Newcomb and his Powerset team out of stealth mode. David Garland named Time Out Chicago publisher. Vinnie Malhotra promoted to EP ABC News' weekend. Pownce. WBA Wunderkind Michelle Vetterkind.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Image: Wolf vs. Sheep by Hugh MacLeod. Bravos Hugh! Thank you for sharing.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
"Wood burns because it has the proper stuff in it; and a man becomes famous because he has the proper stuff in him." Goethe
"Whatever course you have chosen for yourself, it will not be a chore but an adventure if you bring to it a sense of the glory of striving - if your sights are set far above the merely secure and mediocre." David Sarnoff
"He is the best leader who most fully understands the nature of things, so that his plans are not doomed to ultimate failure; who possesses an active, far-ranging imagination which can see many possibilities; who has a sense of values, so that among possibilities he is able to choose the most excellent; who has a sense of order, to give form, design and program to the values and purposes he selects; who has practical sense and judgment, and so uses the most feasible means to accomplish his ends; and who has the energy and enthusiasm to carry his plans persistently toward fruition." Arthur E. Morgan
"Confirm the instructions you give others, and their commitments, in writing. Don't assume it will get done!" William Swanson
Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management: unwritten rule number eleven...
"The point is that we often believe we have communicated clearly when we have only transmitted clearly. It is just as important to make sure that the message has been properly received and that you and your team agree on what everybody is committing to.
Confirming instructions and commitments in writing helps to give structure to the communications process and to ensure that everybody knows what needs to be done, and who will do it.
In addition, verbally ask others to replay your instructions back to you, then put the instructions in your own words and make sure you still get an affirmative nod from the recipients.
Keep the confirmation of instructions and commitments clear and crisp so as not to bureaucratize the process."
Bravo to William Sullivan! Dedicating understandings to the written word is important for all involved. Equally important is his suggestion to ask others to "replay your instructions back to you." Smart, very smart. Please keep in mind, it's not what you say that's important, it's what they hear.
In my experience, there are eight words that will help you to make a complete and total difference in practically every outcome; it's one of the secrets that sets the winners apart from everyone else. It's one of the golden rules of business, break it and you put yourself at risk, you set yourself up for failure or, in the least, a potentially expensive disagreement. Here are eight words to live by, no exceptions, period...
Danger, Will Robinson: FTC suggests caution in any Net Neutrality regulation. Staci D. Kramer has the story via paidContent here. My sense is this, properly, is an FCC issue. By their 5-0 vote to do nothing the FTC leaves any decision making to others. The telecom tribe will read this FTC report adoption as favorable.
Very cool iPhone vid: NYT's Dave Pogue shows off his new phone here (YouTube). Bravo Dave, very well done!
Oldies revisited, again: Sean Ross reviews the bidding on oldies..."Oldies broadcasters have to ask themselves: What can they do to reactivate the passion for the format that now manifests itself as several potential shares' worth of phantom cume? Stations hear from those listeners when they change format. But broadcasters--particularly those considering new Oldies stations--need to figure out how to activate that passion now." Bravo Sean! Read his entire post with comments here.
Bonus: Bruce Ravid weighs in with a field report to wit "I was recently in the bay area for a few days...I thought that KFOG was the most compelling station that I heard in the market. I've always thought Benson has done a good job, but it seemed even more enjoyable this time around." Kudos to Dave Benson and team on getting the Ravid Rave and thanks, as always, to Bruce for the intel. Bruce has posted his latest Go Deep webcast here. Highly recommended.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
"You have a right to your own opinion. You do not have a right to your own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan
"Everyone has the right to program." Buzz Bennett
"Life is a place of service, and in that service one has to suffer a great deal that is hard to bear, but more often to experience a great deal of joy. But that joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness." Leo Tolstoy
Tim Manners has written a Fast Company column headed Is Google Killing Radio Advertising? "Bigger isn't always better, and this is particularly true with regard to the power of radio as an advertising medium. But advertises (sic) like Google just don't seem to understand radio's true potential" writes Manners in his opening paragraph. Three paras later he quotes a USA Today item wherein Eric Schmit (sic) is quoted as saying "Look at the time people spend listening to radio, versus the money currently being spent to advertise on radio -- it's out of whack. Radio can be much bigger." Manners responds "Well, what's out of whack is the idea that bigger is better in radio. In radio, bigger is never better because the beauty of the medium is in its intimacy. In radio, smaller is better." He goes on to tell us he is a "former local-radio announcer...During a break, I'd pick up the phone. On the line is a listener -- a total stranger -- who would speak to me as if I were the closest of friends...Radio's true power is in that kind of one-to-one communication." Then Tim delivers the goods with this insight "The commercials sandwiched between the music and my patter did not capitalize on that connection. More often than not, the ads undermined it." He ends his writing "...if Google succeeds in using the power of the internet to jam radio's airwaves with more and more irrelevant ads, it will make the medium weaker, not stronger. It will disrupt the very thing that makes radio great. It will drive yet another wedge between radio and its listeners, and make radio even less relevant as a medium for marketing tomorrow than it is today."
Disappointing and almost too clever by half. Almost. Why this magna cum laude grad of Tufts failed to achieve the highest Latin honor we may never know, however, in this writing at least, he has failed to do his homework. Mr. Manners' "local-radio announcer" credential and previous bad experience with a sales department notwithstanding the guy clearly fails to grasp the fundamentals of the business.
As it happens size does matter. The power of radio as an advertising medium is well documented. Manners obviously misses Eric's point. It's Eric, not Tim, who understands radio's true potential. Radio reaches 93% of US consumers every single week. Radio captures a single digit percentage of the US ad spend. That is out of whack but the ad game often fails to be logical, rational or even fair. Welcome to our dysfunctional family picnic and ring toss.
Manners would have us believe that "In radio, smaller is better." He's wrong. He states "bigger is never better because the beauty of the medium is in its intimacy." Again, wrong. The intimacy characteristic of radio, of audio for that matter, that unique power of one-to-one communication is not diminished as the audience gets bigger. There's a technical term for his argument - goofy.
He writes "The fact that the power of radio as an advertising medium is a function of the credibility of its on-air personalities" and then references the great Arthur Godfrey. Certainly true that personalities can be very persuasive and effective sellers but radio is more than that one trick derby winner. What Manners has done here is wrongly discount the exceptional creative work being done by shops, inde producers and station teams. Closed circuit to Tim: check out the Mercury Awards and the Radio Lions winners. Bonus hint: Radio works. Bud Light would shut down their Real Men of Genius campaign if it were not working. You can bet the Volvo on it, these are beer guys.
Manners is as loyal as Achates to the conventional hack wisdom that states when writing about radio thou shalt bash Clear Channel. He also casts Google as a co-conspirator "teaming up...to clog the airwaves with more and more commercials." Writing about any possible Clear Channel - Google cabal is so de rigueur. And so off the mark. As Drucker once taught the market happens outside the enterprise. The ultimate success or failure of Clear Channel and Google will be decided in the marketplace, a very competitive marketplace. Further, relevance is Google's oxygen. To suggest that Google would be a part of broadcasting "more and more irrelevant ads" demonstrates Manners' acute naivete. And please, let's leave those Less is More guys alone already. Now at the tender mercies of their new PE pals my guess is LIM might be taking on a whole new meaning. Being private (no Reg FD) could mean that no one hears you scream. Or maybe not but it does make a good visual.
Back to the countdown. Google, along with the other media exchanges, seek to create a new sales channel. Manners fails to offer any reasonable support for his notion that such a new sales channel will make radio weaker. Any new source of revenue, properly managed by stations, will not become another "wedge between radio and its listeners" nor will it work to make radio any less relevant as a medium for marketing. It is possible one could make exactly the opposite case and actually be closer to the coming truth. The safe bet is radio and those FM with pictures guys will successfully jump the digital divide. Stay tuned.
What Manners fails to mention is Clear Channel is but one of the many broadcasters in "alliance" with Google. My understanding is Google is now working with almost two thousand radio stations. The AdSense for audio initiative isn't new, it's over a year old now and those dMarc guys were at it for some time before that. Giving advertisers "the ability to buy radio ads online with a simple click of the mouse" seems an honorable mission but somehow not to Manners. He appears to be saying give only the listeners what they want and damn those advertisers (and underwriters). The reality is broadcasters have to keep both constituencies happy to keep the lights on and the bills paid. Success in broadcast remains a high wire act. It is certainly true, you can be riding high in April and definitely shot down in May. And let's not forget the feds either as radio remains a federally regulated endeavor.
Manners praises online-only station UltraRadio as a champion of local music and tells us it's "not unlike what radio great 'Murray the K' did back in the 1950s and 1960s" (hanging out in clubs and listening to what his audience was listening to). Good to know, thank you. Tim, here's two clues. Riff2. iChannel. Look them up. A great many local stations support their local music scene. Always have. Unsigned acts have never before been the focus of more radio attention. Moreover, there are many modern day Murray the Ks working in the trade today.
Size matters when it comes to innovation. Manners praises the size of a billionaire benefactor's wallet when it makes possible the very cool work being done at KEXP. Size can also be a good thing when today's market portfolio, the cluster, serves innovation. Kelly Kibler and J.D. Freeman are able to take a flyer on one of their Dallas Fort Worth stations because they have five other chances to win. Offering sponsorships by the hour and putting single sponsor opportunities on the market is certainly creative and the stuff of radio's early commercial days. Sidebar: As late as the 1970s my father's program was sold by the hour to advertisers including American Airlines and Budweiser (and yes, he delivered every commercial live, ad libitum).
Manners is too quick and perhaps even a bit cavalier when he gives bad odds to the life expectancy of music-oriented social-network sites ("..such dreams will die a quick death"). Never doubt the power of a great sales team or the incredible ingenuity of entrepreneurship to beat the odds. The lads at last.fm, and others, will find a way don't you worry. It's that marketplace thing again.
So, is it fair to suggest Google is killing radio advertising? As Borat would say...not so much.
Tim Manners is to be commended for making mentions of KZPS, KEXP and UltraRadio. Each deserves recognition. We can all do a better job of catching folks doing things right. He's also spot-on about one other very important thing "When radio is approached with that kind of intensity, with such extraordinary personal dedication to the interests of its audience, its ability to sell to that audience is hard to match." Closed circuit #2 to Tim: Radio is approached in that very way. It's happening today all across America. There's a lot of great radio out there. Get dialed in.
Congrats & cheers: Michael Gutkowski named COO of iVillage. David Lebow named CEO of IBS. Mary Jeanne Cavanagh promoted to Oxygen EVP Ad Sales.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Photo: A long pier by Mazda6. Beautiful shot of the pier at UW Memorial Union around dusk. Bravo! Thank you for sharing.
"A prudent question is one-half of wisdom." Francis Bacon
"Greatness, in the last analysis, is largely bravery - courage in escaping from old ideas and old standards and respectable ways of doing things. This is one of the chief elements in what we vaguely call capacity. If you do not dare to differ from your associates and teachers you will never be great or your life sublime. You may be the happier as a result, or you may be miserable. Each of us is great insofar as we perceive and act on the infinite possibilities which lie undiscovered and unrecognized about us." James Harvey Robinson
"Man is what he believes." Chekhov
Congrats & cheers: TAB prexy Ann Arnold to receive the Texas association's first Lifetime Achievement Award. Jerry Lee on joining the Day of Silence today, again leading by example. RAB on the launch of their cool new website (and new logo). Matthew Winkler, Dan Kelly, Chris Anderson, Charles Fishman and all of the 2007 Gerald Loeb Award winners.
Kurt Hanson on today's Day of Silence here. More DoS: Yahoo! Music's Ian Rogers here.
Last.fm tells broadcasters to grow up. Felix Miller tells Wired "So why do we think the ‘day of silence’ is not a good idea? We do not want to punish our listeners for our problems, period. If a commercial challenge comes up, we have to deal with it." Read the entire post here. No matter the rates, we will, like last.fm, come up with a way to pay for streaming. For broadcasters not streaming is no longer an option.
Chicago Tribune bows their annual summer list - Our 50 Favorite Magazines.
Did a blogger bring down Terry Semel? You decide. Read Brett Arends writing at The Street.
Get Lost Episode 5 - Steve Safran in Boston and Cory Bergman in Seattle chat up the PE move into broadcast, local web initiatives and the ABC News decision to beef up digital. Kudos guys. Listen in here.
96% of tweens and teens connect to a social net at least weekly: The last generation not to be digital natives are online in big numbers. Abbey Klaassen has the story via AdAge on the Alloy Media & Marketing research finding here.
Dr Dave interviews BBC's News Director, and blogger, Richard Sambrook. Listen in via Wired here. Richard is spot-on about being "open and porous." Giving visitors "news they can use" takes on new meaning.
Always the hardest to see - the obvious. Lee Arnold reminds us to remember The Summer of Love.
Exactly wrong, again. Now comes Tim Manners who would like us to believe that Google might be killing radio advertising. Read his take here. My response tomorrow. My thanks to the ever well read Lindsay Wood Davis for the tip. The words of Walt Kelly come to mind: "We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities."
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Congrats & cheers: Wenda Harris Millard leaves Yahoo! to become new prexy of media at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Abbey Klaassen has the story at AdAge here. David Karnstedt promoted to lead all US sales efforts at Yahoo! Laurie Petersen at MediaPost has the story on David here.
The next big thing: It's not the iPhone. Take that Apple! Microsoft Surface parody here (YouTube). Kudos to those biased guys at The Sarcastic Gamer.
Spanish red: Tinto Crianza 2003, Castillo Perelada. Another good Spanish red about $10. Garnacha 50%, Tempranillo 50%. Aged for twelve months in barrels made of American and French oak. Tasty.
Friday, June 22, 2007
"What is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing but the first steps to something better." Wendell Phillips
"Concentration is my motto - first honesty, then industry, then concentration." Andrew Carnegie
"Genius is initiative on fire." Holbrook Jackson
Peter Smyth, Greater Media's president and CEO is one of radio's best. I've been a fan since my days at WBZ when Peter was across the street at WROR. Peter recently shared his thoughts on Google's AdSense for Audio initiative. Let me encourage you to read Peter's piece Can Google Sell Radio? Much of what Peter says in his writing is pitch perfect, however, I must respectfully disagree with his conclusion (i.e., "it's not time to surrender"). Peter is right on the state of affairs in radio sales and simply wrong on Google.
Perhaps his most intellectually honest and valuable observation is "it's time for us to take a close look at the leadership, operating philosophy, and organization of our sales departments."
Little has changed in the way radio sells radio. Radio still gets up each day and goes to work to kill other radio. This zero sum game is the real reason radio fails to gain share of ad spend. It's silo warfare to gain share of a single digit ad spend while ignoring the double digit dead tree guys. This is the same kind of thinking that drives stations with a one share in Arbitron to target and attack other one share rated stations rather than targeting and attacking the market leaders. It was ever thus. We've been talking about gaining share from newspaper, yellow pages, television, cable and other media for decades. The biggest challenge today is unlearning. As Dee Hock once said "The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind but how to get the old ones out." We are using the wrong metrics. It's time to change the denominator. Time to reboot Miller-Kaplan. Clearly, we have a leadership problem. Chances are Peter would agree.
Back in the day I spent a good number of Saturdays and Sundays sitting in a conference room listening to the brilliant Kevin Sweeney as he taught us how to steal money from the dead tree guys. Kevin was the gifted sales development expert who famously said "Would you be interested in learning a technique that will produce a 100% improvement in your ability to close a sale?" He would then go on to preach the importance of the spec spot. Spec production is a lost art today. Sidebar: Later when I was a group guy we would use our unsold inventory on Mondays to play specs on the air when our sellers would call in from a retailer and tell us they were "ready." This only worked 75% of the time.
Peter writes about calling on retailers. Married to an owner of a retail business I am able to offer a somewhat unique pov here. Open for almost three years now my wife has been called on by just about every organization selling advertising. The most creative are those selling space in church bulletins. We advertise on television and in print, have done so for years. Accordingly, we are switch pitched weekly by every video and print seller. The most aggressive sellers are dead tree folks, they make face calls. The radio sellers tend to cold call via telephone. When told she is not interested in meeting with them their response is almost always the same..."You're making a mistake." You can imagine how powerfully that line works in positioning the radio seller as someone who understands what's on the mind of a small business owner. True story: one radio cluster operator (a major publicly held concern) took 16 months before making their first call.
My sense is this is not a singular experience. Radio simply does a poor job of selling radio's value proposition. In answer to Peter's well put question "Are we selling spots or are we selling value?" my thought is we are continuing to fail in articulating value; mostly, we are selling spots, doing whatever it takes to get the order. Further, we are asking too much of our sellers. The demands of today have eclipsed the skills and working knowledge of the majority of our sellers. They deserve better.
What Google represents is a new sales channel. It seems to me this is a potentially additive opportunity, given the right rules of engagement. What stands in the way would appear to be a dated mindset about inventory. We talk about calling on new customers, talk about developing the kind of clientèle that Google proposes to bring to us, we talk about a great many things when, perhaps, we should be decisive and take action. To succeed sooner we must learn how to fail faster. We need to understand that doing the same things and expecting a different result is flawed beyond any and all reason. We must stop focusing on getting better at a game that is no longer being played. We need to embrace that four letter word we most often avoid: risk. We have an urgent need to get different.
"..money doesn't talk, it swears" Bob Dylan
Leadership must be responsible for producing results.
The electronic ad exchange concept is not going to go away. Working with Google or any other ad exchange should not be viewed as an all or nothing proposition. Peter suggests, wrongly in my opinion, working with Google to be surrender. My thought is to work with Google is not to abandon our sellers but rather to abandon our bias against establishing new sales channels. It is the challenge of leadership to find new and effective ways to do business. To find fresh approaches that benefit both customer and seller. To boldly commit to doing what has not been done before. To adapt our basics, update our fundamentals, refresh and renew our best practices. The best used by date on the radio business model has expired. Radio is not alone, it's a sea change out there for all of ad supported measured media.
We need to stop kidding ourselves, stop making excuses, stop rationalizing failure and get on with the serious work of reinvention.
Surrender is a word I chose not to use especially when we have a robust vocabulary of proactive verbs available including imagine and collaborate. The sun is setting on business as usual. A bright new day of opportunity beckons. Surrender? Never. Truth be told we have yet begun to fight. Game on!
LATER: Lindsay Wood Davis weighs in and makes reference to Christina Maslach, a professor at the University of California - Berkeley. Pluralistic ignorance is the term coined by Dr Maslach to suggest we tend to think we are different when, in fact, we are not. This is in play when we say "our market, our stations, our situation is different." Thanks for sharing Lindsay.
Bravos to Peter Smyth and the Greater Media gang for doing the right thing on June 26th.
Please standby: When the legendary genius Ron Jacobs tells us he's got a "big idea" we best listen. Ron launches July 7, 2007 (07/07/07). Bookmark it now. Fair warning. All the best Ron!
Your comments are always welcome. Have a wonderful weekend.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
"Nearly every great discovery in science has come as the result of providing a new question rather than a new answer." Paul A. Meglitsch
"The most important part of every business is to know what ought to be done." Lucius Columella
"Quality is long remembered after price is forgotten." Bob Evans
Enjoying the writing of Tom Taylor over at radio-info. One suggestion. Telling readers that they need to register "because frankly, we need the space for other stuff to share with online users" is, frankly, disappointing. Just tell us your business model requires you to have email addressees and be done with it. Transparency! While you're at it - where's my RSS?
Lewis Lazare tells us the story. The first city outside of Seattle to get a Starbucks store was Chicago. I fondly remember that first Rush & Oak store (now more than 325 in the metro). Read Lew here.
Making TV pay for elections, again: Senator Richard Durbin sponsors and intros S. 1285 (Thomas info here). The bill seeks to make changes in the Communications Act of 1934 to lower broadcast advertising rates and create ad vouchers, establishes a body (Fair Elections Review Commission), directs the Federal Election Commission to charge non-public broadcast stations a spectrum use fee which ends up in the Senate Fair Elections Fund and more. Meanwhile Representative John Tierney gives intro to H.R. 1614 (Thomas info here) and that proposed bill includes free broadcast time. This is the latest version of the long standing false argument that giving candidates reduced or free television time will help clean up the federal election process. Our elected leaders care more about TV than radio in this case. Still, it's bad law making. Please contact your Rep and Senators to express your pov. NAB staff is on it.
Congrats & cheers: Aaron Radin promoted to SVP advertising sales and biz dev at CBS TV's Digital Media Group. Bret Taylor and Jim Norris leaving the Googleplex and heading to Sand Hill Road joining Benchmark Capital (Bret and Jim made major contributions to Google Maps). Pat O'Neill and his Magic 98 team on raising over $100K in three days for the Madison Gilda's Club. Midwest Family Broadcasting, owners of Q106 (and Magic 98) for stepping up to save the Elver Park fireworks. These two radio stations are making a difference and leading by example. Bravos to the Midwest gang! Madtown guys Katy Sai and Jay Olsen and their beta launch of StoryBridge.
Closed circuit to the Conclave: You should consider inviting Pat O'Neill and Brad Austin to share their best practices and wisdom on doing the right things. The work being done by these good folks is simply exemplary. (My schedule has me off to other places this year so I will not be attending this wonderful gathering of the first tribe of wireless)
The buzz: Seems Jerry will be named Yahoo! CEO and soon. Should this be true Jerry and Susan will have to make major changes. Will they be able to break free from the thinking that put them where they are today? My sense is Google will continue to lead (in search, in advertising and in innovation). While it remains popular to bash Redmond, never count out Microsoft. Never.
Coming tomorrow: Why Peter Smyth is wrong about Google.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Radiohead's Never Sounded So Good in My Entire Life
This image brings to mind "All that's important is what comes out of the speakers, everything else is a footnote."
"Life is easier to take than you'd think; all that is necessary is to accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, and bear the intolerable." Kathleen Norris
"What a fool he must be who thinks that his El Dorado is anywhere but where he lives." Henry David Thoreau
"Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true." Honore de Balzac
Enjoyed catching up with Art Vuolo yesterday. He's out of the cold cuts emporium and safe back at home. We remembered a wonderful dinner at Cafe Milano. If you are ever in Wash DC and would like a good Italian plate we highly recommend Cafe Milano. Art and I were able to arrange for a table in the wine room. It's upstairs and much better than the main floor if you want to have a conversation with the good food.
Dave Winer has nailed it, again. His take on Yahoo! is pitch perfect including..."The business of the valley is not publishing. It is not advertising. It is not retailing. It is not pet food. It is cool packages of technology that thrill people with empowerment and novelty." Exactly! Bravo Dave. Read the entire post here.
The lessons of Yahoo! are, as Dave points out, instructive. Let me add a few points...
1. Incumbency is meaningless in everything but American politics.
2. There is no advantage in being the first mover, nothing gained in acts of preemption without market acquiescence.
3. Success always buys a ticket to a much tougher competition.
4. Don't focus on getting better, focus on getting different. Differentiate or die.
5. All that's important is what's on the screen(s), everything else is a footnote.
Dave suggests that Yahoo! getting together with Microsoft would be death. My sense is Microsoft doesn't need anything that Yahoo! has with the possible exception of search.
Congrats & cheers: Susan Decker on being named Yahoo! prexy. Jerry Lee on being honored with the NAB's National Radio Award - well deserved recognition and praise long overdue. Google on their acquisition of Zenter, very cool.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Image: But what if I fail? by Hugh MacLeod. Bravos Hugh! Thank you.
"It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all." Edward de Bono
"There are two kinds of failures: those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought." Laurence Peter
"Do not waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good." Emerson
Welcome to the club: TNS Media Intelligence has revised their 07 ad spend forecast. They now put spot TV down 5.5%, and radio down 0.3%. On the day job we stand on our 1.6% increase for radio when the books are closed on 07 (previous post here). We've always suggested spot TV would go negative this year owing, in large measure, to the lack of Olympics and political.
Monday, June 18, 2007
"Substance trumps methodology." Roy Amara
"There is no history, only biography." Emerson
"Always fall in with what you're asked to accept. Take what is given, and make it over your way. My aim in life has always been to hold my own with whatever's going. Not against: with." Robert Frost
Working on my presentation for next month's Broadcast Futures Summit, I revisited the Mark Halperin and John F. Harris book The Way to Win. Amazon info here. A good read, the writing contains a great many keen observations by two seasoned political reporters. Mark and John share their trade secrets for presidential candidates. My notion is these are valuable lessons learned. Here is a sample of the wisdom on offer:
The way to win...
- Pick your moment.
- Know your stuff (hit the books and study hard).
- There is no problem that cannot be solved with the consistent application of the right strategy (Dick Morris).
- Do not use polls to tell you what to do. Use polls to tell you how to do what you want to do.
- Run toward your weakness.
- Be ruthless without being personal.
- Never allow yourself to be bullied by your own party's legislative leaders and interest groups.
- Never forget who is boss, and never let others forget either.
- If you let your advisers battle over your soul, you will lose the battle.
- Do not ever squander the dignity of the presidency.
- Ensure that you are defined principally by your popular positions, and that the political damage from unpopular ones is effectively contained.
Another one revisited in doing my prep, the Jon Mosier writing on Ulysses S. Grant. Part of the Great Generals series (Palgrave). Highly recommended for readers of military history and those interested in lessons of leadership. Amazon info here.
Thank you very much: Lester St. James, Lee Arnold, Dan Kelley, Joel Denver, Bob Shannon, Fig, Mark Edwards, Paul Gallis, and Reid Holsen. For taking the time to share your thoughts, much appreciated.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Image: Making Happy by Chris Glass. This is Chris' recreation of a graphic by New York street artist True related by Stefan Sagmeister . Thank yous to True, Chris, and Stefan.
"Hierarchical and sequential structures, especially popular since Gutenberg, are usually forced and artificial. Intertwingularity is not generally acknowledged–people keep pretending they can make things hierarchical, categorizable and sequential when they can't." Ted Nelson
"We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run." Amara's law
Joe Andrieu writes VRM: The user as point of integration. Good post on the ongoing discussion of VRM (Vendor Relationship Management)...
"When we put the user at the center, and make them the point of integration, the entire system becomes simpler, more robust, more scalable, and more useful.
This is a profound shift that has some interesting parallels with a concept in AI called “stigmergy” and with a bit of classic Einstein becomes a totally new way to think about next generation systems design. In other words VRM changes the landscape in a way that not only makes life better for individuals, it profoundly improves the information architecture that modern society depends on." Bravo Joe, well done. Read the entire post here. Thanks to Doc for the tip.
From the journal of Stefan Sagmeister...
"Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.
Thinking life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now.
Being not truthful works against me.
Helping other people helps me.
Organizing a charity group is surprisingly easy.
Everything I do always comes back to me.
Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.
Over time I get used to everything and start taking if for granted.
Money does not make me happy.
Traveling alone is helpful for a new perspective on life.
Assuming is stifling.
Keeping a diary supports my personal development.
Trying to look good limits my life.
Worrying solves nothing.
Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses.
Having guts always works out for me."
The TED Talk by Stefan: Yes, design can make you happy.
Bonus: Photosynth demo by Blaise Aguera y Arcas. YouTube vid here. Amazing. Thanks to David Weinberger for the tip.
Waste of bandwidth: Cool site of the week.
She's gotta crush on Obama, the video, the weblog. The humanity.
Best blogs on leadership? Leadership is a favorite subject of study. A good measure of the day job being focused on issues related to leadership in the creative organization. What's the best blog on leadership? Tom Peters would certainly get my vote but here's an interesting list with links by Kevin Eikenberry. Bravo Kevin! Thanks for sharing.
CEO Blog - Time Leadership by Jim Estill
Dispatches from the New World of Work by Tom Peters
Extreme Leadership by Steve Farber
Leading Blog - Building Community Leaders by Michael McKinney
Management Craft by Lisa Haneberg
Mick's Leadership Blog by Mick Yates
Talking Story by Rosa Say
Three Star Leadership Blog by Wally Bock
Grapes: Taking a break from my Spanish wines. Two more good reds for under $10. Pillar Box Red 2006. From winemaker Chris Ringland of Padthaway, Australia. 50% Shiraz, 42% Cab, 8% Merlot. Very nice. Cycles Gladiator, Syrah, Central Coast 2005. Good jammy California red.
Friday, June 15, 2007
"The time has come for congressional action" Lee Levine
Today's quotation from yesterday's House Judiciary Committee hearing on the "Free Flow Information Act of 2007" (HR 2102). The bill provides "qualified immunity to journalists from revealing their sources under certain circumstances." This is the federal "media shield" legislation. William Safire was also on yesterday's panel. Video webcast replay is available here.
Your duke, Dave Sholin (pictured), will soon be back on the radio in the bay area. Word is he's been signed by CBS to host the breakfast show on KFRC. Smart. The debrouillard is, no doubt, programming ace Mike Preston. Congrats to the Duke and to Mike; my thanks to Joel Denver for the 1978 photo.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
"There is no great trick to doing research. The problem is to get people to use it - particularly when the research reveals that you have been making mistakes. We all have a tendency to use research as a drunkard uses a lamppost - for support, not for illumination." David Ogilvy
What American accent do you have? Find out - take the short quiz here. No surprise, it seems I have the neutral or "no accent" most often used by newscasters. Being a former broadcast journo this appears to be a reasonable reading.
Hearing in the US Senate today on the 700 MHz auction. More info and access to live webcast here.
MarketWatch scribe Jon Friedman interviews Charles Gibson...
Charlie is spot-on. Read the entire piece here. We are close to the day when we compare all measured media by reach. Radio's move to PPM is a smart move for a number of reasons but most importantly it reveals the strength of the medium - reach. Once we get a good grasp of reach we can move on to some measure of engagement.
Bonus: Outstanding use of video by Avril Lavigne. "When You're Gone." Thanks to programming ace Brian Kelly for the tip. If you can watch this and not be somewhat moved please do consult a mental health professional.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
"Have fun at what you do. It will be reflected in your work. No one likes a grump except another grump!" William Swanson
Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management: unwritten rule number twenty five...
"We all spend many, many hours doing what we do. It is much more pleasant to spend those hours with people who have a bounce in their step and a smile on their face than with those who mistakenly associate professionalism with being sour and dour.
I enjoy what I do. I like working with others who feel the same way and I believe the work product reflects this.
I know our customers appreciate a team that enjoys what it does."
Bill is so totally on the mark. Are you having fun?
Which reminds me of David Ogilvy...
"Advertising agencies are fertile ground for office politics. You should work hard to minimize them, because they take up energy which can better be devoted to our clients; some agencies have been destroyed by internal politics. Here are some ways to minimize them:
1. Always be fair and honest in your own dealings; unfairness and dishonesty at the top can demoralize an agency.
2. Never hire relatives or friends.
3. Sack incurable politicians.
4. Crusade against paper warfare. Encourage your people to air their disagreements face-to-face.
5. Discourage secrecy.
6. Discourage poaching.
7. Compose sibling rivalries.
...Try to make working at Ogilvy & Mather fun. When people aren't having any fun, they seldom produce good advertising. Kill grimness with laughter. Maintain an atmosphere of informality. Encourage exuberance. Get rid of sad dogs who spread gloom."
Agree with the great Mr Ogilvy especially the "get rid of sad dogs." You have an obligation to your team to get rid of the sad dogs. In my experience this is also a mitzvah, an act of kindness that benefits, ultimately, the sad dog terminated. "If you are not happy here, if you are not having fun, we need to talk." In those cases where you are not able to work with the sad dog to better their situation and get them performing or they are not willing to step up, do their part to better the situation then you must part ways. Tolerating or excusing the behavior and attitude of sad dogs ("That's just how Jennifer is, you know, always in a bad mood, hates her job"), working around sad dogs ("Let's give this assignment to Alex, he'll do a much better job than Zach") or wasting valuable time attempting to change them (this qualifies as ill-starred missionary work) is simply counterproductive. Stop! Get rid of sad dogs that spread doom. Your team will thank you and someday so may the sad dog.
Telling it like it is: It's always personal, never say it's not. A close friend of mine was fired this week in another one of those downsizing moves. The division president said "it's not personal, it's business." Well, the division head is wrong. When you end a person's income, when you take away the ability of that person to put food on the table and pay their bills it's personal. You can't get any more personal than disrupting someone's ability to pay their bills. Firing is always difficult, the effect is always personal.
Anthony! The flash data indicates the Soprano's last show clocked in at 11.9 mil (the previous single episode high being about 13.4 mil). This would translate into about a 10.3 share of households (provided my arithmetic is correct based upon a data suggesting a total 115 mil TV households).
TV 101: Les Moonves on the obvious..."Networks aren't brands anymore. They used to be when it was a three-network universe. Shows are brands. CSI's a brand, Survivor's a brand, Two And A Half Men is a brand. I don't think CBS is a brand. You'd like to be known for quality, a place you can go to get good stuff. But we have some garbage on too." More via Louis Hau writing in Forbes here. People are not loyal to TV stations, they are loyal to shows. The play's the thing.
Road trip! Another fun lunch with programming ace Tom Teuber yesterday. We have decided a lunch run to Chicago is soon to be the order of the day; I'm assigned the usual concierge duties (arranging day/date/venue/A-list company). That sign post up ahead - one very cool lunch to remember. Thanks Tom.
Congrats & cheers: Google Analytics team on the upgrades - killer - thank you!
Bob Shannon wraps his four-part profile of the legendary Fred Winston. Bravos Bob, well done! Read Bob's All Them Big Dogs via AllAccess (free reg req)
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
"Never lose a chance of saying a kind word. As Collingwood never saw a vacant place in his estate but he took an acorn out of his pocket and planted it, so deal with your compliments through life. An acorn costs nothing, but it may spread into a prodigious timber." William M. Thackeray
"Enthusiasm is that temper of the mind in which the imagination has got the better of the judgment." William Warburton
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair." Charles Dickens
Things to stop doing: One of three. Internecine selling. Too often sales managers are using competitive monitoring to drive silo switch pitching. This is one reason broadcast fails to gain share. Targeting non-broadcast requires work but the ROI is exceptional. Major dollars are being invested in print, out of home, FSI (deliverables), yellow pages, cable (local insertion), direct marketing and local online. Change the denominator. Rather than shares of silo - numerators - managers should stay focused on the market's aggregate ad spend. This is the important lesson GE learned in their medical products division. They were able to significantly grow their business once they looked beyond shares of single device sales and started to focus on the entire market of medical technology. Highly recommended - the outstanding George Hyde (RAB) presentation "How To Steal Money from Newspaper."
Congrats & cheers: Dave Logan joining Bonneville as programming chief for Seattle's KBSG. CBS Radio's Mark Knoller inducted into the DC Journalism Hall of Fame (SPJ); Terry Hunt of the AP, CNN's Bob Franken and Muriel Dobbin of McClatchy also so honored.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Photo: Stormy Twighlight by dawn perry. Beautiful shot. Thanks for sharing.
"I believe there's more innovation ahead of us than behind us." Jeff Bezos
"All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up." Picasso
Created an outline in preparing for next month's "best practices" session at the Broadcast Futures Summit. Leading the session is Lindsay Wood Davis. Lindsay has asked that we suggest three books to read, three things to start doing and three things to stop doing.
My thought is to suggest books available in paper - the most practical as our combined lists will total twelve. Here's the first draft of my recommended books...
The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. Amazon info here.
The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki. Amazon info here.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. Amazon info here.
Things to start doing: One of three. Measure. The most effective and efficient approach to improving performance is to establish standards and employ metrics to track your progress. Say what you will about Mel Karmazin but during his best days in radio his obsession with pacing was smart. Laser focused on tracking the results of activity. Driving the top lines of ratings and revenue is critically important. Whereas Mel preferred the metric of weekly pacing v. last year, my thought is using a daily metric provides a richer picture. This daily approach is much more akin to managing retail. You can gain deeper understanding by viewing data points from a variety of different perspectives. The more data points the better. Revenue per listener. Revenue per avail. Revenue per associate. Revenue per seller. Calculate the cost of creating an avail. Inventory loads. Average unit rates by day of the week, by daypart, by seller. Sales calls to close. DSO. Calls scheduled v. calls completed. Sales pending. Number of accounts on air v. number of accounts in the system (18 month trailing). New business, first flights, on air. Every team leader (i.e., department head) should create and use a daily dashboard. To make goal stay focused on the gap. Carefully monitor activity to close the gap. Use an 18 month planning horizon, compare and contrast with 18 months of trailing data.
Sparkling wine: Marques de Gelida, Cava 2002, Brut Exclusive Reserva. Big bubbly for the buck, another wonderful value from Spain at $10.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
"The best fertilizer is the farmer's footsteps." Irish proverb
Developing my ppt deck for next month's Broadcast Futures Summit. Inspired by the work of the brilliant Howard Moskowitz my notion is to develop an experiment. Should you not be familiar with Dr. Moskowitz please listen to his interview via IT Conversations - Technometria: Selling Blue Elephants. Algebra of the mind is Howard's metier.
Highly recommended: Howard's new book and Howard's blog. Here's a cut from Howard's blog...
"I keep noticing something. That something is that some companies do homework, whereas other companies talk and talk, have rules, but don’t do homework. In my company’s business of creating winning messages/ideas (concepts), products and package design, doing homework means creating lots of combinations or test stimuli, not just one. Then, homework means testing these combinations among consumers, looking for what wins, and for a pattern of why winners win, and losers lose. Finally, homework means going beyond these test stimuli (concepts, products, package designs) to create newer and better stimuli based on the learning, and then re-testing to make sure that the winners is improved upon.
This strategy of ‘test – discover – reengineer – validate’ or TDRV (not easy to pronounce) wins again and again. In fact, if the testing is done with systematically varied stimuli, rather than with ‘best guess rifle shots’, then the company (or maybe you) end up knowing ‘how the world works’. The company knows exactly which messages, which product features, which package colors and shapes ‘drive acceptance’. It becomes pretty easy to create winners, and to know why they are winners. So just testing lots of stimuli puts the company way ahead, on the way to innovation."
Simply brilliant! Bravo Howard! Read this entire post here.
Malcom Gladwell provides a rich back story on Howard here. "The story of World's Best Ketchup cannot properly be told without a man from White Plains, New York, named Howard Moskowitz. Moskowitz is sixty, short and round, with graying hair and huge gold-rimmed glasses. When he talks, he favors the Socratic monologue—a series of questions that he poses to himself, then answers, punctuated by "ahhh" and much vigorous nodding. He is a lineal descendant of the legendary eighteenth-century Hasidic rabbi known as the Seer of Lublin. He keeps a parrot. At Harvard, he wrote his doctoral dissertation on psychophysics, and all the rooms on the ground floor of his food-testing and market-research business are named after famous psychophysicists. ("Have you ever heard of the name Rose Marie Pangborn? Ahhh. She was a professor at Davis. Very famous. This is the Pangborn kitchen.") Moskowitz is a man of uncommon exuberance and persuasiveness: if he had been your freshman statistics professor, you would today be a statistician."
One of Howard's gifts to us is "Rule Developing Experimentation" or RDE. The seven basic steps of RDE...
- Identify groups or classes of features that constitute the target product.
- Mix and match the elements according to an experimental design to create a set of prototypes.
- Show the prototypes to consumers.
- Analyze results.
- Identify naturally occuring attitudinal segments of the population that show similar patterns of the utilities.
- Apply the generated rules to create new products.
Friday, June 08, 2007
"It's time to take our audience back. We have great brands, let's invest in them again. The age of cutting is over. Consolidation 2.0 is on. And it's all about the operators. I love that!" Bill Figenshu
Fig checked in; today's quotation is from his email. Bravos Fig! A good broadcaster and a gentleman. The outfit lucky enough to sign him may reasonably expect nothing less than great things to happen.
A bunch of emails about the Eric Zorn writing on Chicago things gone but not forgotten. Mel Markon's was on Lincoln Park West just south of Fullerton. America's #1 morning radio anchor, Lee Harris, pings and reminds me...another Chicago late nite hang was close by - the Medina on Clark. Programming ace Tom Teuber weighs in with his Chicago list...The Little Corporal, The Brief Encounter, Punchinellos, Riccardo's, The Bergoff, Eli's, and Medici on Surf. The Little Corporal was a Lyle Dean and Fred Winston favorite, as "the kid" on staff they would send me off on early morning "breakfast runs" - the help at the joint well knew the preferences of Mr Dean and Mr Winston. Tom goes on to add some Madtown favs...Holy Mackeral, Big Mama and Uncle Fats, the original Ella's on State Street.
My first days in Madison, way back when, I recall The Brat House on State being an incredible value, not so today. Living at Langdon Hall I enjoyed walking around the corner to eat at the "counter" of the Rennebohm Drug store. Trips to the Twin Cities in those days always included dinner at the Nankin Cafe.
Method in Mel's madness: Getting $250 mil in senior from Morgan Stanley buys Mel more time and creates the war chest needed for his coming renewed battle with XM. My sense is the merger is dead and Mel knows it. The FCC opened their formal inquiry into the merger today. My odds remain 6 to 5 against.
Reading Mel's mail: David Rehr writes Mel a three page letter requesting the merger application be withdrawn. The letter, in pdf format, here.
The big four: Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL captured 85% of the gross online ad dollars in 2006. The top ten online sites, the big four included, captured 99% of all gross ad dollars in 2006. Jeffrey F. Rayport writing at MarketWatch says Advertising's death is greatly exaggerated, a good read here.
Hot fun in the summertime: Sean Ross bows his annual handicapping - The Summer Song of 2007. Read his nominees and jump into the conversation with your own pick here.
Summer reads: NPR's Susan Stamberg favors us with Booksellers' Picks for the Beach - or the Backyard.
Spanish grapes: Another fine Tempranillo. My quest to find good red wines for $10 or less continues. Montecillo Crianza 2002, Bodegas Montecillo. Noteworthy bottle since the 2002 grapes were not exceptional. Cheers!
Bonus: A favorite waste of bandwidth - cykam airtos online game. Warning: addictive. Enable audio, click on new game and enjoy!
Have a wonderful weekend.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
"You cannot save your way into a transition. You have to learn how to grow top line revenues." Ann Moore
The CEO of Time Inc gets it, Ann knows what she's talking about. Read the Rafat Ali interview with Ann here. Kudos Rafat, good job. Here's more of Moore...
"Here is the strategy. First, build the best of product. Differentiate it. Second, build the big audience and by that I mean you need partnerships with everyone. Then third, worry about monetizing it, but you got to have a big audience to make money on the web because the CPMs are low. I have said this publicly: The magazine models is a beautiful model because you got high margins; two revenue streams, the consumer pays and the advertiser pays; beautiful cash flow, you get the money up front. The average reader of Sports Illustrated delivers about $118 to the bottom line in Time Inc. The average very engaged user of SI.com can generate about $5 in advertising contribution. I need many more online viewers to equal one magazine reader. That is why you have to go for big volume and that is why you got to have partnerships. You do not do exclusives with anybody."
Enjoyed a very interesting conversation with some west coast colleagues yesterday. One of the subjects was "value added" and it brought to mind a story about a great promotion involving a Chicago retailer, a cookbook, and a quarter. Think you know what a great sales promotion is? My thought is you will enjoy reading this story about a sales call with my mentor the legendary Kevin Sweeney. It was the day I learned a valuable lesson about promotion, all the details are here in this previous post.
Congrats & cheers: Pat O'Neill and his Magic 98 team on making a difference. "The Concert for Gilda's Club" is on, more info here. Local, local, local.
Trade secret: Want to do something special on your breakfast show, something that will get listeners/viewers involved and really light up the phones? You should also feature this topic on your station breakfast show blog. Behold the response Eric Zorn got when he took a moment to engage his readers and struck the responsive cord...Gone but not (quite) forgotten. Note the first reader comment was from Sept 05, the last posted May 07. Local, local, local. Works 100% of the time. Works with all demos, all formats. One of our EU clients, a rocker, ran it as "Bring out your dead" to amazing result. Off the charts but still in our hearts. It's fun and it works!
Eric's list and the comments of his readers brought back a rush of memories from my Chicago days. A late night joint, Mel Markon's, was mentioned, it was special to me back in the day...Lee Harris, John Wetherbee and I had many a fun post-midnight dinner there, a place packed with character and characters.
Bonus: Marc Andreessen on How to hire the best people you've ever worked with. Marc makes the case for three key attributes: drive, curiosity, ethics. Recommended. Check out Marc's writing here.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
"Statistics are no substitute for judgment." Henry Clay
"The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order. "Alfred North Whitehead
"Some men's words I remember so well that I must often use them to express my thought. Yes, because I perceive that we have heard the same truth, but they have heard it better." Emerson
Sally's Apizza is a legendary restaurant in New Haven. Serving thin-crust "apizza" since 1938, Sally's has earned the reputation of being "the best." Folks stand on line for hours, no matter the weather, the fans of Sally's will not accept substitutes. Right down Wooster Street is another legendary restaurant Pepe's. Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana was founded in 1925 and was the first to offer the now famous New Haven style thin-crust apizza. Pepe's is famous for their white pizza topped with clams. Fans of Pepe's, and there are a great many, will not accept substitutes. They too stand on line for hours in all kinds of weather waiting for a table.
Sally's and Pepe's each offer a product best described as "insanely great" (to borrow a term coined by Tom Peters). The product is the only marketing needed. The customers, rabid fans, serve as the most credible of all possible product evangelists.
The play's the thing.
Not pizza, apizza. Groceries worth the wait, worth standing in the rain for. "Without salesmanship we could not sell anything. If we could not sell anything we might as well not make anything, because if we made things and couldn't sell them it would be as bad as if we sold things and couldn't make them." Stephen Leacock
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Photo:Italy June 2007 by Dave Winer Great shot Dave! Thank you.
If you use RSS, enjoy a blog or a podcast you may wish to thank Dave Winer. He was involved in bringing us all three (among other things). Dave is one of the most authentic voices on the web. Follow his adventures on the continent here.
"Nothing is cheap which is superfluous, for what one does not need, is dear at a penny." Plutarch
"We are shaped and fashioned by what we love." Goethe
"The great menace to the life of an industry is individual self-complacency." David Sarnoff
KSFX Redux: Tom Teuber checks in with news from Tom Yates. We now add the name of another late 1970s GM - Paul Cassidy, former GSM of KLOS. Yates says Paul returned to LA joining Century's KWST after his bay area stint. Thanks to the Toms.
Borrell Associates: Local online to reach $7.5 billion, up 31.6% from last year. The new projections suggest the dead tree guys are winning, leading with a 35.9 share of the local online. Pure play internet folks (Google, Yahoo, et al) place with a 33.2% take. Yellow pages show with 11.7%. Local magazines 9.2%, TV 7.7% and radio 2.2%. Broadcast has some serious catching up to do. Example - WaPo now generates about 11% of their gross revenues online. Broadcast continues to lag due to a leadership problem. We need to stop expecting our main channel sellers to get the job done. Nothing will substitute for fielding a team of dedicated online sellers. Continuing to move forward assigning our sellers the burden of an online budget will not deliver the results, will not improve share. Seriously, it's time to get serious about the web. Very serious.
Broadcast enjoys the unique advantages of reach, influence and targeting. Our continued ubiquity is contingent on our ability to get our programming on every possible platform. The rights and fee issues related to streaming are subordinate to the far bigger picture, the strategic matters at hand, getting into and winning the new game.
Big doings in French Lick! The Mid-States Broadcast Futures Summit happens in July at the French Lick Resort Casino. A historic collaborative gathering of the first and second tribes of wireless sponsored by the state broadcaster associations of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. I have been honored by an invitation to participate. Lindsay Wood Davis will lead a discussion of "radio's best practices." I will join in the candid conversation along with Dean Sorenson and Dave Shepherd. Should be lots of fun. Lindsay Wood Davis has set up a blog and invites your comments. Check it out here. See you there!