Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging." Hank Aaron

"You can't win until you learn how to lose." Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

"When you lose, you're more motivated. When you win, you fail to see your mistakes and probably no one can tell you anything." Venus Williams

Today's image:
Late Fall Rose by Fred Winston. Great shot. Thanks for sharing.

Great Program Directors deliver numbers to the sales department: Kudos to programming ace Brian Kelly and his team on another exceptional performance. 103.7 KISS FM posted #1 Teens, #1 18-34 Women, #1 18-34 Men, and #1 18-34 Persons. The station delivered a 50.0 cume rating with Teens and a 40.5 cume rating with 18-34 Persons (so much for the continuing myth that the youth market ain't listening to any audio that's wireless). Moreover, Brian's two stations KISS and 99.1 WMYX were both in the top five 25-54 Women. CHR and Hot AC done right are winners, Brian and his team understand how to do just that (as too few others do). Brian Kelly delivers, again, he's the goods.

The unlimited (almost) bandwidth of youth is the answer: Doc writes about Facebook and time spent. My sense is this is a cohort issue. Doc goes on to suggest bringing down the wall. I agree. Further, as has been written here before, they need to get into the export business and out of the import business (as only access).

"The big challenge for Facebook, as it has been for AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple and everybody else who ever ran a walled garden, is to make their “platform” something that sits on the Net and the Web, not something that substitutes for it. Facebook’s mail, for example, is a substitute. If there’s a way I could get Facebook mail with my IMAP or POP client, I’d rather do that. (Can you, by the way? I doubt it, but I dunno.)" Read Doc's entire post here.

The play's the thing: Michael Rosenblum asks..."It's called The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. But it's not called The New York Times with Tom Friedman. Why is that?" My thought is to quote PJ "In all of art it's the singer not the song." This is especially true with the first tribe of wireless. Talent-driven radio programs (and stations), generally, tend to be more successful, consistently, than those that offer up some bland generic brand. Steve Dahl provides a good exhibit that makes this case. Steve continues to deliver great numbers book after book and does so on an otherwise dead radio station. The audience is tuning in for Steve, they are loyal to Steve not to the station. Years of numbers have proven this to be a fact. Steve is a star, an artiste, he has developed a following that has little (and one could make the case - nothing at all) to do with the radio station around him. He remains a success against all odds and that is one definition of rock star talent. The play's the thing. Moreover, Steve has proven the efficacy of the format, he has confirmed the validity of spoken word on commercial FM. The problem at WCKG is not the format, the problem is execution combined with a massive failure of imagination. It's about casting, providing direction, creating a positive creative environment, setting a stage for greatness. It's a leadership problem.

There is a significant delta between personalities and disc jockeys and yet another between disc jockeys and announcers. Voice actors v. announcers, a grand canyon of difference. The same holds true with TV talent. The reader v the rock star. Almost identical story line-ups (excepting soft), one show wins, one shows loses. Like you I have sat in focus group sessions and watched as one reader gets dialed up and another dialed down delivering the same story. One weather guy wins another loses. At the end of the day, all other things being equal, people listen to and watch those they like (and in some cases those they love to hate). There is no logic to any of these decisions, these preferences and behaviors. People are not rational, they don't do things for any reason but their own.

Personally, I prefer working with rock star talent, they dramatically improve your chances of winning. When I hear that a certain talent is "difficult" it's music to my ears. Typically, it means they care about their work. "The rocks go with the farm" as my friend Larry Bentson is fond of saying. Great talent is a pleasure to work for. They can't be managed, they demand to be led. Read Michael's post The "Talent" Trap here. Bravos Michael for continuing to offer up interesting subject matter of merit.

Almost related: on the day job we have done a number of perceptual studies on the media sales process. One of the most interesting findings is that the highest "rated" media sales professionals are consistently those that are "most liked" without regard to any other single attribute, skill set or variable. All things being equal or even unequal media buyers buy from the people they like. This finding is consistent in market after market. You could say the same about bloggers. There are bloggers and then there are Bloggers. While I might not always agree with Dave Winer his blog is, consistently, a good and smart read. Same with Dr Dave and Michael Rosenblum. Agree with them, or not, they provoke you to think! Bandwidth well spent. I must admit to being one that enjoys Michael's "Burn it to the ground" thesis because he dares to question practice too far past the best-used by date. The bonus is he offers up an intellectually honest and practical alternative.

Kudos: Jess Lee, Google Maps Project Manager offers up Southern California fire maps here.

Congrats & cheers: Salman Ullah the Google corp dev ace leaves to found a venture firm, Copper River Partners. Scott Herman named EVP, Operations and Michael Weiss hires on as President of Sales, both for CBS Radio.