Tuesday, March 04, 2008

"Fear is a bad adviser." Sergio Vieira de Mello

"Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem." Woody Allen

"Advertising is the price we pay for being unoriginal." Yves Behar

Today's image: untitled by toby deveson. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

The Day Radio Died

Stan Cornyn, a senior officer with Warner Brothers records, delivered a famous speech in 1975. His address was titled The Day Radio Died. Stan presented this wake up call at the annual NARM convention, a gathering of record folk along with their distributors and retailers. He said "...radio should not be the only game in town. Records should be." Going on to say "...the record business has sold only what it could get played. Do we, as an industry, really want to confine our sales only to records that can get frequent airplay?" He did understand how critically important radio was to the record business "...if it weren't for radio, half of us in the record companies would have to give up our Mercedes Benz leases."

Stan had the audacity to suggest records urgently needed to find an effective, profitable way of doing business without radio. His suggestion was about nothing short of revolution, about getting dramatically different.

Stan was a visionary. History has proven, his wise counsel was ignored. His peers and contemporaries elected to stay focused on what they knew, obsessed with getting better at the same game.

Back from the near death experience

Todd Storz once saved radio from death. He took a bold and contrarian view - programming to the ignored, listeners not then a cohort of the so-called mainstream - the youth audience. Storz employed powerful accomplices, Rock 'n' Roll, tight rotations and the "closed" playlist. As the brilliant Bob Henabery has written "Sparked by the inventions of the portable transistor radio and Top 40 on the AM band, a generation of baby boomers was galvanized by pop music." Read Bob's excellent writing here.

Once Storz achieved success the herd instinct kicked in, Top 40 swept the nation. As a practical matter the youth radio revolution was responsible for radio's dramatic revenue growth, over 800% between 1940 and 1970. What Storz did was counter to all industry dogma, having nothing to lose he threw out the rule book, he fundamentally changed radio by getting radically different while others were focused on getting better. In a world of rule takers Storz was the outlier, the rule breaker and he became the new rule maker.

Next: We need to rise to the game-changing challenge that history is again presenting to us. The first and second tribes of wireless are now being offered amazing, once in a generation opportunities. My thought is...this moment is rich with incredible potential. More tomorrow.

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virture,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Spanish red: Vina Mayor, Crianza 2002. Ribera del Duero. A simply wonderful red under $15.

Buzz: Steven Spielberg preparing to launch a new social network said to involve a community around ghosts and ET stuff.

Too early to tell: Chicago's Fresh, the CBS Radio initiative that replaced FM talker WCKG did not best the talkers 25-54 showing of last year. The talkers' 2007 high mark was a 2.5, Fresh just posted a 1.8 trend. Fresh did deliver an in-demo cume of over a quarter mil. Stay tuned.

Congrats & cheers: It's "only a trend" but...Steve Dahl breaks into Chicago's top ten morning shows at #9, 25-54; an outstanding afternoon debut for WLUP's Eddie Webb, #5, 25-54. Fred Winston hired as "special guest star" and debuts tomorrow. Sheryl Sandberg joins Facebook as COO. Gannett bows new glossy FSI OpenAir this Friday.