Sunday, July 16, 2006

"You can become a winner only if you are willing to walk over the edge." Damon Runyon

Congrats to Rob Sisco, President of Nielsen Music on being honored with the Rockwell Award. The lifetime achievement award was presented to Rob at this past weekend's annual gathering of The Conclave. Rob's incredible charm, gracious style and curious intellect have long set him apart from the pack. His achievements are too many to note here. The youngest major market program director in north America, principal in a highly successful international program production firm, lead advisor at one of the nation's cutting-edge direct marketing shops. Rob is a mensch, a winner and a friend. His finest hour is yet to come.

Kudos to Tom Kay, hearing The Conclave was, again, a total smash!

Speaking of winning, the famous Mr. Runyon also said "The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong but that's the way to bet." Back in the office this week. Some random thoughts...

Erica Farber will continue at the helm for Radio & Records once new owners VNU take over. Erica is at the top of her game, expect many good things from the new and improved R&R. Congrats and cheers to Erica and VNU.

The first, certainly not the last. Tribune cuts 120 jobs. CBS Radio layoff puts out 115. Two quarters to go + year-end clean up + 2007 planning + stagnant revenues + frail 07 rev forecast= expense scrutiny at the subatomic level. Soft spring books will only acerbate an already bad year. Welcome to extreme P&L where some get the home game. Chalk this up to playing the street game. As Pat Caddell once changed the rules of play in national politics so have broadcast CEOs and CFOs changed the day-to-day nature of operations at publically held media. It was Caddell who once wrote to president-elect Carter "Essentially, it is my thesis that governing with public approval requires a continuing campaign." We live in the era of media CEO as song and dance man. (Thanks to Joe Klein for the insight on Caddell, his book Politics Lost is a must read for news junkies).

The Weather Channel
offers Starcom, via an experiment, a commercial-viewership guarantee. Nielsen offering up "commercial numbers" makes it possible. Expect Arbitron to watch and follow with their own commercial numbers.

MTV Overdrive
inks what some are saying is a $300 million ad deal with OMD the shop with Cingular and PepsiCo among others. Congrats, this is good selling (and buying).

Cable wake up call. "The days of double digit cable (ad spend) growth are probably gone" according to Michael Nathanson, a media analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein said. (WSJ)

Working while others sleep. Then there's those Scripps guys, anything but your basic dead tree outfit. They own cable (The Food Network, Home & Garden Network) and online property (Shopzilla). Larry Haverty, portfolio manager at Gabelli Global Multimedia Trust says "...end of next year, new media cash flows will be about 65% of its total cash flow". Larry goes on to say cash flow growth for Scripps over the next three years to be easily in the 20% area. (Barrons)

Safe wager. Before year end every media company is again talking about their very exciting internet initiatives.

Riffs, rants & remarkable ideas. "Small is the new big only when the person running the small thinks big. Don't wait. Get small. Think big." A bunch of stuff you probably read earlier but might want to think about again. Sounds fun. You may preview and preorder the new Seth Godin book "Small is the New Big" here.

Adapted from her new book Francine Prose writes a killer essay in The Atlantic Fiction Issue. "I believed that I was learning to read in a whole new way. But this was only partly true. Because in fact I was merely relearning to read in an old way that I had learned, but forgotten."
What fundamental(s) has your team "learned, but forgotten?" How about writing? Crisp, concise, fresh, relevant writing - promos, teases, bumpers, commercials and news - will refresh your entire station. Think: high definition communication (thanks Dale Pon). Coming this fall, Francine's latest...Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them. Amazon preorder info here. Speaking of writing, can the paid help wanted ads running in the trades be any more lame?

Closed circuit to Tom Taylor: Stop listing XM and Sirius in your "broadcast" stocks, no one cares. The majority of ink that pay radio continues to get is in the broadcast trade, enough.

Make something happen this week. Out-think the other guys. Two major unfair advantages for radio...agility and imagination. All the best for great success in your spring book.


Anonymous said...

Sisco? Agree!

IR delisting XM and SIRI? Disagree! Arbitron doesn't own radio stations either, but the perceptive radio person may be interested in tracking all of the above.