Thursday, November 30, 2006

Photo credit: Deserted State Street by Mazda6
Cool shot, thank you!

"We have to write something good in a hurry and we end up writing something bad in a hurry." David Ogilvy

Congrats and cheers to Ed Walsh who joins WBZ to co-host the breakfast show. All the best to my former colleague, the legendary Gary LaPierre.

Hearing that Kevin Stapleford is on to his next adventure - stay tuned.

Also on the loose: Cyndi Stivers leaving Martha. You can bet she is on to another launch.

Richard Branson in Business 2.0 feature, How to Succeed in 2007...

"Saying no shouldn't be an easy thing to do, and you have to be good at it." More here

Snow and cold this morning in America's Dairyland but it's beginning to look a lot like shopping.

Spokeo a new venture by four Stanford folks is live and wanting to be your new home page.

MANOAMANO:2004. Good red table wine (Tempranillo grape) from Spain. Under ten dollars, drinks like a forty dollar wine - highly recommended.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

"This business of trying to measure everything in precise terms is one of the problems with advertising today. This leads to a worship of research. We're all concerned about the facts we get, and not enough concerned about how provocative we make those facts to the consumer" Bill Bernbach

Top secret:
The Google Advertising Network no one but the big dogs are talking about. John Chow pulls back the curtain here. Thanks for sharing John. A secret invitation only CPM ad network, brilliant - my sales mentor Kevin B. Sweeney would have loved the audacity. Another bravo to Google, well played guys!

Pat Fallon
and Bob Barrie have put together The Work: 25 years of Fallon. Lewis Lazare writes it up this morning...

"There's a lot of advertising packed inside the gorgeous new coffee table book Fallon Worldwide executives Pat Fallon and Bob Barrie have compiled....the newly released tome is a visual feast of all the important campaigns that have come out of what is still, comparatively speaking, one of the nation's smaller ad agencies"

Thanks for the tip Lew! Read Lew's view here. Can't wait to get my copy.

Kristen Philipkoski over at Wired's Bodyhack has an open call for nominations...2006 Sexiest Geeks (men and women). Nominate yours and check out the 400+ comments while you're at it here. Meanwhile, Emily Shurr over at the desk of CNET News suggests Hedy Lamarr for sexiest geek here. And not to forget Crave UK's "Top 10 Girl Geeks" wherein Paris Hilton takes an honor along side babe in training wheels and future president Lisa Simpson.

How about a very cool public librarian addicted to blogging? One fronting the motto "Life is not all thorns and singing vultures" (with credit to Morticia Addams)? My suggestion is you check out Shelly's blog The View from Here Bravo Shelly, well done.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Image at left courtesy of ZDNet. See final item in this post for news on Google Radio.

"What this means for Yahoo and those daily newspapers struggling to survive and compete with Craigslist is that competing won't work. This is a war that can't be won, no matter how much money Google or Yahoo or Microsoft or eBay has. And those daily newspapers with their reporting staffs and international bureaus? In the long run and absent a successful new business model, they are doomed, because it comes down to location, location, location, and for that Craigslist can't be beat." Robert X. Cringely

Above taken from an interesting post about what's happening in the 400 year death spiral of the dead tree gang. Read Robert's entire post here. Well written. Good use of analogy - self-storage is to residential real estate what classifieds are to display space.

Who is the Media Person of the Year? Murdock? Freston? Zucker? Couric? Hurley? Open voting until Dec 1 via IWM, get your vote on here

TV Week covers the Ed Bradley service here. Marianne Paskowski remembers Higgins with comments here

Doc has written a fine piece over at Linux Journal...

"I realized instantly that the Net is not just about TCP or Neutrality or peer-to-peer or end-to-end or anything other than connecting digital devices across distances. It's about reducing those distances to zero-or as close to zero as possible. "The Internet is just a path", Bob Frankston says. And carriers, so far, have existed to create "billing events" in the middle of that path." Read Linux for Suites - Breaking the Matrix here. (Closed circuit to Doc: You made mention of Google and their, perhaps, lack of resource dedication to Blogger in an earlier blog post. FYI - they are rolling out a fresh new version of Blogger now - not using it yet but will make the jump and report later.)

Borat and the music business? Sure, why not! Read all about it in the Lefsetz Letter here

The best defense is always a strong offense: Mark Cuban bitch slaps Business Week here

Pigs on the runway - pay radio: Mel continues to make noise about a dog star merger with xm, he needs to do something - my sense remains pay radio is a one or none biz.

Rick Shaw retiring? Say it ain't so! A legendary talent and a fine programmer as well. Learned a bunch of stuff from Rick during my RKO days. A class act! Cheers Rick! Meanwhile uber-cool PD Bob Hamilton is now searching for a morning show for his Miami station - gotta be one of the best gigs in the business. Hammy is the goods.

Talk about class acts and smart folks: My thanks to Jaye Albright and Mike O'Malley, they honored this humble writer with an invitation to participate during their client conference call today. My rant was about a favorite subject matter A Great Program Director

Bonus: The real deal on Google Radio...

Google Audio's Current Footprint

800+ stations signed en route to 5,000+
87% US coverage
Coverage in 19 of the top 25 markets
300 million impressions weekly and Growing

One of the Google graphics indicates "Signed 863 / Live 686"

Check out the Google pitch pages here. My thanks to Donna Bogatin at ZDNet who continues to be on top of all things Google Audio. Cheers too to the Google team.

Monday, November 27, 2006

"Enthusiasm! The ultimate virus!"

"The older I get the less boring the 'basics' become!"

"Doing something is the key to getting something done"

Tom Peters

Thanks, again, for Tom Peters! Please allow me to, again, offer the suggestion...TP is one of the best and brightest minds thinking, writing today. You are reading him daily are you not? Peters = today's Drucker.

Some other things to think about via TP...

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started" Agatha Christie

"A year from now you may wish you had started today." Karen Lamb

"It's always showtime." David D'Alessandro, Career Warfare

"One of my superstitions had always been when I started to go anywhere or to do anything, not to turn back, or stop, until the thing intended was accomplished." Grant

Jason Calacanis
wonders "could two guys in a garage create an indie gadget company?". My sense is, yes, if they avoid the traditional CE channels. Put a design together, bid it, agree to a modest first production run, sell it online. More of Jason's conversation here

Todd Fowler, young turk media broker and president of AMS, gets the Mike Kinosian interview here. Bravo Mike! Congrats and cheers to Todd.

2005 Pillar Box Red, by Chris Ringland, an outstanding value from Padthaway, Australia. Highly recommended.

Attracting the next generation: Interesting article in the NYT by Shaila Dewan (with assist by Brenda Goodman), Cities Compete in Hipness Battle to Attract Young. The "Young and Restless" winning cities are...

Atlanta, San Francisco, Denver, Portland and Austin

The losers...DC, Philadelphia, New York and LA. More via NYT here

The Six Biggest New Ideas In Chat: Nick Gonzalez reviews the bidding via Techcrunch here. Bravo Nick! Nice job.

Bonus: 101 things you do not want your system administrator to say here

Clear Channel "executive" appears in an indie film "in silhouette, wearing a hood, and employing electronic distortion to camouflage his voice", his shocking statement...

"The advertising dollar is driving the entire company." The humanity! Read all about it here Good writing about some totally clueless filmsters by WaPo's Marc Fisher

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Photo credit: leftovers by McBeth - Great shot; Thank you!

"There's a general tendency to focus too much on individuals and make too much of who's in and who's out...You're going to need people who are visionary and innovative about the opportunities created by digital media, but I would look less at the individuals and more at the teams they're are putting together" Geoffrey K. Sands

McKinsey & Company
media practice head Geoffrey K. Sands as quoted by NYT writer Richard Siklos in his article Seeking Executive to Tame the Digital Future here. Good job Richard, well done. Geoffrey makes an excellent point, to be successful, digital initiatives require a team, no lone rangers need apply. The single exec appointment is a press release not the serious commitment needed to make the best of things. On another suggestion made in the article, my sense is there are a number of "seasoned" media execs - including some at the operating level - who have a healthy respect, a solid working understanding and an appreciation for the web, simply too few. The notion, proffered by exec recruiter Michael J. Speck that there are but three major types of media execs charged with oversight of digital initiatives fails to properly recognize operating leadership that does get it. Speck's "three baskets of digital media overseers" are...

  1. Well-versed old-media exec who both knows how to navigate corporate corridors and run a business but may not be the most webby person on the squad
  2. The web stars - those who know how to identify and build web businesses early
  3. The general corporate athlete who has a track record of getting things done in a complex company but is neither a seasoned operating exec nor a web head
Richard gets right to the point when he writes...

"...does the anointed guru have the juice to cross over existing divisions and to introduce newfangled businesses that may actually hurt before they help?" It's all about leadership and leadership demands juice - 100% authority at the price of 100% responsibility for producing results.

One positive outcome related to the dotcom bubble...old-media execs were recruited and learned the web first hand using live ammo. After the crash some returned to old-media, some took posts with the bigger survivors and others made a new living with a foot each in both worlds. My point here is there are execs out there who have not only strong operating track records in old-media but proven successes operating in new media as well. These "best of both worlds" execs have a unique pov, one born of practical, real world experience. Yahoo has done an excellent job in recruiting especially in sales. Google has begun to recruit from old-media's best and brightest. Both firms get it. Let me also suggest Microsoft, contrary to popular opinion, is also well on their way to achieving significant and lasting success in the media and advertising businesses. Should Microsoft acquire Yahoo the game could change dramatically overnight. The other smart players include Sumner, Barry and Rupert.

Friday, November 24, 2006

"There are no rules, you make your own rules, then you break the rules" Brice Marden

"There is only one rule, there are no rules" Dick Bozzi

"The first rule is not to lose money. The second rule is not to forget the first rule" Warren Buffett

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs" Ansel Adams

"Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself" Truman Capote

We have lost not only a fine writer but as well a great reporter, a charming wit, a keen intellect and a gentleman. We have lost Higgins. John M. Higgins, the bigger than life business editor at B&C, covered the business of TV and cable TV better than any other, a professional without equal. I will miss Higgins and his always exceptional reporting. B&C coverage here, B&C links to tributes here.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

"The only advice I can give is never to take advice from anybody." Robert Altman

The great director, an American original, has passed. Altman inspired generations of directors making films his way and only his way.

Congrats and cheers: To Randy Falco the new head of AOL, and to Ron Grant his new prexy. Best wishes to Jon and Jason, they are certain to be involved in some exciting new ventures. To John Romanovich and Maggie Robertson on their marriage. John is EP of the WLS morning show, Maggie handles media for The Bears. (John did an outstanding job when Fred Winston and Catherine Johns guest hosted the WLS morning show last week, I remain in his debt). Save the cheerleader worked for NBC, Heroes is a break out smash and delivered a solid first place 18-49 Monday night.

Speaking of numbers, TNS could offer a direct challenge to Nielsen. Kevin Downey reviews the bidding, read his piece via Media Life here. Well done Kevin.

Great to hear from my friend, the amazing, the gifted TK, Tom Kent. His Classic Top 40 radio concept is at once powerful, practical and simply elegant (my's right on time and the stuff of game changing innovation). Touched to be one of those sent TK's Thanksgiving email this morning. You're the best TK.

Cooking for six, off to Whole Foods. Have a wonderful and safe holiday.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Photo credit: LeeLeFever Mt Hood

"Beg for the bad news." William Swanson

Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management: unwritten rule number 27...

"'Begging for the bad news' means creating a climate in which everyone on your team understands that the boss wants to hear the bad as well as the good, that the boss expects you to speak up when something's wrong and is not getting addressed in a timely manner.

The leader must create a climate in which it is understood reflexively that bad news, while never pleasant, must be shared. And the sooner the bad news is aired, the better.

It is amazing how slowly bad news can travel up the levels of an organization - unless the corporate culture encourages, and demands, that bad news be reported quickly."

Great counsel from Swanson's classic writing. At RKO we were taught, by Dwight Case and Paul Drew, "the first three rules" were...

  1. No surprises
  2. No surprises
  3. No surprises
Dwight and Paul always told us we operated in a "no surprises" environment. Decades later I came upon the same style of refreshingly brutal candor (while working for Mel). Get your team on with brutal candor and operating in a no surprises environment - incredible ROI without equal.

A Great Sales Manager: In the process of updating my earlier monograph and would sincerely appreciate your input. What are the qualities, the attributes, the characteristics of a truly GREAT sales manager? Your comments are welcomed and encouraged; please use the comments function at the end of this post or forward your comments using the "contact me" link you may find in the right column of this page. Thank you! (Previously, updates of A Great General Manager here and A Great Program Director here)

Young 06 voters rated corruption, immigration, Iraq and terrorism extremely important, read more from Pew Research and exit polling data here (Thanks to Lee Arnold for the tip).

Don't forget your shotgun: Seth Godin makes a point of the obvious - when doing deals...

Don't forget the shotgun clause. At some point, one of you is going to want to run with the project. So build in a clause that says, "At any time, one person can offer to buy the other out. The second person then has the chance to either buy the first person out at the same valuation, or sell." Money can solve a few problems, and this is one of them.

Amen Seth, well done! Read all nine of Seth's points here. Which reminds me - never split the difference as part of a negotiation - never.

Expect a bunch of M&A activity thanks to Clear Channel. Makes sense for CC to sell off those small markets. But they'll probably sell more. Back of the envelope math says the company generates about 75% of their rev from fewer than 250 stations and that would seem to indicate they have another 400 or so stations that bring them little more than exposure and risk. Will Sumner decide to "unlock" some value of his own?

Doc provides an overview of some Jupiter Research and in the process opines on his ongoing, and important, marketplace theme...

Think for a minute about how much more useful (or obsolete) marketing would be if customers had actual relationships, or the means to initiate relationships — on the customers' terms — when and where they wanted to initiate them? Read Doc's post here

Christopher Lydon does good work and he needs your help. Open Source is a program produced for public radio. The independent nonprofit production company that produces the program seeks a new primary funder - in the meantime you can help out by sending a donation. Please join me in supporting this good work. Tis the season, please give what you can. More info here.

Brad Garlinghouse one of the senior Yahoos and his now famous "Peanut Butter" memo...

We may have fallen down, but the race is a marathon and not a sprint. I don't pretend that this will be easy. It will take courage, conviction, insight and tremendous commitment. I very much look forward to the challenge.

Read the entire memo thanks to WSJ here

Brad and his colleagues would be well served by inviting Dave Winer in for a chat...

"What Yahoo may need is someone who can speak for them, who can give an exciting speech, who can lead all the external forces, and internal ones too. What they may be missing is an eloquent founder-type who, when people need to settle a difference, can come in and make the choice. At Microsoft, in the old days when Microsoft worked, people could ask themselves What Would Bill Do? Google has Larry and Sergey. Yahoo may need a leader. But they've got a pretty good foundation to build on. And they could probably go a long, long way without great leadership, since most American companies don't have that." More Dave on Yahoo here

Dave's right on the mark. While they're at it they should ask Tom Peters to join the conversation too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Who is the customer?" is the first and the crucial question in defining business purpose and business mission. It is not an easy, let alone an obvious question. How it is being answered determines, in large measure, how the business defines itself. The consumer - that is, the ultimate user of a product or a service - is always a customer. Peter Drucker

Image credit: Hugh MacLeod, the Brit that draws cartoons on the back of business cards. Today's image is the back of my card. Get yours here.

Reading the David Nasaw biography on Andrew Carnegie - interesting. Amazon info here.

"The first 10 years of this industry have been amazing, but the next 20 are going to be insane" Jason Calacanis from his post "The real story of Web 2.0: Advertising 2.0" Bravo Jason, spot-on.

Amanda Congdon, the first web video star, signs with ABC News, gets a development deal with HBO and will continue her own vids. Congrats and cheers! Amanda's announcement here

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Photo credit: chefranden Moon Branch

"Things don't stay the same. You have to understand that not only your business situation changes, but the people you're working with aren't the same day to day. Someone is sick. Someone is having a wedding. [You must] gauge the mood, the thinking level of the team that day."
Coach K

Outstanding observation of "the obvious" from Coach K with thanks to Tom Peters for the tip here.

In my experience the obvious remains the most difficult to see. Getting a grip on reality as it as, not as it was, nor as you wish it to be is just plain hard work.

Leonard Downie, Jr. WaPo EE writes to the staff...
"This remains a challenging time, but also one of great opportunity – the opportunity to transform journalism for a new era in The Washington Post and on Even as we reduce newsroom staff and costs, we will have amply sufficient staff and talent to make this transformation." Read the entire memo here. (Thanks to Romenesko)

Fred Jacobs
writes about PPM and wonders...should programmers work hard to figure out the new methodology..."develop strategies for taking advantage of the rules, and plan tactics that will do just that?" Of course every program chief attempts to "game" the system, however, the new methodology (capture of hearing behaviors) represents a light jump from the present system (recall via literate behavior). The challenge of PPM is to get your station "purchased" inside the actual listening occasions, the "places" where audio is heard. Fred also asked how we first came to target Thursdays. While I am not certain of exactly who the first programmer was to direct resources into high PUR hours/days, I do recall the first person to openly advocate such practice was the late Jhan Hiber. Perhaps John Rook will recall. Read Fred's post here. A previous post of mine on PPM v Diary here

Which reminds me: When working for Mother W (Westinghouse) the corporate policy as set forth in "the red book" plainly stated we were prohibited from engaging the audience in any "forced listening" activity. Coming to WBZ from RKO this was like asking me to drive on the left hand side of the road, totally counter to my training and all known, accepted, effective best practice. Contesting was ok but not, never, when it required the audience to actually listen. Excuse me...I could get in trouble for doing something that would require people listen to my radio station? Why am I here? Isn't that my job? At RKO, we used every legal means available to game the system. We had even used direct mail and bought our list from Metromail the same list house used by Arbitron. But Mother W was a different kind of outfit. These were the same people who did not employ program directors but rather program managers. When I complained to Jim Yergin, the legendary media researcher and a mentor, he laughed and said "Your job is to get more listening reported why not do that across all hours." Let's just say it was a character building experience. I value, to this day, the lessons learned from Jim, his assistant Roy Shapiro, Bill Kaland, Bill Hartman and the shared wisdom of other past legendary minds including Al Heacock, and Jimmy Lightfoot.

Our pal and smart guy Mark Fratrik is projecting a 2.0% increase in 2007 radio revs; on the day job we are projecting a 1.6% increase - hope we are both wrong. No doubt next year will be difficult but, my pov remains, it is a time of truly incredible opportunity.

Random thoughts from today's Inside Radio: Not but one ad on page five that is not for a sales position and that one is for engineering folks. There's a sales crisis out there, and until that is fixed programming will continue to pay the price - stay tuned. Nothing about MoVin in LA? Rick Dees is sounding great. Seems too early to call. Free FM continues to fail (the troubled Chicago stick so low it does not make the 12+ listings) and it does not have to be that way. The really good news is these stations can, should and will get fixed - nothing but upside (Two problems - leadership and a failure of imagination). Good to see that Kevin continues to win with Jack in LA - bravo! As PJ says "In all of art it's the singer not the song."

If you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what is past the time to get fresh leadership involved in the war. Without regard to your opinion on the engagement and all politics aside...Enough already! Start by firing General Abizaid. Clearly, the man has failed the mission. Next get the considered opinions of Thomas P.M. Barnett, Col Thomas Hammes, J. Arquilla and D. Rondfeldt.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"Perhaps we're at a point where art and science and programming diverge. Science (often) aims at finding the simplicity behind the apparent complexity of the universe. Engineering usually aims at efficient solutions, excluding the extraneous which introduces cost and more paths to failure. Art doesn't always aim at simplicity. It just as frequently tries to expose the complexity of what looked simple." David Weinberger

Bravos to Dave Weinberger. Today's quotation taken from his post about Paul Graham. Paul is an entrepreneur, software maven, writer and painter. Check out Dave's interview (video) of Paul here. Read Paul's essay "Taste for Makers" here. From Paul's essay...

  • Good design is simple
  • Good design is timeless
  • Good design solves the right problem
  • Good design is suggestive
  • Good design is often slightly funny
  • Good design is hard
  • Good design looks easy
  • Good design uses symmetry
  • Good design resembles nature
  • Good design is redesign
  • Good design can copy
  • Good design is often strange
  • Good design happens in chunks
  • Good design is often daring

Catherine Johns, Fred Winston, Gary Lee, Kipper McGee, Dick Rakovan and Chicken Vesuvio - lunch yesterday at Harry Caray's. The bone-in Chicken Vesuvio was the best, the conversation and company without equal.

"All Markets Are Up For Grabs. It's no longer possible to control the conversation. While incumbents spend their time trying to cling to that belief, you have the opportunity to step in, reframe the discussion and win a new argument." So writes John Dobbs in his "Marketing 2.0 Minifesto", check out Make Marketing History: The J Train here. (Thanks to Robert for the tip)

Anne Becker interviews CBS rock star Quincy Smith here. (Thanks to Cory @ LR for the pointer).

Sunday, November 12, 2006

"Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world" Frank Lloyd Wright

Spending time in Chicago, play and work. Back to the blog later this week. Speaking of Chicago, congrats and cheers to Kipper McGee on being named one of the Top 15 Best PDs in major market radio - well deserved! Others so honored by Radio Ink included Jack Swanson, Jimmy Steal, Phil Boyce, Jose Santos, Jim Ryan, Bill Weston, Jim Farley, Robin Bertolucci, Reggie Rouse, Jay Stevens, Bill Conway, Pete Spriggs, Kevin Weatherly, and Kathy Browne. Congrats to all.

Bonus: Music junkies be blogging here

Mark Edwards' congrats to St Louis promo, as heard on KEZK, MP3 via StlMedia here

Peter Smyth steps up to say "We need a new selling system." Amen, brother. Been saying it here for years now. Read Peter's take here

Friday, November 10, 2006

Photo credit: Phantom Kitty Great shot, thanks

"...disruptive doesn't matter to me. It's a known entity and it's happening whether we like it or not. So the answer is you can either ignore it or throw a bunch of lawyers on it or you can go be where the opportunities are for it. That's the attitude we're going to take" Quincy Smith, CBS

Quincy's remark from Straci's interview with him at paidContent here

Enjoyed a wonderful lunch with Tom Teuber. At his suggestion we went to The Avenue Bar, a Madison landmark. Smart guy involved in some exciting projects - stay tuned. Tom is one of those rare talents, having programming and performer skills of equal and impressive weight.

Rick Sklar
came up in our lunch conversation which reminded me of the brilliant writing about Rick and Bill Drake done by the great Bob Henabery and featured previously on this blog. Bob's writing gets my highest recommendation: read Bob's writing, all about Top 40 radio here.

A bunch of chatter this week about Google and the first tribe of wireless. Some of the dinosaurs, the bitter lot now out of the trade, are making fresh their end of the world pronouncements. Total nonsense. Google along with Yahoo and Microsoft are reinventing media and media sales. They are each making significant investments and, as written here before, they will, most likely, all crack the code at about the same time. I'll also tip my hat, again, to Fig and his Softwave Media Exchange, another crew developing new markets. Some, too many in my view, in the trade are doing a bunch of talking and little else. Their next move? You can safely bet on another round of press releases. Some of these old media are eager to gin up the street, they have need to put out some kind of positive spin in what has been a terrible year. Thus, tall tales replete with high-tech cutting-edge gibberish; look for all those overused words and phrases including...innovative, leverage, collaboration, accretive, platform, multi-platform, revolutionary, disruptive, shareholder value, new business and unlocking value. I'll wager that some in the trade, those serious about competing for the future, will embrace the brave new world of digital and go on to achieve great success. Some of the smart kids have already made trips to Redmond and Mountain View. There has never been a better time to be working in measured media, the possible of today is incredible, the possible of tomorrow truly amazing. Game on. (FD: Yes, I am involved in a number of related initiatives but not able to discuss details at this time - pesky NDA issues)

Thunder, lightning, rain, wind, snow...raw day today in Madison. Looking forward to the weekend and being back in Chicago.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"When faced with decisions, try to look at them as if you were one level up in the organization. Your perspective will change quickly." William Swanson

Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management: unwritten rule number 31...

"This is a lesson that many senior leaders learn from experience as they rise into higher and higher positions of management. It is incredibly illuminating to step out of one's own role and to look at the world from the perspective of one's manager, or one's manager's manager.

As you see the world from a higher perch, you take in more of the landscape. From this vantage point, your role becomes clearer. You see how you can contribute more effectively to the goals of your organization.

Remember what an eye-opener it was when you were promoted into a position once held by your boss? Remember how much smarter he or she suddenly seemed when you had their job? For me, it's analogous to how much smarter I thought my mom and dad suddenly became when I emerged from my teenage years into my twenties. I know most teenagers bristle when you tell them how much smarter their parents will soon seem, but it's true - and the analogy applies to having a broader perspective on the job as well."

"In our opinion, the faster traditional media firms work toward partnerships focused on making money from content, the sooner they will be able to reap the benefits." Scott Kessler of Standard & Poors Equity Research in an item from Business Week. Old Media and New Media: Friends, Not Foes here.

"There's a growing economic model of micro-targeting that will allow for either federated blogs or particularly strong blogs to be significant businesses. I don't suspect that the New York Times's blogs will ever be a third leg of the stool. But in terms of the sort of constellation of ways in which we put out the Times, they're going to be important.

Blogs are going to become a part of the media eco-system going forward. Still, I obviously have to believe that large media brands will continue to exist, because that's how I buy hamburgers and milk for my family. I have a significant rooting interest." David Carr of the New York Times, entire interview by Patrick Phillips here

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"In your mind, conjure an image of the Mona Lisa. Visualize that masterpiece's subtleties of hue and tone as clearly as you can.

Next, shift to the image of a paint-by-numbers Mona Lisa. Envision the flat, raw colors meeting hard-edged, one against the other.

For more than 50 years I worked on my paint-by-numbers creation. With uneven but persistent diligence, I dipped an emaciated paint-by-numbers brush into color No. 1 and painstakingly painted inside each little blue-bordered area marked 1...Today I wield a wider brush - pure ox-bristle. And I'm swooping it through the sensuous goo of Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson or Ultramarine Blue (not Nos. 4, 13 or 8) to create the biggest, brightest, funniest, fiercest damn dragon that I can. Because that has more to do with what's inside of me than some prescribed plagiarism of somebody else's tour de force.

You have a masterpiece inside you, too, you know. One unlike any that has ever been created, or ever will be.

And remember:

If you go to your grave

without painting

your masterpiece,

it will not

get painted.

No one else

can paint it.

Only you."

Gordon MacKenzie
, wrote that, he worked at Hallmark Cards for thirty years. His book, Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace is a classic - a must read, highly recommended. Amazon info here.

He gets it: David McRaney, executive editor of the Student Printz, the University of Southern Mississippi student newspaper...

"There are two kinds of people in the newspaper business - people who love the news, and people who love paper. The people who love paper are going to go extinct.

But now, something that was once stagnant is being purified by new blood, and I want to be part of that new blood."

Read Rachel Leifer's interview with David here.

Uncle Dan Rather-ism - Election night edition: "If you ain't got the yolk, you can't emulsify the hollandaise" (Dan on Jon Stewart's Midterm Midtacular - thanks to Steve Sarafin and LR for the tip).

Paul Woolmington of Naked Communications writing in the November issue of MEDIA...

"You've got to immerse yourself in the latest and greatest innovations to keep up. If you're not curious, you're in the wrong business"

Bravo Paul - well said. In the same writing Paul passes on two very cool initiatives (fresh from his attending NextFest). Virtual "Sticky Notes" from and Watson, a "context-aware information system" created by students at Northwestern University. Thanks Paul.

Web 2.0 Summit: Valleywag liveblogging the session with Eric Schmidt here. Dan Farber offers up his take here. Congrats and cheers to John Battelle and Tim O'Reilly on another very cool gathering.

Barry Diller rocks (again): Speaking at Web 2.0 Barry says...

"Everyone would like to believe that their entrails are of great interest to everybody, but it's just probably not so."

Thanks to Martin LaMonica (Old media adjusts to maturing Web)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"A director has to function like a commander in the field in time of battle. You need the same ability to inspire, terrify, encourage, reinforce and generally dominate. So it's partly a question of personality, which isn't so easy to acquire as a skill."

"I believe that if there had never been men, there would never have been art - but if there had never been women, men would never have made art."

"...a work of art is a conscious human effort that has to do with communication. It is that or it is nothing."

Orson Welles

Bravo Beasley! Kathleen McCarten-Bricketto
named head of new Interactive Divison. She reports directly to Bruce Beasley the firm's president and COO. Smart move. 5% of WPOW's revenue is now generated online, a good start. To generate interactive revenue you need to get serious and that means dedicating resources and that starts with getting the right people involved. In my experience nothing really happens without people "dedicated" full-time to developing interactive revenue. Giving sellers an "interactive budget" or adding interactive goals to their "non-spot" or "NTR" budget will not get the job done. Will they write some business they were not writing before? Yes but it is not likely to be significant. Until you add staff that is 100% focused on producing interactive revenues, until you have a group of sellers that win or lose, get rich or starve, based ONLY on their sales of interactive, until then you are simply playing in the margins. Your interactive initiative deserves full-time staff. My hat is off to Bruce, Kathleen and the entire Beasley team.

My last station post was with CBS. I left in 1999. Since then I have spent the majority of my time working in interactive, digital or so-called "new media." Many of my hours are dedicated to working closely with broadcasters, helping them to make the most of their digital assets. In 2000 I was asked to speak at one of those Radio Ink "internet" gatherings in California. During the Q&A someone asked what was needed to ensure the success of their website. My answer then remains my answer now. How to make your station website a major success...

  1. Dedicated sales people (at least one, see #3, that does not have access to any broadcast inventory, that means ZERO, online only, sink or swim. Hint: hire someone with interactive experience. Your local CitySearch sellers are a good place to start.)
  2. Dedicated webmaster (the clever part-time high school kid while a good resource will not get it done - you need a full-time developer, one who dreams in code. See #4)
  3. Dedicated resources equal to current costs of morning show (in cash and head count)
  4. Develop and respect your interactive assets (development never stops)
  5. Measure, measure, measure! Daily, hourly. Create a dashboard and live by it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

"Vloggies really was an incredible show, so many interesting people there and a great vibe" Robert Scoble

Congrats to all the winners. The big winner was Alive In Baghdad. Josh Wolf won but was not able to accept, he's in jail for refusing to provide a grand jury with some video he shot.

Robert Scoble has up a complete list of the winners here and, the people's choice winners here ("Favorite" winner is one of my favs Ask A Ninja - cheers to Kent and Douglas). Thanks Robert. Scott Beale/Laughing Squid unofficial photog of the evening has a bunch of pics up here.

Congrats to our pal Bruce DuMont and all of those honored: Last Saturday night the Class of 2006 stepped up at the National Radio Hall of Fame.

A family obligation kept us away from both the Vloggies and the RHoF. However, I did catch some of the RHoF on the radio (WGN & WLS). Scott Shannon, Rick Dees and Jim Bohannon each sounded great. Ever the class act, accepting the honor Scott gave credit to Robert W, The Real Don and the master himself Bill Drake. Way to go Scott! The audio was good except...Jim's announcing work sounded like it was taken from a room mic rather than directly from Jim's mic. My sense is someone must have thought taking Jim's booth work off a room mic made "the broadcast" sound more theatrical or something. No, just goofy and hollow sounding.

Dick Biondi is back on the radio starting tonight at 9 central. Gather the kids and listen online here. Break a leg Dick.

Claude Hall offers up more of his back story on Metromedia, this week he writes about Rosko, Bill Drake, WOR-FM and WNEW-FM here. Bravo Claude, another well written item.

Speaking of great talent. Is Dick Biondi the LAST of the FIRST? We were talking about this last week. Dick has been doing Rock n Roll radio since the early 1950s and is still on the air full-time. What other performers were both a part of Rock n Roll radio's FIRST class of djs and are now still on the air full-time? Fred Winston and Kipper McGee agree with me...perhaps Dick is the LAST of the FIRST. Your comments on this are most welcome - please. Do you know of any others?

Google gets: NYT, WaPo, Tribune, Gannett and Hearst agree to do test program with Google selling space for the dead tree gang. Congrats to all involved, especially to Tom Phillips and his team at Google. More via NYT here (thanks to Romenesko for the tip)

400 year death spiral continues: Jessica Ramirez writes all about the smart people who might just be betting that dead tree stuff is still a good business. Read Why Would Anyone Buy A Newspaper? via MSNBC/Newsweek here. Good job Jessica!

Borat, this morning on Today, asking Matt Lauer to recommend a prostitute - priceless. If you have not yet seen the movie you must. "Most funny" movie of the year. Highly recommended.

Bonus: Carol Gillot is an artist who lives in the city. Her "twin passions" are Paris and watercolors. Check out her very cool blog here

Make something amazing happen this week.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

"I'm not looking forward to getting fired for the 25th time." Dick Biondi

Radio legend Dick Biondi signs today with ABC to do nights on WZZN-FM 94.7 in Chicago. Congrats and cheers to Dick and to ABC. Robert Feder has done his usual excellent job of covering the story here.

Congrats too to Scott Shannon, another ABC Radio star (and brilliant programmer), who will be inducted this weekend in the Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago.

On the road today, back tomorrow.
(FD: Dick Biondi is a client of my employer, I am honored to work for the gentleman)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"The difference between failure and success is doing a thing nearly right and doing it exactly right." Edward C. Simmons

"One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty counsels." Woodrow Wilson

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." Mark Twain

Dan Kennedy
has written a fine article on Dan Gillmor...

"His vision, simply put, is that the 'former audience' knows more than professional journalists, and that technology, properly applied, can enable citizens both to engage with journalists in ways that improve journalism and also to be journalists themselves. At a moment when the mainstream media are being challenged by shrinking numbers of customers and plummeting advertising revenues, Gillmor holds out the hope that journalism’s role in a democratic, self-governing society can be preserved, even revitalized."

Bravo Dan, well done! Read the entire piece here

John Milan has a fine writing on where we are and where we're headed...

"The key for success will be how easily data can be identified, distributed and synchronized. Soon enough it will be immaterial where your event or task originated. Instead, what will matter is that your data being everywhere and in sync."

Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Adobe make his roll call. Read his writing via Read/Write Web here. Interesting read.

Like Pandora? You may just love I like them both for different reasons. relaunched their site yesterday and it's now better than ever. Get the quick sketch on what's new here. Thanks to Richard MacManus at Read/Write Web

Terry Wood out in Memphis? Say it ain't so. Should it be true let me make a suggestion - Terry would be a great addition to the new Google audio team.

Barry J. O'Brien joins the Bayliss Foundation team. Congrats and cheers to Barry and to the Bayliss folks. Barry is the perfect person to lead all of the advertising and sponsorship sales. FYI - save the date: March 22 - Bayliss Radio Roast - dishonoring Joel Hollander.

Chris Corcoran, the young turk and rising star at Dial Global Programming sends along news the network will offer Whitney Allen's The Big Time in a new weeknight strip M-F, 7p-M. Her successful Big Time Saturday Night Show will continue. Smart move, congrats and cheers to Chris, Kirk and the DGP team. Reminds me...something Mark Masters once shared "use your weekends for R&D; not only do you develop your future weekday properties, you also turn previously unused inventory into productive assets." My sense is every hour should pay for itself, that is, the net revenue generated should always exceed the gross costs of creating the inventory.

October Nielsen's for cable are in and the winners are...

  1. O'Reilly 1,609,000 HH/454,000 25-54
  2. Hannity & Colmes 1,161,000 HH/424,000 25-54
  3. The Fox Rpt w/Shep 1,046,000 HH/360,000 25-54
  4. Special Rpt w/Brit Hume 1,017,000 HH/341,000 25-54
  5. On the Record w/Greta 933,000 HH/365,000 25-54
Larry King brings in the #1 CNN show - 853,000 HH/282,000 25-54. 14 of the top 20 shows are on Fox. Other non-Fox in the top 20 include Lou Dobbs, Situation Room, Anderson Cooper 360, and Paula Zahn Now (all CNN) and at #19 Countdown w/Olbermann the #1 MSNBC show.