Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Ron Fell
Good shooting, thanks Ron!

"Successful, effective messages - words and language that have been presented in the proper context - all have something in common. They stick in our brains and never leave, like riding a bicycle or tying our shoelaces. Not only do they communicate and educate, not only do they allow us to share ideas - they also move people to action. Words that work are catalysts. They spur us to get off the couch, to leave the house, to do something. When communicators pay attention to what people hear rather than to what they are saying, they manage not merely to catch people's attention, but to hold it." Frank Luntz

Congrats & Cheers: Tony Perkins
and his AO team have done it again, another successful meet, this time it's AO Media happening this week in the city. Live + archive video and program details here.

David Weinberger
speaking at yesterday's AO Media Buzz Marketing session (from my notes, not exact but close): "Basically you want to be interesting but marketers generally have forgotten how to be interesting because they are so concerned with shaping the message...If you can manage to be interesting you've got buzz...The fact that it sometimes works is not a model for how you market...Buzz marketing is all exceptions, an act of genius, you can't do a methodology for exceptions, for genius, can you?...Go forth and be interesting...except, you are probably, the company, especially the marketers, are probably incapable of being interesting anymore, the most interesting people in your company are your customers, your market, way more interesting than you are...message control does make people boring...Marketing is still at war with its customers." Brilliant, David! Bravo! Kudos too to Jarvis, just back from Davos, good job moderating.

Equal parts Marvin Gaye and Jack Johnson: That's the Rhapsody take on Paolo Nutini, his debut album drops in the USA today. His New Shoes track is tight, love it. Paolo clearly has buzz. Artist site here.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"Manage by setting objectives and organizing, motivating, communicating with, measuring, and developing people, including yourself." Peter Drucker

Time to vote for the 2007 bloggies! Voting closes 10pm est this Friday. Congrats to all finalists. A really tight competition this year. Here's just a taste, three of the thirty categories...

Best weblog about music: Pitchfork, Stereogum, You Ain't No Picasso, Yank Blog, 3Hive

Best entertainment weblog: Defamer, Blogging Project Runway, Pink Is the New Blog, PerezHilton, Go Fug Yourself

Weblog of the year: Go Fug Yourself, PostSecret, Gizmodo, Dooce, Boing Boing, Lifehacker

Check out all of the finalists and vote, early and often, here.

The hookup: XM hangin with Mr Softy. As suggested, encouraged for some years now, the first tribe of wireless (and those FM with pictures guys) need a Redmond strategy. XM has one. Vista ships with XM on board. The story here. (p.s. it's not too late, the ultimate destination is local, perhaps an ad hoc group should make the trip and spend some time with Mr Groove himself, Ozzie. This is the part where you get extra points for those live and local investments). Perspective: Ray looking back and looking forward in Dec 2005 here

Lovin that Tempranillo: Do yourself a favor and please pick up some of this good Spanish grape. The Vina Sardasol 2005 (Navarra - 100% Tempranillo) is available for under $10; highly recommended. As close to stealing as one should ever get.

Lovin that chili: Fred Winston updates his classic chili recipe. Check it out here.

Not appreciated: The folks at WBBM Channel 2, Chicago, decided to put up a little blue-and-orange countdown clock on the screen to count down the days, hours and minutes until the Bears play in the big game. "It wasn't appreciated by people watching the Hallmark movie of the week" said Carol Fowler, ND at the CBS O&O. Pulled outta prime. Phil Rosenthal has the story in the Trib here. Meanwhile Chicago radio star Steve Dahl blogs the bowl here as only he can. Bravo Steve, well done!

Congrats & Cheers: Arbitron gets MRC seal of approval, onward! Reggie Rouse named VP Urban for CBS Radio.

The readers will see you now: Gary Kamiya writing in Salon, The readers strike back...

"There's an old New Yorker cartoon in which a Führer-like figure, standing onstage in front of a huge "Triumph of the Will" crowd, says, "I think I may say, without fear of contradiction..." That pretty much sums up the elite media's relation with its audience before the Internet. We all need to be contradicted when we're wrong -- and we're all wrong a lot. The Führer is dead -- long live the people!

And yet, it's too easy simply to celebrate the downfall of the elite media and glory in the toppling of the gatekeepers. Yes, they -- we -- could and can be smug and arrogant. Yes, we should be summoned to account when we screw up. And yes, the online revolution has made it easier to do that. But to be part of an elite doesn't mean you're divinely anointed. It simply means you have some aptitude for what you do and have spent years learning to do it, and so you're probably better at it than most people. Not smarter, not a better human being -- just better at your craft. This is true of football players, surgeons, chefs and auto mechanics -- why shouldn't it be true of journalists as well? Forget the word "elite": In our laudable all-American haste to trash bogus royalty, let's not forget there's a completely different category. It's called professionalism."

"But the pell-mell rush of information flooding across a million screens has made it too easy for readers to forget that the info-byte they just swallowed was a handcrafted object.

Pro athletes have a saying: "Respect the game." It may be too much to expect the mouse-wielding masses to embrace that credo. But a little respect would go a long way to restoring the heft of the written word, its shape and dignity. And in an age of weightless information, that would be good for readers and writers alike."

Read the entire piece here. Kudos Gary! Well reasoned, well written. Thanks to Romenesko for the tip. I certainly respect and appreciate Gary's thoughts on unfiltered forums. Comments here are moderated not to avoid conversation including alternative povs but to avoid lawyers. Trade forums are populated, in the majority, with posts by noms de plume. While I understand most firms prohibit open participation by employees the result is too often the freak show of rants and drive by bashings keystroked by persons unknown. The ability to hide behind one (or more) identities seems to bring out a kind of bad behavior clearly absent when one is required to properly sign the writing. 21st century graffiti, the kilroys are here, online, social grace and decency be damned. Still, the conversation goes on, good thoughtful comments are being heard above the noise made by the fools, idiots and the occasional playful, if snarky, wit of pranksters.

The right pov from the Wright guy: B&C writer John Eggerton tells us...

"NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright tells B&C that this is the last business cycle where an old-line media company can afford not to have at least 20%-30% of its business in digital. But he also says the digital component is not yet sufficient to boost the bottom line of companies with only "average" performance in traditional businesses."

Read the entire article here. Thanks to LR ace Steve Safran for the tip.

Monday, January 29, 2007

"There's no difference. It's only when manipulation is obvious, then it's bad manipulation. What I do is every bit as manipulative as some magician doing a magic trick. If I can wave this red silk handkerchief enough in my right hand, I can do whatever I want with my left hand and you're not going to see it. When you're writing fiction, everything is manipulation. I'm setting up the situation specifically so that you'll laugh at this point or cry at this point or be nervous at this point. If you can see how I'm sawing the lady in half, then it's bad manipulation. If you can't see how I did that, then it's good." Aaron Sorkin (explaining the difference between language that convinces and language that manipulates)

Finished the Frank Luntz book over the weekend and I highly recommend it. Bravo Frank, well done. Amazon info here. Today's opening quotation comes from the book. Luntz is the highly regarded researcher who has been engaged by politicians and brand managers all over the world. Here are Dr. Frank's ten rules of effective communication:

  1. Simplicity: Use Small Words (Simplicity)
  2. Brevity: Use Short Sentences (Brevity)
  3. Credibility Is As Important As Philosophy (Credibility)
  4. Consistency Matters (Consistency)
  5. Novelty: Offer Something New (Novelty)
  6. Sound And Texture Matter (Sound)
  7. Speak Aspirationally (Aspiration)
  8. Visualize (Visualization)
  9. Ask A Question (Questioning)
  10. Provide Context and Explain Relevance (Context)
Luntz writes "If your tagline, slogan or message meets most of these criteria, chances are it will meet with success. If it meets all ten, it has a shot at being a home run. But in the history of political verbiage and product marketing, less than one in one thousand hit it out of the park."

"It's never about the delivery system, it's about the content." Bob Shannon writing in his All Them Big Dogs feature @ AllAccess. Kudos Bob! Well said, as ever.

"Certain things like elections or the Olympics really point out how TV is terrible. You have to wait for the guy to talk about the thing you care about or you miss the event and want to go back and see it" Bill Gates at Davos. Reuters: Internet to revolutionize TV in 5 years via IWM.

Todd And offers up his Power 150 Top Marketing Blogs. His top ten are...
  1. Adrants
  2. Seth's Blog
  3. tompeters!
  4. Copyblogger
  5. Online Marketing Blog
  6. Church of the Customer
  7. Duct Tape Marketing
  8. adfreak
  9. Brand Autopsy
  10. What's Next Blog
Cheers Todd, nice work, interesting list. Todd's entire list with logic and links here. (Thanks to Jaffe for the tip and congrats to Joseph on his top ranking. If you have an interest in marketing you will enjoy and benefit from a daily serving of Jaffe Juice)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Produce by Fred Winston
The legendary performer is also a gifted shooter. Great shot from his collection "Rural America." Thanks Fred!

"I think that a writer should avoid stuffiness like the plague. I think he's better off to be a questioner, than an accepter. I think a good writer can never be a snob; a snob sets himself apart from people, rather than being one of them. That's suicidal for a writer. I think a writer should be joyous, and an optimist, rather than a cynic. Anything that implies rejection of life is wrong for a writer, and cynicism is rejection of life. I would say participate, participate, participate." George Gribbin

Congrats & Cheers: The Web Celeb 25
. Forbes offers up their first list including almost all of the right people...Amanda, Hosea, Perez, Kos, Drudge, Seth, Jarvis, Scobleizer, Jimmy Wales, Frank Warren, Cory & Xeni, Lisanti, Jason and Om. Read all about it here. Congrats too: Steve Rubel, the prince of PR, on his well deserved honorable mention. Our favorite Ask-A-Ninja guys Kent + Doug are featured by Forbes in a related web vid (the Ninja hisself also makes an appearance).

Money Honey Mess: Jon Friedman makes the right call. CNBC needs to step up and cover the Maria Bartiromo - Todd Thomson - Citigroup story. Failing to do so harms credibility and invites the freak show to write their own versions of the story. This lapse in judgment deserves correction. Read Jon's well written take via MarketWatch here.

Please keep in mind: Bob Wilson, founder of R&R, is recovering from a stroke. You may drop Bob a line at Burbank Healthcare, 1041 S. Main Street, Burbank, CA 91506.

Please give what you can to help the children of Allan Stagg, any amount will make a difference. Thank you. Allan Stagg Kids Fund c/o Marshall Community Credit Union, 839 West Green Street, Marshall, MI 49068

Up to nothing but good: Caught up earlier this week with Todd Fowler, the young turk of media brokerage and his AMS-B colleague David Reeder. Todd and David were in Madison attending the Wisconsin Broadcasters winter meet, enjoyed spending some time with them. Congrats and kudos to John Laabs, Michelle Vetterkind and Linda Baun for what everyone reports to be a very good meeting.

It's not what you say. It's what people hear: Wise counsel. Been suggesting and practicing that pov for decades. Now it comes to life in the title of the new Frank Luntz book Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear. Amazon info here. Just getting into it, a really good read. Bravo Frank!

Knocking the cover clean off the ball, again: Terry Heaton writes...

But if local TV is about local advertising, to where will local advertisers turn in a world of diminishing relevance for broadcasting? This is a question of profound implications, but it's one that ought to give all local media companies hope for the future, for the real growth in internet advertising over the next decade will be at the local level. And the evolution of local media on the web will, once again, be about the evolution of local advertising.

Key to the development of a local online ad market is the identification of the local web, and this offers a remarkable opportunity for those willing to explore this territory today. In the not-too-distant future, everyone will have access to the local web, but this access is unavailable today, because the database hasn't been created. It exists in bits and pieces, but no technology can replace the human research necessary to build the initial database. This is a task that will pay huge dividends to the one who creates it, market-by-market, and there's no reason this can't be done by a local media company."

Local, local, local! Spot-on Terry! Excellent stuff. Read Terry's entire post here.

Bonus: Breakthrough Ideas for 2007. Excellent reading courtesy of The Harvard Business Review here. Highly recommended. (Thanks to Dave for the tip.)

Bonus 2: "The present is only faced in any generation by the artist" says Marshall McLuhan during his discussion with Norman Mailer. CBC video from 1968 here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"The only creative conference worth a damn is one in which everybody in the room starts from the same base of fact, a consuming appetite for ideas no matter how wild they may first appear, and a humble respect for them." Leo Burnett

Rupert Murdoch
and the Chandler family join to bid for Tribune? The suggestion is Rupert would get Newsday. Spins to Carlyle Group (TV stations), and David Geffen (LA Times)? What about WGN Radio and the Chicago Cubs? Maybe the perfect fit would be the gentleman who loves radio and baseball - Jeff Smulyan? Perhaps Chicago Magazine also joins the Emmis fold, a fine addition to the monthly dead tree portfolio? Stay tuned. Financial Times story via MSNBC here.

Does the media make kids fat? During last year's Arbitron Fly-In Steve Morris raised the issue of measuring the listening of children. My suggestion, in response to Steve, was a caution; could there be unintended consequences? For example: Would a station with a high concentration of 8 to 12 year-olds be unable to accept McDonald's or any other fast-food advertising without creating potential regulatory exposure? Would an agency for a fast-food account be forced to establish thresholds to exclude stations based on a "kid comp?" Teen comps and beer Q.E.D. Now comes a federal task force, including the FCC, that seeks to examine the issues of media and child obesity. Story by William Triplett writing in Variety here. The NAB should get involved; self-regulation, with oversight, is a far better, more effective solution than any law making in this case.

Congrats & Cheers: Stephen Snyder promoted to COO of CBS Interactive. The search is on for a new SVP & GM of CBS

Closed circuit to CBS Radio:
Sign Demetri Martin. The Yale grad is a Jon Stewart alum, former writer/performer on Conan O'Brien and one very clever guy. Great hire for your FreeFM initiative. From his recent Comedy Central special: On rainbows..."I just think it's weird that one group took refracted light. Pretty greedy, gays." More on Demetri here

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Brand New Day
by Thomas Hawk
Beautiful shot, thank you!

You can achieve the unachievable.

Firstly you need to aim beyond what you are capable of.

You must develop a complete disregard for where your abilities end.

Try to do the things that you're incapable of.

If you think you're unable to work for the best company in its sphere, make that your aim.

If you think you're incapable of running a company, make that your aim.

If you think you're unable to be on the cover of Time magazine, make it your business to be there.

Make your vision of where you want to be a reality.

Nothing is impossible.

Paul Arden - It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be. Amazon info here.

Politico launched this morning. The Allbritton venture is led by John F. Harris. Congrats, cheers and good luck. Harry Jaffe offers up The Politico back story via Washingtonian here.

Number of Time employees fired last week: 289
Number of Time employees still on the payroll: 10,500
Number of ad dollars spent with Time cut by GM and Chrysler (2006): $100+ million
Number of ad dollars spent with Time by Toyota (2006): $87.9 million
Nat Ives AdAge piece Time Inc Bleeds as Detroit Automakers Gut Magazine Ad Spending here

Monday, January 22, 2007

"Give them pleasure, the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare."

"...suspense is essentially an emotional process. You can only get the suspense element going by giving the audience information."

Alfred Hitchcock

What's missing today, in too many cases...showmanship. On the screens, out of the speakers. While some have the business part almost right, too few are making investments to get the show right. Show business. Not one or the other, but one and the other, each being equally important.

Frank Capra:
"Without an audience, a film is something in a can, something incomplete, like an unread book. It just lies there, dead. Do not underestimate the power and the ability and the intelligence of an audience. A thousand pairs of eyes and ears seem to react to stimuli much faster and smarter than any one pair of eyes and ears. This is what it's all about - the people-to-people communication, from the people on the screen to the people in the audience. And only you can involve an audience with people. You can't involve them with gimmicks, with sunsets, with handheld cameras, or zoom shots. But give them some person they can worry about, and you've got them."

Exactly why Idol works
: "...give them some person they can worry about."(or care about, or cheer for, or love to hate)
I hate to say it, they just have to abandon the plastic disc; it doesn’t mean anything anymore, it’s all just straight to computers. They need to open the format, and really make money off mp3s and not see it as a threat. They’re trying to hold on for dear life. We have to redefine what it is we’re selling [listeners]. Yesterday’s model just isn’t working anymore.” The BeP player and producer is in the studio with Michael Jackson and says the KoP's next release may be online, direct to the public. More from Staci at paidContent here. paidContent also covers the ongoing DRM mess at MidemNet here. Thanks Staci!

Nobody does it better: Tom Peters tells it like it really is, again and again and..."Quite simply, the old command and control styles and idea of dispassionate, order-barking "architect" or "conductor" of an orderly, hierarchical enterprise is dead, kaput—outta here." and again. Bravo Tom! Inspiring, as always. Read Tom's post here. Scobleizer encounters and reviews Tom Peters here.

Congrats & Cheers: Lee Arnold works behind the scenes and very effectively. Just heard that one of Lee's radio clients was not only up in every daypart and demo but as well the new fall numbers bested a significant double digit market lead, 18-34. Lee doesn't just win, he dominates (and he gets it, understands show business). Bravo Lee!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Ron Fell

"I think that the creative function is the most important of all. The heads of our offices should not relegate their key creative people to positions below the salt. They should pay them, house them and respect them as indispensable Stars." David Ogilvy

Pinebox Productions:
"Hi, I'm Art Buchwald and I just died." New York Times debuts video obit with Buchwald. More via Romenesko here. E&P coverage here.

Idol delivers: 36 share 18-49, nearly 40 million viewers in the last half hour Wednesday. More via Hollywood Reporter here.

Ad Age's Jonah Bloom writes in his Say Hello to the Robo Ad Creation Model...

"As with all the technological changes that are causing upheaval in the ad business, the automation of regional retail-promotion-type ads is a threat and an opportunity: a threat to all those who sell their ads by volume rather than quality, and an opportunity for anyone who would love to have a machine focus on the commodity stuff so they can concentrate on real ideas and executions that will stand out from the mediocre morass.

Those real ideas, of course, will include creative ways to use the ever-growing array of creative tools, and perhaps even the creation of new devices. It worked for Zimmerman, which estimates that the margin per ad created by Pick-N-Click is three times the margin on an ad created by its people. Enjoy the rise of the machines." Read Jonah's entire piece here. Kudos Jonah, well done. (Thanks to TP Wire for the tip)

Business reading: The best new biz books of January. List via 800-CEO-READ here.

USA Today's Del Jones asks Wynton Marsalis about leadership. Hot corporations know how to swing...

Q: What is "swing," and how can a business get it?

A: Swing is a rhythm, an era in American history, and it is a world view. In this world view, there is a belief in the power of a collective ability to absorb mediocre and poor decisions. When a group of people working together trust that all are concerned for the common good, then they continue to be in sync no matter what happens. That is swing. It's the feeling that our way is more important than my way. This philosophy extends to how to treat audiences, consumers, staff or dysfunctional families. This may seem idealistic, but think about how church congregations recite, nearly together and completely unrehearsed. They proceed by feel. Swing is the single objective. It is the core that makes us all want to work together.

Q: How can we unleash creativity and spontaneity on the job?

A: When I was younger, just beginning to play jazz and getting publicity, almost every critic and older musician came out of the woodwork to say that my playing was inauthentic — lacking soul and feeling. They said it was too technical and young. I had not paid enough dues to play with meaning or feeling. The great jazz trumpeter Sweets Edison, who played in Count Basie's 1930s band, asked me "Where are you from?" I said, New Orleans. He said, "What did you grow up doing?" I responded, "Playing." Then he said, "Why are you trying to act like what you are? Be what you are." This was a profound lesson in creativity. It's about being yourself, valuing your own ideas, mining your own dreams. You can be creative inside or outside of tradition. Outside of tradition, you create a new world. Inside of tradition, you create a new way to do the old things much better. Both can be innovative, because in one you reinvigorate a tradition. In the other, you counter-state it. Read the entire article here.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Cartoon credit: Hugh MacLeod

"People will always, always be in the market for a story that resonates with them. Your product will either have this quality or it won’t. If your product fails this test, quit your job and go find something else. Just making the product incrementally cheaper or better won’t help you." Hugh MacLeod

From Hugh's Random thoughts on being an entrepreneur, #16. Here's another: In a world of over-supply and commodification, you are no longer paid to supply. You’re being paid to deliver something else. What that is exactly, is not always obvious. Bravo Hugh! Well done. Read the entire list here.

Congrats & Cheers: John Martin named Vice President of Advertising at Sun-Times Media Group. Exactly the right person those dead tree guys need to involve. (Thanks to Robert Feder for the tip).

Tom Teuber made several excellent points over our lunch at The Avenue Bar earlier this week. Here's one: What your station does online must be as consistently great as what you do on your main channel, this applies to every platform where your content finds a home. It's not enough to occasionally do it right and it's every bit as important as your main channel, perhaps even more important because it's your future. Fred Jacobs makes a similar point about your streaming platform and he's spot-on, time to do the right thing and make online a real and serious priority. Read Fred's post here.

Creating For Multiplatform World: Rafat Ali led the very popular NATPE panel discussion. Details, including streaming audio of the one-hour panel here. Bravo Rafat! Good job.

David Weinberger shares all the cool new projects he learned about at Sunlight/Berkman here, Ethan Zuckerman offers up his take here. Thanks to David and Ethan.

Good night and good luck: Keith Hahn says goodbye to his JP Morgan colleagues as he joins DealBreaker. Read Keith's parting email, while it lasts, here. Congrats Keith and good luck!

What you see is what you get: Google getting into digital out-of-home media? Very cool. Ryan Naraine over at ClickZ has the story here. Google's ad initiative is everywhere you'd wanna be.

Press The Meet: Ana Marie Cox, DC editor for Time, teaming up with ex-AA host Marc Maron to do The Gaggle, an HBO product. More from Radar here.

Hometown heroes go to Washington: The Onion hooks up with WaPo and rolls into their 10th metro. The beloved Onion gang will have their dead tree stuff printed and distributed in DC by WaPo who will also sell local ads. Congrats and kudos to all involved, especially Christopher Ma. Smart, very smart. Details thanks to WaPo's Frank Ahrens here

Art Buchwald has passed. "I just don't want to die the same day Castro dies." More from WaPo here

You did send your check to the Allan Stagg Kids Fund, didn't you? Please do. Details in the post below. Again, thank you.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The Dalai Lama

Allan Stagg
was one of the most kind and generous people I have ever known. He lived in the moment. Allan spent his time focused on making a difference today and tomorrow, he was preoccupied with the possible. A fund has been established to assist with the education of Allan's five sons. Please give what you can; I would not ask if they did not truly need your help. Thank you. More on Allan here.

Allan Stagg Kids Fund
c/o Marshall Community Credit Union
839 West Green Street
Marshall, MI 49068

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Photo credit: Wingra Winter by thechrisproject Great shot, bravo!

"There are three reasons why dissent is needed. It first safeguards the decision maker against becoming the prisoner of the organization. Everybody is a special pleader, trying - often in perfectly good faith - to obtain the decision he favors. Second, disagreement alone can provide alternatives to a decision. And a decision without an alternative is a desperate gambler's throw, no matter how carefully thought through it might be. Above all, disagreement is needed to stimulate the imagination." Peter Drucker

Cory Bergman
writes about "The new urgency for local TV" here. Bravo Cory, well said. The ultimate destination is local and, increasingly, wireless.

"Students and faculty should just assume their future is online" Howard Owens is interviewed at Innovation in College Media here (thanks to Romenesko for the tip)

Jim Cramer gets it because he's old. Check out his logic on why the iPhone will be a smash here
Should you really want to understand what is happening in media and technology you are best served by talking to a dialed-in teenager.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Photo credit: MLK by tearapen

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that" Martin Luther King, Jr.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

"We cannot separate the special importance of the visual apparatus of man from his unique ability to imagine, to make plans, and to do all the other things which are generally included in the catchall phrase 'free will.' What we really mean by free will, of course, is the visualizing of alternatives and making a choice between them. In my view, which not everyone shares, the central problem of human consciousness depends on this ability to imagine." Jacob Bronowski

"Perspective is worth ten IQ points" Gary Hamel

Using audience estimates and revenue numbers here is a different pov on the performance of Chicago radio stations - revenue per listener.

  1. WGN $55.31
  2. WSCR $47.30
  3. WOJO $47.14
  4. WTMX $45.53
  5. WXRT $45.19
  6. WCKG $44.85
  7. WLEY $41.92
  8. WUSN $40.16
  9. WBBM-AM $37.53
  10. WVAZ $36.64
  11. WLS $35.13
  12. WLIT $29.96
  13. WMVP $29.24
  14. WGCI $29.23
  15. WDRV $28.23
  16. WPPN $23.81
  17. WLUP $23.18
  18. WJMK $22.97
  19. WKQX $22.33
  20. WILV $20.48
  21. WNUA $19.86
  22. WBBM-FM $17.23
  23. WKSC $13.26
  24. WZZN $10.17
WGN and WSCR significantly outperform in converting audience into revenue. WTMX and WXRT are delivering excellent conversion ratios. WGCI's performance serves to remind us that some ethnic-targeted formats still do not enjoy the same "general market" status as others. WGCI holds a commanding 25-54 market lead, yet is ranked as #4 biller and #14 in rev per listener. Similarly, the ethnic compositions of WVAZ and WNUA would seem to be moderating their conversion. Conversely, WOJO and WLEY, both targeting Latino audiences, appear to do very well, perhaps the result of now vogue Latino marketing initiatives or simply more effective marketing and sales efforts. The same can not be said for WPPN, not able to explain what is happening there. WBBM-FM and WKSC each deliver over one million weekly listeners, those large cumes, characteristic of the format, tend to depress performance in what some working in the CHR format may argue is too simplistic a metric. The inverse, a low cume, is at work in the WCKG arithmetic; WCKG's approx 250k cume drives an anomalously robust revenue per listener number. Finally, this analysis would seem to suggest significant upside potentials for WZZN, WILV, WLIT, WDRV, WLUP and WJMK.

In a formal analysis I would prefer the benefit of additional measures. Revenue per associate and revenue per sales associate would provide good insights. Further, a calculation of the cost of creating an avail is often a meaningful measure especially as a component in pricing models and other econometrics.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Photo credit: Ron Fell

"Promises, schedules and estimates are important instruments in a well-run business.

You must make promises - don't lean on the often-used phrase: 'I can't estimate it because it depends on many uncertain factors.'"

William Swanson

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

"Do you wan to be known as someone who offers excuses, reasons or results? I will take results any day.

Be fact-based. We all need to be disciplined and accountable in the way we perform. Our customers respect us more when we establish metrics for various milestones so that actual performance can be tracked, evaluated, and, if need be, improved. The metrics will help us stay on track."

CBS Googled: Joe Mandese writing over at Media Daily News has the latest, CBS/Google: Analyst Say Radio Ad Deal Is Imminent, Has Sticking Points here. Rafat has the story here. When the deal is done the suggestion is it will be radio and YouTube specific, no television, about $200 mil to radio. Perspective: Howard brought in about $100 mil.

Turn your PC into a radio station: Interesting story from the BBC World Service here

Congrats & Cheers: Jerry Lee's WBEB delivers an 8, tops Philly numbers. It's not that an indie can't compete with the big guys, clearly it's the big guys who can't compete with an indie. Bravo Jerry!

Almost the whole ball game: Footnote to yesterday's post on Steve Dahl. Steve's weekday audience represents almost 70% of the total weekly 25-54 male cume. Amazing.

Make that 114 number ones in a row: Bravo to Mickey Luckoff, Jack Swanson & crew! #1 in the bay area again. Congrats too - Chuck Tweedle's KOIT team takes second.

2006 Chicago radio revs: Kudos to Tom Langmeyer, WGN is again Chicago's #1 biller, $48.4 mil. WBBM-AM $45.9 mil. WTMX $34.3 mil. WGCI $28.6 mil. WUSN $28.4 mil. WLIT $24.5 mil. WVAZ $23.8 mil. WOJO $23.5 mil. WXRT $22.9 mil. WBBM-FM $21.1 mil. WSCR $20.8 mil. WLS $20 mil. WDRV $19.5 mil. WLEY $18.2 mil. WLUP $15.2 mil.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

"A decision is a commitment to action. Until the right thing happens, there has been no decision. And one thing can be taken for granted: the people who have to take action are rarely the people who have made the decision. No decision has, in fact, been made until carrying it out has become somebody's work assignment and responsibility - and with a deadline. Until then, it's still only a hope." Peter Drucker

Congrats and cheers to Steve Dahl. The book is out and Steve delivered, again, where it counts. Steve makes the top ten 25-54. Top five with his 25-54 male target audience. Moreover, his show is in the top twenty 12+, a significant and remarkable achievement when one considers the context. Steve is making ratings success happen from scratch, without the benefit of any lead-in. The morning and midday shows fail to make the top twenty 25-54. Outside the hours Steve is on the station, WCKG is an abject ratings failure. WCKG has a casting problem. O&A and S&T are not getting it done and my sense is they will not get it done. The good news is the station can be fixed, talk on FM is certainly viable, Steve Dahl is holding a weekday clinic on how to make it happen. As PJ says "In all of art it's the singer not the song." Congrats too: Eric & Kathy, Dick Biondi, John Landecker, Rafael Pulido, Spike O'Dell and Tony Sculfield. Robert Feder does the Chicago book review here. Gregory Meyer writes about the Chicago book for Crain's CB here. Patrick Kampert covers the book for the Trib here.

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing: Movin in LA posts a 0.7, ouch.

Congrats and bravo to Jhani Kaye for putting K-Earth back where it belongs, in the threes.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"Steve can make the internal combustion engine appear to be something new and cool. He will provide a certain magic even to the 30-year-old cell phone." Reed E. Hundt

Hundt, the former FCC commissioner, quoted in the John Markoff NYT's article, Apple Introduces Innovative Cellphone here.

Steve, perhaps the best student of marketing guru Regis McKenna, has delivered another masterful performance with his introduction of the iPhone. We'll have to wait until June to find out whether the device works as advertised. Meanwhile, self-described "Machead" Steve Safran advises us to wait for a better iPhone, Steve's post with comments here. Steve makes a very good point, Apple does treat first-buyers poorly.

Congrats & Cheers: Tom Teuber did a simply outstanding job as one of yesterday's guest djs on WSUM, Madison student radio station. The day was well hosted by UWM alum Bruce Ravid. Other radio folks joining Ravid included Jonathan Little, Rick Murphy and, by phone, Dave Benson. Great music, fun stories, good radio. Rick mentioned the legendary record promoter Paul Gallis at one point in the proceedings. Thanks to WSUM station manager Dave Black for green lighting the event. Bonus: check out Ravid's music site Rave's Raves here.

And the winner is: The fall book is out in the city and Jim Ryan is, again, the biggest winner. #1 overall, 3rd in morning drive, 1st in afternoon drive, 1st 25-54, tied for 6th 18-34. Other winners include Z100, WSKQ, Amor, and WBLS. CBS showed 1 for 3 with their FMs. Jack scored well 25-54; 12th place 25-54 combined with low operating costs should translate into a better than average bcf. The John Mainelli led FreeFM remains a work in progress, O&A were down. NEW's flip to Fresh makes the station's fall performance a non-issue. Just getting the details this morning. Congrats to the winners.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

"There is absolutely no inevitability as long as there is a willingness to contemplate what is happening"

"Survival is not possible if one approaches his environment, the social drama, with a fixed, unchangeable point of view - the witless repetitive response to the unperceived"

"Our time is a time for crossing barriers, for erasing old categories - for probing around. When two seemingly disparate elements are imaginatively poised, put in apposition in new and unique ways, startling discoveries often result" Marshall McLuhan

Michael Wolff
writes about the dead tree gang in his latest VF piece, Billionaires and Broadsheets...

"This was the cosmic joke: newspapers, once the singular province of big men, great sons of bitches, monsters, Citizen Kane himself—the Tribune was run by one of the most outsize of news barons, Colonel Robert McCormick, grandson of a Chicago mayor, co-founder of one of the nation's biggest law firms, isolationist, militarist, show-off, star of the first newsreel, avid and odd personal crusader (spelling reform was one of his hot issues)—had become the land of nobodies."

"Newspapers may be absolutely ending, but people within an industry, any industry—and these billionaires, accustomed to being written about, are as much involved with newspapers as the people writing about them—are the last to be able to see its absolute end. (Whereas for people outside the industry, especially outside the newspaper industry, especially among the growing majority who don't read a paper at all, the end seems to be almost inconsequential.) It's impossible to believe that something that defines your life, something that exists as big as life—like, say, an American car—will just cease to be. (This kind of denial is one of the things that make industrial decline such a glacial process.)"

Bravo Michael, well done. Reminds me of Wolff's earlier writings. Read the entire article here.

Dave Winer offers another fine piece in today's post...

"Moral of the story: If you're big, or aspire to be big, cover all the bets you can, and never assume your lack of support will hurt your competitor. Get in bed with the guy whose lunch you want to eat." Kudos Dave, good stuff! Read Dave's entire post, Microsoft used to be smarter, here.

When the kids are away the dinosaurs come out to play: Tom Teuber, Rick Murphy, Jonathan Little, and Dave Benson will take over student radio station WSUM today beginning at 3pm central. Well worth the bandwidth. Have fun guys. Check out the stream here

Bravo to Kodak! Cheers to my former colleague Steve Tom, excellent performance Steve! Having a sense of humor about one's self and about your company is one of the secrets of success. As has often been said "this is not a life saving hospital, we are not looking for a cure for cancer, it's only a television station." This is must-see video. They're gonna turn the schmaltz back up to eleven, oh YES

Monday, January 08, 2007

"We are dismantling the institution of newspaper journalism precisely at the moment when it seems to be of greatest social value." Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell makes a good case. He reminds us that good journalism serves an important role. Read his piece Open Secrets in The New Yorker here. Gladwell's follow-on blog post Enron and Newspapers here.

"...a still bland face" Al Neuharth, Godfather of USA Today, offers his take on the WSJ redesign. Read Good newspaper is not necessarily dull here

Congrats & Cheers: Steve Safran joins AR&D as Senior VP of Media 2.0; Steve's announcement here. All the best Steve! Smart move by Jerry Gumbert and Terry Heaton, bravo!

From the people that brought you the Wal-Mart flog: Edelman PR sends "free" laptops loaded with MS Vista to selected bloggers as part of Edelman's engagement to assist MS in Vista rollout. Bad stuff ensues. In what appears to be shaping up as a classic "do as we say, not as we do" moment, nothing on Richard Edelman's blog here. Amazing. (Closed circuit to Richard - speak up! FYI - you'll benefit by having Steve Rubel involved in the planning stages of any and all blogger initiatives)

Inventing the future: Peter Smyth offers up his latest from the corner office here. Bravo Peter, well said.

Allan Stagg remembered: A moving, heartfelt memorial to the great Allan Stagg this past Saturday in Battle Creek. Allan's wife, Cathy, Allan's sons, colleagues and friends all made tributes. Fred Jacobs, Bill Bailey, Dave Lange, Ray Bollacker and folks from the Clear Channel Battle Creek crew joined friends and family to remember Allan. My thanks to Fred for his kind Michigan hospitality and for his getting me from and back to the airport. My sense is Allan has inspired a generation. In his work as a performer, teacher and mentor Allan Stagg has influenced a great many. Moreover, the best is yet to come. His sons are destined for greatness. Stay tuned.

What happens in Vegas: Staci Kramer of paidContent is providing excellent coverage of CES here and posting pics from the show here.

Top ten themes: The folks over at investment bank Oppenheimer & Co have published a report on digital media including what they consider the top themes for 2007:

  1. Consolidation, Deconsolidation and Swapping continue.
  2. Mobile Media: Large and Growing.
  3. HDTV makes an impact.
  4. Cable plant upgrades.
  5. Music transitions from offline to online to wireless.
  6. Advertising: New media gains enable a pushback.
  7. Cable sub growth continues as satellite TV pullback persists and telcos disappoint.
  8. Gaming: Restart your engines.
  9. Flash - Hybrid flash hard disk drives start to pick up.
  10. 3G WCDMA mobile devices will replace 2G GSM devices.
Link to the report download here. My thanks to Rafat for sharing.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

"I love hearing from my listeners" Allan Stagg

Allan Stagg has passed away. He died last night after being hospitalized with pneumonia. Allan was living in Battle Creek, working as the PD and morning personality on Rock 104.9 WWKN. He had recently returned to his native Michigan after a storied career in Detroit, Colorado, Portland and Chicago. We've lost a great artiste.

In a world of forgettable disc jockeys and bland announcers with nondescript voices Allan was different, very different, he was a true performer. One of the last of a generation of modern day voice actors, Allan was a real player, a theater of the mind artisan. Allan brought the fresh air, starting with his rich unforgettable warm voice, he was a star, the real deal. A gifted original, a bigger-than-life personality, Allan Stagg was the goods; he never did a shift, preferring, always, to stage a show. The affable, indefatigable, inimitable showman. His exceptional sense of humor and quick wit were alive, present in each moment. Allan's tour de force was his high concept program Sanctuary - radio performed as theatrical art, a mashup homage to FM radio's "underground" era. A deft storyteller, Allan was engaging, arresting, interesting, memorable and always entertaining.

He was a kind and gracious gentleman. He loved being on the air and he loved his wife and children. Allan is survived by his wife Cathy and his five sons.

You may listen to some of Allan's work, via a collection of demos here. Read the AP story via CBS 2 Chicago here. Fred Jacobs blogs about Allan here. Chicago Ed Schwartz writes about Allan here. Larz writing over at the Chicagoland Radio & Media board puts up his Allan tribute here. Scott Smith blogs about Allan over at Chicagoist here. Battle Creek Enquirer obit here. Chicago Tribune obit by Trevor Jensen here (free sub). Allan is remembered in Oregon on the Portland Radio Message board here. Chicago's CMS (chief media scribe) Robert Feder closes his column with comments on Allan here. I am blessed that Allan was my long-time friend, honored to have worked for him and to have served in his entourage. I miss this great talent, this remarkable, uncommon good man.

UPDATE: Fund established for Allan's children. Cathy has set up a fund to assist in the education of Allan's five sons. Please do send what you can, any amount will help to make a difference in the lives of these children. Thank you.

Allan Stagg Kids Fund
c/o Marshall Community Credit Union
839 West Green Street
Marshall, MI 49068