Tuesday, February 27, 2007

"Don't overlook the fact that you are working for a boss. Keep him or her informed. Whatever the boss wants, within the bounds of integrity, takes top priority." William Swanson

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

"The intent is not to encourage fawning behavior or narrowness of scope, but only to suggest that for the organization to achieve its goals, everyone must be on the same page. If you are going around your boss, you've left a key contributor out of the loop.

On the other hand, if you believe that your boss is not seeing the big picture or is headed in the wrong direction, you should speak up and be straightforward about your concerns. If you have a good boss, you candor will be appreciated and valued; in fact, it will improve your relationship.

When your boss gives you an assignment, make it a priority, even thought you may want to work on something else. Remember that you often don't know who gave your boss the assignment in the first place. It could have been the President or CEO."

Terry Heaton has written an very good essay Voyeurism: Journalism's 21st Centry Crisis...

"The traditional press has no choice but to continue its quest for a mass audience and serve the harsh taskmaster that ad revenue has become. This will not change, nor should it. Business is business, and it's vital that traditional media companies stay alive and financially healthy. A sudden collapse of the Media 1.0 hegemony would destroy our economy, so the mainstream MUST live on.

This means that the changes necessary to evolve won't—in fact, can't—come from the legacy brand, for it has no choice but to play in the world of Anna Nicole Smith. If they don't, they run the significant risk of alienating what's left of their audience, for people have come to expect — whether they'll admit it or not — that one of the roles of contemporary media is to satisfy their voyeuristic information needs."

Bravo Terry! Read the entire essay here. (Thanks to lostremote for the tip)

Mr Karmazin goes to Washington: Staff will brief members - this is the guy who was before us on that Super Bowl-Janet Jackson-half-time-TV mess. This is the guy who took C-SPAN off his service. This is the guy who wants us to help him to merge with his only competitor and create a pay radio monopoly. This is the guy the NAB and the broadcasters from back home have been telling us about. Yeah, this is that guy from New York. PS, he is also generous in supporting campaigns. This show is more about Main Street than Wall Street. It's potentially the time when one letter to a member from an unhappy ex-subscriber grandmother becomes an important issue of discussion because she's a consumer, a voter, a constituent. It's politics. Good luck Mel, you're going to need it.

It ain't either-or, it's and: Latest data from Arbitron indicates satellite users are heavy AM/FM listeners to wit: "Satellite listeners spent an average of 33 hours a week with radio compared with the typical listener who listened approximately 19 hours a week to radio. Also, people who listened to satellite spent more time with AM/FM radio (14 hours) than they did with satellite radio (10 hours 45 minutes) or Internet (8 hours 15 minutes)." But wait there's more..."Arbitron's recent analysis revealed that the highest share of quarter hours for an individual satellite radio channel was 0.2 percent. The average satellite radio channel had a .009 percent share of quarter hours, which would not be high enough to meet Arbitron’s minimum reporting standards." Ouch! Complete release via Arbitron here. As has been said here before, there's no there, there. To capture only 3.4% of all radio listening after investing billions of dollars is perhaps the most telling stat of all. The pay radio folk need a new business model, pronto. To be fair, Arbitron should remove all listening attributed to non-commercial channels. If they have included channels not accepting commercials the numbers would be artificially inflated. My sense is while the pay radio guys may not now pose any real threat to the first tribe of wireless they may yet prove to be a serious threat to those holding their equity and their debt. A serious threat, perhaps, even to those employed by them. Those without the protections of a golden parachute. Too early to tell, stay tuned. Inquiring minds wanna know: what channel is getting that top-rated 0.2? Is it Howard or is it Fox News? Columbia, please provide a top ten. Thank you.

Later: Thanks for all the emails on the Arbitron pay radio numbers. My point about reducing the estimates by those channels not accepting commercials is to reach a better apples to apples comparison with commercial radio. Given that Mel and his team have high hopes for advertising as a rev stream what kind of weight do they bring to the market is my question. No disrespect intended for the commercial-free music channels. Listening estimates providing both commercial and non-commercial channels separated could provide a better understanding of pay radio listening and the commercial potential of ad-friendly channels. Again, thanks for feedback.

Closed circuit to Michael Harrison
: Thanks for sharing the Heavy Hundred.
p.s. you did a good job with Howie last Sunday, congrats.