Thursday, January 10, 2008

"A grapefruit is a lemon that had a chance and took advantage of it." Oscar Wilde

"Make chance essential." Paul Klee

"The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes." Goethe

Today's image: Yellow rose - Radiant Perfume Rose by RosePhotosEtc. Beautiful. Thanks.

The Emmis earnings call yesterday was refreshing. Unvarnished candor without the graduate level dog ate my homework excuse making.

Finally, someone had the courage to speak up and talk about reality as it is, not as it was or as some wish it to be. Bravos to Jeff Smulyan!

While Jeff is right to suggest we may well have reached the "worst-point in the history of the industry" he is, in my opinion, equally right to be optimistic.

Let's review the bidding.

The first tribe of wireless starts this year with an estimated 233 million weekly users, reaching 93% of Americans.

Early indications from the PPM data tell us radio's reach is robust, greater even than the reach now revealed by diary capture.

We have at hand empirical data on radio's effectiveness thanks to the ground-breaking and ongoing work of the Radio Ad Effectiveness Lab.

While radio is not growing revenues (or bcf) the generation of free cash remains strong. Radio stocks have no chance of coming back until growth, that bitch goddess of Wall Street, is clearly in evidence.

2008 can be a tipping point, a second chance.

Today's sales crisis (and truth be known that is exactly what we are experiencing, a full blown crisis years in the making) should serve as the final wakeup call, the needed catalyst for change.

Jeff is also right when he says "demand is the issue." As a practical matter, we have to get serious about creating that demand. We need to keep the AV (audacity and veracity) dialed up to eleven.

What's needed now more than ever before is effective leadership.

No one is going to save us, we have to save ourselves. Let me close with Dr Hamel...

"What ultimately constrains the performance of your organization is not its business model, nor its operating model, but its management innovation has a unique capacity to create a long term advantage for your company...frankly, today's best practices aren't good enough...I dream of organizations that are capable of spontaneous renewal, where the drama of change is unaccompanied by the wrenching trauma of a turnaround. I dream of businesses where an electric current of innovation pulses through every activity, where the renegades always trump the reactionaries. I dream of companies that actually deserve the passion and creativity of the folks who work there, and naturally elicit the very best that people have to give. Of course, these are more than dreams; they are imperatives. They are do or die challenges for any company that hopes to thrive in the tumultuous times ahead - and they can only be surmounted with inspired management innovation...'management' as currently practiced, is a drag on success" Gary Hamel, The Future of Management

Bonus: Larry Shannon - That's Where America Talks. Kudos to Larry, well said!

But wait, there's more: Kurt Hanson weighs in on the new HD Radio Alliance creative - HD Radio Alliance found a workable tactic...but it's off-strategy here. Reading Kurt's post reminds me. Please let us see the research finding supporting the claim (among others) that HD Radio has a 77% awareness.

Older men take control of perfectly good student radio station: Doing it only to amuse themselves, Bruce Ravid will host and be joined by Tom Teuber, Rick Murphy, Dave Benson and others in the eight hour take over of WSUM. It's scheduled to happen on Tuesday, January 15 beginning at 10 am. Don't miss it if you can.

Next time: Closed circuit to Radio CEOs - The 2008 To Do List

From TED, must see video, J. J. Abrams: The mystery box