He’ll be retiring at the end of May after 25 years and opening “Neil Consulting LLC,” to specialize in business strategy and media. His first client will be Cox Media Group, via a multi-year consulting deal.
“I’m going to work with a very limited number of clients outside of Cox. I want to have plenty of time to really know and understand my customer’s needs, work closely with them, and deliver a high-quality experience…I’ve been thinking about backing away from the full-time grind for several years. The formation of my consulting company lets me get away from that ’40 weeks a year’ travel treadmill and adjust my pace a bit.'”
Neil is only 52 years old and can luckily do this now, rather than at 65: “The good news is that I was lucky enough to join a company like that at age 26 and get to build up all of that stock and pension, etc. over 25 years. That makes your decision-making process a lot easier.”
He adds, “The other thing is travel is so terrible these days and the last two years, with everything going on, has been tough. Last year, two things happened that really did kind of hit me mentally. One was Stu’s [Olds] passing, who I loved; and Royal Marshall who worked with Neal Boortz at WSB. Both just ‘keeling over and dying’ well before their time…I was like, you can just sit there and work yourself until you keel over or make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy yourself.”
Neil spoke to RBR-TVBR more on his decision to retire and a bit of good advice for the radio industry as he departs the day-to-day of it (audio at top of story).
Neil joined Cox Radio in 1986 as WSB-AM Atlanta’s station manager. He then moved to become GM of AC WWRM-FM, Tampa. He then moved back to Atlanta to become GM at WSB. In 1990 he took a corporate role becoming group VP Cox Radio’s East Coast region. Two years later he was promoted to EVP. When Cox Radio went public in 1996, Neil was named president/CEO of the 86-station company. Since the company went private in 2009, he’s been an EVP for Cox Media Group, where in addition to radio he oversees 13 television stations, two newspapers and Cox’s research division.
RBR-TVBR observation: Listen to the Neil audio and hear the key words for Radio to move forward – ‘Investing in Content’ – Content is King but only when one ‘Controls the Content’.
Cox will fill Neil’s position within the next few weeks to months. Bob’s new email address is: [email protected].