In defense of Radio CEOs


Lead article on Tuesday’s RBR epaper with Jim Boyle gave me cause to challenge you. At first I was very agreeable with your point-of-view.  Radio revenue is not positive and a -1% to even forecast might not be statistically different but they are not good and the difference is not worth the argument.  Monday you lead with, radio facilities operate with a portfolio management strategy, lazy-greedy/cheap owners, that lack focus on content, technology, and new revenue development (8/20/07 RBR #162). 

The two points together are now worth comment.
Debt service and payroll are certain.  Ok, add taxes and utilities.  Tough sellers and willing buyers make deals.  Competitive markets and easy lenders push deals to the edge.  So, we live on the edge.  In a market that now lacks growth and a business environment of higher debt service the quickest and most certain path is to cut expenses.  If expenses can be reduced faster than declining sales revenue then it is a viable strategy.  There is nothing lazy or greedy about staying in business.  There is nothing easy about a competitive business.

There always is a turning point when something else works better.  When a better direction becomes know it will be executed without delay.   I don’t know of a lazy leadership team but I know many that recognize what is important and what needs to be done.  CEO earn their paychecks, frequently have their net worth tied to the enterprise, and mostly do the right things.

The challenge to do better is always there.  Operators/owners accept that challenge every day.  RBR could help more with perspective.  Why are mid to small market revenue trends better? What technology is working?  What content is bright and vibrant?  What new revenue sources are working?  

Helicopter rides… is that all you have?  Lighten up on the financial reports and re-reporting of analyst forecasts.  Give us something worth reading. 

Steven C. Poley
Cell-it Hosted Media Services
Houston, TX  77068