Rocking M: ‘Not A Radio Company’


First of a two-part series.

By Adam R Jacobson

In the U.S., there are two Manhattans most people are familiar with.

There’s the borough in New York City, home to NBC, CBS, and Publicis New York and Zabar’s.

Then there’s the city of 52,500 in northeast Kansas that’s home to Kansas State University, nearby Fort Riley, Parker Hannafin’s hose products division, and Varsity Donuts.

Manhattan, Kansas is also home to Rocking M Media, and if it hadn’t been Northwestern Mutual’s decision in 1972 to use the slogan “The Quiet Company,” it would fit Rocking M and its president, Christopher Miller, just fine.

Miller doesn’t readily agree to media interviews. “We’re just a small family company,” he said when initially contacted by RBR + TVBR. “We stick to our own knitting.”

But there’s a great story here, one that other small-market broadcasters may gain insight and learning lessons from.

That was enough to convince Miller to chat about his company’s latest acquisition – five stations in Kansas — from Alpha Media LLC. He also took the opportunity to correctly define his family business when asked to describe it.

“We’re not a radio company,” Miller says. “We’re a business development company.”

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Adam R Jacobson is a veteran radio industry journalist and advertising industry analyst with general, multicultural and Hispanic market expertise. From 1996 to 2006 he served as an editor at Radio & Records.