In the 1970’s and 80’s, the company I worked for employed a programming consultant for our major market AM radio station. He was considered a top consultant in the industry at the time, with many years of experience advising the top stations in the country. Similar to other top consultants of the day, he was very precise on music selection and rotation. His strategies on music programming however, were based exclusively on his experience and perspective.
For years, (when the competition among radio stations was much less than after the popularity of FM Radio exploded,) he helped many stations achieve great success. Predictably, he became quite confident that he was expert in knowing what audiences wanted from a radio station; in fact, he became quite cocky and inflexible in his direction to stations. This hubris almost destroyed our station.
Here’s the critical lesson we learned that is especially relevant today for radio sales departments.