Your "to do" list for 2008


Executives are sounding off on Guidance for 2008 to 2010 and start now. RBR publisher Jim Carnegie outlined 8 brief points of must do or – if you sit and wait for someone else to do the heavy lifting for you – then it is easier to just pucker up and plant your lips on the back of a tailpipe and breath in. If you did not experiment this year with ideas then do so now. (10/01/07 RBR #191)

This morning, Bob Harper from Paragon Media Strategies adds more to the "to do" list.

As usual, you are running out and ahead of the pack. Your top-8 for ’08 was perfect. May I add some reactions?

1. HD and Websites must be established as separate divisions inside your organization.
HD will never amount to anything until we seriously invest in Content that’s able to pull listeners to a new band on a new radio. The clock is ticking … will HD Radio be irrelevant before it even leaves the Content launching pad?
Station websites  1) have the potential of attracting hundreds of millions of listeners   2) sound like high school Junior Achievement programming thanks to the way we cover commercials   3) yes, hundreds of millions.

2. Hire young creative people inside our business to develop this content and presentation.
And actively seek out media-geeks who think in strange and wonderful ways differently than you do. They should make you feel a little anxious and strange.

3. Give those creative people the freedom to make their mistakes to succeed just as we did in developing FM in the early ’70s.
Ask yourself, "Why would a young and creative applicant want to weather today’s radio climate and work for you?" Make a list of negatives. Fix them; then hire the best people you can find. Comedian Ron White is correct, "You can’t fix Stupid." I believe in the corollary, too: "You can’t teach Smart."

4. 2008 is the beginning of developing quality content–not tonnage with HD and Web radio.
I have tried to say this twenty different ways on my web Blogs. You summed it up perfectly, Jim. Content wins. Always.

5. Webradio: add video to your sites and learn from the YouTubes. Get interactive with radio using video.
And, hire craftsmen who will get you up and running smoothly and professionally. This is not a job for an intern or part-timer.

6. End Cluster Management and Programming. 1 GM and 1 PD can not do it all well.
Unless, of course, you think a 2-share makes you a winner.

7. Sales – National needs a complete overhaul. Local must get target-specific with solutions to ad clients. Ratings and CPP is not the answer.
Standing by the fax machine waiting for avails is not Sales; it’s wishful thinking. A card table with your banner and key chains for prizes is not value-added; it’s embarrassing. Griping to the GSM about demos isn’t your place unless you’re OK with the PD squawking to the GM about your billing.  Sales has high rewards because it is very hard and creative work when done well.

8. Revenue from HD and the Web is a Full Time Job. Part timers need not apply. And, do not make these divisions part of your current sales managers’ responsibility. Establish new teams.
…because if you don’t, the next YouTube or Google or FaceBook will … and they’ll use your own product to do it.

Thanks for raising a very high bar for 2008 thru 2010, Jim.
Bob Harper
Paragon Media Strategies

Carnegie note: Harper is one reason why I had major market experience. In 1972 Bob was the PD of then Top 40, ABC O&O KQV, Pittsburgh. Bob gave me a break fresh out of the US Army as he created 7 hours of on-air time for me and the rest is history.