Right now too
Pull out your management flow chart.
Ok, CEO at the top. President right underneath him.
Then COO and CFO under the President. There’s usually a legal position somewhere around here.
Then EVP of Sales, EVP of Data Management, EVP of Marketing…then a bunch of regional SVPs reporting to the national EVPs.
But every radio executive flow chart I see has one glaring omission: VP of Listeners.
Guess what? Radio stations don’t make money if they don’t have listeners.
And Radio companies don’t make money unless they have radio stations that make money because they have listeners.
So no matter how you slice it up, it has to start with LISTENERS, yet we don’t have one executive anywhere within management whose job is focused solely on getting the stations what they must have to make money.
Don’t tell me that’s the job of the Program Director, or Operations Manager, or Vice President of Programming. No way.
Their job is to keep audio pumping out of the speakers 24/7, and that’s all.
Decades ago it may have been the job of the PD or VP of Programming to create content designed to maximize listening, but that job was eliminated forever once consolidation took over our business.
Can any of you, with that title, look me in the face and tell me listeners love hearing 6- or 7-minute commercial breaks? 10 units back-to-back?
Can any of you tell me that local spots are written and produced with listeners in mind? Those super-compressed disclaimers at the end of car ads are designed for listeners??
How about contests? That national contest you’re running is designed to make your local station more listenable?
Air talent? That syndicated show is on because listeners want it? Voice-tracking is for listeners, because listeners don’t want to hear live talent?
Every PD around the world is forced to make choices every day that they know their listeners will hate.
Every PD, every day, so that revenue gets on the books.
Every compromise that allows an awful sales promotion on the air, every direct order from above that increases the number of units or minutes today or this week, or this quarter, every time a live air talent is cut and not replaced locally but with voice-tracking…
all of that proves listeners are not at the center of our companies.
Don’t misunderstand; I am not against making money.
I just think there’s a better way to do it.
I know people who not only know how to do it, they’ve done it, multiple times in multiple markets.
Creating a great product first, then pricing that great product to generate needed revenue.
You can call it the Apple model, or the Starbucks model, or the Singapore Airlines model.
We need to be able to call it the Hubbard model, or the Entercom model, or the iHeart model.
We need a strong, empowered and supported VP of Listeners at the very top of our flow charts.
Because we need to put listeners back where they should have been always, at the very center of every decision we make.