VP of Magic


Years ago, Steve Rivers and I were having a conversation about the things that made the difference between good and great radio stations.

Mostly non-musical things, even then, that were hard to adequately define but which clearly made one station better than all the others in the same market.

Consolidation, like the general American economy, has been spectacularly great for a few, but left most of the rest of those in Radio struggling to survive.

And when you’re in survival mode, you’re not as likely to raise your head up above those around you. It’s safest to be quiet, do what you’re told, fit in, play the game.

The very personality type most likely to create magic on the air is the one also most likely to be terminated, seen as too disruptive, or perhaps even threatening, to some title holder in the corner offices above the station level.

As Seth Godin has written, every company has a CEO, a CFO, even a CTO today. Legal is always around to make sure you don’t lose your license. Maybe Research is represented, which by the definition of what it provides, is designed to worry more about tune-out than tune-in.

Which radio company invites the CMO to those strategic meetings? The Chief Magic Officer. The VP of Remarkable.

Who, within your company, is pushing against the grain? Who is arguing for unique and special?

Who, within your station staff, is obsessing over creating something that will so impact those who hear it that they won’t ever forget it.

Who is obsessed enough to push for that every day, every daypart, every hour, every break?

I don’t think you’ll reach that without conscious effort, without the guts to try and fail spectacularly and then try again.

Your station won’t be remarkable, magical to all who hear it, if you never reward the unique creative personality who dares to challenge what is, in the quest of what could be.