Good isn’t good enough any more…
What do you do better than anyone else in the world?
Ok then, what do you do better than anyone else in your town?
If you can’t think of one thing you do better than everyone else you compete with, you’re in the wrong field.
Because, frankly, there’s no reason to accept anything but the very best if you’re running a radio station in 2011.
Air talent doesn’t have to live in your town to be on your station. Web site developers, content providers, news people, music directors, marketing wizards…
None of them have to live in your state, or country, much less your town.
So if you’re not the best at something your station needs, you either need to be taking action to become the best, or you need to be looking for another way to earn money.
I hate to be so blunt, but you know I’m telling you the truth.
Radio has accepted mediocrity at every level for far too long, and we no longer have the luxury of accepting ordinary work in a world where the extraordinary is one mouse click away.
Look, I came up in an era when every city had at least one great radio station, when air talent that is still legendary were on the radio every day — and those stations and talent would still be best today. What does that say about the product we’re producing?
The best air talent I ever heard doing nights? John “Records” Landecker on WLS.
The best afternoon talent? Probably a tie between Barry Kaye on KILT and Tom Kelly on WBIG.
Best AAA station ever? KBCO under Dennis Constantine, before consolidation.
Best AC station I’ve ever heard? MIX in Nashville. Best OLDIES station, ever? WBIG in DC.
Best celebrity interviewer? Lee Rogers, formerly of KUPL in Portland.
Best radio station contest? KIMN’s Death-Defying Egg Drop for sheer made-for-TV theater, but you might legitimately pick Jack McCoy’s ‘Last Contest.’
I could go into every category, but you get the idea. We might disagree a bit, but we all have a clear idea of “best.”
We’re in show business. We’re not checkers at the grocery story.
“Best” matters in performance arts, and it matters every day.
Good is cheap, and getting cheaper by the day.
There is always a market willing to pay more, sometimes a lot more, for “the best.” Think of Apple, or Mercedes, or Ryan Seacrest, or Howard Stern (in his prime).
So, again, what do you do better than anyone else?
And what investments are you making to stay the very best?