I believe it was Albert Einstein that said “Not everything that can be counted, counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” One of the things that distressed me during the period of radio’s great consolidation, and even recently, is the elimination of radio talent.
On August 19, 2022, Jim Zippo wrote on his Facebook page:
“Well, it’s been a week and it’s finally sinking in…
I’m no longer on the air for 98.7 KLUV (Audacy) here in Dallas after 15+ years of great times and really fun radio. Also gone: Jeff Miles and Rebekah Black of “Miles in the Morning” – corporate streamlining in tough financial times. I was reassured my performance has been outstanding, and this is just a $ issue happening at stations nationwide. Similar stories are out there.
It’s been a great opportunity to continue my on-air career, now in its 47th year. I feel certain I will “see ya on the radio” again, soon, hopefully! JZ”
Friday morning, going into the Labor Day Holiday Weekend, Jim Zippo posted his latest DEMO on Facebook as he searches for his next radio gig. You can hear that here: https://www.facebook.com/thezipdude/videos/594790472346561
Last week I wrote about a radio station that Sue & I enjoyed listening to while we drove The Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. It was LIVE and very LOCAL.
This week Bill MacNeil, CKOA-FM’s General Manager reached out to me about my article saying that a radio colleague shared it with him and his team.
“We like to think of ourselves as the little station that could. We always put our listeners first and are proud to provide the most live and local programming in the market.”
I wrote back to Bill and said:
“Bill, you and your team have every reason to be proud of the radio service you provide. CKOA-FM provides both community and companionship. AND you don’t have to be a local to enjoy the programming that you provide.”
CKOA-FM even provides tourist information about the area on the radio station’s website: https://coastalradio.ca/tourist-information/
Radio is Show Business
When radio was taken over by Wall Street, it became numbers obsessed. It basically increased profits through firing people, never realizing radio’s attraction was the very people who sat in the air chairs of their stations. They were the “show” in the radio business.
And when there was no more talent to RIF (Reduction In Force), they began trimming the people in other areas of the radio station, like sales and promotions.
The results of all these staff reductions has produced a radio industry that is less competitive to other forms of entertainment and less dynamic.
When we look at other industries and great leaders we find they were passionate about the mission of their company. Henry Ford was passionate about the power of transportation. Sam Walton was passionate about super-serving the customer. And Steve Jobs was passionate about making insanely great products. It was this passion for, and being lazar focused on the mission, that brought about their company’s economic success.
I was attracted to the radio industry as a boy by people who were passionate about making great radio and everywhere I turned my radio dial I heard talented people on-the-air.
Most radio people my age rarely listened to the records playing, we were the ones who switched stations when the music started to hear another radio personality, on a different radio station, work their magic.
Today’s radio industry is counting the wrong things.
The success of radio depends on the well-being of those who are passionate about it and live it.