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Radio's business

It’s to serve the community -


If you’re reading this and it’s your first time reading one of my articles, well, first off…thank you!  Second; hang on!  Why you ask?  It’s simple; I’m going to tell you the truth about “how to make your radio station profitable”.  Each article is intended to stand alone and piss you off all by itself and each article is a part of the cumulative body, which grows with every new article.  Why does each article stand the chance of pissing you off?  Well, because the reason you’re reading this article is you’re either ignorant or stupid about one or more aspects regarding radio.  How did that feel?

Let’s define ignorant and stupid.

Ignorant = you just don’t know.  You’ve probably never heard of the philosophies and concepts about radio the way I’m explaining them (the profitable way).  It’s not a crime to be in the dark, but it’s fairly stupid to stay there when the path to where the light is doesn’t take much; and now you know my definition of stupid. 

Who are these articles written for?  They are for anyone that wants to someday own a profitable radio station OR already owns a radio station that’s not profitable or not as profitable as you want.  The principles of these articles actually work for most any business model with an outside sales force.  So…I guess these are for anyone that wants to learn about relationship sales.  Thanks for reading and check your ego…I’m your mentor.  My job is to make you better and sometimes that means a few hurt feelings.

The Business of Radio:  it’s to serve the community –

Crazy isn’t it?  Just read the license that’s granted by the FCC to each and every radio station.  The business isn’t to play music or talk programming and it’s certainly not to give anyone a job!  The business of radio is to serve the community and guess what…that’s how you make your money; by serving the community!!  Let me use an example to illustrate this.  I was recently in a radio station with the owner and the programmer of that station, it just so happens that while at the station, it was off the air due to severe weather.  Here is the background on this station:  After 5 months on this format the station was billing just a couple thousand ($2K) a month.  They were off the air for the entire time I was there which ended up being almost 4 hours.  Not even 1 phone call from a listener was received inquiring as to the reason they were off the air while I was there (around 4 hours).  Would you like to know the programmers’ advice to the owner as to what they should do?  They planned to purchase a generator and pay an electrician to tie it into the transmitter so they could get the streaming back on the air.  Really!!  They have no listeners!  Why worry about it?  If they were going to be off the air for a week they could still run all the “make-goods” in about a day or maybe less. 

The real problem to me was “why no listeners?”  They couldn’t do anything about the power problem anyway because the power company said it was them not the transmitter which is a totally different issue and that issue is in the “stupid” column.  If this station were serving the community…let’s say with severe weather coverage…don’t you think a few people would have tuned in to find out what’s up with the weather and when they didn’t hear anything from the radio they might call up and inquire? 

If your station isn’t billing what you want, don’t blame the sales staff immediately.  Look in the mirror first.  Maybe the station isn’t serving the community.  How do you serve the community you may ask?  First off, you have to identify what your community is.  It’s not the town where people can hear the radio signal either.  Your listeners are your community!  Each community needs to be served differently; a hard rock community is different than a news/talk community.  Let’s put it another way. 

It seems so simple doesn’t it? That’s the story, here is the lesson.  How do you serve your community then?  The answer is you have to want to serve; then you ask your community how they wish to be served.  If that means handing out pencils to school children, then that’s how you serve your listeners.  If it means feeding the community on Thanksgiving then you do that.  Your sales staff will appreciate how much easier you’ve made their jobs when you decide that the radio station exists for the sole purpose of serving the community. 

Call me Phil @ (913) 221-2543

Luke 6:38