When my son Jaxon was just 9 years old (now 26) he said, “Hey dad, did you know that right now you’re the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be?” I didn’t know how to respond to that so I asked him, “How should I feel about that?” He said, “Well…It really doesn’t matter how you “feel” about it’s just a fact.”
Jaxon made a very good point that day 17 years ago. In radio we sometimes worry about how we feel about something above and beyond the facts. I can’t tell you how many times research and mountains of successful tactics will say one thing but many radio people don’t “feel” as though it’s the right thing to do. If your research tells you that something isn’t right then it probably isn’t right! No matter how you “feel” about it. This is more prevalent now as more and more people, trying to stand out, come up with concepts that have no roots in reality. Unique ideas are not true or false because they are unique. They are true or false because they are actually true or false.
While it’s great to have feeling as in enthusiasm, excitement, sadness, anger, etc… it is not so good when those feelings get in the way of the facts or experiential knowledge.
Radio stations all over the country fail to act on facts, with a plan that will help them, because “feelings” get in the way. With the exception of the occasional Nielsen anomaly, stations that hope for more listeners without doing what’s required to make this happen are fooling themselves. I’ve had two general managers from two separate market-leading stations tell me that they didn’t “feel” like they needed to make the adjustments that the research told us they needed to make…Neither station exists today!
So, you’re as old as you’ve ever been and as young as you’ll ever be. Make the best of each decision and don’t fight the facts.
Brian is a 30 year radio veteran who has successfully served many companies over the years as Program Director, Operations Manger and VP of programming and consultant with Wright Media Group. For the last 15 years Wright has enjoyed building alliances with scores of stations in the US & Canada helping them grow in ratings and revenue. Contact Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org.