Friday, December 31, 2010

The right thing to do

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010


This holiday, which isn't quite done yet, make sure you carve out a minute of time to ponder what the holidays mean - as a whole - in your world.

 Presents? Family? Both? Traditions? Eight nights of light? A light guiding kings to a manger where a saviour was born? None of the above?

Whatever you believe, those beliefs are pretty amazing. They all work in concert to create a symphony of experiences which lasts a lifetime.

There are so many movements, and so many ways to interpret, but all in all, the sum of all parts is quite amazing.

Lose yourself in the wonder of it all.

Monday, December 27, 2010


There was supposed to be snow. A bunch of it. So they cancelled the flight and rescheduled for FIVE days later.

Five. Thursday. Morning.


Sometimes, frustration happens. Roll with it. Getting frustrated about frustration only pisses you off, then, you're all pissed off...

... and still frustrated.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the night before Christmas...

... and over at Hedo, there were creatures stirring while they fed their libido. 

Jaime with his elbows and Structure in tow with a bottle of Jack, there would be no settling down for a long winter's nap. 

When what on 4th Street should appear were some rebellious radio workers driving Kane's former sleigh with Gran Marnier powered reindeer!

That was Christmas Eve/Day 2001... 

Here's a toast to the countless part timers and people - including full timers - who make things go on the radio over the next few days. Here's to the ones who sacrifice the holidays so that they might one day get to the next level.

Know you're appreciated. And thank you for doing what you do.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas cards

Bobbi Silver is a living legend.

She's a record promotions executive who has served the Philadelphia territory, and most of the Atlantic coast radio stations which report to whomever monitors airplay anymore, in a way which most of the younger record generation could only dream about, and in a way which the so-called "best of the best" stand in awe of.

She starts writing her annual Christmas cards months before Thanksgiving. She pops them in the mail - as the legend goes - on Black Friday.

Promotions assistants, music directors, Program directors... everyone who she worked with on any sort of regular basis receives a personalized card, at times edited for updates and whatnot, which is so personal that it seems like it was written to you by a close family friend rather than a label promotions executive. Each one is a work of art - like some of the best music she's ever worked from some of the most amazing names in music and radio.

No wonder she was immortalized in the cult classic "This is Spinal Tap."

Bobbi Silver would run circles around Bobbi Fleckman, however.

In a time when technology and new best practices are quick to replace for cost savings or whatever, this woman perseveres because she's just amazing with amazing relationships.

She's Southwest Airlines meets Apple. Richard Branson and Steve Jobs rolled into one. With less Testosterone.

She's an amazing user experience. And when the time comes that she decides she's ready to 'retire to the gold category,' she'll never be able to be replaced.

She's the standard. There will never be another. And, she's the example we all should be following if we want to be the best.

That's right. I said it. The best.

How many colleagues did you send cards too this year?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A few good airchecks

Note: This post not brought to you by George Junak and California Aircheck, although it might as well be. 

Listen to airchecks.

It's a lost art these days.

You can find things which influence you. Things which inspire you. Things which you don't want to do and things which can make you better as you become you.

Be careful though. Don't try to be the people you're listening too. That's not original. Instead, find the motivation and inspiration to become who you want to become... and then, one day, be better than the ones who influenced you... so someone down the line can find out who they are by listening to what you've done.

Be it resolved...

Regrets aren't something which should be the norm. Experiences, however, are a different story.

And we no doubt each have a bunch of experiences.

Dreams become 'somethings' which become 'things' which become 'memories.' Memories become 'experiences' which become 'things' which become 'factors.'

Factors... Become resolutions.

Resolution always comes when we least expect it.

Give back

If they take care of you, take care of them. 

They know who you are. They know you're going to a gig and making a ton of money for a couple of hours of work. They also know you've asked them to get you there, and in some cases, back home safely.

So take care of them.

They know you've come to their restaurant to experience a good meal and drinks with friends and family. You even gave them your card.

So take care of them.

We're also in the service business. Anyone could be listening -- or monitoring -- at any time. So serve them. No matter who they are. And watch how they return the favor.

A jock gives a cabbie a $20 tip for a $60 buck cab ride.

Guess who will always be on in that cab. You never know 'who' might have 'what' on them when they ride in that cab.

Think about it.

That's right.

Is that a win? You bet.

You can't con 'em all the time

Your face gives you away, and then some.

Body language says even more.

Here's an amazing interviewing weapon to know, so you can use when it makes sense...



It really transcends what we think of the natural doesn't it?

Who is your family. Personally? Professionally? By marriage?

The crazy thing about family is - no matter how whacked out it can get - and no matter how complicated it can be - is that it's forever. It lasts. It overcomes insanity and menial BS. It just goes on and on.

We all have people who are like family. Some we've lost touch with. Some we're still in touch with. Some we should be in better touch with.

And we might even have some family who work for competitors and in some cases, maybe even across the street from us.

No matter. Family is family. It's blood.

And blood is thicker than water.

No matter what the circumstance.

Reconnect where possible, strengthen where necessary, but realize that family lasts long after the 'colleague' or 'acquaintance' has come and gone...

And no matter what may come - family - will always be there.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Staying at the top of your game

To stay at the top of your game, it's becoming clearer and clearer now that you must take the time away you need to recharge.

We're all doing more. Some of us are doing the jobs of five or six people. Certainly we're all wearing multiple hats now. It's the new world order. Do more with less. Reward those who do more - with more.

It's indeed rewarding, but it's also not worth the rewards if you can't enjoy them.

Make it a New Years resolution to use all your vacation days, all of your personal days and all of the days that you have coming to you - so that you can stay you - and so that you can stay at the top of what you do.

Football Jesus (12/19)

Oh boy do we have some things to discuss this week on the podcast... 

... and the office pool isn't even the tip of the iceberg!  
We gotta talk about some thangs... like the Wigwams. And Donovan McNabb. And the debacle known as the Redskins. There are some other games, which are big, like the Ravens game, and a few others, but oh boy... We go off on the Skins.

"They are unbettable at this point," said Football Jesus.

He's never said that before. About anyone.

Click here to hear it.

The power of the word "no" can be a pretty impressive thing, and we shouldn't be afraid to use it, specifically at this time of year.

"I really need to take a break, so, no, I can't track that in advance for you this year."

Every year, local bosses encourage their talent to remember they can use this word - without shame - and in fact, they'll probably have their back for using it. Union contracts even have provisions covering this sorta stuff.

"No, I'm not going to kill myself and stress myself out just to go away for a few days, I'm sorry."

Most bosses who understand the power of the human equation will probably agree.

Maybe someday, perhaps in 2011, we'll all learn how to use this magical word without feeling some sort of guilt or whatever.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010


The great thing about soup is that it has magical healing powers.

From chicken noodle soup to tomato basil bisque to matzo ball soup, for some reason it always helps to heal the throat stuff which happens about this time of the year to people who do what we do.

So, take vitamin C and eat soup. And don't overthink the germs on a microphone. There are far worse germs to be afraid of. Like the ones on your hand right now, or on your keyboard. Or mouse. Or phone.

Take care of yourself. Rest when you can. Eat some soup. It's good for the soul.

(this post and content inspired by Kruz)


So there was this email exchange between a jock and programmers recently where the jock asked these programming types "who the best people are to listen too if one is to be the best" at rock personality radio. 

The programmers recommended that aspiring jocks listen to some personalities and offered air checks of these people. The names of who they are --or were -- really doesn't matter.

Listening to air checks -- does.

Jock. Personality. It doesn't matter. We can all find inspiration - or something to make us each better - in the work of some of the best doing what we do at the pinnacle of our game - regardless of format or market.

"If you want to sweep streets, sweep streets like Michaelangelo painted paintings," the preacher said.

Once upon a time, this one programmer, Brian Bridgman, encouraged this one personality to listen to the work of this jock named "Stryker" at KROQ in Los Angeles.

It changed his entire world when it came to presentation and delivery. And unlocked the keys to a career in this industry.

When is the last time you lost yourself in a few air checks from some amazing jocks and personalities?

Study those who are the best. You'll find how to be the best hidden there in plain site, right there among the inspiration.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

State of the union...

Here comes some straight opinion for your consideration. 

Does anyone think that the predominant radio union - AFTRA - could be more proactive on helping our colleagues to evolve into what we're becoming as providers and artists of content? 

Don't you think they could be holding seminars, teaching those who want to learn, things like Photoshop, or how to do online web design, or the ins-and-outs of blogging, social media, etc? 

In the last post, it was mentioned that AFTRA could be more proactive in education on things like finances, money, home ownership, and the like so that members can start building a nest egg with the money they're earning. 

Novel idea right? A union which is proactive about making sure it's dues paying members have the opportunity at some education so they can keep earning money and as a result, paying dues. 

This is an interesting time for the union in so many areas. 

Voicetracking, and pre-recorded non-local content is now a norm and not an exception. Union members are making great money doing this work, and as a result, there's a dichotomy present as some unions fight to contain tracking while the very people fighting are making significant money as content exporters. 

And, of course, content isn't just through a microphone over the transmitter anymore. Streaming, social media, online presence, each of these things are expected from union talent, but the conversations being had haven't caught up to reality have they? Why? Reality is moving too fast for the protracted deliberations and the excessive lamenting about the 'way things used to be or ought to be.' 

If the union, AFTRA, can be proactive, and work to shape and embrace a future where the artists are artists of content, who use technology to an advantage, and to equip members to use technology to control their destiny, then the union will continue to be strong and dynamic. 

If the union stays mired in the quagmire of trying to preserve the past, it will join the past... in history. 

Comment away if you feel like joining the fray. At least we're having a discussion, and there's nothing wrong with a good discussion. 

Radio credit

Blowing an evening's talent fee at Mons Venus seemed like a good idea at the time. 

In Los Angeles recently, a conversation came up about the "things we wish we would have known then which we know now."

One of those 'things' was how we deal with money. A colleague referred to it as "having radio credit."

Notoriously, some radio folk are bad with cash. Others, are brilliant with it.

Try to be one of the brilliant ones.

It's not always easy. We're not the type known for having the most self control, are we?

Don't ever think you can count on gig money to last. Regular club gigs have a shelf life of maybe 12 months. Or, you think you have the gig, then one of your team-mates gets the call from the club owner or whatnot to 'keep it fresh.'

It happens. Like clockwork. No matter how good you think you have it. Business is, after all, business.

Take your gig money and bank it. Learn about credit and how to master using it. Learn about CD's. Learn about savings, money market accounts, etc. If you don't know, ask someone who is older and wiser about it. If you're in a union, like AFTRA, demand they do something with your dues money, and hold seminars or something which will help you and your teammates to grow, and be smarter and better with things than they were. 

The history of radio is littered with people who had amazing salaries, but who now have nothing to show for it. We can change that if we're smart about it, and willing to think more long term than this weekend's drinking with friends.

Sure, there's a time to reward yourself. Yes there's a time when you can benefit from the fruits of your labor and 80 hour work weeks. Wouldn't it be awesome if the fruits of your hard work manifested itself in a condo or house?

Live as if your base salary is all you've got and can count on. You'll be better off for it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Intros and posts

Sony/Columbia SVP of Promotion Lee Leipsner, a friend and a Kid Kelly fan,
photographed at the Lucky Strike in New York City following the SIN Awards

Kid Kelly had the best memos. 

He had page after page of them, and studying them was how he would put a new 'baby deejay' in the right mindset for working at the station then known as Hot 97, WBHT Mountaintop, Ninety Seven Point One, your Hot 97.

All of his morsels of wisdom still ring true almost 15 years later.

Here's one:

Intros -  Remember you're talking over the beginning of someones favorite song, so whatever you're saying better be important. If it's not, don't say it. 

So, how important was that phoner or topic content you ran back over the beginning of that song with :21 seconds on the intro? Was it so important that you had to step on the post?

PS - for radio geeks, yes, it is true that the following phrases were banned on WBHT: 

"Dial Carefully and Good Luck"
"I'm ( your name ) doin' it with ya"
"It's 27 degrees outside right now..."
and "anything you heard on KRZ in the last decade and thought was cool"

It was an amazing place to get a radio education.

"So and so" from the "such and such" show and ego

B.O.B performing for President Obama's GEN44 rally before the November midterm elections. 

Here's a funny yet teachable moment type of story for this morning.

A ranking executive of a regional marketing firm and regional manager of a national promotions firm were having a drink at a bar before a show recently. They came across a group of people who worked for a local business which worked with the venue hosting a show that evening. One of the people in the group was overtly bitching about receiving "bad" seats to a show from their business.

The seats were free, but ultimately someone had to pay for them. And, funny enough, the "bad" seats were given to this business as part of a promotional partnership for the show, meaning, they were for a register to win type of contest.

When they realized they were sharing the same bar space with the promotions and marketing people responsible for the show, one of the people doing the complaining introduced themselves as "so-and-so" from "such-and-such business."

You can guess whose boss got a phone call the next morning.

Retired General and former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has this saying: 

"Never keep your ego so close to your position, that if your position goes, your ego goes with it." 

Who are you? Who would you be if you don't do what you do now?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Football Jesus Podcast (12/12)

It's week 14 in the NFL, and there are so many games that have bettors excited, fans are pumped, people are jacked as the season heads into the final stretch!

Football Jesus - with a free pick for the week - has some awesome stuff to say about the Skins, Cowboys, Eagles, Pats, Jets and more!

Click here to hear it all!

(if that link doesn't work for some reason, click here)

Friday, December 10, 2010


The crowd of peeps at Ibiza on Saturday. They're who to think about... 

Take a second before you crack the mic to "thinkspeak."

Basically, in that split second before you turn the mic on, think "is what I'm going to say compelling, or meaningful? Is it about the listener, or is it about me?"

If the words "I," or "ME" are a part of the equation, don't speak.

A good deadsegue is better than a break about what "you" think is important.

(There's research which proves it, too.)


Because you think it's important. And you're not the one you should be thinking about.

Prompting thoughts

Kyla, at Doukenie Winery, looking through the fence at a horse.
 I often wonder what it is she's thinking about... 

A comment on a previous post asks the question, "What prompted your thoughts in the first place?"

Several things.

First, we don't hear enough encouragement or teaching in what we all do day to day anymore, and if we can share our experiences which have made each of us successful, then aren't we leaving a 'mark' on the universe?

Experiences are teachers, mistakes are teachable moments, and for any industry - let alone radio - to continue to be viable, and grow, we should all endeavor to teach something we've learned, because someone young and hungry, like Brent Flick, or Kruz, or someone reading in a small market somewhere just trying to make some noise might be able to learn from it.

For the Claire Scattergoods, Clint Beales and Elizabethanys and the NexGen of Content Artists so that they might one day be able to get to a place like Z100 and turn on the mic as a personality, where as some others only made it to the mountaintop, but didn't get to cross to the other side.

Second, we hear too much negative from so-called 'media' pundits anymore, and someone has to counter it, because there is some amazing stuff happening in radio and content creation.

Just this morning, one blowhard called Howard Stern's renewal at Sirius a "mistake". Bold words from someone who was cast out of the industry long ago because, well, truth be told, it passed him by. It's easy to sit on the sidelines and bitch, and armchair quarterback things you think you know. It's quite another to lace up and play the game every day. I salute Howard for getting paid to do what he loves to do every day, and for making a noise that no one wants to ignore.

Finally, we owe it to ourselves and to those who come after us to do all we can to reinforce the base of our industry - the talent - who make radio - or any industry - what it is. 

The people who make it an "Apple-like" experience between songs for our fans. Who realize that the game and metrics have evolved and that we can evolve too without compromising personality.

So, that's pretty much it, BB. Thanks for the comment. Please feel free to leave as many as you want, about whatever, because every comment, good, bad, ugly or nasty, is a teachable moment for anyone who reads, and absorbs.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Howard Stern's re-upping at Sirius/XM today is a great thing for radio, and for where we're going as professionals in this game. It solidifies what we are: Content Artists and Creators. 

Our transmitters are global. Our reach is greater now than it's ever been before.  If the content is compelling, the rewards - personally and professionally - will follow.

Let's go make some.

(ps - time to go ahead and have that Sirius/XM receiver installed in the ride!)


You want to know the biggest obstacle to your success in this game? 

Look in the mirror. 

Yup. That looking back at you... you know, you, yeah, that's your biggest obstacle. 

Keep that in check. 

It's not about you. It's not about the "you" show and it's certainly not about what you can do when "you're listening to the 'you' show..."

It's about the people you hope are listening to you. 

The best shows - named after a central host - which have found massive success for their teams - Like Kane here in DC, Bert in Atlanta or Kidd Kraddick in Dallas - have already mastered this. They already know that the reason they've found success is because they've shelved themselves and made themselves - and their shows - into exactly what their audiences want and expect. 

They're clearly not what we can call "shows of one" and they're clearly in touch with the fact that without their fans, they're nothing. 

When you learn and master this,  you will become noise worth not ignoring on the radio.
Until then, they - you know, your listeners, yeah, they think you're just some noise. 

It's the Toby show, I'm Toby, and I'm going to sign off the Toby show featuring me, Toby, right now. 

How ridiculous do you think it sounds to your listeners? 


You're better than noise. 

Say something - and be someone - who transcends. 

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


You realize that you can be Superman, right? 

By that, I mean, indestructible. In disposable. Irreplaceable.

A Ne-Yo song written for Beyonce.

Yes. You can be. When you control your destiny, and embrace changes which come, and you attack head-on the very things which once seemed scary, but now seem to make sense. When you learn new things, like Photoshop, or how to use Wordpress to it's advantage. Or when you start a blog on blogger.

Or when you make a video of you in an interesting situation with whomever. When you learn to use Pro Tools...

Or, when you make it your mission to over-deliver on a daily basis.

There are times when you can't stop what business causes to happen. But on many others, you can make sure "things" don't happen to you when you make it your mission to become irreplaceable.

When you reach this point, you will have found the freedom you need to begin to change your world.

Whatever motivates you

When you feel complacency set in, find something that motivates you and play on. 

Find it in a younger, hungry co-worker, or in the words of a respected colleague and friend a few states away, but find that something and press on....

... you know, like you did when you were a baby deejay on the come-up traveling for two hours just to do a four hour weekend shift in a neighboring big radio market.

It's amazing how a little spark from a colleague - a little push from someone who expects you to be the best, or better than the best - can cause you to create some magic.

Passion alone fuels passion's fire. When you feel it running low, find some fuel in the passionate around you.

Be well

After being sick for about 24 hours now, it seemed prudent to take on the role of "dad" or whatever and encourage you to remember a couple of things which directly relate to the most important person in your world:


There's an old saying in this radio game. "It's just f***ing radio." No one dies at the end of the day, no one gets physically hurt. It's just f***ing radio.

So make sure you take the time you need to make sure you're healthy enough to play the game the best you can, and if you're not, take the time off you need to take off to get to that point.

If you disappoint a station you voice track for, so be it. If you miss an interview with some artist, oh well. There will be others.

What good are you if you can't be at 100 percent for the people who need you?

You've only got one you. Keep it in the best shape you can when it comes to health. And get the rest you need to keep fighting.

Now, back to the OJ and Dayquil!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Personify your personality

Focus on who you are, and what makes you compelling, unique and amazing to your friends, partners and families. Study this. If it's crazy, embrace it, and do more of it. 

Then do it on air. 

You might just find your personality. 

Oh, and by the way, the best personalities have never had to do seven second breaks. When you're a personality, you don't get corny rules like that. Those are for liner readers. 

Don't surrender to reading liners. 

Dial carefully and good luck! 

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Well appointed crazy

Some radio people have this feeling that when a jock becomes a manager, or a program director, or whatever, that they're no longer allowed to be "one of the crazy ones..."

We should disagree with this and fight the stereotype.

Just because you wear a suit and tie or have a "director" title doesn't mean you're not crazy anymore. On the contrary, isn't it better that the crazy ones act like the "suits" so they can influence them?

The right kind of "well-appointed crazy" can whisper things in the ears of those prepare powerpoint presentations and write playbooks and apply metrics in presentation form for those who make the decisions which can impact us all for the better improve our revenue performance, while keeping radio personality based, live, truly local, and, well, fun. engaging, dynamic, cost effctive and highly customized by and for local markets.

And that's a good thing for everyone.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Passive aggressive...

I love the passive aggressive notes blog, but being passive aggressive personally, and in radio, sucks.

There are times that we - and admit it - we all do - take a "well, I didn't want to say anything or seem like the bad guy or like I'm complaining" approach to things. Then, whatever festers and just becomes more and more cancerous until eventually, things snowball into a catastrophe.

You know what I learned yesterday about being passive aggressive? It was a pretty good lesson...
Don't go along to get along just because you get frustrated. Instead, if you believe in something, fight for it, show how it works to those who might not be familiar with what we do in our business and then, you'll get your way and you'll teach someone while you're at it.

Football Jesus (12/5)

Oh come all ye faithful! It's time for another podcast!

Football Jesus has a free pick, some thoughts on the Bucs, Eagles, and JETS!

Click here to hear it all!

With a K

This is an old school board.
Looks like the one at HOT before Matt Howell trashed it when we remodeled.

The radio business doesn't have enough good 'conventions' anymore.

So when you get a chance to get a bunch of radio personalities, programmers and record industry people in the room for whatever reason, great times and even better stories are the result. What else would you expect from a room full of personalities, fueled by booze and fed by Vince from the Street Information Network in New York City?

Last night, while in the City for my first visit to Vinny's annual SIN Radio and Record industry awards, I ran into Kannon with a K. He's one of my favorite people. He's cut from a cloth from which not too many radio people are cut from anymore. At times, we'll talk about how there aren't too many of the 'crazy' ones in radio left anymore. He's right. It's not so easy to be crazy and chaotic nowadays when you have so many hats to wear and responsibilities during the day. 

It's important for us to discover the harmony between crazy, chaos and order. When you can balance on that edge, in whatever you do, you become lethal. 

Good to see you, Kannon. With a K. And thanks for your very kind words. I don't think I'm deserving of them, but thank you for always being you, and for your passion. I'm glad I know you. 

Friday, December 03, 2010

Justin Bieber...

Our prayers go out to Justin Bieber and his family.

God bless you.

Justin Bieber

On the train...

Am on the train homeward after an industry thing last night. Got teary-eyed at a couple of instances:

Seeing Stan Priest for first time since Tampa rendezvous at Shulas a few years ago.

Sharing a fatherhood moment with Orlando, from WLLD in TPA.

Having Thea basically throw down the gauntlet and say she has the best team in radio to rousing applause.

Seeing Samantha Brenner win an award she busted her ass to win.

Spending time with Rob Wagman, who pretty much saved my arse in Columbia and who taught me that you can do things, learn things, and be successful with things when you're open to trying 'em.

Seeing mentors and mentees celebrate mutual successes.

When you love what you do, the people you "do your thing with" become family.

I'm going to snore some more on this train now.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Go your way

Kyla, in the Metro after a rainy day at the Museum, checking the map and finding our way home.
 I just thought it was a cool moment so I snapped it. 

At WNOK, one of the first things we did was change the voice guy. He's the guy who says the name of a radio station, generally with zips and zingers around them, between songs.

The voice guy wasn't happy. He had been the voice for something like 5 years I guess. Maybe longer. I don't know.

Responding to my OM at the time who broke the news, the voice guy said something to the effect that I was going to try to sound like my previous station, which was known for aggressive and very intense, slick, and well produced imaging.

He was wrong. He should have said "influenced." But whatever.

When they went right, we went left. Sometimes, we just blazed our own way and tried new things.

In doing so - we found ourselves.

About that noise you're making

Premiere/Mediabase VP Alyssa Pollack and Joel Denver from All Access Music Group at a small dinner gathering a couple of months ago in New York City at the famed Shun Lee Chinese Restaurant. 

I have a friend who was, once upon a time, hooked on industry trades and the industry press.

I mean, all the time this friend of mine would pour through FMQB and All Access for whatever reason. To learn. To overdose on passion, maybe, I don't know but he was addicted to them. And, for a time, this friend felt he had to try to be "in print" every time he turned on the microphone. And so, he sent photos, and press releases, and blurbs to Joel Denver and Bob Burke and Fred Deane and even Gerry DeFranchesco at the now defunct Network 40 all the time. Even Dave Hoeffel, too. For whatever reason, he wanted to be in print - talked about - for any reason at all.

That friend - was me.

Since then, and since I've grown up in this game a bit more, I've learned a valuable lesson:

When you make your own noise repeatedly for whatever reason - it's just noise.

We tune out noise.

But, when you're truly finding success, it will speak for itself, and everyone will know it.

It won't need a press release or news conference.

Think about your noise catalyst. What's at it's core? Is it noise you've made yourself?

Or, is it a noise you - and the world - can't ignore?

Get off Seacrest's nuts, Jerry, and while you're at it, back off Clear Channel, too

Kyla, my daughter, in our studio with the microphone.
If she chooses to do radio, I hope she has a career like
Ryan Seacrest, and buys me a house one day!

This morning, a wanna-be radio pundit has decided to put Ryan Seacrest's $60 million dollar contract in his cross hairs, and he's demonizing him as the "face of Clear Channel firing..."

Jealous, Jerry?

Jealous that you were canned, sued and given a settlement which was clearly less than what Ryan's getting for three years of work?

Jealous that he's still doing what he loves, in a myriad of platforms, dominating digital, dominating the on-air, dominating television and soon, dominating a record company?

Jealous, there Jerry?

Get off Seacrest's nuts and shut the... up.

I'm not here to argue about consolidation, or voice tracking, or syndication. Life is life, business is business, and technology is technology. Ryan's used it all to work smarter - not harder - although everyone I know who knows him says he's one of the most driven, hard working people on the planet. You've got to control what you can control in this life, and as things change, the best thing any of us can do is to find the opportunities to exploit as we go forward while we control what we can control. Ryan did. He seems to be doing alright, doesn't he?

Hey, he doesn't have to beg people to sign up for his websites, or cry out for people to attend some bull**** kumbayah-fest in Arizona with a bunch of bitter ex-radio types.

I've got Ryan's back against this sort of ridiculousness because Ryan was once like anyone in radio who has the passion was. He was an annoying kid at a local radio station, pulling CD's, grabbing carts, marking logs for others, asking questions too much, etc. He started at the bottom, exploited every chance and break he found and made himself who he is.

Jesus. He's living the radio dream. He's got what we all strive to have. And ya know what? We can make it there, too, if we press on, and commit ourselves to being the best we can be as the future of radio continues to evolve.

These former radio people who failed their way out of the game are self styled pundits who want to hate on Seacrest for his success. In reality, they should be teaching and studying Ryan's success to see what it is that he's done to become indispensable.

Want truth? Here's the 'inside' truth: 

Ryan controls his destiny.

He earned his ability to do so the hard way, by working hard. By failing at times. By winning at times. By taking risks and breaking the mold and adjusting when the course called for it. Like Apple, he made himself an amazing user experience for all who encountered him, and now, a major American television show, radio morning show, and national countdown show, can't contemplate life without him.

It says a lot to me that my company would give a man that size of a contract. It says to me that we're willing to say to our talent, "hey, you bust your ass, you do above and beyond, so here, have a reward and stick around with us for a while."

If people lose their jobs in my company, or in any company, it's because they didn't do enough to show that they were like Ryan...


And yes, if someday I'm tossed for syndication or whatnot, it's because I didn't do enough to show to my bosses that I'm someone they want on the team. I'm working my butt off to make sure that doesn't happen.

What has your bitching earned for you?

Get off Seacrest's nuts. He's an example of everything that's still right - and about the rewards which can come from hard work - with radio today.

If radio people want to grow, and become the best we can be as we continue to go forward, we'd do well to study what Ryan's done so successfully and emulate it.

After all - it's earned him $60 million and a career and freedom. Plus he has a really kick ass ride, too. Not to mention that Kim Kardashian works for him... but that's a different story.

Speaking of which, I'm going to Keep up with the Kardashians now, so excuse me.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Conversations don't have music beds

There's Conan - in my bed at the W in Los Angeles
when we were there for the launch of
his show to tape our takeover broadcast

An industry friend asked me today, "Toby, why don't you use beds, you used too, and then, you just stopped, what's up?"

I could explain how my old boss at the time showed me some research, or I could talk about some other research and what it shows regarding things like sonic soundscapes or whatever, or I could even whoop out some "M" scores, too, maybe. I know there are some who don't agree with me - including some of the people closest to me whom I love and respect.

Instead, I said to my friend, who is also a radio presenter/talent/artist of content something pretty simple.

"When's the last time you tried something different?"

Uncomfortable eventually becomes comfortable. Self consciousness eventually gives way to confidence.

To cut through the noise, you have to be heard.

Are you being heard?

Finally, the best thing about being different is that when you decide you want to be different again, you can always throw something else into the concoction called live, personality based on-air radio.

You know, like talking over a bed.

Jennifer Lopez naked photos, Wiki-leaks, Santa Claus, Britney Beaten... what a news day...

What a day for sleaze, friends... wow...

Leaked cable from kid to Santa causes controversy -

The power of 'you...'

A few people who make "me" who I am from a gig the other night. 
We're so about "us" sometimes.

Sometimes, when I'm punching around or streaming the world, finding inspiration, the words most which are most common that I hear is "I" and "Me" and "I think" and "I was wondering..."

What does that have to do with them? Anything?

Tell me again, who is more important than you?

That's right.

Understand the power of just who is the "you..." and who allows you the privilege of being who "you" think "you" are.

The real stars are the ones who make others shine.

World AIDS Day

Click. Read. Help. Support. Bring to an end.

We're stronger than AIDS.

May God grant us a cure in our lifetime,


World AIDS Day - Toby Knapp -