Friday, July 31, 2015

Family is everything...

A photo posted by Mikey V. Kiss 108 (@mikeyvonair) on

There are a few things we need to remember in this 'game' we play called radio... and the same things are true for anyone who loves what they do for a living... and in fact, I'd say that these things are important for this thing we call life... 

1) Control the work life balance: You work to live... and not the other way around.

2) Things are more important than what you do, and you will be judged by how you react to this.

3) Nothing is more important than family.

Over the last few months, my soul has been reminded of how important the word "family" is by the example of radio's most prolific family... the Vinci family of the great state of Massachusetts.

I've met both of these "Princes of Boston Radio" individually and together... I've hung with both individually and collectively... and I will tell you they are unique as individuals who are together cut from a different cloth when it comes to this "radio" game.

They're both tireless workers. They're soldiers. They get in early and they stay late. They don't say no and when they do say no it's because they just don't have any more hours in the day to give to deliver results at the high level they both aspire too.

They both have this "passion" thing which is missing in this new generation of what we do. They don't expect things to be handed to them... they're willing to get scrappy to fight for every single inch that they can get... and then, they ask for more.

I'm about to listen to an aircheck from Mikey V which will -- as has happened before -- inspire me to play at that Tom Brady level...

... because that's the level these VBROZ play at.


When did they go from great to epic?

For me, as an outside observer... it was when God called Big Frank home.

I don't know about you, but I watched as this family rallied around Dad and each other... they were there for one another. There was boundless optimism and a real feeling that tomorrow would be indeed better than today.  And when Frank fell asleep to wake up in that place where we become immortals, these "Bros" and their family celebrated a life well lived... knowing that they are now the legacy of a man who clearly was a tremendous motivational force for life...

Frankie V then was promoted to Boston... his hometown... proving that yes, with hard work and a bit of big dreaming... you can go home again... to dream bigger dreams which indeed do come true when you have the balls to dream 'em.

Frankie and Mikey are two of a kind who are the example of what we all need to remember is most important in this game called radio... and in this game called life.

Jobs come and go. Markets and market size come and go. You can be syndicated or solo in some small market. You can go national or stay unknown yet hungry while doing what you love. You can climb to the highest heights... or experience the lowest of lows...

... but if you have family -- and a love for that blood which is thicker than water -- you'll aways be able to overcome.

To my friends and colleagues Frankie and Mikey V -- I'm so proud of you. I'm better as a human being because I know you both and we as human beings are better because of the example that you and your family have shown us in recent months...

... that nothing... is more important than that love we have as a family.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

You are only as strong as the other people around you...

If you're reading this blog, realize we're going on a trip...

Welcome to my home state of Texas... and one our country's most major metropolitan areas... the Dallas-Arlington-Fort Worth TSA... or the "Metroplex..."

We call it the DFW. Or the DF DUB.

Sorry, Billy...

Anyway, I was on the phone tonight with Priscilla in Dallas, who gets it. She's my boss in Dallas when my boss in Dallas isn't around. With respect to Billy, who is the boss when the boss isn't around, but Priscilla is the "executive producer" of the station I'm on in Dallas. She's the one who gets stuff done. Who anticipates problems, finds solutions, thinks of the worst-case scenario and makes the best case happen. She just gets it. Its why she's there.

For a while, a few years back, she wasn't. Things weren't the same. The "product" suffered. Thank GOD she came back.... by the grace of that same God and some targeted bitching from around the company...

... it proved a point.

This station has been #1 persons SIX PLUS in the face of some incredible odds.

Incredible odds... like the passing of a beloved Morning Host in Kidd Kraddick two years ago this week.

People lined up to write KISS off.

Some wanted to talk about a "succession plan..."

Kidd was gone but he hadn't been gone too long when others were planning on what to do next.

At KISS, Patrick, the PD, trusted his heart, his intuition... and trusted his team. He listened to the advice of the people around him... because, we're only as good as the advice and people around us...

... and here we are, two years later... KISS is still #1. 6+. In ALL major demos. In the face of insurmountable odds.... NUMBER ONE.

Others wonder how this happens. Others still can't understand it or figure it out.

But... it's not that complicated.

You're only as good as the people around you... and at KISS, the people around every daypart, in support roles and in the leadership roles, including the great Kelly Kibler, Brad Hardin and Hartley Adkins... know that your only as good as the people who make the magic called radio every day happen...

In the face of unbelievable odds... with heavy hearts and with the future very much in doubt, KISS - and it's coach Patrick Davis looked up... because that's where it all is... and together, strengthened by the people around them... they moved forward. They strengthened that lead in the ratings and took it to even greater heights...

... because that's what you do when you realize you're only as strong as those around you.

You move forward... through the pain of loss... through the confusion of an untimely passing... and you keep winning.

And, as Kidd would say... you keep looking up. 'Cuz that's where it all is.

Trust the team. You can't do it alone. None of us can. Be stronger because those around you are stronger than you are - are more gifted than you might be, although you are gifted in ways they can't imagine. That humility is what conjoins with the variables around you... which ultimately makes dreams come true.

From DC, Goodnight...


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

When ARTISTS and PROMOTERS are angry... something is wrong...

The great General Colin Powell has said time and again to leaders... 

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

Leave prize winners waiting at a show, with no clue how to get to a "meet-and-greet" they won from you... and you've kept your ego close to your position.

Not wanting to interact with winners because you think there aren't enough at a venue for a show... and you've kept your ego close to your position.

When artists and promoters and others are talking about the massive failure which happened because a promotion, built around you and your show or station, ends with pissed off fans who miss a "meet-and-greet" with a beloved artist or with members of team... and you've kept the ego too close to the position.

And when a position goes... for these type of folk... the ego goes with it.

I don't care if you work at Taco Bell... or Z-100. Your fans... your listeners... your customers... are THE NUMBER ONE REASON YOU DO WHAT YOU DO.

Forget about what event you hosted. That doesn't matter. It was over yesterday and forgotten about today.  It doesn't matter if you emceed a party for the Bilderberg group or played a few CD's at a pool party for your neighbors... chances are good NONE OF THIS means ANYTHING to station fans.

What have you done for me lately?

That's what our fans want to know. And when you leave 'em high and dry while they see photos of you with so-and-so backstage at whatever-show-you-may-be-at... and well, you can understand why they're pissed off. Especially if they won that same "backstage experience" you're all Instagram-happy about... although you left them out front left out.

FOMO from fans? No. How 'bout PISSED OFF... for all the right reasons.

We are who we are because of the people who allow us to be who we are... and who give us the jobs we love while we do what we do. But when we allow ourselves to believe we're "all that..." is when life shows up to serve us a plate of Humble Pie.

And I don't know about you... but I don't dig that sort of pie.

Stay humble. Stay foolish. And stay hungry...

From Washington, DC...


Swan Songs... and realizing that there is a tomorrow...

A long time ago... in a place now not so far away...

There was this time when I felt I'd met someone I really liked. I mean, I "liked" in as much as a life which hasn't experienced life to the level I've experienced it in years since would probably beg to differ with... but none the less... there was once a time when I thought it was "so right..."

Realize this was the year 2000. Yeah. 15 years ago.

Life has a way. You travel on. You learn new things. You discover things about you... and life teaches you things you thought you knew then were maybe not so accurate...

At any rate, recently, for the reasons only life can explain, I've given a glimpse back at some formidable emotional times in my life. And like Bruce Hornsby says, "I don't regret much... not much at all..."

After some breakup in the past, where I discovered someone I trusted had been less than faithful to what I thought was a relationship, I remember getting home and listening to a Bruce Hornsby song on a stereo I got from some rent-to-own place in the loft in which I lived in what I know now wasn't the best part of town...

No matter.

The truth I learned that night would give me a degree of strength moving forward. I remember when I accepted that life dealt me a hand with that "relationship" which I couldn't parlay into a win.

"I will do alright... well in truth, I might..."

And yeah, I missed the times when I thought it was "so right..."

But what was a "Swan Song" became the catalyst for moving one foot in front of the other... and moving forward. Sure, I stumbled. Sure, I fell. I don't even know if I've figured it all out. My swan song... became my anthem for finding a way forward again.

I don't know. There's always, at least to me, been something about Bruce Hornsby...

I learned so many personal lessons in Lancaster... some which still teach me lessons about me every day. Even today, things I learned in "Amish Paradise" still speak to my inner compass...

... and while I might re-think the way some things went down, I don't think I'd experience anything there differently. Those wins, those mis-steps... those stumbles and those recoveries... all made me who I am and continue to influence who I hope to ultimately become.

Even if I didn't understand why at the time...