The second group generally are managers and directors who don’t like deviating from the game plan (some of the greatest promotions of all time were put together on three minutes notice) or who are comfortable with the status quo:
“I don’t see the need to constantly reinvent the wheel” from a PD
“If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it”. I prefer, “If it ain’t broke, break it”
“Keep it simple stupid” which usually translates to “Keep it boring stupid”
I’d never truly gauged my rep until I was at a C Company station and the GM said that one of their consultants had nervously pulled him aside and advised against working with me because, “He’ll lose your license”.
Okay. That’s the world’s oldest and stupidest fucking excuse. When was the last time a station lost its license? Get back to me on that.
Do we want to kill a listener or swear on the air or fake a contest? Hell no. You’ll lose your job for being an idiot, but the station won’t lose its license.
So I inherited a station where the previous OM had so thoroughly beaten the staff down and instilled a fear of the FCC, that they literally were too cowed to do anything. To give you an idea of his mindset, he once stated that “Protecting the license” was his #1 job priority.
Consequently “We can’t” and “we’re not allowed to” were the mantra of the cluster.
“Tomorrow is going to be the first nice day of Spring. We should just pull the morning show, go to a plaza, hang out and giveaway ice cream.” You would have thought I was suggesting having Cub Scouts wrestle pit bulls. “The consultant doesn’t like the morning show to go out because it doesn’t sound studio quality.” And yes, life sounds studio quality so that makes total sense.
Let’s do call ins from the pools this weekend. Let’s have a photo booth at the Taylor Swift show. Let’s get some Twilight movie tickets and give them away by releasing a hundred balloons with paper bats under them. Let’s invert the image on the website for a day. Let’s get dental patients under anesthesia to do our morning show traffic.
No. No. No. We can’t. They won’t let us. We’re not allowed. People will complain. We don’t have enough people. We’re VT’ed. My urethra is too narrow. (Just checking to see if you were paying attention.)
It was a lot of mindset modification that I started with a Lady Gaga show. “Let’s have transvestites at our booth for people to get their photos with.”
“The arena says we’re only limited to our space they assigned us.”
“Yes…I get that, but did they tell you what you could do AT your tent…or across the street…or on all of the corners leading in…or on the air all that day?”
“Then transvestites should be fine.”
And they were and there was a huge line AND we owned all of the roads leading in while the competition sat and sulked in their assigned space.
We instilled the mantra of “Sure you can” in the building. And 18 months later, the station is alive, compelling, fun to listen to and all of the old bullshit excuses are just a faint memory.
“Sure you can”. And you know what? It’s true. You can.