The post was highly read and circulated, sparking a number of comments that I believe are pertinent to the conversation. Two of the best came from important sources: Radio Ink’s esteemed publisher, Eric Rhoads, and voiceover talent J. C. Haze.
I thought you’d appreciate reading both of them in the ongoing dialogue about the radio industry’s direction as the media world continues to make a painful but necessary transition.
We look at it from the internal perspective. Not the external. In other words, Radio Ink’s list is a reflection of power within the industry in terms of who wields control within the industry. We determine that with a committee of five editors and we base it on gross revenues, profits, revenue per station, number of employees, involvement and influence on the community of radio. We debate Pandora, XM Sirius, and there may be times when they make the list (Mel has made the list in the past).
Talent, programmers clearly have power and influence, and we indeed have issues that point these out like our best PDs issue, etc. If our list was crafted from a listener’s perspective, it would be people like Limbaugh, etc. There was a time when Rush was on the list because of the influence he wields within the industry (generating ratings, income, competitive battles to carry his program, etc.), but we made a decision to remove talent from the list a few years back because we really wanted to reflect who is running the industry.
Regarding celebrating innovation… we do so with some of our awards and issues. For instance, we have a new issue coming up, which is the RISING STARs issue.
We celebrate influential women, top managers, programmers, African Americans, Hispanic broadcasters, etc. We think recognition is important.
But the point is well taken, and we will revisit our discussions and appreciate the input.
Eric Rhoads, Publisher
And now J.C. Haze:
But it’s OK, Fred. REALLY. It’s OK. Let the power mongers BE the power mongers. We’re NOT here for that. We’re the entertainers. We’re the talent. We get our rocks off by chatting with Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney (if we’re ever that lucky). We’re here to create those special moments with our communities. We’re here to provide the content and information that our listeners, fans & friends will talk about for days, months, and even YEARS from now. We’re here to create moments. And memories. We make our listeners laugh and cry. We become FAMILY. We make them FEEL.
So sleep well tonight, Fred. Because when all’s said & done, we enjoy our lives, TOO. No, we’re not the great and powerful. We won’t make that “most powerful” list, and that’s OK. We all can’t be PITTMANS, MAYS, or HOGANS, or even STERN for that matter.
But as George Steinbrenner knew, as he was rebuilding the Yankees empire in the 1970s… the fans will come because of the talent and how they deliver.
So, two very eloquent viewpoints from two very different perspectives.
Radio Ink continues to recognize greatness from all quarters of the industry, so they view the “40 Most Powerful List” as showcasing the biggest power brokers in the business. Eric raises good questions about what’s important and what matters.
And J.C. probably speaks for many people on the air and behind the mic who are in it for lots of reason beyond just the paycheck. It’s a view that also needs to be heard.
So, two well-reasoned opinions.
Now what’s yours?