Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What I Said (or) What He Said...

40° - clear at 7:27am

Good Morning from Michigan.

This past Monday, I wrote on this blog my worries about the present state of this industry, noting that the present staffing cutbacks, while they might provide corporate shareholders with short-term gains, they may in fact do long-term damage to the industry.

Over the last 12 hours -
I've come across some similar pieces with the same concerns. First from Fred Jacobs writing this morning on his blog:

"...amidst all the cutting, radio certainly isn't going to sound better. When you see major league PDs like Bob Buchman and Larry Sharp on the street - despite sporting great ratings in the nation's biggest markets - you have to wonder whether all the budget cutting isn't going to eventually start eroding great brands that took years to build. As research, marketing, staffing, management, and yes, consulting is being sliced out of budgets, stations are going to need more than inertia to stay compelling, much less listenable."

"So, ask yourself whether radio companies are tightening belts or actually tightening the noose. It's a tough, but a fair question as the last quarter of the year plays out." a new-to-me post from last week - consultant Alan Mason looks at the present economy, noting:

"CBS has responded by cutting all of the staff of WSJT in Tampa except one person to do remotes and endorsements. Here's a station that's top ten 12+, and the product is being degraded. I'm not so sure that new technology is a growing threat as our own lack of interest in the product is pushing people toward it."

"This isn't the time for corporate thinking, it's the time for entrepreneurial thinking. Those who can see beyond the next quarter have been blessed with a huge opportunity to grow and build equity while the corporate dinosaurs cut, cut, cut. Your actions, what you do right now, will be the deciding factor."

Alan's post here.

I get the need to tighten belts in bad economic times.
Most of my career has been spent with tight budgets and getting the most out of available dollars. But with recent events, are some companies and/or brands "saving" their way to irrelevance?

I'm really not a doom and gloom guy, but all this is hard to ignore.

Added: In this morning's Taylor-On-Radio newsletter (11/5) - Saga CEO Ed Christian offers some rational thinking, saying radio should be "careful that we don't eat our seed corn" with extreme cuts. "You mustn't chop off the things that make the business grow, long term."

Read more here (registration required).

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