Monday, August 11, 2008

Maybe the 10 Commandments Would Help

That would be the 10 Commandments for Business Failure. A book written by Don Keough, a former President of the Coca-Cola Company. He's a colorful guy who has a wonderful history and experiences to share. He has kept and keeps good company including smart folks like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, and early in his work life he and Johnny Carson hosted adjacent television shows.

Aside from all that this quote from the book really sums it all up:
"You will fail if you quit taking risks, are inflexible, isolated, assume infallibility, play the game close to the line, don’t take time to think, put all your faith in outside experts, love your bureaucracy, send mixed messages, and fear the future."
For a very mature business such as radio I think there is a lot to learn from the man who was part of the executive team that brought us New Coke.

Here's a short soundbite from the audio book that features part of the introduction.

If you would like to read additional reviews or buy the book click the Amazon link below.

News and Talk on FM: An Update

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about how news/talk stations would continue their successful migration to FM and highlighted WPRO's (Providence) spring ratings success as a shining example. Then the news came out regarding 6 questionable diaries that Arbitron was looking into.

Despite the fact that the premise of the post remains strong and intact, I was concerned that I still might have an erroneous post on my hands. I decided I would wait until Arbitron reissued the Providence ratings before I would change or amend my original post. If you missed it you can read the original here.

According to Radio and Records, Arbitron has re-issued the spring book and here are the detail of the adjustments:
Spring Revised: Arbitron released revised spring numbers for Providence after discovering six diaries from "media-affiliated households." Citadel talk WPRO-AM goes from third to tied for second 12+, not to first as originally shown. The revised numbers heavily affected WPRO's morning show in adults 25-54 but didn't stop the show from going 6.4-7.4 ranking No. 1 12+, says PD Paul Giammarco. The show fell from fourth to ninth place among adults 25-54. Adults 35-64 showed no change in the reissue.
While embarrassing for the station; still a decent book overall as well as for the morning show.

What's still unknown--or not reported thus far-- what was the origin of those 6 renegade diaries. [Arbitron is so hungry for willing participants, this type of "error" does not surprise me. Not to mention stations equally hungry for higher ratings. I may have to write about that at another time.]

As anyone who deals with Arbitron ratings knows, the impact that 6 diaries can have on a ratings period is mind-numbing--even though Providence is a decent sized market with a metro population of 1,376,500 (ranked #39th) and presumably an adequate number of diaries to appropriately measure the market. Imagine the impact in a smaller market!

Based on today's re-issue I will let the original post stand. Like it or not, spoken word formats are FM's future. Got something interesting to say?