Plus, although we have been offering good radio for sale for a long time... I still haven't felt entirely confident going out into the community to ask for advertising dollars. I never really felt that we got it right enough to actually put together sales packets and go door to door and phone call to phone call and chamber lunch to chamber lunch to sell our product.
Until now. We've accomplished the three main things that I wanted to get done before Debbie and I and others went around trying to sell advertising.
1. built new studios
2. bought an FM
3. started a video network
We've done the first two... and we're doing the latter. As a matter of fact, it is probably the last one - the Facebook Live explosion... that motivates me the most to get out hustle for dollars. I'm confident now that we have the best product in the Region AT THE RIGHT TIME.
Why is it the right time?
That's because the whole ad world is suddenly embracing, as Twitter calls it, the Power of Live. I call it the Power of Now on the Tower of Now... but it's the same message. Live video is taking over the world. People on Facebook and Twitter want it. We can deliver it.
And it's not just a shift to Live and the Now in video... it's also in radio. Because if you really think of it, what does radio do best?
Live (rhymes with "hive") Now.
That's what we do all day on WJOB radio, AM and FM, four live local shows all day and then live sports and live at events and you get the picture. It's not just live video that marketers are embracing... it's live everything.
And that's something I believe in and can sell. I believe in Live. I believe in the Now.
Live and Now is really the only thing I like to do in broadcasting. I can do four and a half hours of live radio in the morning and not bat an eye. But ask me to tape a 30-second commercial and all of the hair on my back stands up... and my dark star puckers... and I sweat. I'm alive when it's live... I'm stressed when it's not.
That's how it was with trading. You could do all the prep work you want... and trading simulations and charting and graphing and reading the trade commentaries... but in the end the only thing that mattered was when the bell rang at 7:20 and you raised your arms and started screaming for dollars. That's what I liked. That's what I was at least good enough at to eventually buy a couple of radio stations and a newspaper.
The newspaper's gone. You know that. Two and a half years of media bliss... and media horror all in one.
But anyways... it's the Live and Now that I want to sell to people Now. I'm proud of what we've built and it's time go out and get some ad dollars so we can do more. That is ultimately my goal of spending so much time on marketing myself as a brand and WJOB as a brand. If we can bring in more ad dollars in the second half of 2016 - and I'm pretty sure that'll be the case - then we can do a ton more innovative projects.
Right now, our main project - outside of bringing a new FM station into the fold - is our foray into Facebook Live video. I can't believe and probably neither can the three or four of you how many people watch our videos. Or, more precisely for now, my videos. On Thursday I stopped by Jodi's Italian Ice on Calumet Avenue with my nephews Jack and Al and we ran into the Mrvan girls and so I did a Facebook Live video. Let me check right now how many views.
That puts a lotta pressure for me to keep coming up with creative Live stuff... but I'll accept that challenge. Because after all, that's where life is lived. In the Now. I like the Now.
Another thing we're doing now is the HeyRadio project. I started it this week. We have about ten young people hanging around or working or interning at the station right now. They all have something to contribute to the on-air radio... but there's just not enough airtime for all of them... or, more precisely, any of them.
So I gotta figure out a way to get them involved in what happens on the air. And so I'm trying to do something that I've wanted to do for a while - the HeyRadio project. It uses interns, technology with the smartphone, local radio and listeners. Here's how it works.
The original 10 walk around with their smartphones all day. When inspiration hits them, or they run into an interesting happening in the Region, they pick up their smartphones and they record a "HeyRadio." It's less than a minute and it can be about anything. The only thing I ask is that they start it with "HeyRadio."
What will I do with these HeyRadio bits?
I'll play them during my show. We did it for the first time this week. Video floor director Sam Michel and morning show intern Ben Wood sent me a couple. Ben did one about Strack's fried chicken that was excellent. He also did one about what a great person his grandmother Sue Wood is. Sam did a good one on why not go see a movie on a rainy day... and then he reviewed The Conjuring. Sam also did an excellent HeyRadio on Cubs manager Joe Madden making players wear multicolored suits to games.
Sam is a Cardinals fan. You can imagine how that one went.
You can also imagine where this could lead. But don't get ahead of yourself. I'm prompting all of these young people to do HeyRadios but only a few have responded. They're really cool, though, when I play them. I have a feeling that HeyRadio will grow for the rest of the summer. To where, I have no freaking idea.
That'll do it for now. Talk to the three or four of you later.