The plan was to fly into Syracuse, spend a night with my son and his family and then drive to Canada for a meeting.
Then the flu wrestled me to the mat and changed all that.
I spent the next couple of days in bed asking the ghost to bring a cold ginger ale up from the kitchen.
The house I was staying in is 150+ years old and quite haunted.
There are all kinds of stories of strange happenings in the house. Fans and lights turn on at will and thermostat settings do what they want.
The ghost was either stubborn or lazy because the ginger ale I ordered never arrived.
Syracuse is one of my favorite towns. We lived there for a few years in the 90s. It’s probably not a place I could go back to (is 200 inches of snow per year the reason perhaps?), and yet we have more friends there than anywhere in the world.
Syracuse is a as close to stepping into a time machine as it gets.
For example, the same people are anchoring the news on TV that were there in 1993.
The same people are on the radio.
Some of the stations even sound pretty much like they did then with jock shouts and jingles.
Advertisers use the same tired jingles on their TV and Radio ads they’ve used for decades.
Every promotion this weekend was a look backward. It was a reunion this or a reunion that.
There was a Classic Car Reunion the Disco Reunion and some other reunion.
No wonder I felt like I was traveling in the Wayback Machine.
Ok, I admit I always stop at Heid’s in Liverpool for a hot dog and shake, that’s as retro as you can get.
The ‘Cuse could use a little fresh thinking and so can many other towns.
I don’t care if you’re in Lubbock or Green Bay as a PD it is up to you to pay attention to things around you. Really listen to your station and the competition and find ways to make your station sound fresh.
People inside the stations can be as resistant to change as those outside. Keep fighting for it.
It can be very difficult if your market is somewhat isolated and you can’t hear radio from bigger markets. How can your talent learn?
I strongly suggest you take time to listen to your entire market, here are some suggestions.
- Look for tired promotions and dump them
- Kill tired language
- Promotions that are being over done by all of the stations, like ‘reunions’
- Look for places that people go that have been ignored by the stations
- Brainstorm a list of new ideas
- Find fresh events to participate in
- Buy a WIFI Radio and listen to other markets
- Or listen on line to stations that stream
- Network with PDs outside or your market
- Get your station staff to listen to big market stations
- Look at websites for ideas
Look at all of the elements, the language you use, the promotions, and especially the ‘sacred cows’.
Sacred Cows make great burgers.