Thursday, March 12, 2009

False Economies And Smart Moves

Keith Bilbrey will no longer be on the air at WSM-AM and will no longer serve as a Grand Ole Opry announcer.

Banks started cutting tellers and replacing them with ATMs at least 15 years ago so I get the concept of improving customer/listener service and reallocating budgets to things that matter to users, but it seems to me that people are radio's non-duplicatable branded assets which bring the brand story to life in human form in ways no other radio station can copy or take away.

A strong personality is a poster child for your brand, adding value. Bilbrey is now a poster child for Gaylord Entertainment in what seems to me to be all the wrong ways for the people of my age who listen to AM radio.

Meanwhile, Gaylord's Grand Ole Opry pairs with American Idol next week in yet another effort to contemporize the Opry's image. Can Carrie and Brad's personas wallpaper over the crack left by Keith?

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