It's terrific to see R. J. Curtis adroitly stepping across perceived borders of our business, first as he moved several years ago from radio programming to trade publication editor for R&R and now to promotions for the venerable Arista imprint.
Some of the most creative and effective music promoters in our business started as air personalities and programmers. They bring a reality-based view of the transactions radio and records must conduct on a daily basis for both businesses to be as successful as we all need to be in these difficult times.
As someone who has never wanted to do anything more with my career than to fully understand the constantly-evolving expectations and priorities of radio listeners, working with passionate broadcasters to create engaging programming which drives usage, I respect the powerful role which music and artists play in that.
There's nothing more rewarding than introducing the listener to a new act or song which creates an immediate "WOW." There is a huge payoff to turning on other people to music and musicians which do that.
Obviously, someone had to advocate that project or person very early, championing it across all the hurdles which this crass, competitive business routinely erects. While I certainly understand that, I don't think I am cut out for the rejection and failure that comes along with that job.
That's why you may read recommendations and endorsements from other programmers, researchers and consultants in the trade magazines, but never A&O.
Mike and I simply don't see ourselves as having a role in music promotion. We try to be honest advocates for what listeners want. We work to keep our research-based data and recommendations locally-driven, designed only for specific market situations - confidential - between us and individual clients only.
Reading the weekly trade magazine ads touting over-the-top endorsements and even fresh research scores, I scratch my head and wonder what the payoff could be for announcing publicly to your competition, to the world beyond your own business, your tactics and strategies.
If R.J. phones, of course I will welcome his call because I am sure that he'll have ideas and intelligence that he believes will give us an edge. I love it when "one of ours" crosses the line so that they can work tirelessly on behalf of the next big thing.
However, when I read glowing quotes on new music from folks we compete with, I don't know quite how to take them.
Selfless sharing, putting the good of the format above their own success?
Am I missing something? I'm sure a promoter will call or email today and tell me if I am. That's their job.
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