Tuesday, February 05, 2013

No Bones About It

It's demoralizing for those of us who believe in local radio driven by powerful local brands to have to watch Clear Channel doing what it seemingly feels is must do to compete while paying down the huge mountain of debt facing the company.

Demoralizing too for Bobby Bones and his terrific team, it seems, since they claim to have been receiving "a lot of hate mail" about the move.  Even their affiliates learned about it yesterday on the air.

They have a poll on their website asking their listeners what they think.  When I voted, here's how it looked (not exactly a rousing welcome/sendoff):

I must confess that I am not demoralized.  Actually, I am one of that 42%.  I love how organic the show is, how authentic.  I feel confident that it's going to find a place, much like Ryan Seacrest has in Top 40 and and Hot AC, in country radio where a local show is stuck in its ways and has been slow to understand Gen Y and Z.

I am energized.  It will be fun to watch what Bobby does on WSIX.  He's certainly not Gerry House in a litany of ways, and yet his unpredictability and honesty, that un-radio approach that endeared Gerry to Nashville radio listeners is alive and well within Bobby Bones.

This move means, of course, that as contracts end for many Clear Channel morning personalities over the next year or two, there will be a plethora of great morning talent seeking to find a new city to fall in love with in hopes that place will love them back.

If you're on the air in the morning on a successful country station now, it's time to up your game.  Think about today's and tomorrow's available target audience.

These are exciting times, and if you don't enjoy competition and innovation, I feel sorry for you.

Just like I feel sorry for anyone who has to face $10.1 billion in debt obligations which come due in three years, but of course a challenge like that can focus the mind and push one to quickly realize that they need to take risks and do big things.

Radio needs Bobby, his employer and all of us who compete for country radio listener ears to do our very best.  Now.

To me, that's exciting.


Bob Jones said...

Makes me wonder how many Cumulus morning teams will be looking for work after the company takes all of their country outlets to the new Nash FM country.

Ron Chase Radio-Online said...

As Bobby Bones is poised to lead numerous Clear Channel country stations through morning drive, the BIG 98/WSIX will host a press conference and reception to welcome The Bobby Bones Show to Nashville and to his new flagship station. The event will feature a Q&A session with Bones, followed by special appearances from Country music stars including Jana Kramer, Josh Thompson, Parmalee, Chris Janson, Joe Nichols, Dustin Lynch, Gloriana, Eric Paslay, The Farm and more, as well as on-air personalities Lunchbox and Amy.