program launched by NBC's new Jay Leno prime time show to inexpensive Jack-FM stations. I was taken to task based on the notion that I don't know Jack, and that the format's personality-less appeal has somehow eluded me.
I get it. A station that features lots of variety, along with not much clutter or talk is going to find an audience. That's why people like their iPods. Of course, it may have trouble fulfilling sponsor and client needs, and it will face a myriad of digital challengers as more and more consumers avail themselves of the many options in front of them.
People care about people, personality, stars, celebrities. It always has been that way, and as media proliferates and becomes even more controlled by consumers, our unique, proprietary talent is the Holy Grail that will keep radio relevant. If we are committed to growing and nurturing it.
When was the last time a radio star was on the cover of a national news magazine? Whether you think Glenn Beck is a brilliant political animal or a total putz, the fact is that the guy is a bona fide celebrity, he's making noise, and most importantly, he's on the radio.
We need to grow more personalities, not music formats that can be easily duplicated by Pandora, Sirius XM, or some guy's iPod. And we're not going to do it by voicetracking nights, failing to market the great jocks that are already on the air, and sending out the message to advertisers that we just don't get it.