This is a frequent theme in many of our presentations to airstaffs because all too often, jocks fail to view a larger role for themselves at their stations. The need to do more than just an "air shift" has never been more important.
But as Greater Media VP of Programming Buzz Knight reminded me the other day, linchpins aren’t just on the airstaff, nor are they typically in the corner offices. They don’t usually earn six-figure incomes, nor do CEO's speak about them on investor conference calls. You never read about them in the trades.
In fact, they often are unheralded, and even unnoticed at times – despite how indispensable they may have made themselves to a station or cluster.
But they’re there – like a rock – holding the organization together, and at times, reminding everyone why radio is such an important, vibrant, viable, and fun business.
In Buzz’s comments below, he singles out one such linchpin – Steve Feldman (pictured) of WMMR in Philly. Here’s Buzz’s story:
Steve Feldman is an unsung hero at Greater Media in Philadelphia that is worth singing about. Yesterday was his birthday and a large group of employees ranging from the market manager to sales managers to PDs to talent joined in at the conference room to celebrate not only his birthday but to celebrate what he means to the organization.
To borrow a phrase from Seth Godin, Steve is a true "linchpin" in what matters most... audience and client interaction.
What is Steve’s job title? He is a member of the “street team” for each of the radio stations at Greater Media Philadelphia.
That's right...a member of the “street team” and yet his contribution to the cluster is inestimable.
Steve is a reliable problem-solver who always does what's necessary to make the audience and the client happy. He has been empowered much like a great Starbucks employee to do what's needed to satisfy and win over his constituency.
He is courteous and passionate on the front line and I wish we had 20 more Steve Feldmans to go around.
Hopefully, there’s a linchpin at your station – someone who truly makes a difference to the organization in behind-the-scene ways.
And to celebrate these people, we are starting a “Steve Feldman Linchpin Award” to provide some recognition for these unsung heroes – the folks who love radio and their stations like Steve does at Greater Media Philly.
Take a moment this week, and look around your station for that special person who has helped your operation get through these difficult times, and has made herself indispensable while never whining and complaining about long hours or lack of support.
Take a break from scheduling the music or reforecasting Q3 to thank that special linchpin in your company or station who gives 120% but has no stock options or bonuses. Give back some of the recognition that these people bring to your operation every day – including weekends.
Just for the love of the game.
Buzz and I have broken into our collective “slush funds” (our wallets) to purchase an iPod Touch for our “Steve Feldman Linchpin Award.”
Get your nominations to us by Labor Day (how appropriate), and we’ll award our iPod Touch to the linchpin whose story reaches out and grabs us. And in the process, we'll hopefully be able to shine the light on some of the people who do just that for our stations.
And thanks, Steve, for reminding us why we’re all here in the first place.