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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.


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August 2011

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Great post. No doubt leadership is often something the radio industry sorely lacks for. But I want to bring this down to the station level.

What should a local station manager working for one of the companies that is exhibiting poor judgement -- firing the wrong people, bad attitude etc. -- do when dealing with his or her staff?

Should they back the company line? Should they be honest with their employees about disagreeing with corporate?

In one case you aren't being a leader and in the other you are risking your job.

I think it's a problem lots of local radio managers are wrestling with and I'm curious to know what you'd suggest.


It's a fine line, but the really good ones understand the fine art of managing up and managing down. I think that many line managers would tell you that they deftly insulate the staff from corporate at times - and vice-versa. Often corporate works most effectively when they don't get bogged down with the local market minutia. And the local team often benefits from being detached from corporate think. Local management can take the best from corporate resources while perhaps "interpreting" the company line in a way that the local team can function the best. It's a dance. Hope that answers your question. Thanks for commenting.

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