There Is One At Every Station
October 7, 2014
One of the most irritating things in any business is what I call the backseat expert on everything. In radio, just like life, sometimes a plan does not work. It seems as if every time something goes off course, there is that one person who, as loud as can be, will tell anyone who will listen what should have been done. Even worse, those who tell fairy tale war stories of how things used to be done. The funny thing is most of them have never had an original thought or actually had any real success in the areas they are bragging about.
Unfortunately, this young jock has been dealing with a situation and trying to understand who to believe.
Jock: My station is doing really well but our afternoon guy keeps telling me how much better it used to be. Sam, I have done some checking and the ratings back when he was talking about were not nearly as good as they are now. I do not understand and he says the PD does not know this market. I do weekends and I've been doing this for four years. Could you shed some light on this situation?
Coach: It seems like every station has one or two folks like him. Apparently he just does not like the PD and/or anything new. People like him are always pointing fingers at what is wrong or never explaining how he used to do these miraculous feats of radio greatness. I bet he has never programmed or worked in any other market.
Jock: He has only worked at this station and he says he was once offered the programming job, but turned it down.
Coach: Are you the least experienced on staff?
Jock: Yes, I have only been doing this for four years and only been here for two.
Coach: He is just doing a lot of talking without a base of radio reality or what I call radio IQ. He has "stay-sperience," which is what I call it when someone has worked in radio for a long time but never worked at any other station. It also sounds like he resents your PD. The best thing to do is to politely listen and let whatever he says go in one ear and out the other. I have worked around many personalities like him. They can be a real pain yet useful if they will follow directions. The most important thing is to never share what he says with anyone, because he is always hoping to start a little undercurrent rebellion and show what a big man he is. Don't be lured into his or her BS.
Jock: He can go on about stuff.
Coach: Like what?
Jock: Like when he first started here at the station the jocks were real personalities and talked about things.
Coach: Do have a way of finding out what the ratings were like during the time period he is talking about?
Jock: I do, because the local paper just did a piece on the station and back in the day this place was not even in the top 10 and now we are #4.
Coach: There you go, he is romanticizing and not dealing with reality. That and I bet the PD is getting a lot of credit.
Jock: The paper did the interview with my PD
Coach: I have never understood it, but some would rather be the captain on a sinking ship than be a part of something collectively grown. I can still hear a jock who used to work for me who would always preface his complaint as if he were speaking for all the jocks. On one point of contention I had enough and agreed with him on calling a jock meeting to fix an issue that was a non-issue, how to approach talk-sets.
Right at the top of the top of the meeting I let him have the floor and he proceeded to say he and the other personalities needed more time to express on open mic talk sets. He said they were rushing and this town was used to more personality.
Now keep in mind the station had two consecutive up books and was two shares higher than ever in the station's history. I let him finish and then asked "Does B#LL talk for everyone? No one raised a hand and I simply informed the jock to always check with the staff before he spoke on their behalf. That quieted him down for about three months until his ego came forward again.
Whenever the narcissistic get restless and start flapping their lips on subjects they have either limited or no experience with, just listen without comment. They always know better regardless of the circumstances ... it's a no-win situation. In their mind, nothing is ever the way they would have done it.