"The Beamer" On Teamwork
March 29, 2011
Some of the people I coach are hesitant at first to take advice from anyone unless they know that person has (or had) some "chops" on-air himself.
By way of illustration, I went through some old airchecks recently of a couple of the morning team shows I was fortunate enough to be part of in my career. One of them (1988-1990) was me and a guy named Rick Robertson, who was "The Beamer" on our team "Tommy & the Beamer" for what was then-Magic 102.9 (KMGC) here in Dallas.
The station had some ... shall we say ... "challenges" in that it tried to combine what it referred to then as "Light Jazz" with "Light Rock" - two music genres that were basically totally incompatible, since each one of them skewed to a different gender and mindset. The result was that each song we played chased off 50% of the listeners, which made for some tough sledding.
I had done one morning team show before, as half of "Hudson & Harrigan" at the legendary powerhouse KILT/Houston, but Rick was different from my former partner there in many ways -- just as talented, but not the same. Experience had taught me that great teamwork was the first goal, because without that, you can get blown out of the water in a market this size pretty quickly.
After much pleading, we got the boss to let us drop the jazz cuts (or as Rick referred to them, "Production music") from the morning show, and while the station as a whole languished in 23rd or 24th place most of the time over the next couple of years, we did gain some decent traction in morning drive, getting near or into the top 10. This is pretty modest success, but we did outperform the rest of the station by 12 to 14 places (GMs love that), and more than tripled the ratings they'd had before in morning drive, which made them several million dollars. Much of this was due to the huge talents of my partner, but again, teamwork was the key.
Anyway, after editing together an aircheck I found of our one-year anniversary show with a montage of promos from the show on the end of it, I sent it to Rick, explaining why I wanted to make it available to people as a learning tool.
In this brilliant reply, "The Beamer" shows why he was such a joy to work with (and listen to).
"It's called playing as a team. There is no Irvin without Aikman, there is no Kareem without Magic, there is no Martin without Lewis, for that matter there is no Martin without Rowan. Please do share this with your clients. The competition should never be who gets the best lines, but who can be the best teammate. Remind your clients that while there is no 'I' in 'team,' but there IS an 'I' in 'fired.'
All the best,
P.S. Ironically, there is an 'I' in Rick, but not Tommy. Damn! And I was on a roll...
The aircheck is included on the end of the mp3 version of this tip. It may sound pretty dated to you, or you may not like us ... no matter; the point is two people working to do things together -- as a team.
(listen to the MP3 audio version of # 226 by clicking here)