Thursday, January 30, 2014

Gerry House Joins Us at A&O&B's 20th Pre-CRS Seminar

With our announcement today that Gerry House will be part of the 2014 A&O&B Pre-CRS Seminar, I thought it would be OK to re-visit a couple of blogs I wrote. 

They're about being a great talent.

The first from December of 2010 was penned after Gerry’s last day on the air at WSIX. There’s no way of course to sum up Gerry’s contributions in a blog – let alone from someone who never worked with him nor even got to hear him on a daily basis. I was instead like many radio folk who came to Nashville in the pre-streaming days;  we considered listening to "Gerry House and The House Foundation" a "must have" experience.

It was a beautiful thing to hear: a balance of humor and heart-tuggers, country and mass appeal content, insider authority and self-deprecation, personal and universal stories, and a feeling that you were among good friends, all riding in a carpool and doing your collective best to face each day with a sense of humor. 

Shows were peppered with memorable stories and improbable characters that sprung from stereotypes of real people we’d either encountered or imagined we might encounter.

It was funny and fun to listen to. At the risk of sounding a little gushy, it was an awesome, one-of-a-kind piece of art.

Last year I wrote about what listeners say makes a talent great: having a sense of humor, being real, giving the audience the sense they as listeners were understood by the talent, and that the talent was interesting simply in and of themselves outside of anything else going on at the station – even the music. 

There are a dozen more points listeners made (here) and again you could have checked them off one-by-one listening to Gerry House. 

Our most recent Pre-CRS gatherings have featured at least one session on talent growth. Over the previous 19 years many of the industry’s best talent coaches have generously shared their thoughts with us.  

As a performer and writer however, Gerry is in a class by himself (he’ll probably have a line for that). 

Spending time with great talent is inspirational. 

If you’re coming to our Pre-CRS Seminar, this might be one of the sessions that will stay with your throughout your career.

Gerry we're honored you'll be joining us.

You can join us for Albright & O’Malley & Brenner’s Pre-CRS Seminar Tuesday, February 18th, from 12:30-4:30pm at the Country Music Hall of Fame. It’s free and open to clients and those in non-competing markets, but you will need to RSVP to or #AOBPCRS2014 If you have not yet registered for CRS you can do so here.  Order or get information on Gerry's just-released book "Country Music Broke My Brain" here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Fine Line Between Relevant and Ridiculous

We could be polite and say it was just one of those embarrassing moments. 

But the truth is, many listeners this morning probably judged the quarter-hour a lot more harshly.

As they should have.

It had already been snowing for an hour. And for the past 30 minutes it was coming down pretty good. And it was sticking on the roads. 

That was when the live talent informed us that the snowfall would begin later today. 

This of course sounded beyond ridiculous to those of us in our cars, navigating through the snow that was now coming down hard enough to make it obvious - even to fellow lead-footers - that driving conditions were rapidly deteriorating. 

Surely, I’m thinking, the next time the talent came on there would be a correction, an update, a ‘report’ – something to save face.

I waited through a song, a commercial set, a discussion on an unrelated topic, and a phoner, but there was to be no face saving this break. 

So I hit a button. 

This show on this morning was clueless (side note: How many times would I put up with this before I removed them from my morning station "buying set?").

That the show originates from a remote studio is no excuse in the mind of listeners. Without a plan (or with a plan but with a failure to execute said plan) the talent sounded foolish.

That snow (or name your local event) is coming is fairly predictable. When it will start is probably less so.  Which is all the more reason to have a plan that covers common contingencies.

Everyone looks bad when this sort of preventable thing happens: the talent, the station and radio.  It supplies more fodder for our critics.

Situations like this usually have only two outcomes: your talent and station come off as relevant or ridiculous.

Have you reviewed your response and information plans recently?