Managers: Talent Wants and Needs Your Feedback


When was the last time you took that simple step of walking into the studio to tell your on-air talent he or she was doing an excellent job serving the local community? It’s all about building trust between management and talent that makes that relationship thrive in radio. That was the message being sent by former Dallas Cowboys and University of Oklahoma head coach Barry Switzer, iHeart Media VP of Talent Dennis Clark and Reynolds Group CEO Steve Reynolds at one of the final CRS panels this week. A lot was said about trusting your people and caring about them. The simple things that perhaps get lost as managers try to do so many things and have so little time.

Reynolds told the CRS crowd that managers are all doing 5 million things these days, which is where he steps in as a coach. “I give the talent time. I work with some very insecure people. What they really want is for us to tell them we like them, that we care about them.”

Clark said iHeartMedia embraces peer pressure. “Sadly our company sometimes positions talent against each other. I tell them (the talent) to just keep doing what you’re doing. Keep doing your job. You’ll get noticed.” Clark also said radio has to be careful not to allow social media to be the only form of feedback talent gets. “That’s not the way radio works. Coaching is about really giving talent the time. Social Media is the wrong way to go. There’s a lot of anger out there. Being angry does get feedback (from listeners) on social media.” Clark said being angry on the air all the time is not going to make you a success.

Switzer said if you show them (talent) you care about them, you will have a genuine relationship for life. “My players knew I genuinely cared about them. They sold me to other players because they believed in me.”


  1. Note to managers wandering into control rooms to offer “way-to-be’s”:
    Talent is so wary, cynical, suppressed and already so under-appreciated, that any manager going through the motions of praise will understand their input is not from a peer who can actually relate.
    Nor is it from someone who has earned the talent’s trust.
    Rather, the exercise will seem (to the talent) like they are being pandered to and patronized.
    That probably wasn’t the original intent.
    This (radio) is supposedly a profession.
    Nobody will accept being treated like credulous and gullible student-athletes.
    (“Nice break, Billy. I really like how you said the call letters!”)
    Stop it!


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