Culture changes and better communication were some of the topics discussed by three of radio’s group heads at an NAB panel Monday, moderated by RAB President and CEO Erica Farber (right). The panel seemed to agree that the best ideas at a successful company come from the local people in the local markets.
Townsquare EVP Erik Hellum said when the company acquired new stations recently they asked local markets what worked well and what did not. He traveled to the locations four to five times in the first few months. “I’ve seen acquisitions where they bring in all their own people. We didn’t want to do that.”
At many stations the local employees at Townsquare were asked for ideas. Hellum said: “We asked what they wanted to do; it was liberating for some. We tell people the best ideas come from the local markets.
Connoisseur Media CEO Jeff Warshaw said his company focuses on culture, strategy and significant hires. “I’m there to help, but I try to let people do their jobs – like admitting when something goes wrong.” He described one instance where the company came in and changed a format and it didn’t work. Six months later they changed the format again, and now it’s a success, he said. “It’s coming from the top and saying we’re not always right.”
“It’s okay to send the message that sometimes we fail,” said Neuhoff Communications President/CEO Beth Neuhoff. Some times “people are reticent to tell you when things are not going well” because they don’t want to upset you. You need to make them feel safe.”