On Thursday, September 22, at the Radio Show in Nashville, Radio Ink magazine will be introducing the industry to radio’s most successful Sales Managers, General Managers, Digital Sellers, and Account Executives. Thanks to the Radio Advertising Bureau, we are able to recognize these industry greats every year with awards named in honor of Wayne Cornils, who worked for the RAB for many years and was one of radio’s greatest ambassadors.
The Radio Wayne Awards are the only industry awards that recognize those people who are in the trenches, responsible for bringing in the revenue for the industry they love, all over the country. Over the next month we will be recognizing finalists from all of our categories so you can learn just how they became the best at what they do and how they represent the industry. One of this year’s finalists is Federated Media’s Jim Allgeier.
Allgeier is a 16-year veteran, now running Federated Media’s six-station cluster in Fort Wayne, IN, which includes the legendary WOWO. After being in billboard advertising for 15 years (a year and a half as a seller, three years as a General Sales Manager, and over 10 years as a General Manager), Allgeier made the change to radio. And the opportunity was in his hometown of Fort Wayne, with Federated Media.
Federated COO Brad Williams tells Radio Ink his Fort Wayne GM is always swinging for the fences. “Over the years I have seen Jim increase revenue and operating cash flow, increase ratings for the six-station cluster in Fort Wayne, increase local revenue by 8% in the last four years, including a 14% budget increase from 2015 to 2016. In a market of 17 reporting stations, four of his six stations consistently finish ranked 1,2,3,4 in Miller Kaplan, month in and month out, over the last four years. His staff absolutely loves him. His velvet touch in holding people accountable while aspiring to do better, is the stuff broadcast legends are made of. Radio Wayne would be proud.”
Here is our special interview with Radio Wayne General Manager finalist Jim Allgeier.
RI: What led you into management?
Allgeier: I was a salesperson in the outdoor advertising business for a little less than two years after completing college and, after real success in a market that had struggled for as long as the company owned it, was given the opportunity to become a General Sales Manager in a larger market. After a 12-plus-year run in the billboard business, I was contacted to make the switch to radio and become the General Manager of three stations in Fort Wayne for Federated Media. I now oversee all the Fort Wayne stations and operation.
I always say the best salesperson is not always the best Sales Manager prospect, and the best Sales Manager is not always the best General Manager prospect. With all that being said, I think growing up in competitive sports and always wanting to win helped me succeed in sales. Having coached different sports and teams of all ages over the past 35-plus years has showed me how to help everyone become their very best. Bottom line: I thoroughly enjoy helping people soar with their strengths to become the very best they can be. It’s the joy of helping people accomplish things that led me from sales to management.
RI: How does someone become a successful manager/leader of so many people in radio today?
Allgeier: Not just radio, but I think any business, always be in tune with your people, from the interns and part-timers to your top people. Lead by example — if they see me doing things, then they can do them too; if they see me not doing things, why should they? Find out what they do best, and have them do more of it. Help them reduce bad habits, and let them make mistakes so they can learn from them. Help people become successful; don’t do it for them or tell them what to do. Let everyone think on their own and work with them to make them be successful on their own.
RI: What is your digital strategy, and is it working?
Allgeier: Federated Media’s digital strategy is set on understanding and delivering on consumer/client needs, habits, and wants. We currently have a two-pronged approach to digital. One, as a digital consulting group assisting, educating, and training our radio station managers and employees on digital initiatives. This includes digital sales, systems, content, and programming, specifically as it relates to mobile, text, e-mail, social media, apps, SEO, SEM, Custom Audience Targeting, Responsive Web Design. Two, we operate a separate digital agency to serve a typical nontraditional advertiser. The digital solutions offered consist of “standalone digital,” SEO/SEM/Custom Audience Ad Targeting, Social Media, and Responsive Web Design.
In the 6 1/2 years of operation, we’ve gone from a media group with little to no digital offerings for consumers and clients, to an industry-leading radio/digital media group. We’ve been aggressive with our digital initiatives, never concerned about quick failure, but realizing the need to understand and learn from it. Our percentage of digital revenue growth has been dramatic, now accounting for 15 percent of all company revenue. Nearly all local broadcast clients use some form of digital offerings from Federated, and we have 140-plus clients that capitalize on our standalone digital offerings. Our consumer use of digital has grown every year, with nearly 1 million streams per month, a million page views per month, 400,000 Facebook followers, and 40,000 native app downloads. We are very happy with our processes, but are also striving to improve.
RI: What motivates you to walk into your radio station every day?
Allgeier: My people and success for them, as well as knowing it’s going to be a completely different day and, more often than not, a fun day. I know if I help everyone become the best they can be, everything will work out for them, me, and the company.
RI: What keeps you up at night?
Allgeier: Honestly, nothing keeps me up at night. I completely enjoy looking forward to the next day’s events and tasks.
RI: How do you educate yourself so you are always on top of your game, and should other managers?
Allgeier: This is one of the hardest things to do. I sign up for everything and anything that is related to advertising, sales, radio, events, and other things that make sense. I then read what I see as an opportunity, new or old. I try and read one book per month that I get passed on to me from others that say “this book is good,” or by asking others for recommendations. Good to Great is probably my favorite of all time.
Read about Radio Wayne Sales Manager Finalist (WIP Philadelphia) Vince Gambino HERE