Managers: Here’s How To Overcome Big Challenges


Every day they park the car, climb the steps to the station, and head to the corner office. But each day is different. Every challenge is new. They all need to be resolved. The successful radio manager is able to address those challenges calmly and professionally and put a plan in place to keep the engine running smoothly in the building. We turned to some of radios best managers and asked them the following question: What is the number one challenge you face every day as a manager, and how do you overcome it?

Eric Mastel 
VP/Market Manager 
Savannah, GA
Thats a funny question. I dont think we have just one major challenge affecting us daily. Some of the challenges that tend to consume my day include, but are not limited to:

Keeping radio relevant to clients and media buyers. Cumulus Best Buy and Why presentation goes a long way toward shoring up the perception of radio.

Keeping radio live and local, entertaining and informing the communities that license us. All with more voicetracking, more syndication, and less local staff than ever.

Understanding, explaining, and selling the new digital products we have recently taken to market. This is critical if we want to grow our business.

Investing in infrastructure and equipment. We have cut budgets for so long and so deep that everything from the building to the equipment is inconsistent at best.

Recruiting young people into a business that is perceived as old and uncool. Doing so much more with so much less, all while keeping a positive attitude, a smile on your face, a cheery disposition, a firm hand, innovating, learning, and improving every day.

Doug Abernethy
Market Manager

I think our number one challenge is an industry challenge. We face so many naysayers that hold all of us back. Every member of our team is passionate about our business, and we are the only media that offers a full 360-degree approach to solve our partners marketing challenges.

What other media combines many forms of audio, digital, event, and experiential in their offerings? On top of how we serve our communities? What media came to the rescue of Texas post-Harvey? It is radio.

I wonder what media will come to their aid in Florida in the aftermath of Irma? What I do know is it wont be satellite radio, Pandora, Spotify, Apple, or any other audio source. It will be led by radio. Our biggest challenge in our industry is evangelizing our assets. Get off the bench and get in the game or go home.

Linda J. Byrd 
North Florida Region

When you have a high-performing team for a long time with very senior people, you have to fight complacency and also sometimes entitlement. We have to get them to compete against their own performance standards and to focus on the team goals, which often are different from their own personal goals. Theres a good book called The Winner Within by Pat Riley that I gave to all of my managers last year. It addresses this very issue and is a great read.


David Crowl
Regional VP/Market Manager
Cincinnati/Regional Markets Lexington, KY; Kokomo and Muncie, IN
Cumulus Media

iHeartMediaTaking meaningful action to keep our five stations relevant to our listeners, advertising partners, our community, and shareholders. This means motivating our team to place a never-ending daily focus on the following:

Creating the best on-air content when we open a mic and become a companion and friend. Deliver song-for-song excellence with each of our five FM station music brands.

Presenting powerful on-air and digital marketing solutions to our advertisers all built with the goal of providing them significant return on their investment.

Deliver our programming content to our audiences any time, everywhere, and on any audio device or system.

Radio Ink’s question to all managers busting their backs every day in the radio business. What is your biggest challenge and how are you overcoming it? Send all the details to [email protected]


  1. How to overcome big challenges in radio? Easy.

    As an industry – not just the few people that do – start giving advertisers what they tell us they want: over-arching MARKETING strategies not limited to our own medium/stations; supported by 52 weeks of documented advertiser sales results directly attributable to the radio buy.


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