Celebrating Talent!


(By Buzz Knight) Every once in awhile we have to take a pause in the chaos of the day and stop and celebrate the group that is a prime differentiator in our battle for attention.

As someone who started on-air, maybe I have a different appreciation for the oddities, nuances, and beauty of talent — but isn’t it more critical than ever for us to embrace this bunch? We are fighting hard to remain top-of-mind every day, and if we give up on them and just treat them as a line item, aren’t we asking for trouble?

I applaud people like Fred Jacobs who during his career has always understood the important value proposition of Talent and I also applaud Tracy Johnson and his recent blog post “Open Letter to Radio: It’s time to develop personalities” for bringing this vital topic to the foreground of our conversation.

Let’s evaluate what Great Talent means to a Great Audio Brand:

Talent keeps you live and in the moment when something of local or national importance is going on. Imagine being without talent at a moment of market crisis and shiver at the thought of not being in the moment.

I think of the importance of Talent in Nashville in light of the recent tragedy.

Talent allows you to engage in the moment with your audience while utilizing your important social and digital channels.

Imagine trying to connect with your available audience without Talent and you’re imagining a sterile brand experience.

Talent allows you engage on behalf of your clients with the benefit of the greatest “pitch masters” that can sell products and services in a local market.

Imagine an experience without talent to execute that plan.

I’m sure some of you can celebrate other talent benefits I’m not highlighting.
Please hit me up and let me know what you’re thinking.

We have to celebrate TALENT!

Buzz Knight is the CEO of Buzz Knight Media and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]


  1. Love Talent. ..Love Developing Them People Friends Artists They Are! 6 years ago .. I hired two local musicians (Husband-Wife) to Do Mornings on our Palm Beach County/ 100.3FM. LegendsRadio.com They got the skills at our local Connecticut School Of Broadcasting Not Only are THEY Loving their new career. They’re REAL. Listeners Love THEM!

  2. I have 20 years major market experience.
    Now retired. I Won’t voice track for minimum wage. My dream now is to host a conservative women’s news show. I would take calls and interview conservative women. We would talk abortion, economy, religious freedom and more.

  3. Some of the worst managers were once talent. Failed talent, that is. They couldn’t cut it on the air, they moved into sales, then management. Taking with them a lot of resentment towards the skilled talent — which they never were.

  4. Without great talent – there can be no great brand.

    The irony for radio is that The Talent (On-air and writers) are the ONLY elements over which radio can establish itself in every market. Everything else is out-sourced.
    Cookie-cutter voice tracks and cookie-cutter announcer formats do nothing to enhance the position of any radio station.

    Such strategies are no more than a combination of keeping bush fires down and deck chairs rearranged.

    And yet, these are the very elements that station owners and management go out of their way to throttle – a form of slow self-strangulation.
    Not only are these absurd behaviours counter productive, they are ape-snake crazy.

  5. By all means, Buzz, I do agree with celebrating those skilled and talented individuals that are still able to and, more importantly, allowed to “bring home the bacon”.

    However, many of these folks are also in a position to, soon enough, join the ranks of the White Rhino – inexorably being lead to extinction.

    Radio, as you might concur, is well on its way to becoming a strictly mechanical medium – bereft of the talent-based qualities-in-quantity that you promulgate as the life’s blood of the industry.

    The suppression of talent has, practically, not even been a successful short term strategy – it only moves the scene of the wrecks a little further downrange.

  6. Ronald:
    Let’s celebrate the ones that we do know make a difference. The amazing morning shows that create spectacular content everyday, that impact their communities and stand out.
    I’m not suggesting at all we reward the indifferent ones that are phoning it in.
    That stands the best chance to ward off what you accurately describe as “open disgust for most members of the talent-corps”

  7. Maybe if the writer of this article referred to talent as “people” or even “people with talent” or “talented people” . . . but no, that would tend to humanize them, wouldn’t it? That would never do.

    The human beings who get behind the microphone every day and, in more and more confining circumstances, do their best to be aware of and be part of their listener’s lives, are still, to management, just the most over-priced line item on their P & L’s.

  8. No knock on Buzz for this, but he does avoid an ongoing reality in radio.

    Which talent, specifically, needs to be celebrated? When? In what way?
    Would any of that tend to dissipate the resentment and disdain with which so much of the talent-base is currently subjected?

    How many of the talent have earned, not necessarily through their own machinations, certain degrees of indifference and, in some cases, utter disregard because of their less-than-exemplary efforts?

    Ownership and management, by their actions, have already established an open disgust for most members of the talent-corps.

    It is highly unlikely that any of the bosses are going to be having epiphanies anytime soon while opening their hearts, minds and wallets to anybody smacking of “talent”.

    No confessions are being produced and no better angels are being summoned.


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