(By Buzz Knight) In this week’s interview on the topic of “The Future of Audio” we checked in with long time media visionary Lee Abrams. Lee’s career has spanned decades in and around the radio business and he recently launched his company called “MediaVisions” which will focus on a complete reimagination of video content, news and information aimed at 40+.
BK: What are the key leadership challenges for the next five years for those in the audio business?
LA: It’s all about balance. Having extreme passion for sound from whatever source its transmitted from. Often tech types look at audio as simply another technology play and lack the appreciation of creative audio magic. Then balance that with evangelical commitment to the mission that motivates beyond the typical, as well as good business sense to keep things in order. Critical is to walk the walk and see over the horizon and execute on that vision.
BK: What are the leadership challenges for the radio business?
LA: Leaders can’t design the future without understanding the past. While we’re in a new era, a deep knowledge of historically important radio battles is a critical tool in creating new strategies. Once again, balance is important. A strong respect for creative brilliance, motivational and sales skills, and keen curiosity about the new and coming technologies create a well balanced and inspiring leader. Perhaps most important is the ability to recognize clichés and vulnerabilities and aggressively design new approaches in all aspects of the business to keep radios pulse alive and vibrant in an era of extreme competition…keep one foot in the street and avoid the walled in media club…and having denial put in focus, understanding that the medium has issues and dealing with them instead of denying them.
BK: If you were just beginning as a leader in the radio business what would you do today that would set the business up for the future?
LA: As a CEO, brutally evaluate, without prejudice, literally every aspect of the business and aggressively bring in the killer staff without reference to anything but high IQ/low BS, future focused and passionate people. Explosive liberation of yourself and your people from the old playbook. The ability to orchestrate chaos into an organized game-plan. The big five are respectful, firm, engageable, committed and fearlessly passionate about leading in this new wild west.
Buzz Knight is the CEO of Buzz Knight Media and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]