Is Anyone Home?


(By Mike McVay) The pandemic has changed how and where people work. Many large businesses have taken the approach of tethering. Articles by management experts are being written about Working from Home. Shared workspaces, like WeWork, were designed for start-up business and remote working where an office is needed. Such services are now being used and secured by major businesses. It’s happening in radio, too. One business you don’t want to be in right now is commercial real estate.

A number of radio stations are shifting to where sales don’t have desks at their studio locations, but rather assemble in the conference room once a week for meetings. That’s an arguably smart move, as the benefit of sales starting from home enables them to make more in-person visits per/day. Virtual visits fill-out their schedules. That’s efficiency.

Several of the major consolidators in radio are already executing traffic remotely from a hub. The same goes for regionalized finance and accounting as Business Managers are being regionalized. Commercial production and promotional/imaging production has been outsourced to production companies that can provide immediate scale. Some companies have already regionalized Market Managers to oversee several clusters of stations in a hub and spoke manner.

I think that in the very near future we’ll see only a few departments regularly in-house. Those would be promotion, programming and technical/engineering being the only three departments in-house at studio locations. The market manager, who is based at a hub, will be there. Possibly the Director of Sales could be onsite. Being at the studio location provides a command center as a base of operation for the MM and the DOS.

The advantages: less expense tied-up in real estate, greater efficiency for sales teams, creative casual atmosphere at studio locations with few interruptions or distractions, and ample workspace for in-house employees.

The disadvantages: more difficult to create a team-like atmosphere and foster camaraderie, forces communication to be mostly virtual, leads to strategic meetings being remote and forces all to have a higher level of focus when it comes to executing their jobs for all positions.

Discipline to execute your job becomes most critical when working remotely. Monitoring performance becomes important for those in leadership roles. Communication is the backbone to successful remote location employment. Building team spirit becomes very important so that all remain focused and moving toward accomplishing the company’s objectives.

The decision is one for employers to make, and the choice is not as easy as it once was, as the yo-yoing of report to work, shifting to working from home, and back to work, has an even greater negative impact on employees and their families than sticking with WFH until we’re safely through the pandemic.


Mike McVay is President of McVay Media and can be reached at [email protected]


  1. This is great, I agree with Joel my buddy from Philly, Trust but Verify. I’d be curious as you mentioned as one of the disadvantages the team mentality and whatnot, would that hinder production? I think there’s something about bringing a big client in rolling out the red carpet and everything like that. But the politics can be draining! Great debate…. While I am 51-49 I’d say programming, engineering and management should be there but sales may be better with a weekly meeting (although when spots are wrong or logs not remerged Lordy Lordy we all have stories) Great insight…. I’m really going back and forth. Makes you think!

  2. I wish I could work from home and not have to play the day to day radio politics. I basically VT my whole dumb show and send out emails. I’ve done this about 10 years. I ain’t really gotten much done lately but no one here cares. I do take 2 hour lunches so it ain’t all bad news.


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