Frost Advisory #264 – A Declaration of Independence – From Mediocrity

239 years ago our country was born with a Declaration of Independence, and a subsequent Bill of Rights for all citizens to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But as Believers, we know that with rights comes responsibility.

Your radio station has the right to do anything you want within the parameters of certain legal, broadcasting, and financial regulations. You even have the right to be mediocre. Most Christian stations are just that.

But with every right comes a responsibility.

Yes, your station has the right to be just barely good enough to stay on the air, be just solvent enough to keep the lights on, and just legal enough to keep from having your license taken away. Yes, those are your rights. I challenge you, what are your responsibilities!

What if your station, instead of embracing the minimum, embraced the responsibility of setting the standard of excellence?

What if your station, instead of embracing the minimum, accepted the responsibility of unifying a community of believers?

What if your station, instead of embracing the minimum, accepted the responsibility of reaching out and meeting the needs of your listeners, and their neighbors, and their neighbors?

No church, no civic organization, no governmental agency in your city has the bullhorn to impact your community the way that your station does.

On this 4th of July weekend, let’s wave our flags, shoot off our fireworks, and sing our patriotic songs.

But let us not forget our responsibilities.


Inspired by Andy Stanley’s message “Younited States of America”, one of the most amazing talks I’ve ever heard.

If You’re Seeing Enemies Within You Need To Get Out

“Employers have gone away from the idea that an employee is a long-term asset to the company, someone to be nurtured and developed, to a new notion that they are disposable.” – Barbara Ehrenreich


When you talk to a lot of people everyday, you can see things through different eyes.  Sometimes I wind up in conversations where someone is complaining…a lot…about distrust of the people they work for. It seems like there’s a return to the thinking of the past where employees are just cogs who are expected to unthinkingly follow directions. Remember the grey people from the Apple TV spot named “1984?”

But the new twist on this is that you must distrust them, and always make sure they aren’t taking advantage and are working hard enough. There’s even a business rationale for this – increased efficiency. The “do more with less” strategy.

Somewhere someone decided to write a business book about efficiency, taking the perspective people are lazy and could do more than they were. That concept was sufficiently simplistic and shallow enough that it became an instant “quick fix” success. Cutting the workforce by 40% became a badge of honor.

This has all but destroyed growth in radio. First PD’s were cut, and one was in charge of 3-4 stations. Then high paying talent that wouldn’t take a 50% cut. Then “unnecessary” executives, and finally, salespeople. So many of the top executives have replaced long-term concern for the industry with their own short-term financial goals. Leadership has been replaced with dictatorship, so naturally the answer to self-inflicted problems is to blame those shiftless employees.

We’ve divided into three types of organizations, (1) those who really don’t care about people, (2) those who distrust people, and (3) those who see a time like this as one to build great, people-oriented organizations that produce crazy good return.  Think Zappos.

The people I work with are amazing, dedicated, hard-working and even fun to be around.  We ALL know that we are all working toward the same end.  I don’t have a good guy/bad guy mentality.  If someone isn’t hardworking or dedicated, then it calls for some tough conversations and action.  I won’t subject my people to a cancer of dissatisfaction.

If you really think about the future, like Jefferson did, while acting in the day, you understand the value of talent, good leaders, and hard workers as an asset of the organization.  Not a liability, not a line item expense, an asset.  Spreadsheets don’t make organizations strong or innovative or valuable…or even failures.  It’s your people.



Tommy Kramer Tip #109 – Everything’s the Opposite

This tip is sort of dual-purpose…a guideline for Management and Programming, and how it should affect you as an air talent.

The late, great singer Harry Nilsson used to say “Everything’s the Opposite,” meaning that everything turns out to be the opposite of whatever it claims to be. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but there’s a lot of truth in it. (“Military Intelligence” and “free” offers come to mind.) Radio’s full of examples.

Let’s take a look at a few typical claims, and then the other side of the coin—what the listener thinks:

Your claim: “50-minute music hours.”
Listener’s thought: We can all add and subtract. Eventually you’re going to spew out 10 minutes of commercials.

Your claim: “No-talk triple plays.”
Listener’s thought: So when you open the mike, that’s a bad thing? Surely you didn’t intend to say that. Oh, and those recorded identifiers or Imaging pieces you play between songs? They’re TALK.

Your claim: “No-repeat work days.”
Listener’s thought: Wait a minute. That means that I’ll only hear my favorite song once in eight hours. So if I tuned in and only heard the end of it, I’m pretty much S. O. L. for the rest of the day.

I’ve heard jocks unthinkingly say “Hope you’re having a great day!” when there are snowdrifts eight feet high, and the roads are impassable.

And we’ve all heard stations use some form of “We care about you and your family,” but every contest winner they have is identified first as a number. (“Hi, you’re number nine.”) I don’t know about you, but I don’t assign numbers to my family members. “Have you met my sister, Number 7?” seems rather impersonal.

Why not just give up those empty claims and failed gimmicks? Make your station (and your show, on the air) about Values, and about being of service. People will notice. The only Positioning Statement you really need is the name of the station. Then PROVE what you are.

– – – – – – –
Tommy Kramer
Talent Coach
214-632-3090 (iPhone)
Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2015 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.