All posts by John Frost

John has been a successful major market DJ and PD for such companies as CBS, Gannett, Cap Cities, Westinghouse, Multimedia, and Sandusky and publishes the Frost Advisory.

Frost Advisory #435 – My GPS Is Broken!

“My GPS is broken,” my friend Mike said to me.  “It only tells me where I’ve been, not where I’m going.”

The ratings arrive.  Our emotions react.  There is running up and down the hallways and gnashing of teeth!  DO SOMETHING!

I’ve heard some pretty wacky ways that people have reacted to ratings.  Moving the deejays’ shifts around, playing music from another format, and implementing no talk segues to sound more generic.  I’M NOT MAKING THIS UP, as Dave Barry would say.

Making programming decisions based solely upon ratings is like driving with a GPS that shows only where you’ve been.

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Frost Advisory #434 – We Become What We Focus On

“It is what you make it,” was my dad’s advice at various milestones in my life.

There was a time in my career when I considered a radio station no more than the sum total of the things that it did; the deejays, the music, the jingles, the contests.  Like a sport being nothing more than the players, the uniforms, the goal posts or bases.

If that were true, then places like Cooperstown, New York, or Canton, Ohio, wouldn’t be shrines since they are not even home to the big league players and teams they eulogize.

It’s hard to remember how we thought about coffee before Starbucks, or personal computers and digital devices before Apple.  What they focused on changed the way we think of them.

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Frost Advisory #433 – Encourage Me And I Will Not Forget You

This week’s Frost Advisory is a departure from my regular thoughts on how to make your radio station really swell.  Instead I’d like to take this moment during Thanksgiving week to encourage you in the important work you’re doing at your station.

I’m told that the word “encouragement” means literally to pour courage into.  This word appears over 100 times in the New Testament.

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Frost Advisory #432 – I Demand A Recount

As I write this week’s Frost Advisory the recount is still going on in Florida where I live.  Well, we have to be famous for something other than alligators, octogenerians, and college football.

We’re less bad than the other guys.

In the last presidential election I heard “Haven’t we taken this ‘anyone can grow up and be president thing too far?'”  Both major candidates had the lowest favorability ratings in history.

“I don’t like either one,” was a common refrain, “so I’m not going to vote.”

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Frost Advisory #431 – The Less People Know, the More Stubbornly They Know It, Part Three

(In case you missed them, here are Part 1 and Part 2.)

Remember when you first began to get curious about what was coming out of the radio?

He was a freshman in high school when he realized that he listened to the radio differently than most people.  While his friends turned up the volume for the music he turned it UP when the disc jockey talked.  He began to notice there were different kinds of personalities (“he’s the funny one”) and even talent levels (“he can talk really fast right up till they start singing,” long before he knew what hitting a post meant.)  Even in his pre-pubescence he sensed that the voices booming in from Chicago were better than the ones from Buffalo Gap.

That 14-year-old John Frost didn’t know what he didn’t know.  Then he began to realize that he didn’t know.  Noel Burch described this process as “The Hierarchy of Competence.”

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Frost Advisory #430 – The Less People Know, The More Stubbornly They Know It, Part Two

On last week’s show I shared how my cousin the surgeon has a coffee mug that reads, “Please do not confuse your Google search with my medical degree.”

He tells me more and more patients find a bit of information on the internet and think they know something.  This, combined with our desire for simple answers often results in a “Can’t I just take a pill?” mindset.

Perhaps you’ve seen this at your radio station.

“Wisdom is the right use of knowledge.  To know is not to be wise.  Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it.  There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool.  But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.”

Charles Spurgeon

I once worked for a company where the big boss, a brilliant thinker and dealmaker, would occasionally get in the weeds, presumably out of boredom.  Idle hands, don’tcha know.

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Frost Advisory #429 – The Less People Know, The More Stubbornly They Know It

Say it isn’t so!

My cousin, the brilliant surgeon, told me of the time that a hospital board member barged into the operating room during a gall bladder surgery and told him they should remove the patient’s kidney.  He had done the Google search, you see.

It’s a joke, of course, but…

“We would never consent to surgery from a surgeon who hadn’t been to medical school, and perhaps even more important, from one who who hadn’t kept up on the latest medical journals and training.  And yet there are people who take pride in doing their profession from a place of naïveté, unaware of or unfamiliar with the most important voices in their field.”

Seth Godin

Radio stations would simply be transformed if only those most qualified to make a decision in a certain area were the ones that actually made the decision.   

On next week’s show I’ll tell you the story of ‘666,’ introduce you to a man named Noel Burch, and invite you to play along.  That’s a tease, don’tcha know?

Frost Advisory #428 – A Cup Of Coffee And A Programming Lesson

If I were to eavesdrop on a programming conversation around the coffee machine at your station what would I likely hear?  Would it be about the music and deejays, the promotions and contests, and that complaint from that listener.  In other words, the things closest to you.  Like coffee.

While these elements are important to the station’s design and must be done well, they are not transformative.  Why?  Because those things are all about us.  And the closer things are to us the more important they seem.  To us.  Like coffee.

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Frost Advisory #427 – What Do We Want Them To Say?

It only takes one minute.  That’s the premise behind the “One Minute Manager” series of books from my friend Ken Blanchard who shares the concepts of one-minute goals, one-minute praisings, and one-minute reprimands.

A few years ago I learned another lesson from Ken that was just as simple and profound.

My friend Joe Battaglia and I had the privilege of spending several days in San Diego to help Ken Blanchard develop the national radio campaign for “Lead Like Jesus.”  As we brainstormed ideas, Ken shared his experience of training the staff of the recently opened Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres baseball club.  They began with the end in mind.

What do we want fans to say when they are leaving the ballpark?

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