Friday, July 25, 2008

Nothing Like a 6 oz. Can of Tuna!

If you don't hear from me during the first part of August, I'll more than likely be suffocating on the stagnant Beijing air with the rest of the Olympians. Oh....you didn't hear? They've managed to create another experimental sport for this year's Games: tuna can lifting. It's huge! It was originally designed by an orthopedic doctor who specializes in shoulder surgery. He prescribed it as an exercise for rehabilitating post-rotator-cuff patients, and it just....caught on! You basically stand upright, holding the can gently in the palm of your hand, with the thumb slightly raised. Then, you methodically raise your arm in front of you, reaching to ear-level, hold the pose momentarily, and then lower your arm to your side. You then repeat this procedure 29 more times, twice-daily. And if you do happen to forget to TiVo this event next month, you'll still be able to catch a few snippets during SportCenter's "Top 10 Plays", I'm sure.

Can you tell that re-hab is getting a bit...monotonous...for me?

It's been a fairly busy time here at MMM World Headquarters. We re-configured some things here at the home studio, which is to say we pulled plugs from the wall and from the back of components and are now struggling to remember how to hook them back up again. We also had some new windows installed, including one here in the comfy confines of the studio. Hopefully, it will keep out unwanted noises like train whistles, angry bird-chirping, Kevin's obnoxiously loud lawn mower two houses down, and my wife's weed-wacker. (It's called "Mantis", and weeds merely shrivel at the site of it. Sennheiser 416 microphones don't enjoy it, either. Hence, the windows.)

This is a pivotal time of the year, and it generally both frightens me and causes excitement. Spring Arbitron numbers are starting to come out and those results generally result in radio stations doing a little "re-configuring", as well. We try to utilize this part of the Summer with marketing. We try two big projects a year in order to introduce our services to prospective new clients. We're really focusing on Country stations this Summer. I haven't had the opportunity to work with many Country stations, so we just completed a big postcard-mailing. Hopefully, it will lead folks to the Country demo on the site...which will hopefully lead to more folks joining the MMM "family". The flip-side is, of course, is that we hope current "family members" elect to "stay at home" and not venture too far from the "neighborhood". :)

Speaking of happy family members..."congratulations" to Tim Sheehan and the hearty rockers at WRKI-FM in Danbury, Connecticut. They had a spectacular Book! (in fact, my mouth is a bit sore this morning after saying the words "number one" so many times in this weekend's promo copy. It's a "good hurt", though!)

And, speaking of "hurt"...while we're waiting for the stork to bring new kin, I continue to work that can of tuna so that Dr. Weimer will be pleased with my progress during our next appointment. Perhaps I can hit the driving range soon! (or...a large can of green beans. Whatever.)

-30-

* Why not grab your favorite beverage, cop a squat, and groove to some DEMOS at www.mattmultimedia.com

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A "David" amongst the "Goliaths"

I feel like I've been on the 30-day DL!

It's been several weeks since I've posted more random thoughts and I can definitely blame it on my newly-reconstructed rotator cuff. (Hey, it hurt to type, ok?) But, now that I've entered a new and decidedly more adventurous level of rehabilitation, I can hunt-and-peck with much more dexterity. So. I'm back...with a vengeance.

People who aren't in the radio profession (and even a few who are) sometimes ask me, "Why do you move around so much?" And I generally reply (after I make a rather lackluster joke about owning stock in Penske), "I'm not sure. I guess it's the money."

When I jumped on-board the thrill-ride known as "radio", striving towards getting to a bigger market was high on the priority list. Unless you were either dead-set against moving anywhere, or you had already secured a good gig at your hometown station, getting to a larger market was a necessity. A badge of honor. "Bigger" meant "better". Anyone who secured a position with a new station out-of-town often prompted the question,. "What market size is it"? Heck, professional market-jumpers like me already had all the market-sizes memorized. I knew what number sat next to Denver, Portland, or Chattanooga, Tennessee. Are you kidding?

The rude awakening that led to me gaining a better understanding of the illusion that is "market-size" occurred when I left overnights at WONE in Akron, Ohio to do PM Drive in Washington, DC. I did very little research. All I know is that some program director with a cool Australian accent was hiring ME to do Afternoon Drive in market number seven. SEVEN!! I was "Top-Ten-Bound-Matty", so my wife and I put our house up for sale in the Rubber Capital of the World and set-sail for the Nation's Capital.

We lasted 4 months.

"Research" would have told me that the normal cost of a 2-bedroom apartment was $1000.00-a-month. (BIG money for 1993) You're saying, "Hey, a grand-a-month in DC is not bad." No, it's not. But we were living in Manassas, Virgina. "Research" would have also told me that the commute time in Beltway traffic from Manassas to Rockville, Maryland is, oh, about, 3 weeks! And "research" would have revealed that not every on-air personality in Washington is making the kind of money that Jack Diamond makes. So, to avoid starvation, I marched into Craig Ashwood's office (that guy with the Aussie accent, one of the best on-air mentors I've ever had) and announced, with tail-between-legs, that I was scurrying back to the Buckeye state. You can imagine the laugh that our neighbors in Akron enjoyed.

I've learned alot since then. I've also made several more moves since my maiden voyage into Top-10-Land, including another stay in DC. Each of those moves has taught me one important lesson: there's good and bad radio EVERYWHERE. "Bigger" doesn't always mean "better". Look at Norfolk, Nebraska.

Yep, I had to look on a map, too. And as the "station voice", I had to get coached on how to properly pronounce the name of their city. (different than the other city in Virginia) But this station, KNEN-FM, has, as my sister likes to say, "got it goin on"! OM Brian Masters and PD Mookie write some of the most clever copy I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I also love hearing the produced elements that they occasionally send to me. Sure, they're involved in a good deal of charity events and sponsored shows, and some of the references to the agricultural activity in the area were new to me. But I'm all about their wall-to-wall coverage of Big Red football! Call me crazy, you fellow market-jumpers, but I'd put this station up against any station.

Yep, the landscape, for a multitude of reasons, has changed dramatically. But it's really refreshing to see some of the small guys succeed amongst the bigger players in larger markets. Of course, as a weary radio traveler, I'm open to being involved with any size market, now that I'm an entrepreneur. But it sure is to fun to perform fun copy!

It feels even better, too, when one's shoulder doesn't elicit loud screams of agony. It makes my dog happy, too, I can tell you that.

-30-

* Why not grab your favorite beverage, cop a squat, and groove to some DEMOS at www.mattmultimedia.com