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The Robinson Report – “You Can’t Create Great Radio…”

The year – 1989.  

As an Assistant Program Director, Music Director and Research Director in a three-way Phoenix Top 40 battle, my responsibilities included cultivating quality research, well-tested music and superior formatics to the brand. With great detail, utilizing my IBM 236 with 10 meg hard drive (!!), I had the radio worlds issues solved.

Everything from my research reports – to my Selector histories – were perfect. 

Late one day, while admiring my nifty computer and its capabilities, my Program Director, Jay Stevens(Former Radio One VP – now National Consultant) stuck his head in my office and said… “…Beau Tyler (My air name at the time…don’t ask)…You Can’t Create Great Radio Staring At A Computer Screen…”. 

Stunned, I was. 

But it was as right 31 years ago – as it is today.  

This, of course was before Windows, before Internet as we know it, smart phones, before tablets. Before the cloud.  

Jay is the best gut programmer in America – having garnered big success – many times without consistent research or marketing.

Only ‘vibe’. 

We can all learn from what I heard that day.  In our world where we bunker down, waiting for the next big thing, we need to create the next big thing. 

The tools we use (and any computer remains simply another tool, not a content creator) seemly hypnotize us every day.  

Walking through often empty radio stations today you see – nothing but computer screens. 

Any on-site programmers that are left – their faces placed within three feet of a screen.  

The intoxication our technology generates allows us to miss early great opportunities. 

I own my fair share of ‘fumbles’.

These tools that rule our lives only manage content – not create content. 

All we have exclusively are what lies between the music and programming elements. 

Why not, just one day a month, migrate away from your computer to listen critically to your brand (and your market) away from your station and the noise of the business.  

Easy to do with mask mandates. 

The best ideas are written on a cocktail napkin. 

So – go now. Leave.  Go! Create the next big thing.  (Are you still here?)

Next Up: 2020 In The Rear View