Sunday, July 30, 2017

Episode 38:
The GUY with a MILLION Quarter Hours
(at the same station!)

Guy Phillips is undeniably an institution in the St. Louis area. After over a MILLION Quarter Hours on CBS owned Y98 (KYKY), he continuously reinvents his show, and makes St. Louis laugh every morning. Hundreds of thousands of listeners prove this every book.
For Guy, he says “ “I’ve been one of the luckiest guys to ever work in radio. I have had steady employment over five decades in St. Louis and I haven’t once failed to laugh, on the air and off, on any of those days. I work with a crew that is not only passionate about their jobs but have compassion for one another.

As an amateur photographer, obsessed golfer, avid traveler and licensed pilot, Guy is what one might consider busy.  Still he finds time for significant local charitable work, and is one of the most sought-after event emcees in the market.  Earlier this year he was named to the St. Louis Radio Hall of Fame and nominated to the National Radio hall of fame.

In this episode, he offers some great tips on people who would like to enjoy the same longevity and success, shares insights on what he’s done to evolve with the changing mediascape and his audience and reveals what he knows NOW that he WISHES he’d know ‘back then’!

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VIDEO of the Week:

by David Martin


Being #1 is not an accident. It takes hard work to get there and more hard work to stay there. Being #1 you become the #1 target. Being the incumbent provides no guarantee of security, in fact, your only guarantee is more competition, more work.

Having done a bunch of startups and turnarounds, and enjoyed more than my fair share of #1 stations and market leading shows, allow me to share some lessons learned.

In show business who you know is not important, what’s important is who knows you. As the great George Johns said “If you do your radio show exclusively for people who don’t know who you are, they soon will.”

Listeners have choices. Choices in the stations they choose and choices in the shows they spend time with. In my experience, the best marketing for your station and your shows is your station and your shows. The programming is what gets people to listen and gives them reasons to listen again. Unless the programming sucks.

The daily goal is to capture attention, to get noticed. In the words of the legendary Gordon McLendon, the mission every day is “Get people to talk about your radio station.” The most effective way to do this is to give them something to talk about. Do something on the air and off the air that gets people talking, texting, posting, messaging, etc.

Back in the last century when radio stations were powered by firewood I was working at a Chicago station. One day our US Senator, Chuck Percy, showed up to tape a public affairs show. I’ll never forget meeting him. He walked into the radio station and owned it.

Cheerful, smiling, introducing himself to every single person as he was guided through the station to the studio. Later that day I went to the newsroom and asked if the Senator was usually that friendly. The news guys said “He works every room he walks into the same way. He’s always on and makes people feel good.”

Chuck had the job but he was focused on keeping the job. He was running for US Senate with the election years away. He made interactions memorable, he engaged, he took advantage of every opportunity. He got people to talk about him.

In startups, turnarounds and in every other competitive situation you should always be running for US Senate. When you get to #1, stay focused on staying there and keep running.