Those were the words of L. Frank Baum who, along with a partner, wrote the Wizard of Oz. And yes, this ride has also come to an end. When I took my first step onto the yellow brick road of RCS that was created by Andrew Economos, I truly didn’t think that radio program directors would use computers to schedule music. And I surely knew that owners wouldn’t spend $20,000 for a computer to do the work that their PDs were already doing with index cards. That all changed with the PC and the lesson I learned is that time makes things more powerful and in many cases more reasonably priced.
Spending more than 10 years working in radio, then 25 years as an international radio consultant and now 16 years with RCS and Media Monitors, I can truly say that I learned the most about marketing, technology and people working here. Thank you.
There were some scarecrows, and tin men, and cowardly lions along the way, but in the end, I’ve realized that there is no place like home. Radio has been my home. Radio is still an amazing concept to me. Every day as you crank up your computer and put together a log, you create something for people. You are designing the soundtrack of their lives. And you are making someone laugh with your jokes on the air. And you bring them the news, no matter what time of the day or night. You should be proud of what you do.
There is no obvious start or concrete finish in technology. The advances become norms and the norms become obsolete, so someone has to come up with new ideas. That ever-changing nature of media and broadcasting is what makes it exciting. Let the new idea speak to you and give it some breathing room. It could be a great idea.
Don’t get sucked in by the man behind the curtain who claims to have all the answers. I have been fooled by the guy who said he had all the answers with the “next big thing”, only to find out that no one really wanted what he was selling.
You may be asking, why retire? Well, it’s time for me to put a full-time effort into writing books and telling stories. I have always been a writer and that skill always helped me think and communicate in radio. I don’t consider this to be a retirement from work, but more like a chance to attempt to become a great writer. Proficient writers and skilled radio people have to fully focus on what they do to achieve great things. Remember that.
I read a piece recently that covered the six life lessons learned from the Wizard of Oz and I think they are all true: Never give up, Good friends come in the unlikeliest places, Never stop dreaming, You can accomplish anything, Real courage is facing your fears and There is no place like home. Mr. Baum was right, “everything has to come to an end…” but once my next book is completed, I will start writing another one. I’ve got millions of ideas.