This week it was announced that my old station in Philadelphia made some significant changes to it's on-air branding and its lineup. This isn't uncommon in radio, but it can be frustrating when your ideas get used after you leave.
In the case of WPEN in Philadelphia, they made almost every change that I fought for in the year I was there and was DENIED out of hand.
This week WPEN picked up ESPN, moved Jody MacDonald to Midday and hired a Philly sports talk veteran, Mike Missnelli to host afternoon drive. Odd, these were exactly the changes I outlined and fought for while I was the PD and in the end it cost me my job. When I went to my bosses with this exact plan, I was seen as a malcontent who wasn't willing to work with the staff I had inherited. I was told to shut up and give the current station a "positive spin."
I was only unhappy at WPEN because I wasn't allowed to make any changes, I couldn't move Jody to Midday, even though he is a Midday natural. I wasn't allowed to hire Mike Missnelli because there were some "higher-ups" who thought he was too hard to handle because of his previous employment at another Greater Media, Inc. station. Mike is a great Talk Show Host who is exactly the type of lightening rod we needed to kick start the station. If we had made the changes a year ago, think about the year of growth the station could have experienced.
Here's the kicker, the guy responsible for all the various mistakes at the station is still unbelievably calling the shots at WPEN even though it continues to stagger to gain audience.
In hindsight my biggest mistake was letting this guy communicate my ideas to the GM, he made sure that everything I said was filtered through him which I am sure wasn't good news for me. He was the master at perpetuating his own job.
If the General Manager had just listened to me and allowed me to put a product on the air that would work, the radio station may have been making inroads by now. It always amazes me that supposedly smart people can be so blind by office politics.
Just another example of how screwed up the process can be in the radio business. I'm sure it happens everywhere but it seems like a C student can go far in radio but just managing the flow of information.
Just a bit of the inner workings of the radio business.
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