Guest article: What they SAY and what they MEAN!
Radio may be older than television in this country, but FM radio is the youngest media. Everybody jumped onto the FM bandwagon but seem to be struggling to come into their own, be it programming, differentiation, bottomlines. In this article, Vineet Singh Hukmani, CEO, Radio One, takes a tongue-in-cheek view of the FM radio scenario.
It has been over a year since I became CEO of Radio One 94.3 FM – and it’s been a great ride. Now, if you guys have a sense of humour, read on, because you hear a lot of these things from ‘us CEOs in FM radio’ and I thought I would decipher some of it for you. Go ahead laugh… your CEO is not watching you. And if you’re a CEO, come on, have a heart.
Disclaimer: Any resemblance to any person or situation is purely coincidental and the article means no ill will to any person or organisation.
What they say: We are number one in RAM.
What they mean: We fluked out a week here and there and thank God for software jugglery.
What they say: We are a differentiated FM station.
What they mean: We are a different company with a different name, everything else is the same.
What they say: We are negotiating with the government to help us get more ‘de-regulated’.
What they mean: Just look at the effort we are putting in, please ignore the lack of result.
What they say: Our brand is growing and we have found the perfect proposition.
What they mean: We have spent so much of our investor’s money on building the brand, when we really have no clue what the product is.
What they say: We want the third round of licensing to come soon as it will help the radio industry grow.
What they mean: If we keep getting stations added to our business, the breakeven point gets pushed further and further and no one will ask us embarrassing questions like ‘when will we be profitable?’
What they say: The advertiser needs to take Radio more seriously for Radio to grow.
What they mean: We wish clients would spend money ONLY on radio as we have to meet our enormous targets.
What they say: The only way for radio to grow is to penetrate the smallest of markets – give them music, news, sports, whatever they need.
What they mean: We are from the TV industry and we really don’t know much about Radio.
What they say: We have the best programming team and the lowest attrition level.
What they mean: We have centralised control so much nationally that they don’t need to take any decisions locally and they can’t leave until they get their next raise letters.
What they say: We have organised our sales into cluster heads for better geographical control.
What they mean: We’re old now and can’t keep travelling, especially to places that are not connected by air.
What they say: We are now making operating profit in the small cities.
What they mean: Earlier we had more people in the station than we had in the whole city; so now we have cut cost of people.
What they say: We play the best music.
What they mean: No one has complained in the last four hours about the music quality.
What they say: We now have a clients’ solution cell, and an activation company as non-traditional revenues are the way forward.
What they mean: Slow growth in revenue is becoming our tradition.
What they say: It’s wonderful to be able to write or participate in articles and contribute to the cause of the industry.
What they mean: It’s been over three years and someone from TV or something please notice us, as we are working really hard and … and errr… well you know the rest.
(Vineet Singh Hukmani is CEO, Radio One 94.3 FM)
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