All posts by Kevin Robinson

The Robinson Report – Hire Smart

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Kevin Robinson will be speaking at this year’s Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC), March 7-8, 2017 in Lansing.  Kevin will present two sessions: “Coaching The Coaches” and “#Branding – in a Social Media Age.”  More information here.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

“Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz

If you are a Brand Manager, building talent is much like casting and directing a movie.

You MUST have the vision in your head to complete the picture!

It is documented that up to the cost of replacing an employee is 2 ½ times the person’s salary.

Stop right now and do a web search on job interviewing.

You will discover thousands of websites on how to ‘rock’ the interview.

Quality interviewing is an art – but can be learned.

But before you get there, do your homework.

The Basics

Smart

For the position, insure the candidate is qualified for the opening – many make the mistake of ‘they can nearly do the job – we’ll train them to do the rest.’

Work Ethic

Media is like White Castle – we never turn off our grills. Your candidate must understand that uneven and a high hour count is part of what we do.

Attitude

Hire attitude over talent with like experience. An ambitious attitude can make up for talent shortcomings – the reverse can be cancerous.

Good People

Identify those individuals who have a strong moral compass and can compliment your mission – not disrupt it.

The Law of Three

Three Candidates

• After weeding the piles of resumes, identify at least three qualified target candidates.

Three interviews

• Before the candidate visits, conduct three thorough phone interviews.

Three people

• Enlist at least TWO other leaders to interview the candidate – everyone has different styles – these styles will bring out different qualities in the candidate.

In our world of the impersonal job solicitation, intimate and personal contact will build your team’s most important, non-duplicatable asset.

People.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

The Robinson Report – Same As It Ever Was

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Kevin Robinson will be speaking at this year’s Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC), March 7-8, 2017 in Lansing.  Kevin will present two sessions: “Coaching The Coaches” and “#Branding – in a Social Media Age.”  More information and registration here.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

“…Same as it Ever Was…” Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime

When you pack for a move, stumbling over old files in musty boxes is the order of the day.

Opening a particular years-old container, the musty aroma enveloped the closet.

You know the smell – a combination of your grandmother’s basement and an elementary school gym.

Shifting through the yellowing pages, one old memo stood out.

Entitled ‘What Makes A Great Jock’, points included:

1.  A distinguishable, warm voice

2.  Good judgment on content

3.  Sounds like they are having fun

4.  Contemporary thinker

5.  Ability to envision their show in their mind

6.  Good on-air rap with listeners, traffic, news and others in studio

7.  They realize the necessity of public appearances

8.  They follow directions well

9.  They have an appreciation of all aspects of the radio station

10.  They understand that THEY work for the station, not the other way around

October 1985 – Kent Burkhart

Embellishments and further articulation to these basic points have evolved.

However, the basics never change.

Every convention agenda will table the need for improved ‘content’.

Yet talent seem more intoxicated with the content delivery systems (iPhone, Internet, Social Media) than actual content.

It’s not the speakers – it’s what comes through the speakers.

Same As It Ever Was.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

The Robinson Report: Hard Job?

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Kevin Robinson will be speaking at this year’s Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC), March 7-8, 2017 in Lansing.  Kevin will present two sessions: “Coaching The Coaches” and “#Branding – in a Social Media Age.”  More information and registration here.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

Sitting in a plane somewhere over the Midwest I casually glance at the notes a weary traveler is creating next to me.

Frantically doing what looks like calculus (like I would know) he keeps referring to his textbook that reads “Spotlight Synthetic Aperture Radar.”

My head aches as I look away with pity.

That’s a hard job.

As tree limbs snapped under the heavy tornadic winds in the Deep South, linemen and emergency services are dispatched for a non-stop odyssey in an attempt to restore power for hundreds of thousands.

Ouch – hard job.

The Sappers of Company B, 65th Engineer Battalion perform daily Improvised Explosive Device (roadside bombs) route clearances in Iraq.

Their mission is to clear the path for their comrades, hunting down IEDs and make sure they get destroyed.

Many times with deadly results.

Tragically hard job.

Media consolidation has produced an environment where our personnel perform two, three or more roles inside a cluster.

Most cluster programmers and sales managers are at the helm of two or more brands.

Having dedicated creative directors – now a rarity.

Our industry remains the best place to serve the community, touch audience hearts and engage with true emotion.

Plus, automation systems, computer newsgathering, digital editors and wireless connections provide time to create more compelling content.

The media internal environment – is simply better and more efficient today!

Media positions are a privilege – and far from true hard work.


Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

The Robinson Report – Which Lap To Lead

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Kevin Robinson will be speaking at this year’s Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC), March 7-8, 2017 in Lansing.  Kevin will present two sessions: “Coaching The Coaches” and “#Branding – in a Social Media Age.”  More information and registration here.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

He didn’t need to win – to win.

Victory was already at hand.

Nascar’s Jimmy Johnson cruised to Nextel Cup victory in 2007 (Now Monster Energy Cup) by leading only one lap and finishing seventh in the season’s finale at Homestead.

With a comfortable points lead over teammate Jeff Gordon, Johnson simply needed to finish no more than 18 spots behind Gordon to snatch the cup.

No reason to jeopardize this battle when the war is in the can.

We face similar situations every day – which battle to win, which hill to own.

With clear strategic objectives, know that you don’t have to win all the battles to win the war.

During our Civil War’s horrific four-year span, the South won more battles and skirmishes than the North. But, not history.

The time is ripe to map out your 2017 game plan for victory.

Managers are corralling the budget, allocating resources for best use and plotting to improve the talent stable – future laps to lead!

Content providers are forming strategic and tactical warfare, free to walk away from poor cross-partnerships. THAT lap isn’t worth leading.

Revenue generators are targeting key clients, as the strong leave bad rates on the table and plan on attrition.

Your staff is waiting on your leadership to grab victory.

Fast-forward nine years to Homestead Sprint Cup 2016 – Johnson KNEW which lap he had to lead!

Know that this winter, Jimmy Johnson and his crew are planning now which laps to lead in February’s Daytona – and a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup repeat.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

The Robinson Report: A Guy Named Scott

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

Kevin Robinson will be speaking at this year’s Great Lakes Broadcasting Conference (GLBC) March 7-8, 2017 in Lansing.  Kevin will present two sessions: “Coaching The Coaches” and “#Branding – in a Social Media Age.”  More information and registration here.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

Say hello to Scott Ginsburg.

Scott is the guy who, since 2000, has worn a Hello My Name IS Scott nametag.

Every day, every hour, every minute.

He even has it tattooed on his chest so it’s on when he showers.

One visit to Scott at www.hellomynameisscott.com, and you’ll know who he is – instantly.

Memorable.

Imagine you – taking Scott’s affinity for name recognition and applying it to your brand.

In measured media, we ‘run for office’ every quarter – every month – everyday.

Making a face impact on the first meeting – audience | client | networking – is paramount.

Here’s a checklist for making the deepest in-person impact:

1. Upon greeting, extend your hand and announce who you are (and who you’re with) – first AND last name.

2. Create nametags, embroidered shirts or ID’s for your staff (magnets backs for nicer clothing/events).

3. Engage prior to station/client business (where are you from/where do your kids go to school?) That’s where relationships are built.

4. Give your New Friend FULL attention, being engaged ‘in the moment.’

5. Leave something – anything behind – memorable to create a lasting impact.

You can make an impact with the smallest details. Hand-written thank you notes?

Plus, dollars to doughnuts, you’ll be the only one in your brand lane paying attention.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

Spectacular!

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

The year – 1883.

Under construction – The Statue of Liberty –with detailed supervision by designer Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi.

As metal workers banged out sheets of Lady Liberty, the curve on TOP of her crown received the same detail – as her feet.

This is significant as commercial flight – was decades away.

Bartholdi wanted every inch to be spectacular – even if no eyes would see much of the top.

Spectacular happened when Top 40 radio was – a baby.

Don Steele.

The Real Don Steele was one of the original Boss Jocks on the legendary KHJ-AM/Los Angeles.

He could be spectacular in 8 seconds – and treated every break as an audition for the next show.

Self-help – from Tom Peters.

Being Spectacular requires minute-by-minute excellence.

Sculpting – entertainment – personal improvement.

Everyone has the same 168 hours a week.

The same 1,448 minutes in a day.

The same 3,900 heart beats in an hour.

During our time, why endorse mediocre now – or ever?


Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

Find It

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media

“Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.”  -Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Hungarian physiologist

Sometimes it’s right before your very eyes – or ears, in some cases.

The traditional media world screams for new, fresh talent but fails to pull the trigger and resorts into the well of ‘the usual suspects.’

What would the music world be without Stevie Nicks, who was discovered in 1967 at a Young Life meeting by Lindsey Buckingham – no Fleetwood Mac, as we know it today.

If Columbia Records had not directed contract producer Jim Messina to work with a new kid named Kenny Loggins – well, you know. No one home in the House At Pooh Corner.

In Los Angeles, Jimmy The Sports Guy on the KROQ morning show summoned the random services of a personal trainer named Adam and struck up a conversation about our business.

Now, Adam Carolla is a household name and a podcast superstar.

And, that Jimmy The Sports Guy, who carries the last name Kimmel, also unearthed, as his intern, another talent named Carson Daly.

Looking for that spark to jump-start YOUR talent bank but think that there’s ‘a big lack of talent out there?’

Listen to Brad Booker tell his story about who he found serving pizza in Evansville:

“I stopped into the big pizza joint, Turoni’s. After ordering the beer sampler, the server carded me and inquired why I moved to Indiana from New Orleans.

I told her I was there to do a morning show on (Hot 96) WSTO. She proceeded to inform me that she recently graduated from Ball State University, with a degree in Media Communications and was proficient in Pro Tools.

WHAT? The girl bringing our pizza knew Pro Tools?

She wanted to break into the business but had no experience. Sarah was so witty and entertaining, I brought my boss in to meet her. Weeks later, she was producing our show and the third voice.”

Sarah Pepper then rocketed from market size #162 (Evansville) to #6 (Houston) – simply by what others saw but what no one else thought.

With turmoil swirling in legacy media, it’s prime to take chances again.

It’s out there – let’s find it.


Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

Shrink The Audience

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media 

“At stadium shows, we connect by shrinking the audience, reducing the place so the guy in the back row of the balcony is the one left.”  –Dave Murray, Iron Maiden

No, this isn’t about losing audience. Rather, this is about GROWING audience by connecting with an audience of ONE.

The key to building a relationship with the audience – any audience – is communicating to ONE person and NOT thousands.

You remember your favorite radio or TV personality growing up – he or she was talking to YOU – not everyone else.

Whether it was Cousin Brucie, John Records Landecker, The Real Don Steele or (insert your favorite here), they were doing their show for YOU – and no one else.

Broadcast Talent (unlike stage actors) must break the ‘4th wall’ and connect directly with the target. They have the unique opportunity to be one with the audience.

Talent grabs audience – just by showing up. Get them to LOVE you by bonding in a one-on-one relationship.

As they say, you get audience ‘one at a time.’

Accomplish this by telling stories – reducing trite ‘bits.’

Eliminate words that build the wall (‘everybody,’ ‘out there;’ ‘where you are’) and simply employ the word ‘you’ with intimate regularity.

Deliver content as though the audience is sitting in the room with you!

Eradicate nonsensical language such as ‘radio’ and ‘station.’

Your show should be an experience – not a box or building.

Doing so will increase your Audience Eye Contact, galvanize the relationship with the audience and GROW your brand by connecting with the audience of ONE!


Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

Robinson: The Score

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of this article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media 

“Writing a tune is like sculpting. You get four or five notes, you take one out and move one around and you do a little bit more and eventually the sculptor says, ‘In that rock there is a statue, we have to go find it” – John Williams

Parallels between creating a radio brand and developing a movie are striking. Even the roles that behind-the-scenes players occupy are similar.

The Owner (Executive Producer) funds the operation, General Manager (Producer) hires the Program Director (Director) as the Program Director populates his brand (the movie) with talent (actors).

In a perfect world, the vision for the product comes directly from the mind and leadership of The Team.

Every element, from the business matrix to compelling messaging to marketing to product delivery, supports that vision.

What comes through the target market is – The Score.

The minutia inside the sonic design, the atmospherics of the product spring from the mind of Program Director.

The ART of ‘scoring’ the product is a lost – uh – art!

Great brands are built on an intuitive music scheme (beyond research), focused, unique, compelling talent and larger-than-life reflective packaging.

All programmers should take a day away from the office every quarter and listen intently to their ‘movie.’

Best done sequestered and away from distraction, this isolation will allow you to SEE your song-to-song decisions, HEAR the score in your packaging and truly DIRECT the air talent.

It won’t ever be perfect – but (like movies) with a touch of risk, it will be different,

YOUR – ‘different’.

Today – now.

Do you hear a statue inside your radio?


Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM, and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

Editorial: Empty Seats

KevinRobBy: Kevin Robinson
Robinson Media 

The picture that stuck out was sort of odd.

But, there it was.

Sports Illustrated had a photo of Green Bay Packer great, Max Magee, hauling in his touchdown catch in Super Bowl 1, but…

…with empty seats in the background.

At the Super Bowl – with $12 tickets?

To be correct it was then known as the AFL-NFL World Championship Game three years before Kansas City owner Lamar Hunt would coin the term Super Bowl.

But, why the unsold tickets?

Relevance.

At the time, even though two networks carried the game simultaneously, football was not the huge slab of our national psyche – yet.

No fantasy leagues, no Madden 2016, no cheerleading reality shows.

It was a game – NOT an event.

Think about this as you examine your ability to attract and grow audience.

The NFL has GROWN despite 500 channel choices in 2016 – opposed to three options in 1967.

If your brand is experiencing decline, it’s NOT because of marketing resources, Facebook or Pokemon Go.

It’s because your product is no longer relevant. You are not touching their emotions and inspiring passion.

It still can be done.

Go back and absorb what Pokemon Go has manage to mobilize.

In Listener-supported Christian radio – all over the country, several ministries shut down their Share programs early because of explosive, record-setting donations.

Touching hearts and remaining relevant to their target.

There’s always early exits and empty seats in a big blowout.

It’s simple.

The game – is no longer relevant.

Kevin Robinson is a record-setting and award-winning programmer. His brands consistently perform in the Top 3 of the target – often times as the list leader. In his 35 years of radio, he’s successfully programmed or consulted nearly every English language radio brand. Known largely as a trusted talent coach, he’s the only personality mentor who’s coached three different morning shows on three different stations in the same major market to the #1 position. His efforts have been recognized by Radio & Records, NAB’s Marconi, Radio Ink, and has coached CMA, ACM, and Marconi winning talent. Kevin lives in St. Louis with his wife of 30 years, Monica. Reach Kevin at (314) 882-2148 or robinsonradio@aol.com.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.