Archive for the ‘Mark Cuban’ category

Independently Owned and Operated. . .

April 16, 2007

I was reading one of my favorite Bloggers today. . . Mark Cuban over at Blog Maverick and he had a very good post on the whole Don Imus situation. In his blog he mentioned that b/c Imus was owned by a large public company that he really didn’t have a chance b/c these companies fight so hard to maintain their “squeaky clean” image that they, in a nutshell, are going to choose their battles wisely and this isn’t one they’re going to take on. In talking about publicly owned shows he made the following comments:

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” Excluding Premium Subscription Networks like Showtime and HBO where subscribers know what they are paying for, ” What TV networks would stand up for Maher or Imus and let the show go on ?”

Maybe Fox News. Fox is controlled by NewsCorp, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch. If you and Rupert were on the same side, then your show might have a shot. If you weren’t on the same side, then you probably wouldnt have a show in the first place.

Would any basic cable network ? Digital Network ? I doubt it. Why ? Because just about every one is owned by a public corporation. Can you name the cable networks that are privately owned ? What about individually owned ? Besides my HDNet, the only one I can think of is RFD TV. I guess you can include the Outdoor Channel in the indie mix although they are a public company, but glancing at the listings in USA Today’s TV listings, I didnt see a single network that wasn’t owned by a major public media company.

The same applies to radio. How many nationally distributed shows anywhere (near) Imus’s listener numbers are privately owned ? I dont know of any.

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I commented on Mark’s blog that he need to look no further that in his own city over to AM570 KLIF between 1p-4p each day. Over there he’d hear the largest independently owned and operated nationally syndicated talk radio show in the country. 100% Private. The Dave Ramsey Show.

Now cleared in over 318 cities including major market clears on top stations:

Atlanta – WGST

Kansas City – KCMO

Dallas – KLIF

Houston – KPRC

San Antonio – KTSA

Salt Lake City – KNRS

Portland – KEX

Nashville – WWTN

I don’t know what Imus’ numbers were but I have a feeling we fall in the “anywhere near” range. I would suspect that there is a reason Cuban’s HDNet is individually owned and I would suspect that it’s the same reason The Dave Ramsey Show is. Independent and Individually owned means faster and more creative. When we want to do something, we do it. . .today. We don’t have to wait for board approval. We can make a decision immediately and act on it.

There is no doubt this is one of the key elements to our success.

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Great Marketing Conversation:

March 16, 2007

So I was talking with our Director of Marketing, Brian Williams, this morning in our weekly meeting. He asked me a question that I know but hadn’t verbalized in a long time. It was one of those questions that you “just do” but maybe it’s been a while since you thought about why you do it.  In a nutshell, here was the question:

“Why do we market Dave the way we market Dave and what books have I read that make me the marketer that I am?”

We went on to have a great discussion. We first talked about non-traditional marketers that I really admire. Most of them are guys where marketing is simply an extension of who they are and they are very competitive.  . . Two names were Mark Cuban and Pat Croce.  Specifically Cuban. . .he’s a true american success story first of all. He identified the dream and in Dave’s terms, “Left the Cave, Killed something and brought it home”. To stay with the Dave analogy, he knows who his fans (listeners) are and he markets to them. The fans enjoy a Dallas Mavericks basketball game. Why? One b/c the team is great which is certainly a result of their owners passion and vision, but also I think the bigger reason is Cuban doesn’t walk the industry line. The industry line is boring. He didn’t become “one of them”. He knows himself. Knows what made him successful in other businesses and he carried it over to the NBA. He probably, vehemently defends against becoming one of the industry. The fans eat it up. It’s no fun to follow another vanilla talking head for the industry. People always follow passion and Cuban has it.

I’m telling you. . as we talked about this I realized that is EXACTLY what has made us win with The Dave Ramsey Show. Dave is a self made man who knows exactly who he is and what got him here. He has laser focus on what he knows he was created to do. As a company he has mentored us to passionately defend our message and the way we deliver that message. As for talk radio, none of our team members are “career radio guys”. We look at the industry a little different and I think that has made us very appealing to the listeners. We have narrowed this thing down to a simple message of HOPE and we go after that everyday with laser focus. We know exactly what we are aiming at.

Of course, it all goes down to pursuing the passion with blinders on. Not getting distracted from what you know in your gut you are called to do.

I’m getting excited as I’m typing this. I see a guy who is just running toward the goal screaming, “GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!!” Brick wall, doesn’t matter I’m going through it. . .Fined by the NBA? Tough, I’ll match your fine with a gift to charity. Dropped by a radio station for saying the wrong thing on the air? Your loss. . .we’re going to keep winning all over the country b/c we are convinced that what we are doing is right.

Take it to the hole over and over and over again. Never stop!

It’s always good to remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and then be forced to verbalize it. It was a good meeting.