Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Coot: Planned Obsoledge

Like a moth to the klieg lights, the Coot is ready to dazzle the dorks, as it were.

The big one for the Coot is his Bedroom Project, which he’ll unveil on video tomorrow at the NAB.

Instead of that creepy name that no one likes how about telling it like it is….call it your annual hackapalooza.

No, that’s not hack as in computers. It’s the other definition, thank you.

All jokes aside, what revelation will the spinmeister’s study reveal?

That kids are competitive with video games? Does that mean kids weren’t competitive before video games?

That you have all of these other diversions…iPods, YouTube, MySpace, and more blah, blah, woof, woof that take away from radio listening?

That excuse is getting a little old and in the way.

He’ll tell you that the Halo video game outsold any rock album this week though he may backpedal on that statement if he reads this blog prior his dog and pony show tomorrow.

Tell us something we don't know, sir.

I have a question.

Why didn’t the Coot's consultancy set up promotions with Halo for his clients well in advance of its release? Maybe he’ll say Mountain Dew, which is doing a promotion with the video game, beat him to it? Maybe not.

Next question.

So why didn’t he set up a promotional tie-in including Mountain Dew and get a time buy out of it for his clients?

What’s in it for the Coot? He’s already getting his checks in the mail.

He had – what – a year or more to set this up for his clients?

I expect him to trot out every cliche in his How to be a Consultant playbook.

The only thing genuine will be the excuses.

Face facts.

Radio didn’t lose to new media – it drove listeners to it. Radio, thinking in the past instead of the future thanks in part to the Coot and others in his image, lost touch with its audience.

How about the Coot's remodeling of the alternative rock format? He turned it into an active rock format that didn’t play classic rock artists – but his currents were nearly identical. He called it the Edge, convinced that his version was a wedge between classic rock and active rock.

He can take credit for one thing. Killing that format. Today most alternative rockers hover around the one and two shares and deserve those numbers. Among his countless errors was to eliminate nearly all female artists and any music that didn’t sound like his active rock hits; what few there were.

Perhaps the Coot will tell you radio stations need to intensify their marketing and promotion. What he won’t tell you is that radio stations have to improve their programming – and get it back on track – before you invite potential listeners to listen.

He’ll say radio needs “buzz.” It has to do things to get the masses talking about it again.

And that comes from a company supplying active and alt-rock playlists that scream, “The masses are asses.”

One problem. Even asses know when they’re getting kicked.

Sense a pattern here?

Alvin Toffler calls it “obsoledge,” that’s short for obsolete knowledge.

Time for a new strategy. How many times can the Coot suggest a scheme that ends up catastrophic for his clients and blame someone else for his – ahem - guidance?

Is it my imagination or has he taken on the appearance of a crumbling soul trying to put it back together for one final breath?

People aren’t born drained and trodden, they get that way. It’s self affliction.

And let us not forget the Coot's other dog and pony show - his PPM analysis.

He’ll tell you the good news is that unlike diaries, the PPM provides instant response to format changes.

He may even tell you how the PPM showed his consulted station in Philly getting its ass kicked in just a matter of weeks by a new Clear Channel start up no less, but he’ll phrase it differently.

Wonder if he’ll mention WYSP going back to rock. That one has to burn him. He used love taking credit for that station’s success. When they went Free-FM, the Coot successfully peddled himself across the street at WMMR and took credit for improved numbers at the only rock station in town.

Now WYSP is back to haunt him. True, they don’t have Howard but they're back and rockin' and there’s that pesky WRFF. If you get the opportunity raise your hand and ask him how he plans to get out of his new Philly freeze.

Chances are the Coot will bypass the question, claiming there’s a bigger picture to consider…blah, blah, woof, woof.

He’s like a politician on one of those Sunday morning public affairs shows. Ever notice how they – both Democrats and Republicans - never answer the question they’re asked?

Maybe he should run for mayor of Southfield.

Or replace Fumbles at the NAB.

My guess is that he’ll say the jury’s still out on how to read and react to a PPM’s survey results. He’ll give it a name: logical time reaction or something like that.

React. I never really liked that word. I prefer act.

That’s his dillema. Successful programmers need to be futurists –able to spot trends and be fully plugged in to popular culture.

But if you had a programmer like that you wouldn’t need the Coot.

If radio is killing itself with friendly fire is he supplying the bullets?

I hate to throw cold water on his answer. Success is achieved by planning for a year down the road, not just for a quarter. Ask Steve Jobs, the guy the Coot like to compare himself to. He’s already planned his campaign for what he's putting out a year from now.

Next question.

How could he help bring the Loop and Q101 to such dangerously low numbers? And isn’t Q101 the station that did the programming “on shuffle” promotion?

How quickly we don’t forget.

He’ll bypass the question, claiming…..oh, I said that already.

I don't like repeating myself. That his style.

And on and on and on.

The Coot would get more bang for his buck and more exposure for his consultancy if he sponsored wide screens set up throughout the convention center and adjacent hotels so everyone can watch the HD Radio hour QVC Wednesday night.

Well, maybe not.


Anonymous said...

Liked this one and familiar with the consultancy. It is the radio consultancy version of an empty suit.

Boston Blackie said...

You are so right and "The Coot" already has a scapegoat ready for WMMR. By now you probably heard that the new logo for WBOS leaked out. It will be called "The Ticket" and will be FM sports-talk. They are dropping the A3 format.
They deny that a format change is about to happen. So why would you have a new logo and name ready to debut.
Earlier Greater Media was going to sell the Red Sox a piece of WBOS to get the team broadcast rights. That deal fell apart.
Buzz Knight is the PD of WBOS which has had one bad book after another. Greater Meida also owns WMMR and that station is also "overseen" by Knight along with "The Coot".
He takes the fall and "The Coot" keeps his job.
Knight is actually a nice guy just over his head with WBOS. He doesn't understand the format.
If Peter Smyth only knew what a ride he has been taken on by "The Coot".
WRIF in Detroit's success is because of the Doc of Rock NOT "The Coot".
"The Coot" tried the EDGE in Detroit. Greater Media had to pull the plug on it since it performed so poorly.
Somehow he managed to save face and not lose the account.
If Smyth ever wakes up from his fog he will get wise to "The Coot" and his antics.

Anonymous said...

He is a P-H-O-N-Y.
He is also a good S-A-L-E-S-M-A-N. That is how he sells general managers. Who can sell a salesman better than another salesman.
He is still a P-H-O-N-Y and Greater Media and his other clients W-I-L-L get wise to him.

Anonymous said...

I hope someone brings a laugh track to the Coot's Bedroom Videos tomorrow. Joker.

Anonymous said...

you do understand that it will now be difficult to watch the video presentation without busting a gut.

Anonymous said...

The only sense it makes is that anyone attending that didn't know that information already should not be a programmer. It was anything BUT eye opening. Typical rah rah sis boom bah from Jacobs.

Anonymous said...

Well done. Good production values.
But said absolutely nothing.

Anonymous said...

f him.

Anonymous said...

Exactly right on.

The guy made a living selling folks on his advice. So kudos to The Coot for his skills there. But as for programming and creativity, you're dead on.

There's two other guys more clueless A DeM and M McV.

Anonymous said...

John, in a word, you're an ass. The one you call "The Coot" (whatever the hell that means) is someone I know well and have known him for many years and you couldn't remotely be more off base.
What's more distressing is the amount of disgust and venom in your words. My guess -- you're jealous John. Super jealous.
This Greater Media "phony" business is completely insane -- he's only been working for that company for 20+ years. That's WELL beyond someone who's duping his clients. And to Boston Blackie -- if you think Buzz Knight is about to get fired, you're a dumbass too and have no clue what you're talking about.
The Edge in Detroit was on 10 years ago -- hardly worth dredging up.
Doug Podell IS a huge part of RIF's success but "The Coot" has been part of that station since the late 70s -- hardly an irrelevant influence.
You guys couldn't possibly be more off base. And by the way -- just which talent and which stations are exactly working with these days? Weren't you the douchebag who got his ass absolutely kicked in Detroit?
The people who read this drivel have no clue what they're talking about. They generally come off as bitter losers -- hey, that's how YOU come off. It's pretty easy to sit in front of your keyboard banging away and proving nothing. "The Coot" is as dedicated as it gets. And you -- and Boston Blackie -- are assholes of the highest level. To quote Jimmy Stewart in "It's A Wonderful Life," you're nothing but a "warped frustrated old man." Can't wait to track your book sales in Amazon -- I might just have enough fingers and toes to cover it.