When Randy Michaels (Or Anyone Else) Buys Your Station

Posted on June 22, 2011


“When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.”

Robert Heinlein, “The Cat Who Walks Through Walls”

Too often that’s exactly what we do when faced with a distressing situation; especially one we can’t control.

We run in circles screaming and shouting; which accomplishes nothing.

While this advice applies to all kinds of situations — a new boss, a bad ratings book, offended listeners — this post was inspired by my friends at Q101 and The Loop here in Chicago. It was announced yesterday that their stations had been sold by Emmis to a new group led by Randy Michaels. 

I’d venture to guess that some employees aren’t sure about their future with the company and may not know their status for months while others have already lost their gigs.

In either situation there is very little you can do about it. It’s out of your control.

Trust me, I know.

I’ve been sold several times, had my format flipped without discussion and, just like almost everyone in radio, been outright fired.

Regardless of your particular situation, don’t run in circles, scream or shout.

Here’s what I suggest instead:

  • Don’t pay attention to rumor or innuendo of which there will be plenty. Only listen to information from sources that are actually likely to know what they are talking about.
  • Don’t do anything stupid or vengeful; the only person it can hurt is you.
  • Keep your head up and be a class act. If you need an example of how to do that, I give you Charlie Meyerson, the recently deposed news director of WGN-AM.  You can see the memo he sent to staffers and comments he made in an interview about losing his gig here.

In today’s economy no job is secure but smart, talented people will always find ways to get by.

Just take a deep breath and focus your energy on the important things, not on running in circles, screaming or shouting.