Would You Start Vick?
The Michael Vick Show is back on the air. After Vick’s unbelievable performance last night, I began to understand that he is truly a talented football player. Did he make mistakes? You bet. Is what he did to those dogs forgettable? Hardly. However, this is America, a land built on second chances; just ask Jimmy Carter, Mike Tyson, Jay Leno, and on and on and on.
It got me thinking, if Vick were a talk host and not an NFL QB, he’d probably have to be fired, because he’s too off brand, too hard to coach, too unpredictable, makes management uncomfortable, and he doesn’t appeal to the core fan. This happens everyday in radio. Vick may have just posted the highest ratings anyone can remember, but that success would be reasoned away by management as a fluke. (That’s what managers say when ratings don’t tell the story they need it to tell.)
I get asked often, where are radio’s next stars? I have to guess working in retail, telemarketing or serving burgers and fries, because they were turned away for being too unique, too different, too interesting, and possibly too talented. It may be time to dust off the old resumes and see if some of the talent you passed up for not fitting your mold, maybe ready to start for you now. Or, you can let your station’s Kevin Kolb continue to fill time. A Vick-style personality draws fans to him with his talent. A Kolb-style host inherits listeners who are fans of the station. A Vick-style personality will make you nervous as a manager. A Kolb-style host will make you comfortable. A Vick-style personality will generate angry calls to your office demanding he be fired. Fans won’t call about a Kolb-style host. In fact, they may not even remember his name. If you are reading this and are still wondering who Kevin Kolb is, I’ve made my point.
Be bold. Take a chance. Play to win. Hire a personality.