Do PD’s Ever Become GM’s?

How Do You Know When You Have A Great Program Director?

Great question from an intern who wondered why more PD’s don’t become GM’s.  Aside from sales experience it got me to thinking:  what does make a great PD?  As an OM, consultant and group PD I’ve worked with a lot of programmers.  But I never really pinpointed what separates the superstars from the rest.  So I relayed this story:

Last fall, I asked a country PD when (artist/song) was going for #1?  (in country, they call this “number one push week”).  He knew instantly.  Then I asked him who was (station’s) #1 client?  He did not know.  I asked him what they were running for processing.  He knew down to the model number on the compeller.  I asked him what their streaming numbers were, he didn’t know (but knew what they were running to process the stream … pretty cool).

This week I asked another PD when (artist/song) was going for #1?  He wasn’t sure but had a guess.  Then I asked him who was (station’s) #1 client.  He knew it was (client) and that (client) was a close second.  I asked him about processing.  He knew it was Orban and they had a custom setting, but didn’t know more.  Streaming?  He not only knew the monthly number, but heavy days, hours and how many clients could not run on the stream.

Which PD is going to attract the attention of upper management?

There is nothing wrong with knowing every detail of your corner of the industry.  But if you want to get promoted, you have to let everyone know you are more than the music director who is minding the store or the morning guy who got promoted to PD.  You need to have a grasp of the big picture and prove to everyone that you understand the business.



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