The Music Scout (Alternative), Programming, Broadcaster, Alternative

The Music Scout (Alternative) - November 2022

Author: Jay Goldberg

First, when doing your projected profit and loss statement, create a three-by-three grid. Yes, that means 9 data points. Look at your radio station in three stages – where it is now, where you expect it to get to, and finally a stage where your business explodes (the stages can be defined by your number of listeners and/or by the number of stations you own). Then for each stage have three data points – conservative, expected, and aggressive. By doing this you can see what level of business you need to achieve to not only cover your business expenses but your personal expenses.

Another benefit of doing the three-by-three grid is it becomes easy to answer questions from banks or investors (and yourself) regarding the upside potential of your radio station (aggressive numbers, third stage) and the downside risk (conservative numbers). In addition, some banks ask for a five-year projected P&L. You can show your station growing from stage 1 conservative to stage 1 expected ... to wherever you feel in the three-by-three grid makes sense at the end of five years.

Next, the strategic plan section is very important. In this section you generate goals, both in terms of quantity (e.g. # listeners per hour, average # ads sold per hour, etc.) and time frames (e.g. expected # listeners per hour 6 months from now, etc.). Even if you are just throwing a dart, these goals drive your expected results in the projected P&L. Measuring your progress versus these goals helps you decide if and when to make changes and does so in a more effective and timely fashion than not having any idea if you are meeting expectations or not.

The last point I will make is about the industry sections. Some have questioned me on why it needs to be so detailed. Well, there are a number of reasons. First, you are operating in the industry so you should know it well. Second, often times after researching the industry, you can find opportunities that you didn't know existed and also avoid things that have been tried and failed. But my favorite is if you are talking to a bank or investor. You will know the industry inside out answering questions like no one has ever done with them before. At the end they may conclude, “what a boring person who I never want to go out and have a beer with; but I am sure giving money to someone who is obsessed with, and very knowledgeable about, the radio industry.”

As Stephen Bishop might sing, I could go “on and on” but I think I'll end the business plan content here. Now on to the music:

“After All” by Life on Mars

Life on Mars is an eight-year collaboration between Fernando Perdomo and Earl Kayoss. Billy Sherwood (from Yes) joins them on this track. The song's premise – even in the afterlife, after contemplating all that occurred in life, the most important thing ”after all” of it was the girl he loved.

“Little Girl” by Michela Vazzana

As a “little girl” Michela (from Italy) dreamed of being a singer-songwriter. Not only has she accomplished that, but she became friends with one of her favorites, Al Stewart, which led to her being able to feature Stewart's sax player, Phil Kenzie, on some of her songs, including this one.

“Raise a Glass'” by Karen Sucher

If you've lost people you love; this song is a tribute to them. The more we “raise a glass” and remember them, the more they stay in our lives. Sucher, originally from New York, can currently be heard playing venues in Palm Beach County, Florida. Catch her when you can.

“Safety in Numbers” by Crack the Sky

Crack the Sky received the newcomer of the year award from Rolling Stone in 1975. However, there was a gas shortage then so the only place where they got airplay and had albums for sale was in Baltimore where they remain popular today. This song is from 1978.

“Desert Place” by The Twins

This 80s new wave, synth band is from Berlin, Germany. They had no songs that charted in the U.S., U.K., or Canada. This is my favorite song from this duo and it's off their debut album (Passion Factory) released in 1981, before their songs started charting in some European countries.

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