Why Do (Some) Great Announcers Make Lousy Managers?

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Why Do (Some) Great Announcers Make Lousy Managers?

Postby jon » Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:01 am

Following up on recent comments about great Radio announcers who are promoted to management and don't do so well, reminds me of Terry David Mulligan's autobiography, which takes the question one step farther, and asks (but doesn't completely answer, as he is talking about himself) why some very good DJs are horrible to work with, let alone work for.

Beyond that, Radio is not alone in this respect. For example, there are books written about why, in the Computing field, it is a bad idea to promote your best Computer Programmer into Management.

Since those books were written -- the beginning of the 1970s -- there has been a better understanding among senior managers that Management requires some combination of education/training and personality. The most important combination is commonly called People Skills.

In other words, what it takes to be a good DJ or Newsman is different than what it takes to be a good Manager.

We've all worked for lousy managers, and some of us have been lousy managers at one point or another in our lives. What do you think?
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Re: Why Do (Some) Great Announcers Make Lousy Managers?

Postby PMC » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:13 pm

How many working in broadcasting actually understand the methods of the business, and then get placed in a management position.

Comparing on-air staff to computer programmers is full of differences. The abstracts of the environment are completely different. Logic prevails in one, and the other can leave one guessing... theater of the mind etc. There is far more ego in play in broadcasting. That same ego is what causes disorder, disagreement, and mis-management, or the absolute winner for all things.
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Re: Why Do (Some) Great Announcers Make Lousy Managers?

Postby Tom Jeffries » Fri Aug 21, 2015 2:53 pm

I think there is a whole OTHER toolkit on - air people develop, apart from their co-workers, and Management.

Most of the time, the job insecurity and a few other things made the talent one thing and the herders of the sheep another.

I only worked for one jock, turned PD, that was any good.

Just a different skill set - and who would want to be a PD, after working "four hour days" and getting paid well? (*You catch my drift).
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Re: Why Do (Some) Great Announcers Make Lousy Managers?

Postby PMC » Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:02 pm

Tom Jeffries wrote:Just a different skill set - and who would want to be a PD, after working "four hour days" and getting paid well? (*You catch my drift).


PD's get a bigger slice of the pie, as does the sales/station/brand manager. The difference is motivation of the individual. There are many that began in the biz and moved into another occupation.... public relations.... and some choose to drive a bus because they are guaranteed a live audience :lol:
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Re: Why Do (Some) Great Announcers Make Lousy Managers?

Postby pave » Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:12 pm

The more typical scenario is the one in which an individual who was only mediocre in their position - on-air, news, production, creative - realises their future is limited and decides they want to stay in the business, and gravitates to Programming.
As such, the shit all rolls downhill and the P.D. gets to stick around - at least for longer than other staff.
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