• Question: So who REALLY is America’s team?

    October 26th, 2010

    The two stadiums sit about a quarter of a mile apart in Arlington, Texas.  The one to the east houses a group of underpaid overachievers who truly believe in TEAM and everything it encompasses.  The stadium to the west houses a group of overpaid underachievers who believe in ENTITLEMENT and everything that encompasses.

    The Texas Rangers – the overachievers – will be playing in their first ever World Series on Sunday night.  The Dallas Cowboys – the underachievers – will be trying to get their second win of the season Sunday afternoon at their posh one-billion dollar stadium – to go along with five losses.

    The face of the Texas Rangers is a good ‘ole Texas country boy who pitched 7 no-hitters in his Hall Of Fame career – and believes in hard work, team work, treating his fans well, and letting his manager manage.  The face-lifted face of the Dallas Cowboys believes in hiring coaches who do what he tells them to do on a daily basis, thinks he is entitled to win championships, and gouges fans with by far the highest ticket prices in the NFL.  Just the parking fee – $75 – is higher than many game tickets across the NFL.

    The Texas Rangers have one of the lowest payrolls in the major leagues – the team they beat for the American League title – the Yankees – had a payroll 4-to-5 times higher than the Rangers.  Their MVP has battled serious drug addiction, one of their pitchers (who won two games in the Yankee series) was playing in Japan last year after failing in the major leagues.  Their manager instills a love of the game in his team – and has a plan to win through aggressive base running.

    The Dallas Cowboys have the highest payroll in the NFL.  They have a coach who never pushes his players and has become their chief apologist.  No strong coach will come to the Cowboys because they know the owner is a control freak.  This team has the most penalties – by far – in the league and are all in it for themselves.   Hmm….just like their owner!

    So – this all begs the question:  Who really should be America’s team?  Which team would you use for a role model for your children or employees?   That’s what I thought.

    As you may have surmised by now – for the first time one of my blogs really has nothing to do with the business – or does it?  You be the judge.


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  • Move Beyond Your 1-Screen Focus – You Must Have A 3-Screen Strategy

    October 7th, 2010

    This has been the year of Re-Engineering at AR&D – as we help enlightened stations and groups move to Multiple Platform News.  Clearly, your customers have expanded their news and information sources far beyond just one screen – the television set.  They want the news when they want it – and where they want it.  You must have a 3-screen strategy (TV, Internet, Mobile) to meet their new demands.

    Does it work?  Absolutely.

    KPHO – the Meredith TV station in Phoenix – is making a strong transformation to Continuous News on multiple platforms.  Unusual storms – hail and even tornadoes – hit Phoenix and Arizona this week – and the KPHO website had 300,000 page views in one day – double their usual average.  The next day – they hit 440,000 page views.  Creativity drove a great deal of those views – as they built special slide-shows of pictures sent back to the station from their crews in the field using Droids – and from their customers’ cellphones.  47% of the KPHO.com page views on that stormy day came from slide-shows.  In fact, 75,000 page views looked at a special slide-show put together after a monster hail storm that hit Phoenix at 4:45 p.m.  Their TV news ratings also spiked with their special coverage on the web and on their newscasts.  Of course, they also alerted their customers with text and mobile alerts.

    WLEX – the Cordillera station in Lexington – has been moving smartly forward on multiple news platforms, and social media in 2010.  AR&D helped WLEX launch a strong Continuous News effort on their LEX18.com website – one that has been embraced by the entire news department.  Quickly updating local news throughout the day – WLEX doubled their story count on the web.  Their website – which had 26 million page views in 2009 – is on track to hit 40 million page views in 2010.  Their website revenue is on pace to triple last year’s number.

    WLEX also has a very aggressive Facebook strategy.  It has driven them to over 32,000 fans – making WLEX the number 2 TV station Facebook page in the country.   They find that Facebook is the #2 driver sending customers to their station website.  In fact, during major flooding in the market this spring – WLEX customers flocked to the station’s Facebook page to swap information to help each other get around the flooded streets – it was social media at its finest.

    But amidst all this online and social media growth – WLEX – the TV news leader in the Lexington market – has not taken their eyes off the TV screen.  In the past few months they have launched a 4 p.m. and a 7 p.m. newscast.  Both of these news programs make heavy use of Facebook to interact with their audience.  Clearly this Lexington news and information source is being strongly positioned to be THE multiple platform news leader in the market in the years ahead.

    These are but two examples of the AR&D clients who “get it” – and are moving smartly ahead in delivering Continuous News on multiple platforms – wherever and whenever their customers want to access it.

    What’s your 3-screen strategy?


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