This radio life

My oldest friend sent me a couple of pictures that I never knew existed. Gary Burton and I both started working in professional radio on the same day. We were both at hospital radio in Derby at the same time too and our friendship began there.

It comes from a simpler time. I had hair!

It’s all too easy for radio people to become lost in nostalgia. Longing for a simpler time when things seemed to work better, create bigger results and things were altogether easier. It’s a mirage of the past, as in truth the past might have been simpler in some ways, but the pitfalls and dangers were still there and often bigger. Regulation was tougher and the prospect of falling foul of the rules was high. As with all history, we forget the bad bits if we can and focus on the enjoyment and highlights.

It’s all very normal behaviour and to be expected but it becomes an issue when it shapes current or future plans. Living in the past is not a good idea when plotting future success.

I’ve sat with media people who lament that their service or station “used to be number one” with an XXX number of listeners. When asked a bit about what changed the inference is that “new thinking” or “they” changed things and but for that, it would be still pulling in those numbers. It’s a folly of course and all too frequently when things were rosy and huge, the volume of competition was lower or the choices for consumers were fewer.

I’ve even known a few who have tried to regenerate the successes of yesterday without the market changes that allowed the success to flourish in the past. Of course it never lived up to the memory. It never does.

I’ve had the great fortune to live through many radio eras and experiences which many reflect back on as being a golden age or time. The thing is, during those times there were many who were saying the same thing about an earlier time!

Live for today. You might be living in a golden age right now and you might look back and think it was magical through your rose tinted specs.

A young Dick Stone. A fashion icon. Pic courtesy of Gary Burton

I’ve not been working in radio now for the longest time in my career- don’t misunderstand, I’m enjoying what I’m doing hugely at the minute. It’s almost nine months since I had a full time gig in radio and so my advice to anyone in the industry right now is to stop and savour it. It’s a fantastic, powerful, important, crucial medium but also the most fun. Savour the NOW. Savour the day today and not wait until tomorrow to realise how great it was. Savour having hair! Don’t wait until you have to slap factor fifty on your scalp on holiday to enjoy it!

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Published by Dick Stone

Radio...its always been radio.

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