Talk Station that “Doesn’t Need to Sell Advertising to Make Lots of Money” Looking for Ad Sales Heavyweight to Make Lots MORE Money
By Mona Lipschitz
SANTA CRUZ — Michael Zwerling, the eccentric owner of one of the nation’s leading independent local talk radio stations, KSCO AM 1080, Santa Cruz/Monterey/Salinas/Silicon Valley, is looking for a general manager/sales manager to bring his station’s monthly ad billing up from “a laughable $30,000 per month” (his words not ours) to a “more respectable and completely doable $300,000 per month.”
Asked how a station billing only $30,000 in monthly ad revenue could be considered anything even REMOTELY deserving of being described as “one of the nation’s leading independent local talk radio stations,” Zwerling retorts, “Easy — ad sales have never been our focus in the past; we have done and continue to do very well, thank you, with our ‘royalties from radio’ revenue model we have employed for nearly 18 years. Yet we continue to serve our communities FAR better than most corporate-owned stations, and far better than most other independent stations that can’t AFFORD to serve their communities.”
Zwerling continues, “But I started to feel like a fool recently when I realized that just because we don’t NEED to sell advertising — doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t TRY to sell as much advertising as possible — just like any other station being run by anyone with even HALF a brain!”
Zwerling laments that for the 23-and-a-half years he has owned KSCO, it has never been run like a business. He blames himself, not others. He states:
“Sales goals? What’s that?”
“Pressure from ownership to produce ANYTHING or maintain minimum performance standards: ZERO!”
Zwerling’s job directives for everyone employed or paid by KSCO: 1) have fun; 2) don’t get me sued; and 3) don’t get me fined.”
He continues, “No wonder KSCO is such a happy place! Can anybody think of a better place to work in radio than KSCO?”
Zwerling compares himself to Rodney Dangerfield, the late, great, comedian whose tag line was “I get no respect!” as he describes how his staff doesn’t even bother to PRETEND to be working on the rare occasions he shows up at KSCO and sees people talking, joking, gossiping, and having fun with each other instead of being productive for the radio station.
He has only one person doing ad sales and not even full time. Zwerling tells TALKERS, “He takes lots of vacations but is at his comfort level bringing in $20,000 in ad sales on a good month. One or two others have an account or two to supplement their income. None of the staff seems particularly motivated when it comes to money.
“But don’t get me wrong,” Zwerling stresses, “I love and respect ALL my staff; they are only doing the jobs set forth by my own job directives for everyone!”
According to Zwerling, the sky is the limit in terms of unique opportunity for the right person with “fire in his/her belly” to bring an additional $270,000 PER MONTH ad revenue into KSCO. He says he is willing to pay that person very handsomely.
Zwerling is actively looking for someone to transform KSCO into “high ad sales engine it should be.” He tells TALKERS he is willing to grant exclusive territories such as the affluent and lucrative Salinas, Monterey, Carmel/Pebble Beach and Silicon Valley advertising markets to the right person — “someone who, like me, DOES NOT WANT TO BE PAID unless he or she produces, in which case, the compensation should be EXTRAORDINARILY HIGH.”
Here’s the catch: compensation will be computed ENTIRELY on performance. Translation: no salary; no advance against future commissions. “Been there, done that — many times,” says Zwerling. “It NEVER works!”
Is there anyone out there who is up for the opportunity?
To pursue this opportunity contact Michael Zwerling at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 831 477-1999.
Mona Lipschitz is a staff writer at TALKERS. She can be emailed at email@example.com.