Statement from our CEO
Re: Quad City Radio
It was a dark day for a lot of the Quad City personalities I grew up listening to. You see, I’ve only been in radio since 2007, a very small amount of time in comparison to some of my favorites. I came up in the Quad Cities as a small business man starting from scratch, and radio was there to help me succeed.
In the very beginning, Dave Lavora, Brad Johnson, and I met at the local radio group to discuss how we could maximize our cell phone business. My partner at the time, Nathan Lunsford and I were doing things against all odds. Growing when everyone else was consolidating, and doing things a little off the wall.
In my meeting with Brad and Dave, I remember saying that I absolutely hate all of the local wireless companies and even the big box stores that were essentially begging people to buy their products. Most ads started out with “we’re giving you all this free crap, so you’ll come buy a phone from us.“ Other things that were said were cliché types of statements like “nights and weekends free, nights and weekends starting at seven, unlimited minutes” and on and on it goes..
The point I was trying to make was simple. Let’s do something off-the-wall, let’s do something so crazy that only a radio station can do it. let’s get arrogant, let’s get pushy, let’s get straight-up crazy and tell the customers what to do, but in a funny way.
And that’s how the infamous “Marshall the Duck” was born. He was a force to be reckoned with that blessed the airways for years ahead. This character was an entire concoction of my desires and Dave Levora’s talent in an effort to please me, the client. Things went crazy after that. Marshall the Duck wound up as one of the most hated men in the Quad City area. People would call the must be destroyed line and he would always make an appearance there. More times than I can count Dave simply would have an interview with Marshall the Duck in the rock studio. That was incredibly impressive considering Marshall the Duck was Dave Levora, and Dave Levora was Marshall the Duck.
Radio skyrocketed our business. The history that I have with radio is what made me love and believe in radio to a level like no other. I have since been a loyal listener of Dave’s.
God placed me in the right time, in front of the right person that allowed me the opportunity to be in the radio business or now as we call it the media business.
I spent the early years of my radio career building our company expanding areas, growing the areas that we were serving. And each day, I could change some small business owners' lives just as mine did. I am overjoyed each time we see a business expand, increase awareness, or simply push more sales.
You see, five more cars sold on that used car lot, a few new patients at the local health center, a 20% increase in sales at the local restaurant all do the same things. It provides a better life for the business owner, their families, their customers, and adds millions of dollars in sales tax revenue that builds parks, roads, etc… to the communities we serve as a media company.
It's pretty obvious that you cannot do these things without great people in all aspects of your company. You need local talent on-air to achieve these goals.
Radio has led me across the midwest, acquiring run down stations and bringing them back to their former glory. That journey took me to communities that needed their stations back. They needed us to provide them with local, passionate, compelling, solid return on investment content that really mattered.
We are not a traditional company as most small-market broadcasters are not. We all wear a lot of hats, but each person has the desire and intent to serve the community.
Why did my team and I embark on this journey? We did this for one simple reason. locally owned and operated radio is one of the most powerful services a community can have. Despite all the advances in technology, despite the extensive selection for streaming services, Radio still maintains the largest penetration in any media, And talks to the largest percentage of the audience each day. That audience still remains stronger than any other medium at 90% of the 12+ population.
As we went into each one of these communities and rebuilt the radio stations it was clear that the community needed their stations. In the last year, Regional Media, our small local company provided millions of dollars in donations to further charity causes, nonprofits, and all kinds of community initiatives. We hosted hundreds of community leaders on our daily talk shows, took thousands of calls, and spoke to an unimaginable amount of people in our communities.
What happened in the Quad Cities and across the US made me think about why I love radio and how incredibly blessed we are to be in this industry. Unfortunately what happened today was expected, as corporate bottom lines and stock positions mean more than community.
If you were displaced today, I invite you to reach out to me. I will do what I can to help you land on your feet, or try to put you back to work.
God be with all of you and your families.