Recently, a local AM radio station had a former employee charged by the Feds with misdirecting funds and buying more supplies than needed so that he could get prizes and cash as rewards for the large purchases.
Not big news. Not unusual news. Left untouched, it would have largely been forgotten about by the locals at least until the trial.
Enter misguided management.
The AM station’s morning guy reads the news and adds his own flavor to it. He has a huge listener base.Â After fifty three years on the air, he IS the station to many listeners.
The morning guy gets into a discussion with theÂ station manager, who tells him “you’re gone if you read that story”. The story, of course, is the story about the Federal charges lodged against the radio station’s former employee.
So the morning guy quits after 53 years on the air, feeling that his journalistic integrity is being threatened.Â Naturally, the obtuse manager refuses all calls on the matter, stirring up the other media outlets even more.
Rather than a non-issue that would have gone away shortly after it was read, this manager has now threatened the perception of the integrity of this station’s news and editorial policy, and has substantially raised awareness and interest in the issue (the morning guy’s departure is front page above the fold main headline news in every area paper).
At this point, it’s natural to start to ask questions about the station’s financial controls, editorial policy, management and a number of other issues.Â Clearly, the station manager has burned his reputation in the area, and any relationships he may have had with other media people.
All because the morning guy wasn’t allowed to spend 15 seconds reading a story that had already been in the paper and on local TV.
Got a mess at the office? Don’t sweep it under the rug. It’ll come back to bite you when someone trips over that lump in the rug. Take your lumps, maybe even make a little fun of yourself, and move on. Everyone else will too.
Hide from the public and the media and they’ll be provoked to do the natural thing: Want to know what else you’re hiding and dig for it.