On October 27, Radio Ink's 2014 Best Managers in Radio list will be released to subscribers. In the issue, we feature over 30 of the best general managers and market managers in our industry today. One of the managers to make the 2014 list is Dan Seeman, vice president and general manager of Hubbard Radio's Minneapolis-St. Paul cluster. He loves radio. He believes in radio and he believes in the impact radio can have on the lives of listeners and the businesses in the community. He's as passionate about radio today as he was when he started in the business 32 years ago.
Former colleague Gabe Hobbs says Dan has done an outstanding job with the Hubbard stations in Minneapolis. "From ratings to billing to morale and a production atmosphere where there is no fear like you find in so many places these days. He has a top-rated and top-billing contemporary music station in KSTP-FM. Award-winning as well, recognized constantly by his peers. KSTP-AM went through a very difficult transition in the face of huge attacks from Clear Channel and CBS. He successfully transitioned from news/talk to sports and that was in the face of new FM competition and losing the Twins. The biggest accomplishment is probably believing and staying the course on the nation's only female-targeted talk radio station with KTMY-FM. They are great in Women 25-54 and the billing is excellent as well. What a terrific operation."
Let's lean more about what makes Dan Seeman a great leader in radio.
What motivates you every day?
Seeman: I see radio work every single day. I see it grow our advertising partners? businesses. I see excited and passionate listeners at our events. I see lives being changed at Ronald McDonald House, Courage Center, and the University of Minnesota Children?s Hospital. I see conversations continue online and on social media. I love the characters and personalities that this business attracts.
Flexibility and empathy are key when you are managing a group of radio stations. KS95 is a top music station in the market. It has completely different challenges than the two talk stations. The goals and objectives of each of the radio stations, along with the changing media landscape, require flexibility. I still have the same passion I had for the business 32 years ago, but it?s a very different business than when I started. I love to embrace change. We are blessed to be in a business that can literally change lives. The experiences in the community, with listeners and our community partners, motivates me every single day.
What is the number one challenge that keeps you up at night?
Seeman: The media landscape has gone through dramatic changes the past 10 years. Choices for audio entertainment and information are endless. Keeping up with the way that consumers use audio media is the biggest challenge we face. Radio?s biggest asset used to be distribution. Today, consumption is controlled by the listener, not the media company. We have to be in the content business. That?s why I am bullish about Hubbard Radio Minneapolis-St. Paul. We create great content, both on-air and online. myTalk 107.1 is a one-of-a-kind radio station, providing entertaining talk about people and pop culture live and local all day.
We own the content. We distribute it through a traditional radio channel at 107.1 FM, but also through streaming, podcasting, mobile, and written content on our website. When people in Minneapolis-St. Paul want our perspective on entertainment news, they have to access our content through a number of different channels of distribution. The same can be said about 1500 ESPN. Our website has such excellent written sports coverage that we actually have more unique users to the website than we have cume to the radio station. KS95, our Hot AC music station, has personalities, information, and entertainment that you can?t find on Pandora or on an iPod shuffle. KS95 is unique in that it has a morning drive-like show in afternoon drive. Moon & Staci are the perennial number one show in afternoon drive and recently won a Marconi Award for Large Market Personalities of the Year.
Meanwhile, the KS95 morning show, Ryan & Shannon won this year?s Marconi Award for Large Market Personalities of the Year. I think we are demonstrating that we can create content and make it available through distribution channels that the consumers want. Now we have to monetize it. That?s a challenge that keeps me up at night. (Pictured right with Dan is Zach Sobiech. Zach was a young man with cancer who KS95 met and produced a song he wrote called "Clouds" which went viral and helped raise over $750,000 for the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund)
What role does digital play at your radio station today, specifically in your sales department?
Seeman: Digital is our greatest opportunity for growth. We look at digital three ways: 1) as a brand extension for our radio stations, 2) as a marketing extension for our broadcast partners, and, 3) as a service company for non-traditional business partners. As a brand extension for our radio stations we are very active online and with social media. We have dedicated staff who provide unique content for the websites. 1500ESPN.com has full-time focused staff that provides unique content and extensive coverage of Minnesota sports. On mytalk1071.com we have focused attention on curating the biggest entertainment and pop culture news of the day, adding our opinion on the news. KS95 digital assets include a fully responsive website, an interactive streaming player, a Ryan & Shannon Alarm Clock app, and much more. The three brands get full-time attention from a social media manager and the entire airstaff, who all understand that social media is a critical extension of our brand. The largest growth of our digital department has been as a service company, providing digital and social media services to our client partners. We have the capability to manage social media, SEO/SEM, and digital marketing for other companies. We think it?s a natural extension to our broadcast advertisers and an opportunity for new business with non-traditional advertisers.
What would the people you manage say about you?
Seeman: If they are all sitting in a room without me it probably means the meeting is supposed to start and I?m late again. Passionate (sometimes misguided), cares about the community, creative (but not as creative as he thinks), nice guy (most of the time), strong advocate for our business, funny, and informal (but not as funny as he thinks). The ability to maintain balance and fairness between sales and programming. Not a knee jerk manager, understands the ebb and flow of the business, which leads to a stable, creative, successful environment. Bottom-line focused, but does not sacrifice marketing of the brands. Fair.
(pictured left are Senator Amy Klobuchar, Dan Seeman (holding Service to America Award), Rob Sobiech and Laura Sobiech, parents of Zach Sobiech who the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund is named after, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.)
Congratulate Dan on being one of Radio Ink's Best Managers in 2014 DSeeman@hbi.com
(10/23/2014 8:31:44 AM)
I'm proud to have known, worked with and work for Dan Seeman for 30 years. I don't want this to go to his head, :-), but he is TRULY the best manager I have ever worked for. Radio could use more managers like Dan. It's about time he was recognized for his tremendous efforts in the industry.
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