guest post from
Media Mogul Lee Abrams


image credit


One reason the best and brightest are drawn to the new generation of Media companies is self inflicted. In looking for talent for upcoming ventures,  I can’t help noticing how so many companies recruit with the excitement level of a local government office.
OK—if looking for scientists or numbers people—fine.  But in the business of winning America’s hearts, minds and dollars through inspired media….uh oh.

Looking at the postings from a few big league old media companies,  I noticed,  for a ‘creative’ position:

1.      “Under graduate degree in advertising, marketing, communications or a related field is required.”  (Why?–I’m not sure schools teach what is needed to compete in 2011)  “Must be able to function in a intense, high pressure environment and respond to senior management in a timely manner”  (That sounds like a tour of duty in Afghanistan).  “Must comprehend the metrics associated with strong business practices and standards and incorporate fiscal  diligence into the work flow”  (No one talks like that in real life).  “Must have a minimum of five years experience in a major market with a demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and deliverables within the duties and scope of the position”  (Well,  there goes the chance of bringing in a future star as well as insurance that you’ll bring in an average re-cycled type that fits the descriptions but is ….average).

2.      The wording often looks like an HR department wrote it and not the person who would know the nuances of the job best which is the person who is hiring. AND—is often 180 degrees from the culture the company thinks it wants to create.  And what’s with the “must” thing?

3.       Postings are almost always  too  old school corporate.  Words like “Duties & Scope.”  Ouch.   Great minds in our business don’t want to work for  old school thinkers.

4.      Hiring is often “check the box.” Where at some companies I used to work the posted positions were released without really looking at the ‘culture’ of the writing…and then wonder why the other guys found the star.

5.       And unfortunately,  hiring style is often on autopilot.  It is simply not addressed in an era where EVERY detail is necessary to compete in this century.
Then,  here’s an Apple posting that underscores why these cultures and companies attract the new generation of thinkers, old and young:

Corporate jobs, without the corporate part.

Work behind the scenes — where we design, engineer, and launch every Mac, iPod, iPhone, and Apple software title. And do all the other stuff that makes that possible.


Don’t expect business as usual.

A lot of big companies are about endless meetings.  Massive bureaucracy. And suits.  We don’t see what any of that has to do with great work.  So we don’t bother.  This isn’t your cushy corporate nine-to-fiver.  Fortunately.


Prepare to be inspired.

We’ve got an environment where you can make things happen.  Fast.  There’s plenty of open space — and open minds.  Collaboration.  And of course, innovation.  We also have a shared obsession with getting every last detail right.  Leave your neckties, bring your ideas.

Notice there’s no “Under graduate degree in advertising, marketing, communications or a related field is preferred. Prior supervisory experience in a major market advertising, television station or advertising/promotion department is required” type wording.

Where would you rather work?

It is an amazing privilege to feature one of the most brilliant minds in broadcasting here on I had the honor of meeting American Media Executive Lee Abramsat the Arbiton Client Conf/Jacobs Media Summit last year. I actually opened for him, true story, or least I spoke right before him. Lee has held a number of posts for large and influential companies, and is generally credited with developing the “Album Oriented Rock” format employed by hundreds of radio stations across the country. Most recently he was the chief innovation officer for the Tribune Company but prior to that founded XM Satellite Radio and ran notable radio consulting company Burkhart/Abrams; served as an internal consultant for ABC Radio, and helped develop nationwide radio formats such as Z-Rock and Radio Disney.  Additionally, he has been involved on the recording side of the music industry, producing Ah Via Musicom for guitar virtuoso Eric Johnsonand appearing on several Alan Parsons Project CDs. He has also consulted and even managed notable acts such as Yes, The Moody Blues, Steve Winwood, Iron Maiden, Bob Seger and EMI Records.