Broadcast Vet Lamb 'Bound' for Bigger ThingsBlock VP sees his book as sales tool in tight Louisville market 2/18/2013 12:01:00 AM Eastern
Bill Lamb has, for more than
a decade, poured his perspective
into on-air “Point of
View” editorials on WDRB Louisville
(Ky.). The president and general manager
of the Fox affiliate in DMA No.
48 now has another platform for the
wisdom he has accumulated across almost
four decades in broadcasting: He
is the author of a new business book,
Money Follows Excellence.
Lamb says his reasons for putting his
thoughts in bound form included sharing
the lessons his mentors have taught
him, giving attendees at his speaking
engagements more musings to digest
and arming the sales crew at WDRB
with a glimpse at how the general
manager, and the station, operate.
“They can give it to clients and say,
this is how we think,” says Lamb, who also serves as VP
of broadcasting for WDRB parent Block Communications.
“Our competitors have no answer to that.”
Lamb suggests it is a “small advantage” for WDRB, but every
little bit counts in a tight market. Belo’s WHAS and Hearst Television’s
WLKY were virtually deadlocked atop the Louisville
heap in 2011 revenue, the last year for which BIA/Kelsey presently
offers figures. Next was WDRB, with Raycom’s WAVE on
its heels. Lamb also manages the local MyNetworkTV affiliate.
WDRB is making major moves. Next month, it will break
ground on an 11,000 square-foot extension to its facility.
In late January, the station launched a three-hour Saturday-
Sunday a.m. newscast and hired 14 people to staff it. In
2012, Lamb poached a pair of high-profile sports columnists
from the Louisville Courier-Journal—a sterling example,
he says, of the Money Follows
Excellence ethos that defines the station:
Do what’s best for viewers and
the revenue will follow.
Ken Selvaggi, VP and general manager
at WAVE, calls Money Follows Excellence
“a good read. It emulates everything
we try to do as station managers.”
Lamb says he has been a note-taker/
saver his whole career. Two years
ago, he started to assemble the better
business practices he had witnessed
in book form. He partnered with regional
publisher Butler Books and
has sold around 1,500 books since
the title’s release last November.
Reception from the New York publishing
houses has been lukewarm.
But one fan of Money Follows Excellence
is Sen. Mitch McConnell, the
Kentucky Republican whose blurb on the back cover of
the 200-page book calls it “a marvelous study of timeless
principles for people at any stage in their careers.” (Lamb
says he and the legislator are “acquaintances.”)
Another fan is Block Communications chairman/principal
executive officer Allan Block. “I think it’s extremely well
done,” Block says. “It offers a formula for how to be successful,
whether you run a TV station or are in another business.”
Lamb acknowledges he may be giving his competition a
peek at the WDRB playbook, but he’s not worried. “There
are some secrets in there as to why we’re in flourish mode,”
he says, “but I didn’t reveal all of them.”