Says WHO?

Me! I’m media consultant Holland Cooke. In 40+ years in broadcasting, I’ve managed to survive a variety of on-air and management positions, not the least of which was 7 storied years as ringmaster of the circus at one of the USA’s most-respected radio stations WTOP/Washington, during which time the station scored its highest ratings to-date in the all-news format.

In 1991, I joined three other plucky entrepreneurs (REAL techy nerds) to found FliteCom Systems, Inc. which became USA TODAY Sky Radio, the live-via-satellite News, Sports, and Talk audio channels heard on Delta, Northwest, and United Airlines. Technology we developed evolved into Sirius Satellite Radio.

On January 1, 1995, I began consulting full-time, and was named News/Talk Specialist by McVay Media, the largest radio programming consulting firm on Planet Earth…much-of-which I’ve covered, developing programming and marketing strategies for Talk radio stations from Alaska to New Zealand, career counseling for radio talent and podcasters, and Internet development for entrepreneurs, companies, and radio personalities.

HC, with once-upon-a-time client Ed Schultz, a longtime radio talker now seen weeknights on MSNBC.

I was Ed’s consultant, a dozen years ago, at a radio station in Fargo ND. Back then, in Talkers magazine, I wrote that this guy was goin’ places.

So who pronounced me “a communications expert?”
Mrs. Munro, my first grade teacher. On my very first report card, she noted “He’s talking.” On the next three: “He’s still talking.” Fast-forward to 5th grade. Mrs. Young made me sit in the corner for all-but-two-days of the entire school year, same reason. Yep, she busted me on day one. She softened-up on Christmas, and a day later I was back in the corner.

I felt like Mrs. Krause was stalking me. She followed me building-to-building, from junior high school, to high school, where I had her again! She told me, “It looks like you-write-what-you’re-going-to-write, then, you sprinkle the page with a salt shaker full of commas.” If she could read me now, she’d scold me for using-too-many-hyphens. And the sentence fragments! (Oops) Then, in 12th grade: Public Speaking! Mr. Kerson MADE me talk! “Slower! Slower! PLEASE.”

Public School, Private Sector
In college, I trained to be a high school English teacher, and I got certified the last year that The Commonwealth of Massachusetts certified teachers for life. And promptly went into broadcasting instead. As a consultant, I sure HAVE heard that old gag about “those who can’t do teach.” And, as Woody Allen offered in “Annie Hall:” “Those who can’t teach, teach gym.” But I never ended up teaching full-time. I was too busy doing.

If nobody listens when I speak, I starve.
Like others who are self-employed — and sales people — I only eat what I kill.

Salaried employees felt more secure…until recently. Since the recession, all bets are off. Now, if you cannot communicate better-than-the-average-person, you’re in trouble.

So I’m writing the book (literally), and speaking at conventions and to company meetings, to help you survive…and prosper, by showing you how to cut-through-the-clutter that clouds conversation now.

Bookmark, and read this work-in-progress as-I-write-it.