by Kent Sterling
There are a lot of ways that life can redirect energy to what’s important and profitable, and getting fired is one of the best.
We don’t like it when change happens to us, and being told you aren’t allowed to work for an employer you like and respect is a harsh slap in the face.
It’s the response to that slap that charts the course to our next challenge, and many times it involves more money and more fun than the gig we were told was no longer a good fit.
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Zach McCrite was told a couple of weeks ago that 101ESPN in St. Louis no longer had any use for his talent. That kind of thing happens all the time, and there is no shame in it.
I was the program director at 101 for a couple of years, and fired a few people there myself. None were bad people, and most were really talented. It was my opinion based on a life in media that the resources we used to pay those people would be better employed elsewhere.
That was never intended as an indictment of the worth of an employee, and it should never have been inferred in that way. My expectation for those who I fired was that they would start plotting their next move before they reached their cars.
Work doesn’t require a job, and when Zach left 101, he went to work, and now he has a home for the content he so passionately has created for employers in Louisville and St. Louis.
One of the wonderful benefits of the digital explosion is that websites like this one can exist efficiently as a place where videos, sound, and written posts can generate audience. Zach created BigEZshow.com so that his audience can continue to have access to his likability, passion for sports, and sense of fun.
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That is what responding positively to adversity is all about. It isn’t about telling a former employer to go to hell, but about the work he loves and the understanding that an employer with a 100,000 watt transmitter isn’t necessary to do what he loves.
Working with Zach was always a pleasure. He’s smart, diligent, funny, and easy to like. Those traits all translate exceptionally well to BigEZshow.com.
There are four traits of a great radio show, according to Steve Reynolds – authenticity, relevance, fun, and innovation. Check, check, check, and check for Zach McCrite. If you like kentsterling.com, you should also bookmark BigEZshow.com.
Zach will get another job quickly if he wants one, but I hope he uses his entrepreneurial skills to monetize the website and work for himself. The amount of cash we can take home when we own our properties is limited only by the level of passion we show in building the business.
It’s up to Zach to figure out what winning is, but what I know about Zach is that he will wake up every morning committed to creating great content. If a radio company wants to hire a great guy who vibes with listeners, they should make him an offer. As his digital effort becomes more and more successful, his inclination may change.
Digital delivery is where content distribution is headed anyway, so why not figure out how to make it go on our own?
What I’m trying to do is find a hybrid of employer and self-employment to reach my goals, but that might become moot if the business of helping clients reach their goals continues to flourish.
That was very nice of you to write, Kent. I’m very grateful for your support.
Sometimes what I write is nice – sometimes not. It’s always the truth. You are an excellent talent, and better guy. Now, you are on the road to success. Working harder and smarter is the best revenge. Traditional media can’t keep pace with us because all we have to do is work. They need to meet, discuss, plot, and strategize. Instead of taking six months to figure out the best way around a wall, we put our heads down a run through it.
Well said, Kent.
Zach is one of the more talented guys I’ve been fortunate enough to come across in my career. Sports are entertainment. They’re a release. There’s always a payoff. Zach gets that.
There hasn’t been a day where I felt as though Zach lost sight of what sports are and what they provide. I appreciate his fresh perspective on things and he’s always realistic. Best of all, he’s himself. And as Kent pointed out above, he’s extremely likable.
Zach’s style was lost on some but I think people appreciate his delivery, whether they knew it or not. He’ll do great wherever he winds up.
This isn’t much of a mitigating factor for Zach, but Hoss Neupert is a caring and smart program director who will make moves like this only when he believes them to be necessary. And that’s the thing to recognize – it’s about being assessed through the PD’s filter, and that makes it less an indictment of talent and more a matter of fit for the PD. Zach will find a way to rock though this and come out better for it.
Getting fired sucks regardless, but getting fired by a good man sucks a little less. 101ESPN is in good hands.