published on January 30, 2009
Before We Know It, It’s Time To Say ‘So Long’
R&R president/publisher Erica Farber offers a fond farewell
I know you come to this page expecting to read about someone in the industry making a difference, but this week I am breaking format. What began as a way to help editorial fill a new adjacency more than 11 years ago has turned into an almost “must read” for the readers of R&R. I have had the pleasure of profiling 564 industry leaders representing some of the best and brightest in the radio, record and associated industries. There are so many more individuals on my to-do list, but today is my last day as R&R president/publisher, and selfishly I am using this valuable space to thank you for the support you have given me and R&R over these so many years.
“Any that has a ‘live’ body and continues to tell me what I am listening to.”
“Dancing With the Stars,” “Jeopardy” and HGTV
“Watch What Happens”
“The original ‘Thomas Crown Affair.’”
“‘Simple Abundance.’ I read it every day.”
Madeo’s in Los Angeles
“Dewar’s and soda, which was actually the inspiration for how these profiles started.”
Hobbies: “Laughter, music and cooking. I love sports, crossword puzzles, gaming and meeting new people and trying new experiences.”
Since the announcement was made that I was leaving R&R, I have been overwhelmed by the number of calls and e-mails I have received from so many of you—our readers, advertisers, former and current staff members, and those whom I have had the pleasure of working directly with and for. Some have made me laugh. Some have made me cry. But all have made me realize how lucky I am that this business picked me, as I never got into this business to be a publisher.
When I started in 1992, R&R was producing a weekly newspaper and a biannual directory. We were hand-faxing sheet-by-sheet tracking reports to our music customers and were in the early stages of delivering news and charts for a few formats via fax.
Today I am so proud of the incredible work our staff produces. Our heritage publication R&R is now produced weekly in magazine format. We publish a variety of daily e-mail products every business day. Advance charts and format-specific information is provided in weekly update e-mails in each of our 23 formats. Music Tracking is now a proprietary online service utilized by the music community to track radio airplay. Radioandrecords.com is the industry’s leading Web site, offering a wealth of information that includes the complete R&R Directory online. And we have been producing several annual industry conventions and seminars. We may have competition, but no one competitor serves the entire needs of the radio and record industries like R&R.
Make A Difference
My focus here has always been to try to make a difference. We have worked hard to provide radio with a voice and to provide individual stations a way to communicate their support of new music. We have dedicated ourselves to delivering on our promise to provide you with reliable news and information about your business.
I have seen a lot in these last almost 17 years at R&R. Hard to believe. Radio went from a business made up of primarily individual owners to public companies. The record industry as we know it has been turned upside down. Both industries continue to consolidate. And technology continues to change everything.
Our pros-on-the-loose list is longer than at any time I can ever remember. Many today are being let go not because of a bad book or poor sales but because additional cash is needed because businesses are financially overextended.
Have I enjoyed my time at R&R? Do I believe this has been a fun trip? No question. And this trip has all been made possible by the many people I have had the pleasure of working with that helped to make me look good. You are the very best there is. I would love to name everyone individually but I know our copy editors would freak out if they had to proof all of their names. Plus I might leave someone out and that would make me feel terrible. All I can say is we have been through a lot—crazy times, quiet times, boom times, tenuous times, funny times, bad times, sad times, serious times and incredibly happy times. Through all of them, everyone has worked tirelessly with me on this incredible journey. From Los Angeles to New York, to Nashville to D.C., and to everyone working out of their home offices around the country, there is nothing more I can say, except thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I would also like to thank the Nielsen Co. and Rob Sisco for allowing me to make this transition. This was not an easy decision and you have given me the support to gracefully move on.
Last week the 44th president of the United States was sworn into office. His election was due much in part to a word we are all used to living with—and that is change. As part of his acceptance speech he called on Americans to return to the values of hard work and honesty, courage and fair play. How great a message is that? It is now up to us to decide whether this change is good or bad. Where we go from here is what matters and we can either dwell on the past or focus on what we can do to make it the best future.
Focus On The Future
I for one am focusing on the future. As a now-subscriber to R&R I look forward to continuing to learn from you and to read about your challenges and your successes—hey, some things will never change. And I look forward to our paths continuing to cross. You aren’t rid of me yet.
Many of you may remember “The Carol Burnett Show” that aired on TV from 1967 to 1978. She finished every show with the same song and I cannot think of a better way to end my time at R&R: “I’m so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh and sing a song. Seems we just got started and before you know it, comes the time we have to say so long.”
‘Where we go from here is what matters and we can either dwell on the past or focus on what we can do to make it the best future.’—Erica Farber