DECEMBER 30, 2021
Dennis Stephens and Bob Hayes (pictured above) are more than just the sports crew for WPKY in Princeton, they are close friends, travel buddies, strong community supporters and neighbors. But there is one more thing that this duo now share in common, they both lost their homes during the deadly tornadoes that ripped through Western Kentucky in the early morning hours of December 11th. Despite losing most of their personal belongings, both men are counting their blessings that they nor their families were harmed during the storms.

Dennis Stephens grew up wanting to be broadcaster. He started early as a teenager, but he ended up working in the tobacco industry, and eventually coming back to radio with a part-time position doing play by play for Caldwell County High School. His side kick and color analyst, Bob Hayes, is a former bank President and an avid community supporter. He joins Dennis for football, basketball, and even does quite a lot of baseball and softball.

"We have received so many gifts for Dennis and Bob from broadcasters all around the globe. We are eternally grateful that God spared their lives, and that we can continue serving amazing communities in the most wonderful industry in the world", said Beth Mann, owner of WPKY in Princeton.

A week after losing their homes and trying to put their own lives back together, the duo was back on-the-air doing what they love to do... calling high school sports for their listeners.
As so many radio and TV stations rallied to assist the relief efforts for Western Kentucky, I wanted to take a minute and share with you what, I believe, is a great story and the true essence and spirit of teamwork within the KBA.

As we received news of the storms and the unbelievable devastation, I met with our Director of Operations for SummitMedia Louisville early Saturday morning and discussed how we could help with an effort that would deliver the most impact. We knew that monetary donations would flow, along with the emergency supplies of necessities, such as water, toiletries, etc., and that many volunteer organizations would be clearing debris and providing meals.

With Christmas only 12 days away, we focused our attention on an effort to save Christmas for the kids. So we created a campaign to save Christmas and create a Christmas Miracle in Mayfield.

While I knew our team at the 4 SummitMedia Louisville radio stations would do a great job of making the relief effort happen, I needed a contact in the Western Ky. area to help with the distribution and other logistics, as time was not on our side. I reached out to a former KBA Board member, Ed Henson, and asked for a suggestion of whom I could contact and he referred me to Beth Mann of Edge Media Group. I immediately contacted Beth Saturday afternoon.

Even though she was in full emergency mode, providing news and information to listeners, she called me back and she immediately went to work, helping me create a plan for the distribution and even finding a location for us to house the toys until distribution. Beth and I worked hand in hand via many texts and many phone calls to develop a plan to save Christmas. The Louisville relief effort far exceeded expectations and we delivered a semi-trailer full of toys, presents, and bikes to a warehouse in Princeton on Sunday, where Beth and her team and a group of volunteers helped my SummitMedia Louisville team unload the trailer on Sunday.
We returned to Princeton on Tuesday with more vehicles full of toys from Louisville, only to witness one of the most heartwarming and powerful efforts I have been involved with. Beth had arranged for hundreds upon hundreds of children and families to receive the gifts along with Santa and his helpers. A full city block was lined with toys! The parents and children were overwhelmed. The pain and tears had turned into smiles and hope.

Obviously, the beauty of this story is that nearly 2 semi trucks full of toys were collected for hundreds of children and families in Western Kentucky, but this is a story of the collaboration and partnership of 2 radio groups in different ends of the state, large and small markets, who had no existing relationship, and may never have met, exchanged information, or ever worked together were it not for this effort. In spite of this terrible tragedy, 2 radio groups, whose only commonality was a mutual KBA contact, were able to come together to create a true Christmas Miracle in Mayfield and the surrounding communities.

Steve Fehder
President/Market Manager
Summit Media Louisville
Join us virtually for a full day video streaming conference that helps broadcasters develop and enhance their video streaming skills.

Given the current intense competition for high school sports video streaming, radio as an industry must be prepared to entertain and inform their local communities with new technology.
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I can still smell the wet rubber; feel the chill of the 31-degree air and the sound of Coach Tom Norton's feet banging on the wooden bench. Oh, the memories of playing Peewee hockey. Other than my dad, Coach Tom Norton was my most memorable coach. 

Mr. Norton was a raspy, silver-haired man who always wore a tie when he coached.  Coach Tom stood about 5 foot 7 but in our eyes, he was a giant. He commanded attention, he demanded respect, and he insisted that you be decisive in your actions even if you were wrong. “Do it with passion and gusto; even if you’re wrong!” he yelled. 

During one of our practices, I was racing to center ice for a puck but then thought the other defenseman was getting it, so I stopped . . . so did the other defenseman, thinking apparently that I was going to get it.  Coach Norton blew the whistle and screamed my name, “Schmidt, which one are you, Alphonse or Gaston?” I had no clue what he was talking about and he could see it in my eyes. Then he started making erratic flailing gestures with his hands and body and muttering, “After you my dear Alphonse. No after you Mr. Gaston.” Coach Norton looked quite silly in this display but I didn’t dare laugh. He said, “If you don’t understand, look it up when you get home, Son.”

Turns out Alphonse and Gaston are a comic strip; the 1906 creation of Frederick Burr Opper.  The bumbling pair had a humorous repartee with being overly polite to each other. They were so polite that they never got anywhere because they were always waiting for the other to make the move first. How the heck Coach Norton expected a 13-year-old to know about an ancient comic strip is beyond me.

Coach Norton was making an excellent point. Confidence means the difference between getting the job, the prize, the sale, and the puck . . . or not.  A sale is simply the transference of confidence.  If you have enough confidence in your product and solution, the prospect will share that confidence and make a buying decision. Confidence breeds confidence.

Dr. Amy J.C. Cuddy is an Associate Professor at Harvard Business School. She has done some groundbreaking research on the issue of confidence.   The research is called Power Posing:  Fake it till you make it.  Here is what Amy suggests...

"We are influenced, and influence others, through very unconscious and implicit processes," she says. "People tend to spend too much energy focusing on the words they're saying—perfectly crafting the content of the message—when in many cases that matters much less than how it's being communicated. People often are more influenced by how they feel about you than by what you're saying. It's not about the content of the message, but how you're communicating it.”

In my experience, the closing ratio between a “confident seller” and a seller lacking in confidence is dramatic; the confident seller closes 90% more than the non-confident seller. Harsher is the fact that sellers who lack confidence don’t survive long in sales.

So today if Coach Norton would yell, “Schmidt, which one are you-- Alphonse or Gaston?” I would puff out my chest, look him square in the eye, and say “Neither, Coach. I’m the one with the puck.”

The old saying is “Knowledge is Power.”  I’m to add to that; Knowledge is Power, Power is Confidence, and Confidence gets Sales Results!
Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development at the Radio Advertising Bureau. You can also connect with him by email or on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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