The Story Behind the Story; McVay’s Return to Consulting
Changes at the top of the Cumulus Media corporate programming team have Brian Philips (Formerly President of CMT) joining Cumulus Media as Executive Vice President, Content and Audience. Philips will lead the team previously overseen by Executive Vice President/Content & Programming Mike McVay.
McVay joined Cumulus in August 2011 as Senior VP of Programming after heading up McVay Media for 28 years. Last summer, he expressed his interest to President/CEO Mary Berner to return to his consultancy, agreeing to stay on until his successor was named.
Below is a portion of a memo Mary Berner sent to Cumulus employees recapping her relationship with McVay that began as she was placed in charge of the struggling radio group.
Three and a half years ago and two days into my tenure at Cumulus, I made my first trip to Nashville with Mike McVay. It was clear from the initial and abundant feedback from our programmers that our corporate programming effort needed a reboot. Mike agreed. So as we headed to the office from the airport, I asked him, “What would you do if you were me?” For the rest of the ride, he outlined a broad plan for change and by the time we reached our destination, I was convinced that Mike was the perfect guy to lead our programming organization. It’s always nice to be right but, given how much was at stake, it was especially great to be right about Mike.
Mike’s accomplishments since his appointment as EVP, Content and Programming in 2015 are too numerous to count. To name just a few, under Mike’s leadership of the Office of Programming, we reversed four years of ratings share declines, and saw years of ratings share growth. We are currently posting the best ratings since 2011 on some of our biggest and most important stations. Mike has helped to expand Westwood One’s programming, participating in the launch of several new shows, including the very successful The Ben Shapiro Show. Mike has also led us in increasing our reach beyond over the air listening to include smart speakers and all online listening. The “collective contests” he initiated have greatly benefitted our markets from small to large. And perhaps most importantly, his commitment to our FORCE values has driven a significant improvement in our programming culture. A reboot, indeed. Last summer, Mike told me he wanted to return to the flexibility of his highly successful consulting career. I asked, and he agreed to stay on to ensure a smooth transition and to lead the search for his replacement.
Today … McVay is operating McVay Media Consulting. He is again sharing with content creators how to develop, build and perfect content. His success rate is substantiated.
McVay Media; a full-service consulting firm that specializes in:
- Content Creation
- Digital Streaming
- Network & Syndication
- Social Media Marketing Best Practices
- Production & Imaging Acceleration
- Marketing & Promotion
- Strategic Design & Positioning
- Research Construction and Analysis
- Rating Analysis
- Talent Coaching
- All Formats
- Music (All Formats - All Dayparts)
- Spoken Word (News/Talk and Sports)
- On-Air Talent Acquisition
- Coaching the Coaches; Consulting Programmers
- Consultation to Artists and Managers; Artist Development & Marketing
- Coaching Public Speakers - Motivational Speakers and Coaches
- Available for Public Speaking to Conferences, Conventions and Company Meetings
Our client experience has included consultation to all of the major broadcast companies in the United States, consultation to radio groups in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Latin America and the United Kingdom.
Mike was an original partner in the development and launch of the highly successful AC program Delilah. McVay Media has consulted The John Tesh program “Intelligence for Your Life” since the launch of that program. The consultancy has developed programming for Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray, artist and radio performer Jim Brickman, former NBA star John Salley, Donny Osmond and in creating radio specials for Reba McEntire and Daryl Hall.
Mike’s most recent experience as Executive Vice President/Content & Programming for Cumulus Media and Westwood One radio networks included oversight of the programming of 425+ radio stations, nationally syndicated programming, live broadcasts and satellite programming delivered to radio stations and digital delivery outlets around the world. He has been involved in the organization and promotion of the Westwood One Podcast Network and it was his idea to launch a weekend show targeting young mothers and their children on CHR/Top-40 and Hot AC radio stations. That program, known as “The JAYDE Donovan Show”, launched with more than 50 affiliates.
Futuri, one of America’s fastest growing digital media companies, was also touched by Mike at its conception. McVay, along with CEO and Founder of Futuri and broadcaster Lee Zapis, launched the original iteration of the company as Listener Driven Radio. That company has continued to grow far beyond where it was when McVay was a part of that team. Building a long-lasting legacy is important in the development of any new product.