Radio in Canada has evolved into a rather novel hybrid. Basically, it is ditheistic! Moved by economic opportunity, and mandated by law, radio acknowledges and serves two gods: commerce and culture.
On the one hand, radio in Canada, as in the USA, is both a response to and result of industrialization. A response to because it significantly advanced fulfillment of a seminal industrial need to effectively and relatively inexpensively reach and motivate large numbers of potential and established customers on a regular basis. A result of because it instinctively embraced the fundamental, profit-seeking industrial infrastructure, and adopted, from inception, many of its visceral operating principles.
On the other hand, a deity confounding to commerce: Canada mandates radio act as a cultural agent. Radio, to paraphrase the "Broadcasting Act," section (3: a),must protect, promulgate and invigorate Canadian culture. Radio, all media, should be windows onto the world. Through the window, listeners learn more about themselves, their society; there in is the source of solidarity. Radio, more so than television or print, is the town crier of industrialism: '1980 and all's well.' Through its aural frame, listeners learn what they want and need to know; and, as C. Wright Mills pointed out a generation ago, if the medium is actually doing its job, it will provide some hint as to the meaning of events, and link various cultural segments (seeThe Power Elite, published by Oxford, in 1956).
Radio, then, has a cultural responsibility as well as a need for economic survival.
The confluence of these allegedly dichotomous gods suggests radio in Canada is a socially responsible industry. Radio is not just an industry, as in the USA nor entirely a cultural arm of the state, as in France. Rather, radio in Canada is an innovative and operational hybrid!
All hybrids are, of course, problematic. Radio in Canada is no exception! The priorities of commerce and culture, for instance, are often at odds. Culture as commercial enterprise attracts the cackle of critics. A profit-orientation, they argue, reduces radio to low culture: highly homogeneous products fabricated by artisans assembly line workers employed by executives. The outgrowth of this is a product that appeals only to a passively receptive mass audience whose participation is limited to listening or not listening. Mass media, as C. Wright Mills said, aggregate individuals into media markets. The medium, not the content, hooks listeners.
There are exceptions, but generally, the medium is the motive!The Lords of Kitsch, to paraphrase Dwight MacDonald, exploit listener needs for profit! Radio is thus low culture (vis-à-vis high culture: non-commercial, heterogeneous products that promote individual creative effort, are aesthetically appreciated and attended to by a relatively small, discerning constituency).
The critics are harsh! They somewhat overstate their case. But, they indict only those who self-servingly forsake culture for commerce: a temptation the many apparently find hard to resist:
So, it is for the fewto inject vitality into Canada's rather novel hybrid radio system. This precious handful, as gauged by their achievements, qualifies as, what leading management consultant, Peter Drucker, calls, highly effective executives.
Effectiveness, says Drucker, is conspicuous by its relative absence among executive ranks (see The Effective Executive published byHarper & Row in 1967). Intelligence, knowledge and imagination, he notes, are common enough. So, too, are impressions of effectiveness: busyness and frenzied activity. But true effectiveness, now that’s rare.
According to Drucker, effectiveness is a direct result of hard, systematic work. The methodical, like Aesop's tortoise, are victorious by putting one foot in front of the other. Intelligence, knowledge and imagination are essential ingredients, but effectiveness turns them into results.
Effectiveness is the technology, continues Drucker, of the knowledge worker: the white-collar jobholder whose acumen has largely replaced blue-collar brawn as the crux of contemporary enterprise. The radio programmer is the archetype knowledge worker.
The programmer's tools are information (research, trade publications), experience, opinions (personal, and of others), and a visceral feeling --based upon the particular set of information, experience and opinions at hand --of how various programming components (announcers, news, production, promotion, music) best fit together.
For the Canadian programmer, effectiveness is relatively elusive.
The ditheistic nature of radio in Canada demands both commercial and societal effectiveness. Whereas constructing a product, which is effective both commercially and societally, is difficult enough, constructing one, which has crossover effectiveness, is onerous and demands a fastidious and delicate hand.
Consequently, only a handful of programmers are effective, in this sense.
Greg Stewart, programming vice president of CJFM-FM, in Montreal, is the progenitor, and bulwark, of that handful.
In the 30-odd months Greg has been at FM96, the station has evolved from an awkward, clumsy, rag-tag operation into a streamlined, well- balanced, marketable organization. Assessing FM 96's commercial success is, therefore, rather straightforward. Weekly circulation is up 51.8% since 1978~ Quarter-hour averages are a cogent indicator of relative revenue levels: weekday quarters are up 124.7% for all-persons, 131.6% for females 18-plus, and 157.6% for males 18-plus! Increased balance shows in the flattening of cume rate variations from 1978 to 1980! Conjunctively, the cume radio and ALT (average listening time) at least partially explain the station's new found appeal to advertisers, particularly nationals! (See Tables 1 through 3.)
Evaluating FM 96's cultural effectiveness is somewhat less clear- cut. However, if audiences are indeed passive, if the medium is indeed the motive, then listener participation in FM 96 will be low. A high degree of participation would suggest FM 96 is successfully dealing with cultural priorities.
Are FM 96 listeners involved in the station? "We just ran a contest," says Stewart with unabashed glee, "and got around twelve thousand entries -- l2,000! On one day, we got 3,500 entries, which is phenomenal. A station, like FM 96, is not supposed to be able to run contests, let alone one this successful. Common thinking is it seems that the 25-plus demographic just isn't interested or doesn't have the time to enter, and so on.
"But, if you tailor the contest to fit their needs and their lifestyle, it will work. That's what we did. I think I was a bit apprehensive, at first. Not now."
Unsolicited audience feedback also suggests involvement. "I get quite a few calls from listeners," he says. "I had three calls yester- day alone, and all about Don Jackson playing music and talking about something – what I'd call foreground. Don does two foreground bits each show: they're the highlight of his show. People respond to them."
As a career, radio tends to happenchance, but, for Stewart, it was a lifelong ambition. "At least sine I was eleven," he recalls. "I can remember my friends talking about ‘disc jockies.’ I thought these people had something to do with cars (car jockies!).
"Then, one year I came across a radio station booth at the local fair. That was it. I was hooked. No, more to the point, I was dumb founded. I remember telling my friends to pick me up there – at the radio booth – before they went home. I just stood and gawked for hours at the announcer, the newspeople, everything. They must have thought I was nuts.”
Did this decision sit well with his family? "My parents thought I was crazy. They had great plans for me to be a doctor. And I didn't argue too much about it until I was around sixteen.
"I'll never forget the day I proclaimed I wanted to go into radio, not medicine. My timing couldn't have been worse: My father had come home for lunch that day. And for some unknown reasons, I decided to blurt it out right then and there. Somehow, my parents had never thought of that occupation, never thought highly of it, as I soon found out. Gradually, though, they came around to accept the fact that I was determined."
The real credit for getting Greg Stewart into radio goes to Len Michaels and Dick Williams, newscaster and PM Drive, respectively, at CFPL, in London, Ontario, around 1966. "I'll never forget what they did for me," he says affectionately. "Maybe they spotted somebody who had a definite love for radio, and that's why they took the time. I know I do that.
When I see someone who has a real love for radio, I make the time to help [him or her]. Those who don't have that real love for it aren't worth the time."
Does he spend a lot of time with others because Michaels and Williams did? "I think so. They spent a lot of time helping me and they didn't have to. They cared. Their efforts spoke well of radio people. What they were doing impressed me. They impressed me, too. I thought, 'oh boy, this is the right thing to get into because people care so much.' They helped me put together a demo tape, and suggested where I send it. They did everything anyone should do for a novice: tape, tape boxes, good prospective stations.
I think I progressed faster, and got my first job because of their help. If I can do the same for someone else, then radio will be better off, all around.”
That first job was at CKNX, In Wingham, Ontario. "A summer job in the radio and television town of Canada: it's called that because it has AM, FM and TV --all in a town of 3,000 or so.
"John Langride, who is still there, asked me to c, up. He was interested in trying out a summer relief announcer, like my tape, and I was cheap. Really cheap~ Thirty-five bucks a week is how cheap I was.
"So, there I was at CKNX. What a tremendous learning experience. I did everything. Everything! In my first week, for example, I was on radio and television. My 'gawd', I was doing a news, weather and sports package on television. Nineteen and I was an anchorman. Look out, Walter.”
He quickly learned there was more to being a television weatherman than highs, lows and storm fronts. "Being a weatherman on a small- town TV station,'1 recounts Stewart, "was like being an instrumental record disk jockies use to fill the top of the hour newscast. Now, add to that the fact that TV producers and directors are not exactly enamored with announcers, be they weathermen or otherwise.
'So, the director's hand would go out. There might be three fingers up, maybe four. You know you have three or four minutes to fill. This could vary. They might have forgotten to run a spot, or something. Three minutes might change to 30 seconds. And it varied from night to night; moment to moment.
"Three or four minutes is easy to fill. There are lots of highs and lows and fronts and temperature variations to give. If I ran out of weather, I would promote some shows or the late movie or whatever. I quickly learned to have a number of emergency things to talk about. I honestly remember spending a minute or so trying to interest viewers in the "Ma and Pa Kettle" late movie. More than once, I promoted every show the station ran, twice."
After an eventful summer, no surprise Greg was impatient with the radio program at Ryerson, in Toronto, especially the broadcasting courses. "I got into their program in fall of 1966," he says. "And, I soon learned that the broadcasting aspects fell short of what they could have been. The business and non-broadcasting courses were great, but something was missing.
"There seemed to be a lot of people teaching broadcasting who were really 'flunkies', and being paid twice what most people in radio were earning. They were teaching novices. I wasn't exactly a novice. I knew a little about radio and television, but I could see all the other students sitting there, mouths agape, taking all this in.
"Moreover, I seemed to being spending an awful lot of time cueing records. Every radio course you went into, you cued up records.
"The radio part, frankly, was pretty trivial. The journalism courses I found immensely interesting. They made me hungry."
Could the radio courses been improved? "Better instructors. They'd develop better courses.
"Really, the best, the most constructive, changes are needed in the areas of speech and diction. Good stuff. Not [someone] reading [a book] about diction, pitch and voice improvement, diphthongs and consonants, and palatal sounds and the laryngeal fricative. Preferably, a speech teacher – a therapist.
"Using the diaphragm and preventing nasality are common problems. The best and probably the only way to get around them is with a speech therapist. I went to a therapist when I was in Kingston and, later, in Hamilton.
“I wanted to improve and improve and improve~ I am sure I wouldn't have made it into a major market without the help of these people. I learned so much from them.
"I remember a speech teacher I had in Hamilton, a Mrs. Johnson. She worked with actors in Hamilton and Toronto. She helped them with their diction, projection and so forth. She used to listen to me on CHAM. One day she asked me for a picture to put in her promotional brochure. I think she is still using it."
Greg credits Mrs. Johnson with much of his success. But, could a speech teacher be more help than the programme directors he worked for? "Yes. Absolutely. No question about it."
A year at Ryerson was enough. Greg returned to CKNX, in Wingham. "They offered me drive, and I took it," he says. "I also did a bandstand show called “Up Tight,” which I produced myself.
"Producing "Up Tight" meant programming the music, booking the live acts, arranging the promotion and hosting the show, too. Viewer involvement, I always felt, was extremely important. There were 37 area high schools involved in “Up Tight,” more or less on a rotating basis. I'd take a camera crew out to the school a week before they were featured on the show. We'd go from classroom to class- room, into the gym, I met the principal, talked with the head-boy and head-girl. The public service, community involvement was good for the school, and for viewership."
If that sounds like a lot of work, Greg could not agree more, "I worked harder in those days than I think I ever have," he concedes. "Although, the last couple of weeks. ..."
Out of the blue came a call from CKWS/Kingston. "They offered me PM Drive," recalls Greg, "and, a TV show, and music director. Obviously, I took 'em, all three. The TV show, interestingly, gave me a chance to expand its audience into the USA via the high school involvement angle I had used in Wingham. It was a great opportunity, all around."
Hang on a minute~ PM Drive, a weekly TV show that required out of studio production, music director! Greg Stewart must be the greatest juggler since W.C. Fields! How did he find the time? "It all really meant an awful lot to me," Greg confides, "so I found the time."
"I'd come into the station around 8 am, work on the music, prepare the TV show: maybe make a few calls to set up acts or high schools or co-promotion with record companies. After my radio show, I got the TV weather board ready (yet, another responsibility!). Then, it was supper at Chez-MacDonald and back to the station to work on the TV show some more. And, home around ten-thirty to eleven."
Needless to say, he collapsed into bed. How did all this 'caring' affect his social life? "Girl friends always complained about it! They wanted more time. Lucky for me, Pat, who is now my wife, also liked radio; we hung around the station a lot."
Was Greg Stewart getting rich working so hard? "When I left CKWX/Wingham, I was making $95 dollars a week. CKWS/Kingston was offering $ 125.00 a week, plus $50 a month for the TV "Bandstand" show which ran on cable in 30 US and Canadian markets."
By conservative calculation, CKWS was paying roughly $581.25 a month! Greg was working, by his recollection, about 75 hours a week. That works out to $ 1.82 an hour. 'Caring' was costing him a lot of money. More importantly, how did he live? "Record hops!" he says calmly, matter-of-factly. "I really cleaned up with record hops. I bought all my own equipment. I'd hire an operator, get my own prizes and go out. I loved it!"
It is not enough that Greg did all these things, but he maintained the pace for three years while he gave his marriage a chance, and plotted his next move. "When I moved to Kingston," he says, "I got married, and I told myself I would stay there at least three years to give my marriage a chance. It was the right move!
"After about two and a half years, I started to get itchy. I sent tapes out allover the place: 30~ even forty at a crack. I sort-of papered the areas I was interested in.
"And a lot of people were helpful. Many wrote long critical letters, which I appreciated. John Mackey at CKGM/Montreal, and Dave Charles when he was at CHUM, in Toronto, stand out as being particularly helpful.
“I remember getting a letter from Mackey saying he was very impressed with my tape. I’ll never forget that: I can remember his words exactly. It was,” he said, “the best tape I've had in the last year.' No words could have meant more to me.
“With that inspiration I surged: I did everything I could. I thought getting into a medium market, like Hamilton, would enhance my opportunities at CKGM. I had heard a lot about CHAM. Don West was programming, and Chuck Camaroux was General Manager. So, out went a tape.
"I didn’t hear anything for a long time, and every time the phone rang, I figured, 'that's him; I'm a star.' Like everyone else, I guess, I went through a dream world waiting to be discovered.
"Finally, I called him, and he said, 'oh yeah, you're the kid with the light voice. That confused me: Mackey said it was the best tape he had in a long time, they were both doing basically the same kind of radio~ how come West says I'm light?
"The confusion messed me up for a while. I tried to do what West wanted, and Mackey wondered what was happening to me. I kept sending tapes out~ kept working and working and working.
"One day, West called. He had just received my latest tape. His comment blew me away! He said, 'look, you're coming along fine.' My voice hadn't deepened appreciatively! I had decided to just live with my medium range voice, and work more on developing and using what I had rather than becoming "ballsy", as West wanted.
"Not only did West destroy me with his comment, but he offered me a job! I told him Mackey was interested, and that I would get back to him, shortly. It was a three-quarter truth. I needed some time to get over the shock.
This threw West off! He called back the next day. He wasn't used to being put-off, especially by someone who had sent him as many tapes as I did! What was going on? Well, I had done some checking around. Don West had come up to CRAM/Hamilton from KIMN/Denver. I had picked up some disparaging things on a Don West, but not the Don West who was offering me a job at CHAM.
"So, I told this Don West what I heard. I told him I had heard he was a bugger to work for. I didn't figure he was really going to hire me; this, I thought, might put some pressure on him. It did! He hired me. He said, “The comments you've heard about me just aren't true. You come work for me and I'll show ya.” His drawl made it all the more sincere!
"I couldn't believe it had worked! I was thrilled to be going to CHAM-AM, in Hamilton. They hired me for noon to 3 pm, but somehow the day I started I was doing PM Drive. Before I left CHAM, I had done every shift, and was music and research director."
It was a highly successful project he completed as research director which impressed Tom McLean, who was then running CKGM, and resulted in Greg being enticed to Montreal. "I had never been involved in marketing, had no background in it~ but Martin Kammerman, who replaced Chuck Camaroux as manager of CHAM, wanted a market analysis, and he picked on me to do it.
"The reason for the study was to provide information on CHAM'S audience and the communities it served. At the time, CHAM had announcers from all over North America: Ron Baptist from WAPE-AM, inJacksonville, West from KIMN-am, in Denver, me from Kingston. The market analysis could help the announcers work the community aspect, and the salespeople sell the station.
"I was really apprehensive about this project. Kammerman said I was right for the job because I was hungry and intelligent. So, off I went. I listed all the towns in our coverage area, found out what industries they had, how the towns were organized, who lived there and so forth. I used Statistics Canada data, Financial Post Survey of Markets and wrote the business develop offices in all the towns and cities in our coverage area. Their cooperation was tremendous!
"I put three months of work into the study. I had reams and reams of data. Everyone I contacted was very helpful: it was a real surprise to me. My biggest job was just making sense of the data, assimilating it, putting it into a coherent whole and preparing a usable report. Above all, it had to be relevant and usable!
“I remember taking the finished product into Martin. He looked it over; spent a lot of time looking it over. All the while, I'm sitting there: nervous, anxious, anticipating. Eventually, he throws it at me, and says, ‘not good enough’! It was good, he told me, just not good enough! When I asked him why it wasn't good enough, he just told me another three months should do it.
“I actually entertained serious thoughts of quitting, right then and there. But, I'm not a quitter. Quitters never win and winners never quit, I told myself. I thought I'd show him I could make it good enough, even better than good enough!
"I spent another four months or so on the market analysis. When I gave it to him the second time, he was thrilled! He was so enthralled with it, he took it to Rogers Radio in Toronto and said they should be doing it for CFTR and CHFI. Camaroux, now GM at CFTR/Toronto, thought it was great!
"Once the staff at CHAM started using it, the difference was immediately noticeable. It did great wonders."
Enter Tom McLean and CKGM. "There was so much talk about my report that it finally reached McLean in Montreal. He hired me because I was alright on-the-air, I was a good music director and I had research experience: I knew about demographics, psychographics, Tom Teriki, and it wasn't something a lot of radio people were into in 1974."
CKGM, says Stewart, was a great experience. “I was at CKGM for four and one-half years, did every shift, worked with Teriki for a year, and was music director. Tom gave me a lot of rope there. It was a super opportunity.”
A potentially traumatic episode at CKGM turned into a positive learning experience. "It had always been an unspoken factor," says Greg, "that when Tom McLean moved up to general manager, as he was eventually expected to do, I would become programme director. Tom repeatedly promised me it would happen. Everyone at CKGM expected it, and so did I.
"But, when Tom did move up to GM, he didn't move me into PD. ... he hired Reg Johns as PD. What a shock! But Tom was good about it. He told me it was really for my own good, that CKGM needed a moderate change in direction, and that he and I were just too much alike for me to provide that change. I was just floored! I felt really degraded!
"Tom flew me out to Winnipeg to meet Reg Johns, who was then programming CKRC. Amazingly, Reg and I hit it off immediately! He was five years younger than me, he was getting the job I should have had: 'he must be good, I thought'. So, I decided not to let everything go down the drain. I figured I could give Reg a chance; maybe learn a thing or two, myself. Quitting, although tempting, just didn't feel right! I'd be better off, I thought, if I would work with Reg a year or so, learn a few things, and then make up my mind."
Did the tenacity payoff? "Boy, did it! Working with Reg Johns was a wonderful experience. [It was the] best thing that ever happened to me! I learned more from Reg than I did from any other PD, ever!"
Why, then, did he move to CJFM-FM? "At first, I did not want to make the move," confides Greg. "Peter Sherman, GM of PM 96, called me one day and said, 'I've got this radio station that has a lot of potential. I need somebody who understands the market like you do, under- stands music like you do, is your age and comes as highly recommended as you do. And, I think you need a chance to programme.'
"I turned him down flat~ I was working for the almighty CKGM, I was a company man. FM 96, at that time, was a fourth rate operation, a notorious swinging door in spite of being a part of Standard Broadcasting~ So, I said no and felt pretty smug, at that.
"As I was driving home that night, and stuck on the Decarie Expressway as usual, I thought I'd just sample what I had turned down -- just to reinforce my original decision and impressions about the station. Well, by the time I got home I had started to believe there was a good chance for PM 96. I was beginning to think that here was a prime opportunity, a major career opportunity: to put this station on the map. I was already at the stage where I was contemplating going back to a medium market to programme and then moving back up, or just settling down there."
That decision, as it turned out, was propitious. "Peter Sherman, " says Stewart, "is a great motivator. I have an excellent relationship with Peter. And, I can honestly say I've had more fun (not to mention success) at PM 96 than at any other station I've worked for."
What is it that makes PM 96 'fun'? "Doing a lot of things I've always wanted to do, things I thought would work, AND finding out that they do work, very well."
For example? "Playing a lot of 60's music. I asked every PD I've ever worked with to go along with me on this. "Can't Help Myself," is a point in question, or "Where Did Our Love Go." Everybody told me it was stupid. Old stuff like that won't take the repetition, they'd say. I never said these 60's hits should go into rotations: I just wanted to play it once or twice. There are hundreds of hits like these that people wouldn't mind hearing, now and then. Things they grew up, things anchored to important times and events in their lives. With such a large number, any particular record repeats only three or four times a year. That kind of repetition they will take, well."
John Chierkda, production manager at CKOY and CKBY, in Ottawa, always says that for the successful PDs, programming is a method of self-expression. Certainly, this seems to fit Greg Stewart to a tee. "You're right," he admits after a moment of introspection, "programming is a means of self-expression. If I'm doing the job right, if I'm trying things out on people and they like it, if everything makes sense, THEN programming is a form of self-expression. But that doesn't mean the station should just be an extension of me, or any programme director. It must, to be successful to any degree, be an extension of everyone working there, as well as the audience, too."
This seems to be a fine-line to walk. "It can be terrible," confides Greg, "but if the GM believes in you enough, as Peter Sherman did in me, and gives you enough rope to try things out and lets you make a few bad decisions as well as a bunch of good ones, then it's alright. When I came to FM 96, I knew I was taking a chance with my career. I knew the whole ball game was on the line. "
Has not Greg Stewart's whole career been a gamble, a series of calculated chances? Take a chance and go to Kingston, take a chance on CHAM being a step toward CKGM, move over to FM 96 and gamble on turning a rag-tag operation around? "That's right," he says confidently. "And less than a year ago I took what I think was another major gamble.
"John MacKey had always promised me that I would return to CKGM to programme when Reg Johns left. Sure enough, when Reg decided to leave, MacKey called and said my chance was at hand. That call meant a lot to me; the chance to do what I had wanted to do for at least a decade.
"But, I just couldn't go. FM 96 was making marked improvements; still there was an element of chance. It could all go down the tubes. 'GM, on the other hand, was a pretty sure thing. Still, I believe in what we are doing at FM 96. I have felt in recent years that FM is the future, partly because of the CRTC. I couldn't abort it, now: It turned out to be the right decision!"
Greg Stewart, needless to say, has had a rather full career. Do any ambitions remain unfulfilled? "Eventually," he candidly admits, "I would like to manage; particularly, one of Standard Broadcasting's stations."
Is that not a somewhat narrow goal? Standard has only a few stations (CFRB and CKFM-FM: Toronto; CJAD and CJFM-FM: Montreal; CJOH-TV: Ottawa; and, an AM application pending in Ottawa): "But, I am not in a hurry," says Stewart. "I haven't really finished what I started as programme director here at FM 96. I take my job seriously. It is a very personal thing to me --not just a job: it's a personal commitment on my part. There is a lot of personnel feeling in it for me. It hurts me if I haven't done my job right. And thank gawd for Peter Sherman, he understands this. And me."
Does he expect the same personal commitment and dedication from his staff? "Hopefully, when I hire someone, it is an objective decision. But to be perfectly truthful, if they don't possess that dedication, that personal commitment to radio, then I just don't think they can fit into FM 96. Everybody here, right now, has that commitment. All of the people I have in mind for future openings, the people I am working with, seem to have it, too."
Admittedly, that visceral feeling of commitment and dedication permeates every nook and cranny of FM 96's cramped second floor quarters, at the corner of rue de la Montagne and Ste. Catherine, in mid-town Montreal. It gushes forth from everyone: It is evident in the receptionist's voice as she answers the phone, and deflects persistent efforts by record promotion people to see Stewart. It is readily evident in listening to Don Jackson or Mark Burns or Mark Denis. Even Ric Peterson, the photographers on this story, noted the commitment and dedication as he kibitzed with FM 96 staffers during the photo session. But nowhere is it more evident than in FM 96, General Manager, Peter Sherman: once passed the adolescent bravado so characteristic of the recently successful, he evinces a total craftsman-like commitment and dedication to radio, and FM 96, paralleled only by Stewart.
"The basic target group of FM96, 'I says Stewart, "is 25 to 34 years of age. We are really trying to cater to the war babies, the baby boomers. They constitute the largest single population segment – a demographic bulge -and are currently most attractive to advertisers. Moreover, since most of us at FM96 are baby boomers, ourselves, we probably find it easier to relate to that kind of audience.
"But, more than simply targeting-in on that group, we are following them. In fact, it's more accurate to say our target demographic, today, is 27 to 36 years of age, since we first defined it two years ago.
"This is what, I think, separates FM96 from a lot of other stations targeting on 25 to 34: we follow our target as they age, others just keep their sights firmly set. Not only is the 25 to 34 group shrinking relative to what it was a few years ago, those entering that age range, today, have a decidedly different musical taste than those growing out of it."
Tracking a pre-defined demographic target group is an intriguing notion. How does it influence development of programming policies, generally? "Following that target group as they grow out of the pre- defined limits means you have to really look at the years that had the most impact on them, those years that affected lives, music-wise. The music of those years will provide a set of hooks for attracting and holding the target, and a set of clues to more subtle factors.
"If, for example, you concentrate on the music that appeared when the 15-to-34 year olds were between 16 and twenty-one, if you play songs from that era (roughly, early sixties to early seventies), I don't think you can go wrong. Quite likely, you will find listeners know all the words of the songs, and they will recall the exact spot and time they heard that song maybe ten or fifteen years ago."
There would seem to be an enormous range of musical styles and tastes in that era? "Certainly, between the extremes, those growing into the 25 year old age group, and those growing out of it (35-plus). One is the "Lead Zeppelin" years; the other Presley, the Four Seasons, the Beatles: This gives you a tremendous inventory to work with. Put 'em together right, and neither end of the range will mind.
He finds era music can help listeners cope with life dramas. "We have discovered that with all the separations and divorces that are going on today, there is an incredible amount of "hurt" among this radio listening group. This, it seems, makes them intent on recapturing a feeling they had for music when they were, say, between 16 and 21. They start listening to lyrics again: Those lyrics, at least the ones that are doing well among this age group, describe lifestyles a lot of baby boomers are currently experiencing.
"At FM96, we, as a team, are trying to follow that lifestyle. Not necessarily capitalize on it, or even recapture it. Just follow it!
This is something many baby boomers need, today; if we can give it to them, and in doing so, make their lives a little bit easier or better, that is what we want to do."
'Team'! Intriguing simile! Programmers seldom conceptualize their staff as a team! "I think," says Stewart after a momentary reflection, "that FM 96's strongest asset, our biggest gun if you like, is the particular combination of people we have. Not just on-air people, but the off-air people, too: music, production, copy, promotion, engineering, sales, especially management. I'm a firm believer that you are only as good as the people that work for you, and with you. That you must surround yourself with the absolute best people in the field. "
Quality in, quality out! Naturally! But, high quality people have high performance expectations for both themselves and their station. Many programmers obviously find that hard to deal with.
"Still," he continues, "I honestly feel that surrounding yourself with the best will create a certain magic. It doesn't matter if it is a radio station, or a doctor's office, you need the right people with the right skills to be effective. Those are the best people in the field. They’re crafts [men and women]."
His argument is persuasive, his tone persistent. Greg Stewart firmly believes in his philosophy! What, then, is it about craftsmen that produces this magic? "At FM96, we strive for a 'feeling'. A feeling for the city, for the audience, as individuals, and as a group; a feeling for the station and the staff.
"I believe that this results in, first, a working together towards a common goal; and, second, a common belief that what FM96 is doing is working, that we can achieve all our goals. Ultimately, this translates into extremely high 'morale', among the whole staff: top to bottom. They all know FM96 is working. They can feel it, taste it, smell it. And, they work even harder to make it work even better. This is the magic of team work.
"I guess that, in a lot of instances, you have to look hard, really hard, to find that team work, that magic. Here, at FM96, I think it is readily evident. Everyone, on-air and off-air, is working together, everyone is 'communicating'.
Is this 'feeling' something specific to Montreal, and FM96?
"What is evolving at FM96 is, of course, very specific to the station and its response to Montreal. But, any station can cultivate feeling, I think. It just takes hard work. "
If anything typifies Greg Stewart, as evidenced in part one of this interview, it is hard work. Does he expect the same dedication from his people? "I am continually amazed," he says, "with how hard everyone works here. The announcers, for example, put an awful of into their shows; a lot of constructive preparation. I think a lot of it has to do with how much they read, what they read, and why. Reading, I firmly believe, makes them more aware of the world, of Montreal, of our target group, of everything generally. Reading makes it easier for them to be talkative, rather than just talking. It helps them, tremendously, to reflect life and the lifestyles of our target group."
Is reading critical to the 'magic' of FM96? "It is one of the first questions I now ask anybody I'm seriously thinking of hiring. I ask them what they read. The breadth of their reading tells me a lot about them. Someone who only reads the local paper is comparatively less well-rounded than someone who reads out-of-town papers, a number of magazines (other than the trades, of course), a broad range of books and so on."
What does reading do for the announcer? "It makes them an opinion leader, of sorts. Someone who is active in circulating ideas, facts, interpretations of contemporary life. If an announcer is doing his or her job properly, they should be an opinion leader. The listener should know that when they tune-in to FM96, they will get more than music or spot news or commercials; they should know they will get some- thing of substance, too.
"When one of our announcers talks about a book or a record in some depth --sort of a review --I know we will get calls about it. Some callers want information, others need a hint as to where to buy itl still others just want to say thanks for the recommendation. All this comes from reading! It promotes audience participation in FM96 because FM96 contributes to the individual's life."
There are two types of reading, notes Stewart. "The first is casual reading, reading for personal enjoyment or information. Second, there is purposeful reading, reading about things you mayor may not really be interested in but feel the listener might be. It takes a mixture of the two, I think, to be effective.
"Personal reading, the first type, tends to develop personality; increases one's breadth and depth; makes one interesting and interested.
Then, there is picking up something on a subject that you know little or nothing about) and learning about it. The source is not all that important: it can be in Omni, Quest, even Cosmopolitan. It depends on the kind of programming one's doing."
The point, obviously, is that the announcer -- and everyone in broadcasting, for that matter --should have a broad general knowledge. This facilitates talkability: the capacity to discuss or engage in conversation with just about anyone on a large number of topics. Armed with this ammunition, the announcer can communicate to the most diverse audiences, anywhere!
Can Greg provide a specific example of this at FM96?
"Just out of curiosity, I asked Don Jackson --our mid-day announcer -- what he read. I've watched Don come into the station, his briefcase bulging with papers and magazines, for over two years. It was obvious how much of Don's preparation was reading.
I asked him what he read. His answer told me a lot about him. "Cosmopolitan topped his list because he does a 10 am to 3 pm shift. Women are his primary audience, so it makes sense that he wants to relate to them as best as he can. He found out what they read, and Cosmopolitan was high on the list. So, a lot of his ideas come from that magazine! He also reads Omni, Quest, MacLeans, Time, Newsweek, Playboy and Penthouse.
“Newspapers also make up a large part of Jackson's reading. And, I don't mean only the local, Montreal papers. He reads the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, New York Times and a host of papers from around the continent. He also reads People and US. It is just amazing what Jackson goes through each week. He tells me, as everyone else on staff does too, that he gets many ideas from his reading: those he decides to use can usually be related to the music in our system. The more he can integrate what he reads with what we are doing here, the better the audience likes it. I get a lot of calls each week about what the announcers are doing. Calls not necessarily asking for more information or whatever, rather complimentary calls!"
The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), in renewing FM961s license through 1984, commended the station on its achievements relevant to the FM Policy. Very impressive, considering that three other Montreal FMers received only short-term renewal; ostensibly, because they failed to meet FM Policy-related aspects of their Promise of Performance.
A critical objective of the FM Policy is enrichment~ how has FM96 accomplished that while the competition has not? "If by enrichment you mean variety, it has been easy. Variety is one of FM961s basic goals. This is the one thing our target group is, I firmly believe, looking for in radio. "Variety is more than just the best music mix in the city. It has to involve having something to say, and saying it a way that the listener can relate to. It's learning something from FM96 without having the feeling that we're trying to educate them. It is a subtle thing!
"There is another aspect, as well. I have long been trying to build it into my budget. Someday I will get it in! First of all, everyone necessarily lives in only one section of any city. Second, no one can adequately know what is going on in the city while he/she is on the air. These factors seriously inhibit one's image of the city. It is really a limited scope, it affects perception.
"A radio personality awn announcer should have a more rounded, tQtal picture of the city or market he/she is working. So, my idea is to slip in a part-timer during the announcer's shift and get him or her out into the city during the time normally on-the-air. Then, they would see the world, the people and what they are doing. They would, I think, be better able to emphasize with their listeners.
"Barring that, a second alternative. Prepare a video presentation that covers all sections of the city, at all times. Let the announcer see how the city works, how people in one section differ and are similar to those in other sections. It will broaden the announcer's base, it will help make what he/she does more relevant to more people. Then, the announcer can, I think, better determine the tempo of the show, the directions it should take, the dimensions it should emphasize."
Does FM96 have a specific music policy? "We will play music, 'I says Stewart, "from three basic eras: 55 to 65, 66 to 75, 76 to today. The music is categorized into 5 year segments; plus youth, rock or MOR-orientation. And, not just “hits” either. We play album cuts from the top LPs over the last fifteen years. The cuts were not necessarily hits, but we feel they have substantial appeal! They suit the flavour of the city, the audience and what we are trying to do, generally, with the station! In this city, for example, you can't go wrong with an instrumental because there is no language barrier."
Such a music policy must inevitably lead to a complex music system. "Arlene Slavin, our music director," he concedes, "goes crazy sometimes. There are probably more different components principally because it is the artistic requirements that, I feel, promises performance or effectiveness in a record. I tried to devise a system that would keep our listeners happy, and more importantly, build- in listener appeal. To do that, I had to come up with a product that was, first, unpredictable; second, that was not fatiguing; third, that could accommodate variety. As a result, the "clocks" are show- oriented rather than station-oriented. The ratings, I think, prove it is effective."
One typification of the true artisan is a relative inability to adequately verbalize certain intricate aspects of his or her creation. Greg Stewart is no exception as is evident in his attempt to explain the' addition-deletion ' process at FM96. "Let me give you an example," he says, long pauses betraying the fact that introspection now dominates his thoughts.
"Willie Nelson is quite a big artist across North America now. We have decided, at this stage, not to add his new song: 'On the Road Again.' We're waiting on it. We had a meeting today, and discussed it thoroughly. We're not convinced right now that this is right for Montreal. It is a church-country oriented song: On gut-feeling, we are holding out on this one, whereas a lot of stations are just going- on it because it's Willie Nelson: sure-thing-hit-maker. Right now, FM96 just isn't sure."
Does FM96 play country-crossovers at all?
"We playa lot of them. The new Eddie Rabbit, for instance, we felt was just right for Montreal. It has a lot of foot-tapping, knee-slapping qualities to it, and that, for some reason, has strong Francophone appeal. It has a beat the French go for “Looking For Love,” by Johnny Lee, is another example of that French appeal. Some country music works, some doesn't: Montreal does not have a strong Anglophone-country foundation --although the West Island had a country station for years (CFOX)."
FM has a somewhat lower Canadian Content (Cancon) commitment than AM. Still, product problems are replete. Does FM96 have many Cancon related problems? "Tremendous problems," he says with emphasis. "We are having trouble finding 20%, right now. Personally, I would rather be playing a full 20% current Cancon product, if I could. It gets tedious reaching back and playing Valdy or whatever. Most Cancon just does not have that kind of durability. A few, of course, do: A Foot In Cold Water, for example. But, most don't, unfortunately:"
The root of this problem, comments Stewart, lies not with the CRTC regulation, but rather with the reluctance of the record companies to develop Cancon products. When the going gets rough, Cancon gets going: it is the first dumped. Last in, first out! It is both sad and serious, notes Stewart, that solid Cancon artists such as Ken Tobias or Peter Pringle don't have long-term contracts --or even a contract. One of the serious problems, he feels, is that record companies try to turn Cancon acts into singer-songwriter-performer --a sort of three for one deal. This does not, he concludes, contribute to long-term development of marketable Cancon.
How does news fit into the overall FM96 plan? "First of all, we have a couple of news outlets that other stations don't have or don't make available. We have a public affairs commitment, which covers a wide range of community-oriented stories. We really take ad- vantage of this facet. A story, for example, which breaks early in the day may be updated by the announcers and the newspeople. More overt we may decide to feature it on our news magazine, “People,” which goes every night at seven. Thus, we can recycle listeners throughout the day and into the early evening slot. A lot of stations miss out on this important factor they just won't do public affairs as an important aspect of the overall station."
Is FM96 capitalizing on public affairs as community promotion? "Sure. Here is an example. '79 was the International Year of the Child, and since we were in the process of becoming more active in the community, that seemed like a worthwhile cause to get involved with Gina Roitmant, our promotion director, got a few of the staff together and they decided Montreal should have its own 'Day of the Child'.
"The idea was to entice people and organizations in various parts of Montreal to put on specials for that day, things that had to do with children and the International Year of the Child. There were basketball and baseball gamest take-a-kid-day marathons, everything: "Well, the spirit of things was incredible. Commercial establishment, like MacDonald's, wanted in, and they featured discounts and so forth. It was like Halloween~ You1d walk into a MacDonald's and everyone would have on costumes and whatnot. Place Ville Marie ended up staging a free concert~ It made local television and the daily press.
"That is a good example of what we1re trying to do at FM96 with community relations."
Is FM96 doing any research – other than music research? "Until recently, we had only done panel studies. A few weeks ago, we hired Mitch Carpenter (from CKGM, in Montreal) as a full-time announcer-researcher. Hopefully, we can now get more qualitative information about Montreal, now that someone will be on top of it all the time."
Panel or focus groups studies have not had a lot of success for radio. Was FM961s experience any different? "Sort of. However, I think they maybe dangerous. But first, let me tell you what we did. We have done three focus group studies with FM96. All with 25 to 34 year olds, maybe twelve to fifteen together at one time. Some men, some women, some mixed and always a fifty-fifty French-English split: half of the participants had to be at least bilingual. They had to be FM listeners, generally, and most also listened to AM, too. They were screened, first by the company that did it for us. Then they got them all around a table to talk about radio -- to discuss some questions we had set-up beforehand. We watched through a one-way mirror from the next room.
“Basically, they lasted a couple of hours. We tested music, on one occasion; announcers from all stations, too. We were after recall abilities. And, of course, a written report accompanied the whole thing. Wow, the peer group pressure was just amazing: "Why do I think they are dangerous!
“First, because it is far too easy to write far too much into the results. We did three; a hundred would probably be needed to get a fair estimate. If you could do a hundred, that would probably be fine. That would be 1,500 people; maybe 2,000.
That, of course, would be reasonably representative: "Second, the peer group influence. They say whatever they think they should. Sure, they fill out questionnaires to help the researchers assess that influence, but it is strong and subtle. It really makes it so you cannot be sure of anything they say.
"Third, what it ends up being, is two hours of patting yourself on the back. If what the groups say doesn't fit your own notions, then you say, 'what the hell.' 'What do they know."
Has he tried any survey research? "Nope. We just haven't gotten into it. We've got a research director now, he will probably be doing a market analysis of Montreal. But, that is about it for the near future."
How about playing music over the telephone to test for "hit-ability"? "Basically, I don't believe in that. In fact, I just won't do it: Another station I worked did it all the time. So, one day I had my number placed in the call-out system, without the callers knowing about it. They just called me as if I was Joe or Josie Listener. They called --at 4 pm --I wasn't home. They called back at 7 pm --I was distracted. My attention span --even though I worked at the station and this was an important test-run for the system --was so poor... It was then that I realized the bullshit the phone thing was. The quality of answers to questions about a brief smidgeon of music heard over a terrible phone line just can't be reliable, I thought."
The CRTC has been mentioned a few times. Greg would seem to sup- port, in general, the Commission's FM Policy. What, however, does he find most burdensome about the FM Policy? "The confusion that grows out of interpretation of music categories! Primarily,61: general popular; and 65: rock and roll-oriented. The differences of opinion among radio stations, and between the stations and the CRTC are tremendous; and, I guess, understandable.
"General popular, category 61, is actually quite dated. Where did disco go? The Commission did not take a stand. I think it was 65: rock and roll oriented; others think 61!
"The 61 category can include so many things. For example, where does Kenny Rogers go? He certainly fits 66: country and country-oriented! But, he is also definitely 61! It is all a matter of interpretation by the CRTC."
Interpretation by the CRTC is problematic. First, it is all too likely to be after-the-fact: few stations take the time to check before categorizing music, so the CRTC's interpretation tends to be proscriptive rather than prescriptive, as it should be.
Second, interpretation depends, to a large degree, on who interprets the analysis (a RAP analyst). Some analysts are, of course, up-to-date and finely in tune with contemporary music. Others are unaware the Beatles disbanded! Others are in-grained, archetype 'silly servants', treading ever so lightly down the path of least regret. A few are failed and frustrated broadcasters! Consequently, any effective system of music categorization is unlikely. Third, an exacerbating factor is that the Executive Committee, has generally been unable to come-to-grips with the notion that a systematic regulation-relevant categorization of music is critical for radio.
Given this milieu, can Stewart posit a solution? "I am not really sure there is an answer," he says with obvious exasperation! "Maybe it should be left up to the stations to categorize the music. Reasonable common sense could direct what they did with a particular record."
Would he take advantage of self-definition, say, if it was tied to the Promise of Performance? "I would and I wouldn't. First, I wouldn't jump to change FM96 just because I was given the opportunity. Hopefully, no programmer would. FM96 is musically well-balanced. So, in that case I would just leave well enough alone.
"But, if I was going into a new operation, starting to build from scratch, then I would probably take advantage of it. It would give a lot of flexibility, remove a lot of the daily categorization problems. Trusting the station to do this, particularly if tied to the POP, would be good. Some ground rules would certainly be necessary, but I think if a station wanted to call Kenny Rogers 61, and stick with it, they should be able to."
Sales! Many programmers do sales! How does he cope with the sales department? "It is a delicate juggle," he says, "that Peter Sherman is quite skilled at. Peter is constantly trying to keep peace in the family – he does it well, I think. He has, 1 must admit, backed me up to the Nth degree. He has never seriously said that programming couldn't do something because it might affect sales.
"Peter realizes that sales will grow right along with programming and audience development. I have to thank him for that.
"Too often, at least in my experience, sales controlled the station, clients indirectly controlled what went on the air. As a result, the product suffered: But, here at FM96, Peter Sherman has done an exceptional job balancing sales and programming. He realizes that you have to have something to sell. And, I must say that our sales manager, Joseph Levy, has been a lot more cooperative than I probably could have ever hoped for."
How would Stewart characterize his management style? How does he get things done? What makes him effective? "First, let me say, my management style has changed since I came to FM96. I am, of course, the product of everyone I have worked with and for. I've taken some- thing from everyone: And, sometimes the bad things you learn, the lessons that come out of the bad things, are more influential than the good things: get done without delegation!"
Is there something he would suggest to budding programmers? "Absolutely!", he says with inspirational inflection. "Delegation means involvement. Involvement means a better product, a team product. That translates into listener loyalty and ultimately sales! Delegation and involvement generally, is an important source of staff motivation. So is just listening to them; talking with them; getting their perspective, their ideas; and, acting on their input wherever possible. Get your people into the decision-making process as much as possible!"
This cannot be possible on all matters! "Of course, not! But, on many things, like promotions, it is! Not only is it possible, it is critical to effectiveness!"
The staff at FM96 number around forty. That means a lot of comings-and-goings. What specific advice would he offer anyone applying to FM96? "First of all, and this applies to all our departments, they should hopefully be intelligent and able to communicate! But, most important, they must have warmth! Not just on the air, but in all aspects of their relationships with other people! They also have to care! Care about people, about radio, about themselves enough to do the best job they can. They also have to be hungry. This is why the FM96 is clicking --everyone, in every department is hungry!"
Hungry! For what? "For knowledge! Hungry for a good, competitive fight! Hungry to do the best possible job! Hungry to win! They have to be grabbing for the golden-ring without becoming all-encompassing, all-consuming. That is what I mean when I say intelligent, warm radio!"
Lacking any theoretical perspective, radio programming is relegated to craft-status. A craft-, explained Alfred North Whitehead, "is an avocation based upon customary activities and modified by the trial and error of individual practice." A profession-, on the other hand, "is an avocation whose activities are subject to theoretical analysis, and are modified by theoretical conclusions derived from that analysis." (See Adventures in Ideas. Pelican Books: 1948, pp. 73-74.) A craft, simply put, lacks the theoretical perspective inherent in the profession.
What does theory do that is so important? For a profession, it provides a set of theorems: principles, practices, axioms, assumptions and other generalizations, which guide practitioner behavior. Theory, in effect, determines what is acceptable behavior, and what is deviant. For the true profession, theoretical precepts are enforceable~ And, the accuracy and applicability of the theorems is constantly being tested and verified in the real world --ostensibly through research.
A theoretical perspective, then, is an enforceable, evolving set of norms --behavioural guidelines --for professional practitioners. Consider, for example, the plight and the predicament of the patient where no enforceable and tested medical theory exists! Or, that of the defendant where no legal code exists!
Few, if any, programming theorems exist. Those that do exist are, for the most, the conjecture of the ambitious and sorely untested. Consequently, programming is a craft operating in a turbulent environment.
Greg Stewart, throughout this interview, has proffered the spark needed to at least begin building a theory of programming. It is not that he has actually said anything new. But, rather, that he has critically analyzed the traditional assumptions, concepts and procedures of radio programming in Canada, then added the necessary innovative and administrative ingredients, and thereby developed a set of programming policies which proved highly effective.
The value of Stewart’s contribution is particularly evident in his clarification of several vague concepts evident in the radio lexicon. Communication~ for example, is the basic commercial and cultural goal of radio. Yet, its meaning is typically conveyed with a shrug of the shoulders, a-hum-or-two and the words, you-know-what-I-mean, by a coterie of programmers who only hire communicators. Communication, for Stewart, means general talkability. Talking fills dead air or time. Talkability involves making a point, talking to a topic rather than about it, making a point and inject- ing non-judgmental meaning into the process: an ability to synthesize (to find the underlying interrelatedness of two or more things and combine them into a whole), rather than simply analyze or describe. This tends to increase listener involvement, and the desire to participate. But, it requires purposeful preparation (reading): to be interesting you must be interested, to inform you must be informed.
Dynamic programming is another notion demystified by Stewart. To define a target audience by description (18 to 44 year olds, working female-and sports-minded male-orientation) is only part of the programming policy process. Too often, it ends at this point! To define by description and then purposefully decide to tract the target groups as they move through life, as Stewart has done, adds a dynamic element to programming policy.
The realization, however, that the target group is more than description, that it is a very specific subpopulation (what C. Wright Mills called a 'public') with its own perception of the world, goes well beyond simply adding a dynamic element: it raises the very issue which, if properly handled, will make the station an integral and substantive part of the listener's life.
Stewart has clearly made this realization come true. He talked of FM96 helping the listener cope with the 'hurt', the marital break-ups and so forth, which plague baby boomers. He understands their alienation and desire to recapture a bygone era when life, at least from today's perspective, seemed easier (hence, a return to song lyrics). As a result, FM96 helps the listener (I) cope with hurt, (2) alleviate feelings of isolation or alienation, (3) strengthen ties within their own subpopulation, to other subpopulations and to the world at large, (4) add relevant meaning to their lives.
Community involvement is one programming enigma rejuvenated by Stewart. It is, of course, not a new concept. Both WBZ/Boston and KDKA/Pittsburgh, among others, have put it to good use over the years. But, unfortunately, few stations have moved it out of the promotion department and into programming. CBC even took a stab at it a few years back. "Too much work," a promotion executive told me at the time, "just too much dam work."
Community involvement permeates FM96. Stewart has taken it out of the promotion department and into programming. Community involvement is a cogent tool, which serves both commerce and culture very well.
Stewart's conceptualization of his staff as team is similarly innovative. Its contribution to morale is critical to achieving all station goals. His seemingly insatiable desire to aid the neophyte and the struggling broadcaster is typically professional, as is his concern of the quality of education available to broadcasters.
In sum, if radio programming in Canada is to effectively accommodate both commercial necessities and cultural imperatives, professionalization is compulsory! A theoretical perspective is thus required. Principles, assumptions, axioms and practices must go beyond conjecture.
Greg Stewart has made major strides in this direction. He has proffered the spark that may eventually professionalize radio. He has derived a theoretical perspective which is highly effective. The experiential and intellectual baggage that accompanied Stewart into an admittedly conducive environment at FM96 has shown itself well!
But, all this has occurred in the short-run. The long run is what counts. If the promise of Greg Stewart proves worthy of your faith, two things will happen. One, he will continue to be effectively innovative. Two, others will emulate and build upon his foundation, a theoretical perspective will flourish!
It is a heavy set of expectations. Others have promised more and delivered less. The crucial question concerns endurance. For that, one needs time to observe.