MEDIA: HEADLINER; Outspoken radio enthusiast poised to establish CLT sales

CLT’s new sales chief isn’t bothered about his faults, Anne-Marie Crawford says

CLT’s new sales chief isn’t bothered about his faults, Anne-Marie

Crawford says



For a man who some have likened - looks-wise at least - to an Arab

terrorist, Stan Park has done pretty well for himself.



Having left his previous job as the managing director of Independent

Radio Sales, when the company went belly-up in February (he declines to

go into detail but the industry continues to rumble with rumours), Park

has turned up as the new commercial director of CLT UK Radio (Campaign,

last week). His brief is to oversee sales for CLT’s two main brands,

Talk Radio UK and Atlantic 252.



Rather touchingly for one of his years and experience, Park is visibly

chuffed to have landed such a high-profile job. Don’t forget, this was

an entirely unsolicited number, as the terms of his departure from IRS

decreed it was not good to talk and he spent six weeks waiting for the

phone to ring.



Happily, he did not wait in vain. Indeed, he hints that the line was

veritably humming with offers, but then that’s only to be expected of a

man who has applied for just one job in his life (his first).



Ask Park why he thinks CLT targeted him and at first he professes not to

have a clue. This is nonsense and Park knows it. Maybe he is attempting,

rather late in the day, to come across all self-effacing. Or maybe he

has been chastened by the IRS experience.



This aside, there’s no denying the fact that Park’s reputation goes

before him. After 18 years in the business, there ain’t many people who

haven’t come across Stan Park and they’re more than happy to tell you

what they know.



Park, the scourge of advertising agencies, the man who would ring them

up regularly and give them an ear-bashing about how crap they were at

radio. Park, the man who insists people do things his way and has no

time for those who don’t pull their weight. Park, the man who lacks

patience and concentration, who keeps a bell on his desk which he rings

when bored. Park, the journalist’s dream, in whose lexicon ‘off-the-

record’ does not figure largely, to wit: ‘Radio needs high-profile

people. Who is the sales director of Media Sales and Marketing?’ And

later, apropos characters in the industry: ‘I have a thing against short

men.’



He cheerfully admits to a string of faults and more besides. Yes, he

does have a reputation as being difficult and aggressive (‘where it

suits’) and he’s lost count of the number of people he’s had stand-up

rows with over the years. He claims to be unbothered by what others

think of him - when I tell him the one about the Arab terrorist he roars

with laughter and takes the joke a stage further. ‘When I had a

moustache, I was always getting stopped at customs - I even got stopped

on my way to the Guernsey Media Circle last year. I got fed up with it,

so I decided to shave it off,’ he chortles.



Ah yes, Guernsey. It was there, reliable sources suggest, that Park was

overheard pontificating on Talk Radio in no uncertain terms. When I put

this to Park, he sighs, but doesn’t duck the issue. ‘It’s easy to say

now that radio is successful, but Talk had a difficult launch. Together

with other speech formats on independent local radio, Talk is up against

50 years of BBC domination.’



Others recall his opposition to Atlantic 252 and then toss in the fact

that Park has never actually sold a national radio station in his life.

‘He’s got a sales house mentality and his war cry is ‘muscle is king’,’

a peer says dismissively.



Park couldn’t care less. He’s been in radio for donkey’s years and sees

himself as ‘a bit of a pioneer’. He was there at the start when it had

no profile or credibility and he has stuck with it. Now, at 43, he’s

landed a fresh challenge: to establish CLT UK Radio sales and increase

revenue for its two biggest national stations.



Despite the sniping, many - mainly agency - people think he’s the right

man for the job. ‘I’m glad he’s not been lost to the radio industry,’

David Pattison, a partner at Pattison Horswell Durden, says. ‘He’s very

professional and the ultimate radio enthusiast.’



To John Ayling, the managing director of John Ayling and Associates,

Park is a ‘personality...and personalities matter in radio’.



True, but so do results. So how do Park’s stack up? Recently, on the

face of it, not very well, but it would be unfair to judge him by the

IRS experience alone. As he points out, ‘IRS never lost a contract

through poor sales’.



After 18 years in radio, Park’s name is possibly his most bankable

asset. There are other factors too, such as real commitment and

enthusiasm, but as a common-or-garden, all-weather, in-your-face

industry champion, Park takes some beating.



The Park file



1975 Thomson Newspapers, graduate trainee

1977 LBC, local sales executive

1979 Radio Sales and Marketing, sales executive

1980 Broadcast Marketing Services, sales controller

1987 Independent Radio Sales, group sales director

1993 IRS, managing director

1996 CLT UK Radio, commercial director



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