Brian Philips

Morning Show Boot Camp got underway today with the distressing news that Cumulus Media Executive VP, Content and Audience Brian Philips recently tested positive for the coronavirus and is quarantining alone. Heather Cohen, Executive VP of The Weiss Agency, broke the news during a panel discussion on talent contract negotiations she was moderating that included Philips as a panelist.

“I would have been in complete isolation had it not been for all of you,” Philips told his co-panelists and attendees of the virtual event. “I’m having my own personal pandemic experience right now.”

Cohen used the opportunity to ask Philips how he feels the industry is handling the pandemic.

The question, he responded, is analogous to how the world is dealing with it. “Every day is a surprise. Nothing is as it was and the longer we remain in the pattern of an era that is radically different than the one that came before, the longer we remain in this turbulent time, the more different the next era will be,” Philips said, adding that he looks ahead to the other side for “the promise, for what good will come from that.”

The veteran programmer suggested that that’s how air talent should view the current challenges of the industry. He also asked personalities who may be in the middle of renegotiating their deal to keep in mind that “we on the other side of the table are also confused. We have our own set of fears and we, just like you, are trying to triangulate what is going to happen in the future,” he said.

Philips, who joined Cumulus in May 2019, said the next era of radio may sound quite different from the one that preceded it and that could require a different “tonality or tenor” from air talent.

More from the 32nd annual Morning Show Boot Camp in Thursday morning’s Inside Radio.