Lee Abrams: AFDI—— Actually F- G Doing It

AFDI is a slogan I came up with many years ago. The scenario was a radio station that was once on top with a 7 share. In recent years they had declined to a 3 and we were called in.

During the first visit, I met with the GM and said “let’s get you, me, the program director, production director, sales manager and other voices and bury ourselves in a hotel suite with a lot of radios so we can do a complete audit of ourselves and competitors.” The idea is tearing apart ourselves and the market and generating new ideas that’ll bring back the glory. No distractions. A total deep dive. Media surgery.

At 3 am, eight of us emerged from the trade-out suite. A ton of legal pads (old school before devices ) loaded with ideas and angles. Everyone was charged up and ready to reinvent themselves and the station. As a road-driven consultant, I left the next day armed with plans to rebuild this station which still had good circulation, good signal, and the tools to succeed allowing them to execute.

A month later I returned. Notes in tow. The initial conversation went like this:

Q: Did we do this?
A: No, we thought we’d analyze it further ( paralysis by analysis )

Q: Did we do this?
A: Home office would never approve

Q: Did we do this?
A: Oh…forgot about that one

Q: Did we do this?
A: No we had A: meeting and decided against it

Q: Did we do this?
A: Too risky

Q: Did we do this?
A: We are going to maybe test it at 4am

The point is: THEY DID NOTHING and reverted back to their 3 share

Maybe it was fear of change, laziness, or an extreme lack of imagination or motivation. Not a good idea when the old way was tanking them.

That’s where AFDI emerged. Actually F- – – – -G Doing it.

It was a battle cry at XM and other projects. Come up with ideas that are legal, cost effective and growth generating. And AFDI!

That’s the problem with mission statements. Often they’re BS. I was at a TV station once where the statement included things like:

We are on the cutting edge of programming

We have a personal relationship with our viewers

We put the community first.


I asked the Sales Manager if he believed that. His response “Hell no, if we did half of those things we’d be #1.

It’s easy to roll along “hoping” things will improve. Chances are they won’t unless you go through the exercise and AFDI

This applies to literally all businesses. The great ones AFDI when they’re already on top.

AFDI’s cousin is “the creative batting average.” Come up with 100 ideas and if 70 of them stink you’re an all star because that means 30 worked. Gotta get off the bench and take swings. If the 30 are good, no one will remember the 70 that weren’t so hot. Like in baseball, the greatest hitters also struck out a lot. But you remember the homers. Get off the bench and:


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