CRS 2015: Todd Wagner’s ‘Lightning In A Bottle’

Keynote Speaker Todd Wagner (left), interviewed by Charlie Morgan, CRS Board President (right) during opening ceremonies of 2015′s Country Radio Seminar.

Keynote Speaker Todd Wagner (left), interviewed by Charlie Morgan, CRS Board President (right) during opening ceremonies of 2015′s Country Radio Seminar.

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Todd Wagner served as keynote speaker yesterday (Feb. 25) at the Nashville Convention Center during the opening ceremonies of 2015’s Country Radio Seminar.

Wagner was quick to admit his success was like “catching lightning in a bottle.” Wagner joined Mark Cuban to launch Broadcast.com, which broadcasts live sporting events, corporate events and radio stations over the Internet. It was the first site to stream content online and in 1999, Wagner and Cuban sold Broadcast.com to Yahoo! for a staggering $5.7 billion. Wagner shared the modest beginnings of the billion-dollar company saying, “It started with Mark and I in his upstairs bedroom with one PC.”

Wagner talked about what it means to be an entrepreneur and stated, “You have to be pretty thick skinned and hold on to what you believe.” Further defining what makes someone an entrepreneur, he shared three important traits.

Traits of an Entrepreneur

1. It can happen anywhere. Many people think being an entrepreneur requires locating in a hot spot such a Silicon Valley, but Wagner points out a true entrepreneur is not dependent on any specific location.

2. Are you willing to quit your day job? Wagner states you must put everything at risk to be a real entrepreneur.

3. Are you willing to put in your own money? Wager admits a lot of people want angel investors and not have to risk their financial assets. But to be an entrepreneur, Wagner adds, “You’ve got to let go of the side of the pool.”

With all of his success and the realization that he no longer had to work, Wagner admits it’s important to him to give back. Wagner helped launch Chideo in January 2014 as the first interactive charity broadcast network. Chideo is a place where fans can discover and inspire one-of-a-kind content and experiences from their favorite personalities. Wagner’s business interests also include a stake in the Dallas Mavericks, as well as the Weinstein Company. Additionally, he is a founder and co-chairman of Content Partners LLC.

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Sherod Robertson is President and Owner of MusicRow Enterprises. He oversees all operations and develops strategic initiatives for MusicRow magazine, RowFax, and MusicRow's CountryBreakout chart. Robertson previously served as Director of Finance of Arista Records after beginning his career as Vice President of Finance and CFO at Reunion Records.

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