May 18,2018

Throughout your career, what has been your biggest challenge and what did you learn from the experience?

Brian Mack, WXXL: Management of time and priorities are always the biggest challenge, and each individual will need to juggle that differently for different business environments. Constantly asking questions and observing the most successful (subjective to your own ideals) are where I learned a lot. Making mistakes and adjustments are the best way to hone these skills and they are ever-constant. Never be afraid to try things you believe in. Don’t try too many things at once or you’ll have too many variables in your experiment. When routine seems to be everything, do something out of the ordinary to maintain FOMO in your product. When things seem too out of the ordinary, reel it in to your routine and structure only. Maintain your network, you’ll never be able to fathom how often it’s really helping. Don’t make emotional business decisions or keep them to an absolute minimum. If “climbing the ladder” is your objective, don’t fly under the radar. Business success is generally judged on data ($), it’s best to take your product strategy quantifiability seriously.

Kobe, WWHT: Not to take things too personally and realize that everything happens for a reason.

Mike “OD” O’Donnell, WKRZ: As a manager I’ve learned to listen more attentively to the people I manage and not to finish their thoughts for them when they’re talking to me. I’ve found that the more you become a better listener, it’s definitely going to pay off for you and your station in the long run.

Rob Roberts, WRQX: I always struggle with the balance between being encouraging and supportive but also telling people what they NEED to hear. I worry about taking the fire out of someone’s passion. The good news is the people with the most passion seem to relish critiquing. But it remains an ever-present concern.

Heather Deluca, WSJO: Learning just to get out of my own way! Once I decided to JUST BE MYSELF instead of an ‘idea’ of what a jock/personality was supposed to be is when everything clicked. Working hard, being passionate about my station, and being true to myself has made me a better at radio and life.

Dom Theodore, Radio Animal Media Strategies: I’ve been told many times that some things that I saw as an opportunity were “impossible,” and I’ve learned that almost nothing is truly impossible if you’re creative and willing to work really hard. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Jonathan Reed, WNOK: Looking back, I wish there were some situations where I did not put my career before personal happiness and relationships.

Jimmy Steal, Power 106: The biggest challenge is finding true breakthrough talent. It’s the only thing that distinguishes us from a sea of competition both on and beyond the FM dial. Over the years I’ve learned that I’ve driven more than a few candidates crazy in the interview process but I also give that same process direct credit for unearthing some crazy talented difference makers in what’s unfortunately for us all a massive pool of card readers who were raised on uninspiring radio.

Brian Michel, iHeartMedia / Atlanta: Getting that very first PD job. You have to convince someone that you know, at least, something, and that you have the passion to create an amazing brand. After that, you learn you can get through and negotiate your way through anything as long as you’re not a douche bag.

Rick Vaughn, Power 94.9: Biggest challenge: fighting for what I believe to be the best strategy. I’ve learned that sometimes I’m right, sometimes I am lucky, and sometimes I get fired.

Mike Klein, WHZT: Not having a big staff when I first became a PD and learning how to still create a huge brand with a small staff. Now that I have a bigger staff I feel humbled.

Roxy Myzal: Digitizing our library. Yuck. Especially old interviews on Sat and mini disc. Learning experience: keep better notes.

Matt Johnson, KSLZ: Consistently winning is probably the biggest challenge PDs can face. You have to constantly understand what the priorities are to trigger a win in your situation. Then, with the people above and below your pay grade you must get everyone on the same page of what the plan is to win. You must then relentlessly manage your resources to feed the priorities to help you win.

Gina Gray, WERO: Staying relevant is the biggest challenge. Lessons learned are constantly staying plugged in and having your finger on the pulse of everything that’s Pop culture and technology related. You need to know what matters and what doesn’t matter and what truly is relatable.

Jonathan Shuford, WRVW: Not having to be the smartest guy in the room. Early on I wanted to always be the most creative, the most forward-thinking. I had to learn that it’s okay to make a mistake and it’s fine to not know everything. Ask the right questions to the right people, learn from your mistakes, and never stop looking for ways to improve your craft.

Valentine, WBHT: Trying to control things beyond my power. Learned to keep the focus on the things you can control.

Derrick “DC” Cole, WAEB: My biggest challenge was trying to be as charismatic as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, at life. I’ve learned that isn’t possible, no one could be as charismatic as him.

Randi West, WMTX: Many different types of challenges thru the years. All VERY different. Hard to pick just ONE. Ultimately with any challenge the BIGGEST learning curve is always that it makes you stronger, smarter, or more valuable.

Kevin Kash, WIYY: My biggest challenge lies ahead.



Next Week’s Question Of The Week:
In honor of Mickey Mouse celebrating his 90th birthday recently, who would be on your Mt. Rushmore of cartoon characters?
e-Mail your responses to: or