September 28, 2018

What experiences (professional and/or personal) have contributed to the success and growth you’ve enjoyed throughout your career?

Brian Mack, WXXL: Taking risk for opportunities by moving to Cleveland, Nashville, Miami and Orlando over the years, have broadened my skill set, network and exposure to great people. Strong mentorship by working next to Alex Tear, Rod Phillips, Michael Bryan, Dan Mason, Dave Foxx, Linda Byrd daily, plus personal attention from John Ivey. BUT YOU NEED TO SPEAK UP! They won’t come to you! Try to listen at least as much as you speak, if not more!

Mike McCoy, WNCI: Every radio station I’ve worked at, every PD and Market Manager I’ve ever worked for, have had a positive impact on me one way or the other. You can learn two things where ever you go, you can what to do and what not to do. I’ve been very fortunate to run into a lot of situations where I learned what to do. I happened to have been around (and still be around) a lot of good people.

Jonathan Shuford, WRVW: Professionally, a list of failures and mistakes which I’d rather not re-visit have allowed me to learn from them and become better in every facet of my job. Personally, I think getting married and having a kid kept me having 9 baby mamas and a bad liver, which I’m sure has in turn helped my career.

Dom Theodore, Radio Animal Media Strategies: If you’re starting out, never turn down a chance to show off your skills, even if the task is mundane. I assure you someone will notice, and that’s when big things will happen.

Raphael Opida, WIOQ: Definitely being able to work closely with my Program Director and being involved in the day-to-day operations of actually running a radio station. Yes, there’s a lot of work as an on-air jock, but when it comes to the whole Programming picture…there’s a slew of skills that are learned in order to grow within the company for that future position/next step in your career.

Jeff Hurley, WLAN: Getting fired! Once you’ve gotten fired, you’re not afraid of getting fired again. So, instead of being tentative and passive, you’re more willing to be aggressive and take the right risks that ultimately lead to success.

Jon Zellner, iHeartMedia: A variety of positive and challenging situations professionally, but a strong family that has always provided the balance I needed.

Max Volume, KOZZ: Working with community events, fundraisers, schools & non-profit organizations. Radio is such an integral part of a community. The same people that brag about Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM are the same ones who will ask you to talk about their little girl’s soccer team’s car wash fund raiser. I’ll ask them, what did Pandora say? Will Spotify help? No. Radio, at a local level is King.

Matt Johnson, KSLZ: When I was 19 I had my last non-radio job in a Daimler Chrysler factory that manufactured 4x4 transfer boxes for trucks. I worked in the “heat treat” section in front of a furnace the size of a house. It was hard work, in a very hot space and was dangerous. Even on my toughest radio days, I think back to that job and remain very appreciative to work in this industry. Those memories help keep me centered.

Orlando, WLLD: A 1999 FCC fine was an incredible lesson in being the protector of the license.  That’s how I became PD. Cracking what I thought was a harmless joke, about a staffer, that hurt their feelings made me realize while that style works for some, but I have to be about fun.

Toby Knapp, WASH: Professionally, working with every PD I’ve served has contributed to my professional success over my career. I’ve learned something unique from each one which has imprinted itself on to my radio DNA. Personally, I know when I became a father was an experience which changed everything for me for the better by making me realize my life… isn’t my own… anymore.

Rob Roberts, WRQX: David Ross and Mike McVay plucking me out of Albuquerque and giving me the keys to Y-100 Miami changed my life.  I was given the chance to learn on the job and I picked up so many valuable lessons along the way. Number one is “own your mistakes.”  They don’t define you unless you fail to take steps making sure you don’t become a repeat offender. Number two and maybe more important is “share the victories.”  You live and die as a team.  It’s never one person’s fault and it’s never one person’s win.  It’s hard to stop a motivated team.

Fish Boy, WKRZ: Developing into the role I play now. Learning and growing every week and accepting and dealing with more responsibility in general.

Kobe, WWHT: I definitely have learned more from my mistakes than my success. One of the biggest things I’ve worked on is my patience.

Derrick “DC” Cole, WAEB: Networking with anyone and everyone who would listen to me has contributed to pretty much every step of my career. Anyone new to the business, asking for advice, I tell them to network!

Kevin Kash, WIYY: Being hit with the radio bug when I was in high school put me on the path. Personal family and professional family…I am grateful.

Rick Vaughn, Power 94.9: I’ve had the good fortune of learning from many great mentors.  I have also learned what not to do from a handful of sh**ty ones.

Chris Michaels, FM100: Personally, I would say my wife, who has been there with me from the beginning when I was part-time at WAPE. She’s been the #1 supporter of my career and plays a huge part in my success. Professionally, I’ll never forget Betsy Dittman taking a chance and giving me my first Program Director job at WABB in Mobile.

R Dub! Z90: We’d have to dedicate a phonebook-sized FMQB for this answer, because every single day is a learning experience that contributes to my success and growth. But one experience that really stands out was my first out of market gig. It was so horrible and scarring—in every way imaginable—that it gave me such great perspective and deep gratitude at every position I’ve held since, and I believe that’s translated through my performance and wins.

Brian Michel, iHeartMedia / Atlanta: Getting the chance to be in various sized markets was valuable. I think working in a fairly big market, but then going to a much smaller market to gain my first programming job and managerial experience, was a great experience. It was not just fun, but you learn how to make-do and create great products with so much less in the way of resources and personnel, which really increases your efficiency when you do get all those resources in the bigger markets.

Kobi, WNRW / WLGX:  Getting to a major market in Philly was invaluable. Getting to cover major events like the Grammys and American Idol or big concerts events. I also learned alot about PPM.

Randi West, WMTX: Long hours got me where I am. Some luck but mostly passion and work ethic.

Mike “OD” O’Donnell, WKRZ: Do whatever is offered to you! Determination, desire and a willingness to help out in any way you can has opened up as many doors as talent has. As a manager, you must lead by example. Show your people that you would/can do anything that you would ask of them.

Next Week’s Question Of The Week:
Which Pop artists would make successful on-air jocks, and what qualities do they possess support your thoughts?
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