10 Questions with ... John Allers
September 18, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started out doing College Radio at SUNY Plattsburgh (formerly known as WPLT); interned for Clarence Barnes at Chrysalis while getting my Master's Degree from Emerson College, Boston; worked nearly every on and off-air position at WEQX, Albany, NY-Manchester, VT; APD/PM drive for The Edge, Providence, RI; back to WEQX to be PD/PM drive; APD/Middays at WKLS (96 Rock)/Atlanta; PD/PM drive KCNL (Channel 104.5)/San Jose; Regional OM/Clear Channel - San Jose/Monterey/Salinas; Product Launch Consultant for The Sound/Cincinnati; Product Launch Consultant for The Globe/Washington, DC and PD/AM Drive WRFF (Radio 104.5)/Philadelphia.
1. What are you most proud of since joining Radio 104.5?
Quite a bit. Very proud that we've been able to build a very successful audio brand from scratch, while breaking many traditional radio rules and somewhat redefining the Alternative format to suit our audience, while also developing a very strong & wide reaching digital presence for the station.
2. What were the highlights of Radio 104.5's 5th Birthday Show?
Very happy with the lineup of Incubus, Cake, Angels & Airwaves (though Tom DeLonge called in sick with Pneumonia), Flogging Molly, Civil Twilight & a couple of Philly bands. In addition to the lineup, our entire staff really stepped up the presentation of the event. Our Promotions staff (Promo Director Joe McCollum & Coordinator Stacey Thomas) took the whole event experience to the next level, while our sales staff was able to involve many more of clients.
3. Tell us about what makes your other station events -- Radio 104.5 Summer Block Party Series and the Winter Jam -- successful?
Both of these Events/Series have really come into their own, especially thanks to a really strong lineup this year starting with New Found Glory and FUN. on Winter Jam, followed by the Block Party series with Neon Trees, Eve 6, Switchfoot, The Dirty Heads, Of Monsters and Men, AWOLNATION, Imagine Dragons and many more. We've developed a variety of partnerships which have come together to create a very successful series of free concerts, which offer a great promotional opportunity for the performing bands and another great opportunity for our advertisers to connect with our audience. While we still have a high bar for the artists who we book, the nature of the series seems to draw people for the experience alone.
4. What is most important to you when you are considering music for the new music show and regular rotation on the station?
The New Music Show (hosted by Jessie) is ultimately a testing ground for new songs, where we get to hear 'em coming out of the radio speakers and the most active members of the audience can give us their 2 cents. In terms of regular rotation, we are really looking for the best songs which fall into the context of our somewhat unique style of Alternative radio. While marquis artists remain important, our audience also loves it when we deliver them great music from a band they've never heard of, like Of Monsters and Men.
5. What are your music meetings like each week?
We review all of research and Soundscan data that we can get our hands on, and then APD Wendy Rollins and I figure out what's moving up or out. Then, to determine any adds, we "vibe it out" ...We filter all of the listener feedback from test spins with everything else we know about the band/song, as well as our collective gut to determine what goes in.
6. What is the most challenging part of your job?
We launched Radio 104.5 with the goal to do things differently, and that has worked very well; however, as much as the listener's enjoy the station, it's sometimes challenging to make all of the business partners and stakeholders understand the unique dynamic that exists. It appears that the Record Industry now has a respectable handle, but we need to continue to educate everyone of what "Radio 104.5" is (and isn't) all about.
7. How are you using Social Media?
We're very active with Social Media. Ultimately, everything we do using Social Media attempts to reflect and extend our audio brand; I'm pretty obsessed with the way we represent Radio 104.5 on Social Media and very active with our audience engagement.
8. What do you like best about living in Philadelphia?
Along with Radio 104.5, Philly really is a great city. While a bit gritty, there is a fantastic music scene, great culture attractions, phenomenal BYOB restaurants, championship worthy sports teams, and the location offers a manageable drive to visit my family.
9. What are you most passionate about?
My wife, cats and family remain my first priority; otherwise, I'm incredibly passionate about the success of Radio 104.5!
10. What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
If you're not moving forward, you're moving backward
When you're not following your fantasy baseball teams and working around the house, what do you enjoy doing for fun?
I love to travel...really helps my perspective. I'm trying to see as much of the planet as I can, while also revisiting my favorite spots.