10 Questions with ... Jim Fox
November 20, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Backyard radio piracy at 14, "real" radio at 16, a few bad air shifts on a few good stations, Programming/Operations Manager stops in Fresno, Memphis, and Fort Wayne; Station Manager in Sacramento at KRXQ in 2003; launched KKDO in 2010.
1. What are you most proud of from the station's latest ratings?
Consistent growth that has allowed KRXQ to remain #1 while KKDO now ranks in the top 3.
2. How are you able to make RADIO 94.7 and 98 Rock successful radio stations?
I treat them like competitors. I don't expect either station's staff to be satisfied with playing fair. The rivalry can, at times, be quite entertaining!
3. What is most important to you when championing new music for RADIO 94.7?
Simply, does it inspire the largest number of listeners to keep their radios on 94.7 or does it make them want to punch. When hearing songs for the first time, I look for consensus. We have a diverse group who attend our meetings. Songs that resonate across that diversity usually end up as big testers for us. But, as the Alternative format evolves, we must avoid that tendency to become myopic.
4. Explain the RADIO 94.7 Like/Dislike survey?
Our listeners are encouraged to vote in real time via text as songs play on RADIO 94.7. Each week we're able to capture and compile the data into a report that provides a useful complement to our traditional research. The process legitimately empowers our core. Every day a list of the songs receiving the most "likes" is posted on Facebook. During a one hour weekly feature, RADIO 94.7 plays the songs that were voted off by receiving substantial "dislikes"; giving them a chance to be brought back.
5. What makes RADIO 94.7 unique?
It's a fight to resist the urge to employ stereotypical radio-isms. Don't get me wrong; the personalities on 98 Rock are major contributors to its brand success; however, in presentation, RADIO 94.7 was created in an opposite image of its successful Active Rock brother. While 98 Rock takes risks via content, RADIO 94.7 takes musical risks.
6. You said when the station signed on in 2010 that you would never hire "DJs." How does RADIO 94.7 engage with its audience without an air staff?
Did I use such an absolute as "never"? I must be more careful. Perhaps what I should've said is, "for as long as there is breath in my lungs..." Hey, ultimately, we'll do what's best for the brand, but there exists no evidence that RADIO 94.7, its listeners nor its advertisers are better served with DJs. In fact, having no DJs has become a part of what the RADIO 94.7 brand stands for. One of my favorite comments from a listener is, "I never thought I could like a station that has no DJs, but I love RADIO 94.7!"
RADIO 94.7 engages its audience through text and social media, via listener advisory board meetings, on-air via listeners' Perfect Playlists and RADIO 94.7 staff are fixtures at local events.
7. How is the station using Social Media?
Social media is one of several links between RADIO 94.7 and its audience. Since there are no DJs and no request lines, our digital channels are a vital part of our engagement strategy. Through Facebook and Twitter listeners gain equal footing to voice their opinions. Most of the time it's good; sometimes it's not.
8. Tell us about the MetroPCS Lounge performances at the station?
Some of my favorite moments in radio have taken place in that little studio. Entercom, Sacramento invested in the conversion of three offices to create a video studio. Soon after, we forged a promotional partnership with MetroPCS. Since, we've played host to dozens of talented bands and branded MetroPCS in performance videos that have received millions of views. It's exciting to watch a listener who has attended one of these intimate performances describe the experience to a group of listeners who have not.
9. What would surprise people most about you?
I can travel through time (unfortunately only in one direction and at the same pace as everyone else).
10. After more than 30 years in radio, what has been your biggest accomplishment?
Raising two boys with my beautiful wife.
When you're away from both stations, what are your personal listening preferences and what are you listening to in the car with your family?
Cool factor = very low. My perfect playlist is watered down with an unfocused mix of Rock, Rhythmic, Top 40 and a bunch of songs that you'd find labeled as "Vocals" in a record store - really uncool stuff!