10 Questions with ... James Howard
January 7, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WJRR/Orlando; WRAK/Albany, GA; WBZY/Atlanta; WXTB/Tampa; KYRK/New Orleans; WWDC & WQSR/Washington DC/Baltimore.
1 What stands out the most from your first job at WJRR?
WJRR is an iconic brand in Orlando and the pros I learned from there have stayed with me throughout my career. I learned what a true radio station culture should feel like at WJRR and you can see the power of it with the lack of turnover. (Pat Lynch, Taco Bob, Dickerman, Rick Everett, Josh Egolf were all extremely influential on me and continue to lift WJRR as a special brand today).
2. What do you love most about working at DC101?
The people I work with are incredible and great radio isn't executed without a legit team. Everyone at DC101 has a collective passion for music and the lifestyle of the DC area, which makes this an excellent place to earn a pay check.
3. What has the past year been like for you programming WXTB/Tampa from Washington?
Fantastic. This will sound like a broken record but Big Rig, Jesse Kage, Kim Cusmano, and the addition of Ty Bailey down in Tampa Bay made working with WXTB again so much fun. We built back to #1 P 25-54 in the market and Ty is now continuing the legacy of great programming at 98ROCK.
4. How do you manage your time programming DC101, Jack-FM, and a high-profile morning show?
Carefully. I also have an amazing support structure and great programmers with me at DC101 with Dave Hennessy and Greg Roche that allows me to focus more on vision than frankly many PDs have in our industry. If I didn't have the elite team I spoke about earlier, my list of duties could not be this long.
5. What is the music meeting like at DC101 and what is most important to you when championing new music?
It doesn't happen once a week because every day is music day. We are all constantly sharing what we are finding out there which helps drive our decision to find what's next in music.
6. How much are you balancing gut with research when making decisions on new music?
We are always on the lookout for measurable authenticity with our music....
7. Why does DC101 use the positioning statement "DC's Rock Station" with the station shifting more pop?
DC101 owns the rock lifestyle image and we also play over four decades of rock music (this little station has been around awhile). The Alt music we playing in our current library is certainly shared across other formats and platforms, but that doesn't mean it isn't rock. Top 40 and Hot AC can continue to enjoy our sloppy seconds, because DC knows where to get great new rock music first.
8. What would surprise people most about you?
That may be better directed at someone other than me, however I'll give it a shot. I'm a bit of a goofball and like to laugh, but for those who really know me I'm quite serious and extremely intense.
9. Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
I want to improve in all areas, from Talent Management to Tactical Execution. I'm also driven by new, truly innovative ideas and executions in our medium.
10. What are you most passionate about?
My wife is my #1 passion by far. Travel, running, eat great food are in there as well. I am also passionate about seeing people I've had the pleasure of working with find success around the country. I'm driven by my DC101 and JACK team winning and feeling great about coming to work every day.
What was your favorite station to listen to growing up and what do you remember the most about the station?
949 ZETA ROCKS! I grew up listening to 94.9 ZETA in Miami which is sadly now defunct. It pleases me that Paul and Ron who did mornings are still on in Miami on Big 105.9. They made my mornings driving my 68' Volkswagen Beetle to high school that much better.