10 Questions with ... Ross Mahoney
May 6, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
1996-2011 WPBZ (Intern to APD); 2012- PD of the short lived WMSF; and started in January 2013 here in the Northernmost of the Carolinas.
1. How would you describe yourself as a programmer?
I am first and foremost a music fan. There is music that I like personally and music that I think will do well for Modern Rock 98.7 and I'm not a snob about something that listeners may like that isn't necessarily my cup of Jarvis... I mean Java. I don't believe every line that promo peps try to sell and I don't bow down to the chart. I regularly ask listeners what they think of the music we play, and have recently been closely watching what is being Shazammed in our listening area.
2. What is the toughest part of your job?
I really have to agree with the statement made by the un-pure Nik "Junket" Rivers. "With so many new artists and so much great music, it often feels like your being chased by an Angry Mob." Having so much great new music is a good problem to have though. Also dividing my time evenly is tough. I am often at the radio station until 10pm getting things done. My air-shift is my serenity. I really try not to answer e-mails or phone calls or text messages between 3-7pm. I just want to be on the air and have fun which is the best part of what we do.
3. What would surprise people about Sunrise Broadcasting?
It's a really great company that cares about its employees. The medical benefits are top notch. The owner Mr. Goodmon gives all of the employee's free turkeys at Thanksgiving, poinsettias at Christmas and lilies at Easter...and I am a sucker for Easter Lilies. The company truly cares about their employees and they make you feel appreciated which is way different than working for some of the big companies.
4. How would you describe the music and imaging on Modern Rock 98.7?
The imaging is quick, slick and often self-deprecating, but more cerebral without all of the toilet humor. Rich Van Slyke is our station voice and he is super accommodating. John Frost helps give the station its attitude and my midday jock Vaughn is really becoming a production superstar. The music is 30% Currents 35% Recurrents and 35% Golds. I try to freshen up the library every six months or so and it gives the station a "wow" factor.
5. How aggressive do you consider yourself in championing new music and what is most important to you?
I will step out on new music if I believe something will work for us, but that doesn't mean that I am going to help get every record started. We take pride in breaking bands though. We have had a lot of success with bands like Iration, The Virginmarys, Band Of Skulls, Middle Class Rut, The Features, J. Roddy Walston & The Business and the new Manchester Orchestra. Some of these bands haven't had chart success, but have really connected with the Modern Rock 98.7 audience.
6. What makes the station unique?
We are the only Modern Rock station in our company so there is nothing cookie cutter about it. We don't have to do things the same way another station does it. WRMR also has the largest signal in Eastern North Carolina at 100,000 watts; we cover two full markets and almost stretch to North Myrtle Beach. Oh that's right...I'm looking at you Mase and BJ!
7. What can you tell us about your new specialty show that you will be launching soon?
It will be a great starting point for new music on Modern Rock 98.7. With so much great new music out there, and only so many spots on the playlist, it will be a way to really stay ahead of the curve while serving as a tool to see what our listeners will react to.
8. What do you like best about living in Coastal Carolina?
It's beautiful here, the people are friendly and they film a ton of television shows and movies here. Oh and Shrimp Burgers.
9. Which concerts have stood out the most to you over the past year?
Having sold out shows in this market with New Politics, Iration, and Charles Ramsey. Modern Rock Fest 2013 with Cage The Elephant. Queens Of The Stone Age was amazing and being blown away at SXSW by â€ â€ â€ Crosses, The Orwells, Royal Blood, and Band Of Skulls. There was one show that stood out in a bad way. I won't say the name of the band, but they kept telling people they were the Reverse White Stripes...which should have been a dead giveaway.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
Outside of work, my life is pretty boring. I wish I had a cool story like breaking my foot surfing with Switchfoot...but I don't. I just go to work and go home and watch the Food Network and think about all the great meals I would cook if I were motivated.
What music are you listening to when you're away from station?
Skindred. Always have them in the mix. I wish more people in the US knew about them. They are incredible live and always put out solid music.
How often do you return home to Florida and what are your top priorities when you go home?
I try to get home a couple times a year. I just returned from Florida. My priorities were to spend time with my Dad who is pretty sick. See as many friends as possible, get in a couple of games of Texas Hold 'Em, guest host my old remote from my days at The Buzz at a place called Island Jacks, and just appreciate some of the surroundings I took for granted while I lived there.