10 Questions with ... Ron Poore
February 3, 2015
Editor's Note: All Access VP/Editorial & Alternative Editor Shawn Alexander conducted this interview with Ron Poore prior to his stroke on January 24th (NET NEWS 1/28). We're happy to report that Ron is making incredible strides in his recovery. Share your thoughts and best wishes by clicking the e-mail link above.
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
It all started with my love and passion for music and radio at an early age. I got my first break at WXKE/Ft. Wayne, IN. I still owe a lot to Rick West who hired me. He saw something in me and gave me a chance and really believed in me, I can't thank him enough for that opportunity. Then moved onto WOXY/Cincinnati. I always say that this was my college, this is where I grew up and became a manager thanks to a shot that station Owner Doug Balogh gave me, his direction, patience, and mentoring really prepared me for the world.
Then things took an ugly turn when I met Matt Pollack. This F*#King guy literally dragged me into the dirty world of the record business. I was just a shy, naive kid from the Midwest and then Mr. Pollack hired me to work at Relativity records in Hollis, Queens. Boy was that a wake-up call, actually just kidding. It was a great moment in life to meet Matt who quickly became my best friend/brother still to this day. I do owe him a lot for his belief in me and luring me into this side of the business which I love. I then went onto RCA, which was an amazing place to hone my skills and be taught by Butch Waugh and then Ron Geslin. That leads me to my next stop and current home at Atlantic. Andrea Ganis, my current boss at Atlantic, is fond of telling the story how she waited a year to be able to hire me. I always love hearing that. Andrea has certainly become an inspiration to me. I only hope to be as great as she is at her job one day. She lets me do my job, respects my opinion, and most importantly trusts me to do what we do. My goal is for her to never have to worry about this department and feel that we have it covered. She is a mentor to me and a dear friend. I am very fortunate to have her as my boss.
1. How did you become interested in the record business?
I have always been a fan of music but could never play an instrument so this is the closest I could get to it.
2. What stands out the most from when you first started at Atlantic Records?
To start with it is truly a dream job to work at the legendary Atlantic records. I love working here because it is an artist development label. We stick with these projects and actually really work hard to build something before we go to radio. From our great leadership from Julie Greenwald who gives us the respect and room to build these records/artists over time. Never forcing them, yet moving them along and backing up our efforts at radio. It is a real privilege and honor to take our guidance from her. Also, with Craig Kallman as our leader you can't go wrong with his legendary history of signing and breaking great bands. I am always excited to come to work every day and kill for them.
3. 2014 was a fantastic year for Atlantic Records at Alternative. Tell us about how you and Gary Gorman scored #1 Alternative Chart Share and what you're most proud of from last year?
First off, I'm really fortunate to have Gary Gorman on my team. He and I share a vision and that's WINNING. We live it and love it. We love the horse race! He is a great team mate and I truly respect his complete desire to win. 2014 was an exceptional year for us. We had two #1 Alternative charting songs with Vance Joy "Riptide" and Fitz & The tantrums "The Walker", alt-J went "Left Hand Free" was a #2 and With Coldplay "Magic" and "A Skyfull Of Stars" topping the chart along with Meg Myers really showing promise just to name a few. The stars certainly aligned for us to win the year. It was a very proud moment to do so, as we don't have a huge bullpen of acts waiting to get out the door to radio, we did it with the artists that we have stuck with and were patient with.
4. Who do you see as the next breakthrough artist for the label at Alternative?
The one that we have really high hopes for is Meg Myers. We worked her song "Desire" last year for over 10 months getting 1 or 2 stations a week. That started with 1 station KRBZ KC playing it on their own and then Lazlo the PD started calling me telling me that it was requesting and then testing big for him and with this one market we moved to over 50 stations over 10 months. Meg has a new song ready to go on March 2 called "Sorry" from a new album and early response is amazing. I must say that the work she put into it last year playing every radio market, making fans and friends at radio has really paid off. We think she is poised to break thru this year. I can't wait for everyone to hear it.
5. What do you love most about your job?
I love breaking bands and I love working with our incredible regional staff, they are the ones that make it all happen every day in their markets and are on the road constantly getting it done. It is such a great thrill everyday coming to work at Atlantic Records in New York City. There's not a day that goes by that I don't consider myself lucky.
6. What is the toughest part of your job?
Losing. We hate to lose.
7. Where do you get your greatest pleasure in doing record promotion?
We like taking a band that sounds different than anything else like alt-J and pounding the square peg into the round hole until it fits. That is very rewarding.
8. Where is your favorite market you like to visit and why?
That's a tough one, but other than the obvious ones like L.A. and San Diego, I like the Northwest very much. Portland & Seattle I'm very fond of and then my favorite city in the country is Chicago. It was my window to the world when I lived in Indiana and I would save my money to go there and see early punk bands and visit cool clubs. It always brings back great music memories being there.
9. What would surprise people the most about you?
That I used to weigh 350 pounds.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _______ ?
The love of my wife and kids!!
Last non-industry job?
I worked at Chess King clothing store in Ft. Wayne and used to sell the shit out of those Michael Jackson looking leather jackets
First record ever purchased?
Favorite band of all-time?