10 Questions with ... Jim Fox
October 13, 2015
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, IN; Station Manager in Sacramento at KRXQ in 2003; launched KKDO in 2010; Ops Manager of the Entercom cluster in 2013.
1. What are you most proud of since launching KKDO (RADIO 94.7) five years ago?
The ratings success. When you launch a startup, you dream of delivering a sellable rank. Proudly RADIO 94.7 ranks 2nd (behind its "brother," 98 Rock) on a 12-month average with 18-34 persons. I'm also proud of RADIO 94.7's ability to innovate. Our ability to poll listeners in real time coupled with an unorthodox programming strategy has enabled RADIO 94.7 to create an extremely engaged relationship with its audience despite having "no DJs."
2. What do you love most about working for Entercom?
The people and the environment. I genuinely like and respect those with whom I work. Disruptive innovation has always been encouraged and brand managers are permitted the authority to innovate along with the responsibility of winning.
3. What is a typical day like for you as OM of Entercom Sacramento (KDND, KRXQ, KSEG, KKDO, KUDL, and KCTC)?
Really, no day is typical, but that's always been true about radio - which is probably why many of us were drawn to it. The most common aspect to each day for me, however, is creative problem solving. Whether programming or managing, each come with a puzzle in search of a solution.
4. How would you describe yourself as a programmer?
I've been affectionately called "The Mad Scientist" by members of our sales dept. ...At least I think it was affectionate! Since that implies one part science, one part art and one part gut, I humbly accept that characterization.
5. How do you keep RADIO 94.7 different from sounding like other Alt stations?
I believe you have to determine if there's a need to be different first. In Sacramento, market history and competitive landscape dictated much about what we did not want to do with RADIO 94.7. RADIO 94.7 boasts "no DJs' and it has very little in common with Rock Alternative stations of the past.
6. Tell us about RADIO 94.7's real-time music survey music survey.
RADIO 94.7 plays host to real-time music survey's quarterly. Each lasts for seven days. During that week, we expand the music library by 15 to 20 percent, occasionally spiking in songs that have never been played on the station and introducing them as such when they are aired. By texting "like" or "dislike" listeners "vote" on whether we add that song to the playlist or leave it off. As you can imagine listener participation is highly activated and we watch the result in real-time. We will receive around 20,000 unique votes this week.
7. How much of an impact does your Like/Dislike survey have on your music decisions each week?
25-30 percent. We triangulate using several data sources, plus a smidge of gut. It gives listeners a voice in the music choices and we heavily image around that fact.
8. How is the weekly music meetings structured at RADIO 94.7?
A group of four to six musically diverse staff members meet each week. Everyone sees the current data and offers their interpretations. As openings are created, we listen to, and decide what to add based upon the merit of available new songs.
9. What has been the biggest change at RADIO 94.7 in the past year?
The presentation of RADIO 94.7's first summer festival, CITY OF TREES. It drew over 9,000 in August.
10. What is it about your job that you enjoy the most?
Winning. I like a lot of the things that make beating the competition possible, but mostly... winning.
What do you enjoy doing on the weekend with your family?
Hiking and out of town trips. I'm thankful for them every day.