10 Questions with ... Guy Dark
March 1, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WALE/Fall River, MA; WKBK/Keene, NH; WKNE/Keene, NH; WHDQ/Claremont, NH; KQWB/Fargo, ND; WRQC/Minneapolis; KWOD/Sacramento; KRZQ/Reno, NV; and WWWX.
1. You grew up in the '70s and '80s in Massachusetts listening to some legendary on-air personalities. What stands out the most?
The glory days of WBCN were my high school and college years. Oedipus, Carter Alan, Ken Shelton & Mark Parenteau definitely influenced my taste. I doubt I would have known as much about punk & new wave had I not grown up listening to 'BCN. Nocturnal Emissions, baby!
2. After 15 years at WWWX, what has been your most defining moment?
Coming to The Radio Ranch every day with a smile on my face since 2001! I am living proof that if you REALLY love music and radio you can adapt to the changing media landscape. I mean, when I applied for this gig, I sent my aircheck on a freakin' cassette!
3. How would you describe yourself as a programmer?
Somewhat conservative, but willing to take a chance on new artists now and then. This is the Midwest, so not every flavor of the month indie band is going to resonate with listeners. WWWX was an Active Rock station for a long time, and we still lean slightly in that direction. I can play Royal Blood and Highly Suspect. Conversely, I never added Daft Punk or Tove Lo.
4. What makes the station unique and stand out in Appleton-Oshkosh?
We are the only station north of Milwaukee that regularly plays today's premiere Alternative bands -- Muse, Mumford & Sons, Cage The Elephant, Twenty One Pilots, etc. Frost Bytes imaging gives us the snark that the demo craves.
5. What is most important to you when determining what new music to play on The Fox?
A heritage artist will probably get the benefit of the doubt if it's the first release from a new album. Beyond that, does the song have a "radio" hook? For example, The Strumbellas was a no-brainer.
Is the song getting reaction on social media, Shazam, is it in an ad campaign, is the band on tour and/or making the rounds on the late-night shows. I also look at what Michelle is doing at WLUM and what Troy is doing at WKQX. Those are respected stations that aren't all that far from me. All of these things factor in.
6. You are very active on Facebook with questions. Please explain your posts.
More than ever, jocks need to be concise. I try to get "in and out" on the air and instruct my staff to do the same. Facebook gives me a chance to talk about topics that might not work on the air. If I DO get a reaction on a post, it might become on-air fodder.
7. What is the most challenging part of your job?
This isn't original -- time management! I always leave myself notes, type things in my phone, send myself e-mail reminders, etc.
8. Other than Alternative, what is your favorite radio format?
Sports, especially Dan & The Danettes. I don't mind when sports talk shows veer off into the world of pop culture -- music, movies, and hot women!
9. Describe the typical workday in the life of Guy Dark?
Get to the station around 9. There are meetings most mornings, involving other PDs, Promotions, and sales. I try to be in the production room around 11 or 12, to either do spots or work on imaging. I go on the air at 3.
10. What do you miss about living in Massachusetts?
I grew up about 10 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, so in the summer, I do miss being able to go to an authentic beach at the drop of a hat.
You are a big New England sports fan. What teams do you actively follow and which team are you most passionate about?
Sox, Pats & Celts! I enjoy walking around Wisconsin on a Packer Sunday with a Pats hoodie on!
What led you to start taking ballroom dance lessons?
I attended the play "Tony & Tina's Wedding" in Green Bay. For those who aren't familiar with it, attendees are actually "in" the play, which includes dancing at a wedding reception. My girlfriend at the time and I were stepping on each other's feet and getting stepped on by other people. Shortly thereafter, I decided I wanted to take lessons. Now I'm hooked!