10 Questions with ... Lance Tidwell
September 6, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started in radio in 1985 as a weekend jock in my hometown in Alabama at WRFS. Have worked from California to Connecticut and in virtually all formats and roles from on-air to Operations Manager.
1. How did you first become interested in radio?
When I was about 9 or 10 years old I would take them apart, diagram them as I did, then solder them back together. Was always fascinated by radio, not really format specific just radio and all forms of music.
2. What led you to the OM post at Cumulus/Kansas City OM earlier this year?
I got a call from Donna Baker in February and we started to talk about the position and it just took shape. I was impressed with Donna immediately and had heard such good things about Cumulus under Mary's leadership and after visiting the market and meeting Donna and Doug Hamand I knew this was without question the place to be and the people I wanted to work with.
3. What is it like working with Donna Baker, Doug Hamand, Mike McVay, Troy Hanson and the rest of the hierarchy at Cumulus?
All four of them are terrific. Donna has a relentless pursuit of great radio and has a really high programming IQ, she really gets it. Doug and Mike are supportive and very clear thinkers; they both have vast amounts of experience to draw from. Troy has been instrumental in the launch of X105.1 and has been there every step of the way to help put the station together.
4. Tell us about the launch of X105.1, Kansas City's Alternative this summer?
Putting X105.1 together has been one of the most collaborative efforts I have been a part of, one of the most exciting experiences in my career and we're just getting started. We spent a lot of time putting together the station, hours grinding out strategy and tactics and we went in with plans that we knew were vetted out well. Mike McVay, Bob Walker and Doug Hamand did a great job of asking a lot of questions to get to the right place.
5. How would you describe yourself as a programmer?
I like the science part of our business and it's important but, I am one of those PDs that will say "well let me tell you how it felt." Artists put a ton of emotion in to their music, clients spend hard earned money on advertising, sales people invest a great deal of emotion on their clients, jocks are emotionally connected to the music, their stations and listeners and listeners are definitely emotionally connected to the music and hopefully our brands and talent. It's important to remember how things make you feel and how we connect it all, the whole business is built on emotion. You can't just throw it out for "research says." Prepare with clear head and strategy and attack projects with emotion.
6. Give us the 411 on what everyone needs to know about X101.5.
We have responsible programmers, team effort to advocate for the listeners, X105.1 will focus to meet listener expectations. We'll be fair and great partners for labels and artists. The X team from our GM/RVP Donna Baker, APD Matt Malone, Marketing Director Brian Goeke and I are all fans of the format. It's nice when you can put together your passion for radio with music you really enjoy. You're not always able to do that, sometimes the best move for your cluster strategy isn't necessarily something you are going to be excited about. It's a nice perk that we're all fans AND this was the right move!
We have a solid plan to grow this brand in KC and we have some of the smartest people in the industry, like Troy who is involved and will remain there as we grow. This station launch in Kansas City has been Mary Berner's vision for the company in motion. Her FORCE philosophy of FOCUSED, RESPONSIBLE, COLLABORATIVE, EMPOWERED is exactly what we have done with X105.1
7. What do you love most about your job?
Team building, working with people and watching them grow. Accomplishing goals together and being a part of something bigger than individual goals is the best. I love this business, a bad day at work for most radio people is a better than a great day at work for an awful lot of people.
8. What part of your job is the most challenging?
Time management. OM, PD of two stations and trying to keep it all moving and making time for everyone you need to make time for.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
Starbucks. It's a problem. Crazy part is I only drink black coffee.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I'm a really big hard core hip hop fan. Most people would never profile that from me until you got to know me better.
What are weekends like with you and your family?
My girlfriend is a Media Planner at an Advertising Agency and we both work a lot so we spend a lot time together at the gym, #adulting or couch' d out.
What are your hobbies?
Gym rat, so 4 to 5 days a week of lifting and running.
First record ever purchased?
Prince "Dirty Mind"
Waylon Jennings (teen years were spent in the south, not much came to my hometown) the outlaws of that time were legit though!
Favorite band of all-time?
Man, hard to pick one so what's downloaded on my phone says it's either Red Hot Chili Peppers or Rage Against The Machine.