10 Questions with ... Leslie Fram
April 26, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WABB/Mobile (1980-1990) on-air/MD to PD, Power 99/Atlanta (1990-1992) APD /morning co-host, 99X/Atlanta (1992-2008), upped to PD in '97 and was co-host of "The Morning-X." Started at WRXP in 2008.
1. What stands out the most from your first job in radio?
Wearing so many hats -- you really become so well-rounded when you can start in a small market and basically know how to do several jobs and hopefully grow to do them well! Bernie Dittman, Owner/Operator/GM of WABB was the greatest boss in the world and a second Dad. Talk about "lead by example" -- he was the first to arrive and the last to leave every night! We were both radio geeks and would get together for lunch every Saturday to brainstorm. I miss him dearly.
2. What part of your job do you like best? Least?
Just being able to work and live in New York is a dream come true. I feel really lucky to have landed here and to be working at Emmis. I'm able to collaborate with the brilliant programming team of Rick Cummings, Jimmy Steal, and Ebro Darden under the leadership of GM Alex Cameron. There is no worst -- this is New York! Ok, maybe seeing "Ben" in the subway.
3. After hosting mornings for so many years, why did you decide to move The Rock Show with Matt Pinfield to middays?
For both Matt's schedule and mine. MTV is bringing back "120 Minutes" for MTV2 and we're developing a radio version so he is splitting his time doing our show and TV interviews. It also gives me more time for programming duties and for the staff. I've been waking up at 4am since 1990 and doing 17-18 hour days for so long it just became normal. Now I'm here from 7:30a to 7 or 8p and usually off to a show... so not much has changed except I can now stay for the entire concert!
4. What is the strongest daypart on 'RXP and what makes it so successful?
Right now afternoon drive which I attribute to our amazing Music Director, Brian Phillips (not to be confused with the other Brian Philips in Nashville -- my former boss)! He's a great personality who knows how to be engaging in 30 seconds and he has a whole cast of "characters" that call the show daily! In addition, that daypart matches the "persons using media" in the market as well so we play to the daypart with our biggest songs.
5. How has PPM impacted the way you program the station?
It's been a great programming tool because it makes us program "smarter'" when we can now understand real time behavior versus recall. How much tolerance does the audience really have for long interviews, new music, long stopsets, etc.? This is the real deal and actual listening habits. I do think that some stations have gone too far by stripping away the "theatre of the mind" and sounding like wallpaper. You can still be entertaining and engaging, you just have to work with your talent on those moments and know when to take risks.
6. How would you describe the music and imaging on the station?
We're a variety rock station for New York and the only one playing new music and supporting the local scene. We image the music with respect to the artists but continue to have fun at our own expense. We run our "I'm With The Band" series throughout the year which offers unbelievable once-in-a-lifetime experiences for fans with artists. Everything from "Be The Lead Singer Of 311" to "Riding Bikes With Cake In Battery Park."
7. What are your music meetings like at 'RXP?
We listen to music all the time so there isn't an 'official meeting' except to decide rotations. Brian Phillips and I work closely on music and what goes in but the staff is involved and of course there is an open door policy. The team is really close and most of us are out two to three nights a week seeing shows together. RXP embraces every show from the Mercury Lounge to the Meadowlands.
8. What are you most proud of from the first three years of 'RXP?
We really don't consider any station to be our competitor since we're so different but we just beat Q104 (Classic Rock) with 18-49 Persons. That's a big accomplishment after three years up against a heritage rock station. We're also in the top 10 with Men with 2 million plus cume! That's a result of the passion and hard work of an amazing team including Steve Craig who is APD and now host of "The Rock Show," Brian D'Aurelio, Operations/Marketing Director, and Emmis' Lifestyle Engagement Director Chris Nadler.
9. What do you like best about living in New York?
LOVE walking in the neighborhoods. Most Saturday's my husband and I will walk five to seven miles. We love the lower east side and the diversity of the city. I'm also a "live" music fan so we go to a ton of shows. It's really a thrill to be watching your favorite bands in the city's legendary venues like The Beacon or Radio City!
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I'm a small business owner-a boutique in Alabama called 4Bags with my sister Sharon Davis. The synergy between music and fashion has enabled me to explore my other passion which is fashion (that rhymes)!
What are your hobbies?
Live Music, buying folk art, and travel. I would live in Austin or London!
Last non-industry job?
Ages ago at a clock factory (my only job outside of radio). Radio is all I know.
First record ever purchased?
The Beatles "'Abbey Road"
My mother took us to see The Stones in Mobile
Favorite band of all-time?
The Beatles. Favorite college band: REM.