10 Questions with ... Mike Weston
June 4, 2012
1. What was your first job in the industry?
First job was at WEZE in Boston. It was a former Easy Listening format (Mantovani anyone?) that has just flipped to a Talk format but forgot to change the call letters in time. That was in the early 1980s.
2. Who or what led you to a career in radio?
Sounds corny but when I was in middle school, we went on a "field trip" to WRKO in Boston and got to spend a few minutes with Dale Dorman while he was on the air. I think he's still with KISS 108 there. Guess I was susceptible to the radio bug and I think I caught it there.
3. What does Christian radio need to do to break through to a mass audience on a more consistent basis?
I think it's important that we play the right music, but what is especially important for this format is to develop on-air talent that can authentically connect with the listener. When that dynamic happens, it can create a powerful interpersonal connection and loyalty from the listener. The radio station can become a really meaningful part of their lives.
4. What is your favorite part of your job?
It's hard to pick only one. Even with all the changes in the industry, bottom line is, I am really fortunate to work with creative, fun, gifted people who are also great friends. That makes all the difference, no matter what the task.
5. What advice would you give to people new to the business?
Listen to really good talent. That is easier now more than at any time with the Internet. Get to know a good consultant and ask them questions and get career advice. Learn to write well. Read, read, read, all kinds of stuff. Be willing to pay your dues. Have fun!
6. You are also a midday host. If you have any guest on your show, who would you have and why?
7. What music currently has your ear?
Switchfoot and Mat Kearney. I also like jazz a lot. Dianna Krall is an amazing artist.
8. If you could have any other job outside radio or the music industry, what would it be?
I serve on a couple of local non-profit boards, one that is education-oriented and one that helps children who have heart problems. I think I'd work in some kind of marketing or advisory capacity with a non-profit like one of those.
9. Do you have any favorite hobbies outside of radio?
I love to golf. I'm also into fitness training. Love to read. Love to head to Starbucks, break out my iPad, and just spend some time discovering.
10. For someone vacationing in your market, what one thing would you say they must see or do?
Columbia is the capitol of South Carolina, so definitely the state house. Right down the street is Mellow Mushroom, a really cool pizza place, and the Columbia Zoo.
1. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to have with you and why?
A Bible, at least one photo of my wife and kids, and a mobile phone with a battery that never dies!