10 Questions with ... Bill Lurwick
July 15, 2013
1. Brief history, synopsis?
Proud to call Philadelphia, PA my hometown. Went to Brown in Minneapolis a long time ago I think. Married to Vivian for 23 years. Almost empty nesters. Alex is 22 and out, Sami is 19 and heading to college, and Rachael graduates this year. Let the party begin! Woot!
2. What was it that made you "catch the bug" for radio? When did you realize that it was what you wanted to do for a living?
I'm sure I'm not alone being 9 years old, under the covers at night when I was supposed to be asleep, scanning my RCA clock radio and listening to stations like WTOP, WABC, WLUP, WHAS, WCCO and others broadcast into the night. I was smitten by the creativity of guys like Don Imus on mornings at WABC in NYC and John DeBella and Mark the Shark of The Morning Zoo in Philly.
3. What's the most successful on-air bit/break you've ever been part of? Details please.
During fundraiser this past March, the day before, on March 10th, we had a day we called Something More. The staff of The Bridge shared their personal testimonies, and we had pastors in our offices manning several phone lines, that liseners could call for prayer or any need they might have. One older listener called and shared that she was several hours away from her daughter, and she was afraid her daughter was going to hurt herself and she didn't know who to call or what to do. We were able to get in touch with help for her daughter, and a terrile situation was stopped. She called The Bridge, because she trusted us, and knew we would help her and follow through because that's what families do.
4. With the advent of "instant everything".....what do you do to show prep? How do you prepare?
Life is Show Prep. (there should be a t-shirt don't you think?) We are blessed to work with Jason Sharp at The Bridge, who steers us in some amazing directions that connect and strengthen our listeners. I use Positive Prep, Creative Cardio, and also Taking It Deeper on occasion and alos have Google Alerts set up with some key words that come to my inbox each day too.
5. What would you categorize as your greatest personal challenge in radio? What are you doing to overcome that?
Being a full time Program DIrector and also the Afternoon Host on The Bridge. I try and hit a few home runs every day on my to do list, and realize that I can't possibly do everything every day. Choose the best, weed out the rest, and get it done. About 1 PM each day, shut down PD Bill, and spend an hour becoming Afternoon Host Bill.
6. Who are 3 people that you look to as mentors/leaders? What is it about them that grabs & keeps your attention?
- Bill Sammons - my GM and friend. He is a picture of selflessness, caring, and humility.
- The Bridge Team - Each person here is about the mission, not self. It's truly an amazing place to come and hang out every single day.
- My Dad - He passed away 17 years ago, but his words come back to me every single day.
7. What do you believe is the single greatest factor in building audience share/cume? Why do you believe it's that important?
The " I can't get out of my car parked in my driveway til I finish hearing what they are saying" factor. Whether it's content or a song. Compelling content wins out every time. We must/have to give our audience something they can ONLY get from us. That drives everything we are about and do at The Bridge. We have two standards we measure eerything by, do we connect and strengthen, and are we being a Bridge of Hope?
8. Most successful station promotion ever?
I've only been here a short time, but one that comes to mind right away, was our Miracle Makers Promotion.
During February, listeners were encouraged to call in and tell us about a Miracle Maker in their community. We heard some amazing stories of selflessness going on in the communities of Delmarva. We even got calls from kids about their parents who were their Miracle Maker. Each caller won some free music, and was entered into the final drawing, to win Third Day tix and a Special Meet/Greet with them. Our winner turned out to be an Air Force serviceman, who was listening to us in Afghanistan serving our country. He couldn't call, but wrote us an email about his wife Melissa, who was his Miracle Maker while he was away, handling raising their kids, and taking care of life. He amazingly actually got leave, and was able to be home for the concert, and attend with his wife and kids, and meet the band, who by the way, Third Day's song Love Song was their wedding first dance song. Pretty cool to say the least.
9. How do you combat the iPod/satellite/online option listeners have today? What are the steps to compete?
Just keep giving them local, compelling content, that strengthens and connects, and brings hope. We're also branding more, and trying to be where they/she is at that very moment. Have to be careful about overkill and overextending though. Remember what got you here, but don't be afraid of change. I like to say, 'those who refuse to change, are going to be left behind'.
10. Radio 101....in 101 words or less, how would you guide/instruct/advise a radio programmer/air talent who wants to get better at their craft?
Find your niche, and super serve it. Do what YOU do best. Don't try to be someone else. There's only one you, and the things that make your area and you unique, are just that. Focus on the good, the real, and the relevant. Don't talk 'Christian-ese'. Talk like a human.
1. Most embarrassing moment on air....context and details please.
Is my GM rading this? I'll pass. :) Not because I'll get in trouble. Because he'll have some fun at staff meeting over it.
2. Favorite cereal, favorite cartoon character and favorite fast food choice?
Oatmeal. Marvin the Martian. A slice.
3. You've got one last live break on air....and then the radio will go silent. What do you say, and why?
"This isn't the end, really just the beginning, are you ready for your end, and your new beginning? Where do you want it to be?"