10 Questions with ... Andrew Patton
February 16, 2015
1. Brief history/synopsis
I was born and raised in Aurora, Ohio. I am the youngest in a family of three kids. I graduated from Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy for high school and then Kent State University with my degree in Radio & TV Production. When I was 8, I was spending the day with a family friend and we visited WCRF radio in Cleveland. It sparked a huge radio interest in me, and I ended up getting my first job there when I was 16. After high school, I worked evenings at WCRF while attending school. After graduation, I worked at the Olympic Games in Atlanta and then WFRN Radio in Elkhart, Indiana. In 1999, I moved to Nashville to run the radio department at Word Records.
I'm married to my beautiful wife, Joy, and we have 4 kids: Connor, Kyle, Hope, and Faith.
2. How young were you when you knew you wanted to work in the music industry?
On that summer day in 1981, when Doug Bickerstaff took me to WCRF radio is when I caught the bug. There is something very special about the medium of radio. I would make my own recordings at home (on cassette tape) until I got hired to do weekends when in 1989.
3. What was the idea/motivation that caused you to go into artist management?
During my time at Provident (2003 - 2005), I would participate in strategic meetings each week with all the heads of the different departments at the label group. In the fall of 2004, after a series of those meetings, I felt the drive and determination to start Patton House Entertainment as a alternative to what was being offered at the time. I wanted to have a full service company focused on artist development with a family approach.
4. With the advent of "instant everything"...How do you believe that radio can compete with what the potential listener has available to them?
Radio, once only local, has become global and mobile. The connection between the radio station and the P1 listeners are unlike anything that we've seen (so far) with non-hosted on-demand services. The listener to CCM radio is driven by authentic, personal service that our local stations are providing at a higher than even rate. Listenership continues to increase within our format, and demand for superior service continues.
5. What would you categorize as your greatest personal challenge?
Managing the delicate balance between work and home. I'm a work-a-holic and love what I do. It's a great personal challenge to be to be present and active in the lives of my children. Also, to show my wife that when I'm home, I'm with her. One of the things that I've done to help with this is that when I'm invited to industry events, I always ask for two tickets...that way I can bring my wife along to enjoy that time as well. Vacations are also so important to my children as a way to detach from the run of the workday.
Time. They want purposeful, focused time.
6. Who are three people that you look/have looked to as mentors/leaders?
- Mike Atkins. Mike has had a historic run as one of the strongest CCM managers in our business. Working with some of the premier musicians in our industry, (4HIM, Point of Grace, Sandi Patty, Jaci Velasquez...) his leadership is something that I admire very much. I love successful people. Mike found a great balance of work and family success.
- Dean Diehl. Dean is one of the best, creative marketers I have even seen. I have appreciated his approach to "team" that includes allowing talented people to do a job without micro-management. Dean and I have exchanged roles throughout the past 12 years (I worked on his team 2003 - 2005; He worked on my team 2010 - 2012; I have taught for him at Trevecca Nazarene University in 2014; and I will again be on this team at Provident when I return this month.
- Chris Hauser. Chris is an icon promoter in our industry. His un-ending loyalty to the advancement of Christian music is a one of a kind. His ability to express and show the Love of Christ to others is something that amazes me. I'm drawn to his charisma and stories from the past!
7. What do you believe is the single greatest factor in building a team?
One of the best books on team building I have even read was "Good To Great" I've implemented those approaches to my teams for years. The single greatest factor - personality. Individual personality drives passion, teachability, adaptability, and success. I've found that the majority of my team members over the past 15+ years, have all had a similar Myers-Briggs testing.
8. Most successful promotion ever?
There are two that come to mind immediately:
- Randy Travis "Three Wooden Crosses" promotion. In 2002, I was asked to put together the promotion and team to work that single to Country Radio. When the promotion began, the mainstream country counterpart at the time to our label group, refused to work the project. Finding and building the team of qualified people with passion to work this single from our CCM record was amazing. The song went on to hit #1 on every Country radio chart, and also win Song of the Year at the ACM's.
- Third Day's Album launch for "Wherever You Are." We had a career single in "Cry Out To Jesus" which we launched right around Hurricane Katrina. Part of the promotion was allowing radio stations to give the single away to their listeners during one of the most traumatic and historic storms of our lifetime. In just a few days, over 60,000 singles were given away. That single was a #1 song and continued propel the band's success in the marketplace.
9. If you were King for a day, and could "fix" three things in the CCM industry....what would they be, and why?
- Authentic Relationships. There have been powerful moments of growth and "re-alignment" in my life. One of the most recent was attending the Encounter Retreat in Nashville. It was one of the most challenging things I have ever done for ME, and one of the most beneficial things for my understanding how I have wired the world to work. I would encourage anybody who reads this that longs for more...longs to understand and love others well, to check out the upcoming events. I promise you...YOU will change...for the good! http://www.encountertraining.com. If we all lived honest, real, living-in-the-moment (not doing the CCM look over the shoulders for who we are missing) relationships, we could REALLY impact one another.
- Retail / Radio relationship. We HAVE to find a solution to unite the two powerful disciplines of our industry. It's not an easy solution, but united marketing efforts behind both towers of outreach will provide even greater unique opportunities for our listeners.
- New Artists. One of my biggest concerns for the future of our industry is that we are not breaking enough new talent to support the future. It's more than just success at radio...it's also success at retail (digital and physical) along with touring. We, together, have to find a way to create the headlining acts of tomorrow. Country does that well. We should study and take notes!
10. You've got one last opportunity to speak in front of the entire industry....the mike is yours, and EVERYONE is paying attention. What do you say, and why?
Love. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed. Don't expect to have another day to hug someone; write a note to a long-lost friend; say I'm sorry to someone; Take a walk; Enjoy the breeze; LIVE.
"Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end." 1 Cor. 13