10 Questions with ... Big D & Bubba
September 9, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Country Boys, Radio Addicts, Pilots, and Dads. Currently heard on 60 terrestrial stations, and worldwide on the US Government's "American Forces Network," which adds up to 167 Countries and all Ships At Sea
1) Hi Guys! The "Big D & Bubba Show" is a very successful syndicated radio program. Tell us, was syndication the ultimate goal when you two first paired up?
Bubba: not initially, but once we started getting a rhythm & a following for our show, we saw an opportunity, and jumped at it.
Big D: Syndication first popped up for us with the beginning of deregulation. We saw many good broadcasters getting fired because they "made too much money". We knew there had to be a way to meet in the middle, and not have all the negatives that come along with the "overpaid morning guy" stigma.
Bubba: Yeah, the idea of diversifying was very appealing to us. It was our way of making less money from each individual station, and by sheer numbers, allowing ourselves to make a decent living.
Big D: I know that sounds like an oversimplified reason for getting into syndication, but it's the truth. With ad dollars being a tough fight, we wanted to be a less expensive, and hopefully, better option for a programmer & general manager. It's all about being able to do what we do, at the level we wanted, but also be less of a financial burden on any one station.
2) Speaking of "pairing up," how DID you guys meet?
Bubba: We launched a new country station in Baton Rouge in August of 1996 to take on the heritage WYNK, Big D was doing mornings with another guy, and I was the APD/afternoon guy. His partner got fired after a few months, and Big D immediately asked me to join him on the show. I declined for about a month, but he eventually wore me down, and I caved.
Big D: December 16th 1996 was our 1st show together, and within 2 books, we had taken down the heritage. Within 2 more books, we were hired away by WYNK across town, and 1 book later, WYNK was back on top where it's remained ever since. Kind of a cool start for a couple goofballs.
3) Up until last year, you were ALSO broadcasting a local afternoon show in Nashville, in addition to your syndicated show. Now that you have decided to focus on the latter, you must have more free time! What do you guys typically do in an average day, when NOT in the studio?
Big D: well, doing one show is misleading, because we still work the same amount of after-show hours doing prep. Instead of splitting our focus between trying to out-local the guys across town, we can do our best to out-local people in every town
4) You both travel often, visiting radio stations and attending industry events. Where is the COOLEST place or event that you have had the opportunity to visit, since starting the "Big D & Bubba Show?"
Bubba: we got a private, behind the scenes tour of NASA's Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California. THAT was awesome on so many levels, because we were able to fly the simulators, as well as get an insider's look at many cutting edge technologies, and future aircraft that we would LOVE to tell you about, but well, you know how that goes: "We Could Tell Ya, But Then, Blah Blah Blah."
Big D: Thanks for not saying the rest of that
5) The "Big D & Bubba Show" has a large following through the various social networks. Do you find that this gives you a local and personable appeal to your listeners across the country? Do you have a social networking strategy, or advice on using the internet to communicate with listeners?
Bubba: There's no strategy, I think that our online presence has grown simply out of engagement. It's like the show never ends.
Big D: Yeah, it's like there's two shows a day: the one on the radio, and the one on our listeners' cellphones & online
6) You both have a private pilot's license, correct? What are the benefits to being able to fly yourselves to the various radio stations and events that you visit?
Big D: becoming pilots was possibly the best thing we've ever done. Not only is flying ourselves fun, but being able to have the flexibility to move quickly, and avoid airline fees, security snags, and time constraints of flight schedules is AMAZING. We can fly into a city, do an event, and still be able to fly home & sleep in our own beds that night. You can't beat that!
7) Who has been the MOST memorable in-studio guest that you've ever had, and why do they stand out in your mind?
Big D: Billy Adams, the guy that squirted chocolate milk out of his tear duct.
Bubba: CHOCOLATE MILK, SQUIRTING FROM HIS EYE BALL!!!!
Big D: We brought in a canvas, and had him "paint" for charity. It was THE BEST.
8) What would little Bubba think of himself, today?
Bubba: He'd be pissed that I am not an Astronaut, happy that I at least fly airplanes, but pissed that I don't live on a beach, but happy that I can fly to the beach if I wanted to every weekend.
9) What would little D think of himself, Big D, today?
Big D: Holy Cow! You Got HUGE! Don't You Love Me?
10) What's in store for the next chapter of the "Big D and Bubba Show?"
Bubba: We've recently added a weekend version of our show called the "Big D & Bubba Weekend Wakeup." It's a lot of fun, and a way for Country stations to add some fun to their weekend lineup. We produce it as a morning show, and find that it's been working well. We've had awesome Program Director and listener feedback on Twitter/Facebook/etc.
Big D: It's a great change of pace, and NOT another countdown. It's something different, if that's what you're looking for.
1. If someone went into your vehicle and started it up, what would we hear blaring from the speakers at this exact moment?
Big D: I listen to radio. I punch around a lot and honestly couldn't tell you what station it's on right now
Bubba: I downloaded the new Colt Ford album into my Jeep's hard-drive on Sunday. It's been on "repeat" ever since
2. If you could trade lives with anyone for 24 hours, who would it be and why?
Big D: LeBron James, because I'd be a great athlete and get to hang with Jay-Z
Bubba: Dr. Michio Kaku. Most people don't know this, but I am a nerd, and Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics are my "happy places." Odd answer for a guy named Bubba, 'eh?
3. If you weren't a radio personality, what would be your dream job?
Big D: Psychologist
Bubba: Astronaut, Fireman, or Airline Pilot. Basically, I still have the dreams of 5 year old Bubba.