10 Questions with ... John Paul
August 4, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- 1987-1995 KLOG/KUKN in Longview, WA (started in the 8th grade)
- 1993-1995 KUPL-Portland, OR (part time)
- 1995 Q105-Portland, OR (part time)
- 1995-1998 WKKG/WINN-Columbus, Indiana (PD/Afternoons)
- 1998-2005 WYRK/WBUF-Buffalo, New York (PD)
- 2005-2009 KUPL-Portland, OR (PD/Afternoons)
- 2009-Today Dial Global Radio Networks (VP/Programming)
1) Congrats on taking on the syndicated Lia Show-that must feel pretty exciting to take that on-what's the current health of the show?
The show is doing really well. We've added affiliates and we are headed in the right direction. It's been fun to get my hands fully around the show and help evolve it. I've made some big changes to the overall operation and sound of the show.
2) What direction is the Lia Show going these days?
I took over the show a few months ago and immediately started making changes. If you haven't heard Lia in a while, it defiantly has a different sound than it did a few years ago. I've been calling it "The Lia Evolution." I've looked at every aspect of the show (from how we produce it, the music, content, overall sound, our customer service with affiliates, etc.) and made changes were needed.
3) What changes have been made to the show?
The first thing was making the music more up-tempo and increase the "fun" in the show. We've also increased the overall momentum of the show and added some production. Lia's delivery is tighter and more fun. It's not the "sappy country love song show" anymore. She's having a great time with the callers and the country stars that are on her show each night. The biggest change was hiring new producers. I hired Brian Huen as the executive producer, who spent 15 years at Radio Disney in LA. I've also hired Cub Buenning and Jaymes Grundmann. Lia is still based in Seattle and Brian, Cub and Jaymes are with me in Denver.
4) Lia is in Seattle and you are in Denver, how often to do talk to Lia?
We talk or e-mail every day, sometimes several times a day. We also have a twice weekly programming and promotion calls. I meet with the producers every day before the show. There is no such thing as a lack of communication with the team. We are a well-oiled machine.
5) There seems to be a lot of syndication in general in radio these days-I'm sure that you've no doubt kept tabs on the Bones show on Clear Channel and Blair's show on Cumulus-any thoughts?
The shows with the best content win, whether it's local or national/syndicated. It's all about the content. Doesn't matter where it's coming from. I hear a lot of guys saying "we'll, we're local." When I listen, I hear nothing local on their stations. Mark Ramsey says it best, "local isn't where you are, it's what you do." At the end of the day, it's about content and entertainment.
6) Do you go into markets, especially the smaller ones and teach new programmers how they can keep their stations 'local?'
I'm available all the time to help programmers execute the show and the formats. I've done many seminars at our affiliates all over the country. I tell all of our affiliates to use me like a consultant. The better the affiliate sounds, the better we sound.
7) You are overseeing two networks (Mainstream and Hot Country), now the Lia Show? Can you give us a snapshot of your day and how you juggle many duties?
I also oversee our Classic Rock format. I'm involved in all things country for the company. Each day is different. I always have no less than five things I'm working on or juggling and I wouldn't have it any other way. At the end of day, I'm involved in the programming of over 1,000 radio stations (in all size markets) across the country. It's never boring.
8) You came to Dial Global from KUPL/Portland. How have you adapted to that change?
I've never been happier in my career then I am now. Honest. This is the best job in radio. I get to be involved in so many multi format projects. I get to create, execute, coach, sell, plan, and promote. All the things I love about radio.
9) How has the position at Dial Global changed your thinking about radio in general and how do you think you have evolved?
Great radio and content will always win. Doesn't matter where it's coming from. I've become way more focused on "the bigger picture" of things. I'm always looking at things from 30,000 feet and from many different angles. I deal with a lot of station owners, GM's and programming heads. It has helped me learn more about the business side of radio.
10) Getting back to the Lia show-what's the one thing you'd like to remind people of about the show?
It's NOT the "Country Love Songs Show." Lia is up-tempo, fun, with tons of momentum and great content. The show has really evolved and I'm proud to be a part of it. Plus, our customer service with affiliates is second to none. I hear from affiliates all the time that our attention to them is the best they've ever seen with a network/syndicator. I'm proud of that.
1) I'm coming to Denver to spend a weekend with you and your lovely family-where would we have to go, what would we have to see before I left town?
Rocks. You have to see Red Rocks. We also love Manitou Springs, Pike's Peak and Estes Park. There is so much to do here and the weather is always awesome.
2) How much traveling do you do in this job- there has to be a lot since I get your voicemail a lot!
It goes in waves. It seems like spring and fall there is more then winter and summer. Half of my staff is in Dallas and LA, so I travel there often. I'm also in Nashville and Seattle a lot too.