10 Questions with ... Grover Collins
March 16, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
First job in radio was at WLAQ/Rome, GA back in 1987. Moved to Maine and worked at 92 Moose in Augusta. Fox Country 102.5 KMFX in Rochester, MN (first PD gig), also part time at Bob 100-FM in 94-95. Programmed B-103 WAIB/Tallahassee, FL from 95-97. I moved to Cincinnati in 97 as APD of WUBE. I then went to sister WKRQ (Q-102) as APD from 2001-2009. I then came back to WUBE in 2009 as PD.
1) Grover, thanks so much for taking time out to talk with us! Since you've become PD, B105 has received multiple ACM & CMA nominations, and even won CMA "Station Of The Year" in 2009 & 2012. Not to mention, in 2011, your morning show Chris Carr and Co. won an ACM & CMA Award; in 2012, your afternoon show Big Dave & Chelsie won an ACM award; and in 2013, Chris Carr & Co. picked up another ACM win. What do you think has contributed to the station's success over the past couple of years?
Radio is a team sport, and when everyone is on the same page for goals of the station, success usually follows. We are also a bunch a guys and gals that are fans of good radio. It's very important for everyone at WUBE to put out the absolute best product possible. We are very fortunate and gracious for the success we have had.
2) Did you always know that you wanted to program a radio station? What's the journey been like for you to get where you are today?
All I knew was that I wanted to be on the radio since I was 5 years old after I first heard Dale Dorman on WRKO/Boston. I absolutely became obsessed with radio and had to learn how everything worked. On a side note, I had the opportunity to meet Dale about 13 years ago and have my picture taken with him. Absolutely one of the best moments of your life to meet the man that inspired you to be who you are.
3) Expanding on that, is there anything you wish you would have done differently? If so, what?
There were times earlier in my career that I would see other people jump up formats faster than me and at the time I admit I had a touch of jealousy; but now, looking back, I am actually glad it was more of a slow and steady climb. I was able to learn a lot more and was prepared more than I knew I was when I got my first full-time large market job.
4) You've had multiple Country artists come visit you over the years for their radio tours. Is there an artist that stuck out to you instantly upon first seeing them play where you thought, "Wow, they're going to be a star!" Who was it and what made them stick out to you?
That's a tough question because you meet so many nice people that are all working so very hard for the same goal. You sincerely want everyone to have big success, even though realistically you know that everyone can't be a star. I like that (just about) everyone I've met is very nice, appreciative of the opportunity in front of them and has a strong work ethic.
5) Speaking of radio tours, how important do you think they are and what qualities do you look for when first meeting a new artist?
I get it, radio tours are tough. I honestly don't know if I could do it. I know I couldn't at my age now, but even in my 20's it is hard. Everyone who comes in is good; some better than others, but all good or they wouldn't have gotten as far as they have already. I like an artist to be engaged with the visit. We had an artist come in (when I was in pop radio) and while the staff came in to watch the performance she was just sitting in the corner on her iPhone texting while the rep was doing all the hand shaking and thanking us for taking the time. I felt bad for the rep because she had an artist that apparently didn't even care enough to work when they needed too.
6) B105 is very big on giving back to the community, such as your "Toys For Tots" show and the "B-Cause" section of your website. How important do you feel it is to keep your station "live & local" and have your personalities on hand at these events?
I am VERY aware how blessed we are to still have a station that is live 24/7 365 days a year. That goes all the way to the top at Hubbard and I don't take it for granted. Every jock here not only is live but lives in the greater Cincinnati area, many their whole lives. The great Duke Hamilton has been on the air here since 1977! WUBE has always given back. All of our personalities have individual charities they help out with and if it's one of our big shows then it's "all hands on deck." It's just what we do. Many, many hours are donated for charities and we have great partnerships with Nashville to have two shows every year where 100% of the artists' time is for the charity...either the USO or with the Marines for "Toys For Tots."
7) Can you tell us about the Cincinnati market and if there are any driving trends you've noticed that really attract your listeners?
There is a famous quote Mark Twain "When the End of the World Comes, I Want To Be in Cincinnati. It Is Always Ten Years Behind the Times." I'm not sure if it was meant as a compliment or not, but it certainly is true. What I always say is "Cincinnati knows what it likes and likes what it knows." We aren't trail blazers when it comes to trends haha!
8) Country music has been criticized in the last year for all the "Bro-Country" and "Pop Country" songs being played, but at the same time the format has seen tremendous success because of it. Do you see the genre sticking with these trends moving forward or will more "Traditional Country" make a comeback?
Everything is cyclical; everything, every format, television show, what have you. I really don't care. I will play what they (the listeners) want to hear and if that's Luke Bryan singing the alphabet auto-tuned, I'll play it.
9) Additionally, it's been really tough for the format to "break" a female act recently. Do you see that happening this year?
I'm not really sure why. It's something everyone is aware of and I don't think there is any conspiracy out there. I revert to my answer about everything being cyclical. It won't last forever. For whatever reason, that's just the way it's trending at this moment.
10) You're known for your HILARIOUS posts on Facebook, where do you come up with the material for them?
I was on the air from the age of 15 to 40, 5 days a week, 5 hours a day and that was my "outlet" to be a sarcastic wise ass. Now, that outlet is Facebook and Twitter. I guess I have just trained my brain to always try to take any situation and try to find something not only humorous about it, but relatable to everyone. I just use those thoughts on Facebook now instead of on the air.
1) If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
"Radio & RUSH" ~ A Love Story