10 Questions with ... Jon Daniels
July 11, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WIGX/Long Island, NY - PD/middays (From launch 11/10 to present)
- WMJC/Long Island, NY - PD/afternoons (12/03 to 11/10)
- WLIR/Long Island, NY - PD (5/03 to 12/03)
- WBON/Long Island, NY - PD/Afternoons (5/02 to 12/03)
- WLIR/WDRE/Long Island, NY - Prog. Coordinator/Middays (1/01 to 6/02)
- WLIR & WXXP/Long Island, NY - Morning Producer/Traffic Director/Promotions Director/On-Air/everything-but-climb-the-tower (5/99-1/01)
- WVBR-FM, Ithaca, NY - President/GM/Afternoons (9/96 to 5/99)
1) What makes your station or market unique?
There's a lot that sets 94-X apart...but three important things make Long Island a unique market: A) Geography: Long Island is 150 miles long, and just 15 miles wide; not one radio signal covers the entire market by itself. B) Being an embedded metro in market #1 New York, and thus also having to compete with the best of the best of the biggest media companies in the world. C) You have to be extra-creative with regard to marketing: there is only one daily newspaper; there are no major local broadcast TV stations on Long Island, and there are no billboards alongside the major highways. Long Island is not your traditional media market.
2) How are you using social media to market your radio station?
94-X is very active on Facebook. We have a strong presence on Twitter, and a YouTube channel. We've also just jumped into the "App" universe, with new, albeit somewhat basic, Apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Droid. Come on...like us at www.Facebook.com/New94X
3) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
On the programming side: Radio has a lot of competition for attention in a growing multi-media landscape. Remember the "good ol' days" when beating out the competition meant getting more bumper stickers visible than the station across the street? Now, it's radio vs. television, social networks, cable, online, mobile, texting, video games, satellite...even clouds! Radio has been, and always will be (if done right!) one of the best social networks. Obviously, there are implications for both programming & revenue generation.
4) What do you like best about working in the "Gen X" format?
The passion listeners have for "Hit Music For Generation X" is just off-the-charts! There's a lot to like, but you really get a sense just how much the audience loves the concept, and they let you know! In person, on the phone, via e-mail, Facebook feedback, and more!
5) How do you describe the music and imaging on your station?
"Fun, fun, & fun!" Whether it's a song a listener hasn't heard in 10 years, or a liner that is smart, sarcastic, or just plain funny...94-X really pops out of the speakers and puts a smile on your face, while still sounding local. Special credit goes to our consultant, Joel Salkowitz, for helping create the on-air "persona" of 94-X!
6) How do you market your radio station?
We're a new player, with a new concept, in a big, crowded media market. So... aggressively, and constantly! Long Island isn't a traditional media market. You can't just book an ad campaign on your local network TV affiliate and put up some highway billboards. That really doesn't exist here. I believe the way to win, and to stand-out from the giant New York stations (and your local competition) is to literally pound the pavement and talk to each listener one at a time. We take that, and also marry it to smart social networking. It's a longer-term approach, and it's personnel-intensive, but it does work.
7) What is the most rewarding promotion or activity your station has been involved with to benefit the community?
Our 2004 "Island 94-3 Easter Egg Hunt." It was a free event at a small park in Dix Hills on Easter weekend.
Since we were only a few months old as a station at that point, we didn't know what kind of turnout to expect. We figured we'd be lucky with 200 people, and were overwhelmed when the turnout neared 2,000 people! It was a simple, feel-good community party with lots of entertainment for both parents and kids, and that event really helped us quickly establish the 94.3 frequency, as an important local entity in an important geographical area.
The event has become an annual tradition. It gets bigger and better every year, and it even "survived" the format change when we rebranded it as 94-X "Eggs-A-Palooza" at a new venue with new features this year!
8) Please describe the worst promotion you've ever been a part of
"Hawaii Hold 'Em" on Island 94-3. We created a month-long, on-air contest during the height of the "Celebrity Poker" craze in the mid '00's, with a grand prize trip to Hawaii attached. We thought we had struck gold...until the book came out. Apparently, our listeners didn't agree.
9) Who was your most memorable artist you've ever interviewed?
Well...it was memorable, but not in a good way...Jamie-Lynn Sigler. The Sopranos star dropped by the station for a live chat to promote her music, years ago, when I did middays on WLIR. Let's just say I had a little crush on her back then...and I don't think I was able to ask a coherent question through my stumbling and stuttering. To say "it didn't go well" would be an understatement!
10) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Victory is in the details. It really is the little things that set the winners apart from the losers. The harder you work, and the more attention you pay to all the detail elements of your programming and marketing (in addition to the bigger-picture stuff) the better your results will be.
1) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
I play hockey, and I'm a goalie! You probably wouldn't guess that by looking at me.
2) What career path would you be following had it not been for this industry?
I probably would have become a lawyer.
3) What are your favorite TV shows?
"Modern Family," "Big Bang Theory," "Law & Order SVU," and "Family Guy."
4) In your opinion, what is the greatest song ever that never made it as a hit?
There are a lot, I think, that are great songs that never made it to that level. But, the one that comes to mind first: "Sleeping Satellite" by Tasmin Archer; how did that one only peak at 32?