10 Questions with ... Bob Neumann
November 14, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WRXL/Richmond, VA - PD (1987-1991)
- WLVQ/Columbus, OH - PD (1991-1994)
- WNCX/WENZ/Cleveland, OH - PD (1994-1996)
- WMMS/Cleveland, OH PD (1996-1998)
- WWDC/Washington DC - PD (1998-2001)
- Adventure Radio/Hilton Head, SC OM/PD (2001-2005)
- WRMF/West Palm, FL - PD (2005-2011)
- WSJT/Tampa, FL - PD (2011- Present)
1) What Got You Interested In Radio? The music and the personalities got me interested.
Even though I didn't grow up in a major market, we had great radio in Syracuse. There was always something magic about listening to the radio, from the music, to the personalities or the play-by-play.
2) Who do you consider your radio mentors?
Jon Coleman (probably the smartest guy in the business in my opinion), John Roberts, Fred Horton, Dave McNamee.
3) How do you position Play 98.7 musically?
We're Adult Top 40. We are very contemporary! We spin our currents like a Pop station. And we don't play any '80s or '90s music.
4) What makes your station or market unique? How does this compare to other markets or stations you have worked at?
Tampa is insane with contemporary radio. We're positioned between a Pop station and Hot AC. There are two Pop stations, heritage monster WFLZ and WPOI which recently launched. We also have heritage Hot AC WMTX. There are great, bigger than life personalities in this market as well like MJ, Cowhead, and Orlando and Bubba. Tampa is really a great radio market. I would have to say this is the most competitive battle I've been in just from the sheer number of format competitors.
5) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
The ratings measurement system. I love the methodology of PPM, but the sample size is a joke!
6) How are you using social media to market your radio station? It's a big part of what we do, and, we still have a long way to go.
We use Facebook, Twitter, texting and of course our own web site. The synergy of all the mediums coming together is the important part. You have to have all of them working to get the maximum exposure. Tease your contests and content using twitter and Facebook. Poll your audience with Facebook. It's a great vehicle to gauge listener interest with morning show topics.
7) How do you stay in tune with your audience?
Get out there and see who they are and what they are into. Reply to emails and phone calls. Visit targeted websites.
8) How is the relationship between programmer and record label changing? For better or worse?
I can only speak for myself. So in my case, it is for the better. We're all in this together. We need to expose great new music and help in developing the artist that will one day be important to our formats.
9) Apple, Spotify, MOG, and many others have recently introduced music in "The Cloud." What effect will these new music services have on the radio and music industries?
I think radio will continue to lose some market share, but overall radio is free and it is always there. We just have to be smart, compelling and local with what we present. If they love you, they'll always come back to you.
10) What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
In the end, all you have is your reputation.
What are your hobbies?
Wine, Cooking, Guitar, Running...I know...I don't look like a runner. I also enjoy watching sports, Go Giants!!! Go Orange!!!
Tell us what music we would find on your MP3 player right now and what is it you enjoy about that particular selection?
The new Tom Waits, Mayday Parade, The Shins, Gomez, Mark Knopfler... along with a bunch of Jazz...Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Miles Davis, Stanley Turrentine etc.
What do you like to read?
What's the best hire you've ever made?
That's a tough one. I've been around for a while, and many people I have hired have been great. So I have to give you a few..."That Guy Kramer Show," Tracy St. George, Deena Lang, BJ Kinard, Annie DeWig, Elliott Segal, John Ballard, Danny Czekalinski, Darla Jay, Jonathan T, Jeff McKee. I'd hate to pick one of these people over another as they are all outstanding.
Are you seeing more Rhythmic and Top 40 records take hold with today's Hot AC listeners?
Totally! The trick is what you pick that separates you from your Pop competition.
How do you interact with your sales staff?
Every day. We have an outstanding Sales staff here. This may be the first station I have programmed where we are all on the same page. I love our sales staff at Play 98.7. They each understand the station, it's goals and the lifestyle of the listener.
How much leeway do you give your jocks to talk between records?
We only talk over intros outside of the morning drive. Having said that, they have free reign on their own content. The best talent understand the station's goals and fit their prep into the guidelines of what will help us get there.
How do you market your radio station? How are your reaching the target demos?
We're doing street level marketing. We're everywhere our demo is. Community events, station events etc. My afternoon guy, Chad Pitt is going to Repel off a 22 story building next weekend for charity. My morning show lost a bet and broadcast from a street corner in their underwear recently. We'll do anything to get noticed!
What approach do you take after a soft book?
Kettle One up with a twist!