10 Questions with ... Bobby Rich
March 12, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- KMXZ-FM Tucson, AZ "MIX fm" - PD/Mornings (1993-present).
- KFMB-FM San Diego, CA "B-100" - (1975-1979 and 1984-1989)
- KMGI/KIXI Seattle, WA VP/GM/Mornings - (1989-1991)
- WWSH/Philadelphia, PA
- KFI/Los Angeles
- Drake-Chenault/Canoga Park, CA. Director Consultation
- WXLO/New York, NY "99X"
- KLSX/Los Angeles
- WAVZ/New Haven, CT
- KHJ/Los Angeles, CA
- KSTT Davenport, IA.
1) What are some of the highlights in your 4 decades on the radio?
Programming the first FM station in a major market to number one 12+ (KFMB-fm, San Diego. ARB 1977)
Programming the highest Cuming FM in the country (WXLO/99X New York, 1,792,600, ARB 1978)
In 1985 I developed the "Hot AC" format for KFMB-fm San Diego and B-100 by melding the top hits from the AC and Top 40 music charts. This followed being fired from two stations for failing in my attempt to do the same thing.
My "No Bee Gees Weekend" on (99X)/New York in 1978, and the "No Michael Jackson Weekend" on WWSH/Philadelphia in 1982.
2) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
Not giving up and staying relevant and competitive with all other audio content providers. Maintaining passion and belief that radio is and always will be important.
3) How do you stay in tune with your audience?
Live the target demo. To do that, I've had to lie about my age, from when I pretended to be older to now pretending to be younger.
4) What do you do in your spare time?
My hobby is running my Internet station, "Bobby's B-100." (www.bobbysb-100.com) I am having a blast remembering when "autonomous" meant doing whatever I want with absolutely no regard to the norm. I can't begin to tell you how much fun it is to play only songs that I like and not worry that I am playing music (in my case a lot of songs) that don't test. Its pure gut and I don't have to worry about ratings or revenue or budgets or anybody else's opinion. It's how radio was when I started at age 15.
5) What has been your station's biggest accomplishment?
KMXZ has genuinely "made a difference" to people and causes in our community while maintaining the top 3 ranking 25-54 persons and #1 or #2 with 25-54 women since 1993.
6) What is it about your station that you feel really makes it cut through?
KMXZ has maintained a true mass-appeal and full service format for the 20 years I've programmed it and done the morning show. It's broad based and covers generations by playing AC hits from the 70's, 80's, 90's, 2000's, 2010's and today. And we do it with strong, local talent from 5a-7p. We constantly prove that serving the community and being live still pays off.
7) What was the biggest gaffe you've made on air? (dead air ... forget a mic was still on ... etc.)
I have always been passionate and in-the-moment, so signing on a new format in Los Angeles and Seattle got the best of my better judgment. In each case I was the first jock to unveil the new sound and in both cases I used a curse word to express my over-the-top thrill of being there. No, not THAT word, but one I've regretted to this day and it still haunts and embarrasses me.
8) What career path would you be following had it not been for this industry?
It is impossible to imagine since it's the only thing I've ever done. Whatever it is, I would have been miserable and likely a failure.
9) Who is the most amazing talent you've worked with?
There have been dozens I would put in that category. It would be impossible to name fewer than 25.
10) What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
Have fun... and sound like it. When it stops being fun, move on. I was once hot lined by a PD who told me I was "having too much fun" and that I needed to tone it down.