10 Questions with ... Danny Wright
April 30, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- KIOI San Francisco CA - Board Op, Production, Promotions, and Morning Monkey for Don Bleu show - 1997 to 1999
- KZQZ San Francisco CA - Producer/Sidekick - The Woody Show - 1999 to 2001
- KDND Sacramento CA - Weekend/Swing - 2001 to 2002
- KSXY Santa Rosa CA - Mornings/APD - 2001 to 2004
- XHTO El Paso TX - Mornings/APD - 2004 to 2005
- KSXY Santa Rosa CA - Afternoons/PD - 2005 to 2006
- KNGY San Francisco CA - Weekends And Night Jock for a while - 2005 to 2006
- KMHX Santa Rosa CA - Afternoons/PD - 2006 to Present
1) You recently launched a nationally syndicated one-hour new music show called "The Spotlight with Danny Wright" What is your goal with this new show and how can you help stations fill a specific niche in their programming schedule?
I know that a lot of programmers and radio owners are "afraid" of new music and people have told me that I'm crazy to try and get a whole show of new music on the radio. The reality is that there is more competition now for radio than ever before. Radio is not only competing for listenership, but for top of mind awareness.
We in radio need to not only compete but evolve. The Spotlight is a new music show geared to Hot AC/AC/Adult Top 40 stations. As a programmer of a station of this format, when was the last time you added a new show that was because it was about the music and not about celebrity trash? It's a show about the music, not about celebrity tweets or gossip. I'm not trying to be Ryan Seacrest or Billy Bush. They are great at what they do, and those shows obviously have a place on the radio but that's not what The Spotlight is.
The goal of the show is to give our demo the newest songs from their favorite artists, like Adele, Kelly Clarkson, Jason Mraz etc. But also to let them know about new songs from new artists we think they will like plus interviews and acoustic performances! For the stations, you give your listeners an experience of just one hour out of your week (maybe two as I am working on a two-hour version of the show). Listeners get to feel like they are cooler than anyone else because they are discovering new music maybe even before their kids! It can be a safe haven for new music on your station without giving up your familiar sound. The feedback from listeners and stations caring the show has been nothing but positive.
2) What criteria do you use to select the new music for your show?
Like I said, the show is tailored for Hot AC or similarly formatted stations. So obviously, core artists with new music will get the first crack. But, I have been able to see artists like Eric Hutchinson, Newton Faulkner, Mat Kearney, or Matt Nathanson perform and they have blown me away. So I'm always looking for next artist or songs that will fit that mold. Having said that, I'm pretty open to hearing anyone who is interested... Everyone has to start somewhere!
3) Since we last spoke, Mix 104.9 has moved from Hot AC to more of an AC direction. What has been the reaction of your audience to these changes?
I like to call us an AC with a Hot AC soul. But, I guess that is how AC is evolving anyway. We haven't changed our on air presentation or imaging much. We've mostly tweaked the music. The reaction has been positive, but I think it's more subconscious because we didn't "Shock The Cume."
4) How do you prep yourself for your radio shift and The Spotlight?
Prepping your show is one of the most important things you do daily. Like most radio talents, I try to keep up on music news, local events, and keep track of my life experiences etc. Then I try to tell the stories the best I can over :07 intros :)
5) How are you using social media to market your radio station?
Social media is HUGE for us not only at KMHX but for The Spotlight as well. It's perfect for radio, since radio was the first social media! Where else can you instantly get feedback from your audience and see their face at the same time? Communicating through social networking is a big part of everyday in radio. Teasing what's going on with the station or getting their opinion on issues that are important to them will only make you better and market your product.
6) How do you stay in tune with your audience?
Communicate! Talk with them on Facebook or Twitter, on the phones, or out at events. Find out what's important to them... that's why we are actually here! To benefit their daily lives!
7) How do you feel terrestrial radio competes with the satellite radio, Pandora and Internet these days?
Soon, when everyone can get the internet through their car console the game will change completely. You will be able to listen to any station in the world in your car. Local radio will have to be just that... LOCAL... I can hear Drake on any station, but what can you tell me about what's going on this weekend? Plus offering up specialty programming like, oh I don't know... THE SPOTLIGHT will help your audience stay engaged.
8) Apple, Amazon, Spotify, and many others have recently introduced music in "The Cloud." What effect will these new music services have on the radio and music industries?
Obviously it has already changed both the music industry and radio. It's all a part of the competition that I mentioned earlier. We not only have to compete but evolve. It wouldn't kill us to think outside the box and do something we wouldn't normally do once in a while.
9) What is the biggest change that you'd like to see happen in the business?
Get back to doing radio for listeners, for the passion of the art of entertaining radio and not to please bankers.
10) Are new technologies like on demand music, videos, TV, streaming, and mobile smart phone apps replacing consumer's interest in traditional media such as radio, the CD, or even the MP3 player? Or are these new technologies actually enhancing traditional media?
If promoted properly, these new technologies will enhance traditional media. How great is it to tell your listeners that they no longer have to worry about being with you or your show at a specific time. They can listen anytime on their smart phone! That is huge!
What advice would you give people new to the business?
Learn everything you can, when you can. If you are in school, get a degree in something else. The more you know about other things and not just broadcasting the better you will be in this industry.
What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
Hard work pays off. But as the old saying goes, you still need to "Work to live, not live to work." In radio, it's easy to forget that because we are so passionate about our careers. But, living my life with my wife, daughter, and my family and friends has made me a better personality on the radio and a better human being overall.