10 Questions with ... Brian Beddow
June 25, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WCVT/Baltimore - 1984-1988
- WTTR/Westminster - 1987-1994
- WGRX/Baltimore - 1994-1996
- WPXC/Cape Cod - 1996-1997
- WWBN/WQUS/Flint, MI - 1998-2008
- Metro Networks/Washington, DC - 2009-2012
- Centennial Broadcasting - 2009-present
- WTOP/Washington - 2012-present
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
I don't remember what initially got my interest... but I always knew from as young as I can remember that I would be on the air.
2) What makes your station or market unique? How does this compare to other markets or stations you have worked at?
A larger portion of the WINC-FM audience is in the Washington DC PPM market making it a regular in the DC Arbitron rankings. We have to program to both a PPM and a diary market at the same time.
3) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
We need to stop letting people convince us as an industry that we are less and less relevant. We still cume 92% of the population on a weekly basis. We MUST be doing something right!
4) How are you using social media to market your radio station?
We have found feeding important information (traffic, WX, etc) via twitter to be the most effective.
5) Your thoughts on Syndication and Voice-Tracking?
People in Peroria don't complain that Jay Leno does the Tonight Show from LA. There's a place for everything...including syndication and Voice tracking.
6) 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?
As long as we allow everyone to convince us that we don't know what we are doing, then these services will have a HUGE effect on us. We need to DIG IN and do what we do. Radio is MORE than a music delivery service.
7) How do you stay in tune with your audience?
For each of my four signals I have a few people I consider composite listeners who's lifestyle is EXACTLY in each station's demos. I make it a point to watch how they deal with all media in their day to day lives.
8) Who do you consider your radio mentor(s)?
There are two of them:
Dan Hayden: I met him when he consulted my stations in Flint, we continue to collaborate on projects.
Dwight Dingle: He is the GM that gave me my first PD gig. Sadly he passed away two years ago, but I imagine his advice everyday.
9) Who is the most amazing talent you've worked with?
There are too many to remember them all but some that come to mind:
Eric Thomas of WXYT/Detroit understands the medium as well as anyone I have ever met.
Zach Martin at WFAN/New York understands how to get to the payoff quicker than anyone I know.
10) What do you consider the key to your success?
What can we be doing with our station web sites to better our stations as a whole?
The more interaction is available, the more the audience will be likely to spend time on your website and you'll be able to funnel them back to listening to the station. So many people forget that last part, about getting them back to the station itself.
Tell us what music we would find on your MP3 player right now and what is it you enjoy about that particular selection?
Hail to the Redskins (Go-Go Mix) DJ Scott Mesina. I love the Redskins fight song and with Chuck Brown's passing, we're all about Go-Go music right now.
What do you do in your spare time?
What was the biggest gaffe you've made on air? (dead air ... forget a mic was still on ... etc.)
My headphones fell on the "on" button on the mic one day. Right in the middle of well shall we say - a Casey Kasem moment.
What led to your station's recent ratings increase?
We decided to stop worrying so much about sounding too much like a Winchester or a Washington DC station and instead, just sound like a GOOD station (WINC-FM).
How much leeway do you give your jocks to talk between records?
As much as they need to say something interesting...but no more than what they need.
What's the closest you ever came to getting arrested for an on-air stunt? Or did you actually get arrested?
When we all got fired in Baltimore - the morning show tried to get on the air (before they were fired) and were stopped before they got in the studio. The Baltimore Sun reported that I was arrested...I was home in bed.
What's the best piece of advice anyone's ever given you? The worst?
Best: People will put up with your BS only as long as they have to. So don't give any BS.
Worst: You should take this job in Cape Cod - you'll love it.