10 Questions with ... Rob Acampora
August 6, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WHTG (FM 106.3 / Monmouth-Ocean, NJ), 1988-1997 - I went from part-time to full time and then into programming as Asst. MD, MD, APD and Interim PD at times during that duration.
- WBBO (B98.5) & WJLK (The Point)/Monmouth-Ocean, NJ - 1997-1998 - I juggled part time for both stations (averaging about 4 shifts a week).
- WAEB (B104)/Allentown-Bethlehem, PA - 1998-2000 - APD and afternoons.
- WHTG (G 106.3)/Monmouth-Ocean, NJ - 2000-2001 - I was PD for the station's re-launch.
- WSTW/Wilmington, DE - 2001-2010 - I did nights and afternoons.
- WSJO (SoJO 104.9)/Atlantic City-Cape May, NJ - 2011 To Present - Afternoons
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
Working at my college station WCUA/Washington, D.C. I got the chance to do the play-by-play for Catholic University's football and basketball for three years and I was hooked!
2) Who do you consider your radio mentors?
Each person below was a mentor for different reasons, but all have had an influence in some form.
Rich Robinson, PD of WBJB in Monmouth County, NJ (my 1st boss).
Mike Kaplan, PD of "The End" and "The Mountain" in Seattle (he taught me Selector and gave me a leg up toward my next job)
Kidd Kelly, Director of Sirius/XM's Pop Division (he gave me confidence when he gave me the chance to interview for a job at Z-100 ages ago)
Brian Check, OM of Clear Channel in Philly (he taught me more about the business and what you need to be successful).
3) What makes your market unique? How does this compare to other markets or stations you have worked at?
WSJO is unique because of its overall cume. SoJO needs to keep the Atlantic City market close in order for success and precious advertising revenue, yet the station also needs to serve the Southern New Jersey audience west of the market because geographically it's vast, audible even across area bridges to Pennsylvania.
4) What can we be doing with our station web sites to better our stations as a whole?
Townsquare Media is committed to having active websites for all its stations and they are committed to this unlike any company I have ever seen. This makes them a great example for others to follow. At Townsquare Media posting is as important as what goes on the air! They have created entertainment websites (Pop Crush, Screen Crush, The FW), a new kind of rewards program that is connected to all of the TS Media stations (creating a better pool of prizes), and this company is prepared for the change that radio is and will go through.
5) What do you like best about working in the Hot/AC formats compared to other genres?
Hot AC is not much different than other formats I have worked in. To me, SoJO is a well-programmed Adult Top 40 that lets the music shine and be the star that it is. All I do is what I've done in the past (maybe just a little less in your face than when I was at WSTW in Wilmington, DE and more like what I did when I was at WAEB in the Lehigh Valley PA.
6) What has been your station's biggest accomplishment?
I would say WSJO's overall cume audience being at an all-time high!
7) What are your thoughts on the new season of American Idol?
Mariah Carey is going to judge?!?!?! They are entertaining Charlie Sheen to judge?!?!?! If they want comedy, at least get someone with some singing talent (Eddie Murphy has at least a hit single and an Oscar nomination for playing a singer). If they have the guts, place a call to Kelly Clarkson or Sharon Osbourne they would both be no joke!
8) Please describe the best radio moment you've ever been part of?
In the winter of 1994, a major storm dumped a couple of feet of snow. My boss Bruce McDonald and I were keeping the station on for four days straight! We did not have automation of voice tracking then. I did 17 straight hours at one point, and I collected a lot of overtime. That is a crazy four days I will never forget!
9) What was the most successful low budget promotion idea your station ever did?
I would say "Surfstock!" This was a beach concert on the Jersey Shore with a promotional budget of $0. The event became an annual traditional for many years in Ortley Beach, NJ.
10) Who is your best friend in the business?
My girlfriend Paula Ryan, the morning host from WXCY (serving Wilmington, DE and Baltimore, MD), who is my best friend in life! She would agree that I spend a good chunk of time keeping in touch with my other good friend Johnny B from KLAK just outside Dallas. Wwhen we talk, it's usually a long time, and a great deal about radio.
What do you do in your spare time? What are your hobbies?
I walk. I enjoy walking (very relaxing). I also enjoy Texas Hold 'Em, and the occasional round of golf, and following baseball and the stats.
What is your favorite TV show?
My girlfriend and I watch a lot of Chopped on the Food Network, and Weeds on Showtime (cannot believe it is the last season).
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A successful golfer on the PGA Tour. My nephew may carry this torch now. He's shooting in the 70s on most Apr 72 courses and he's only 14!
What career path would you be following had it not been for this industry?
I figure it would have been something to do with numbers like accounting, statistics, or teaching.
Who is the most amazing talent you've worked with?
There have been many! John Vena (promotions for AEG Live) for his promotional genius in the 90's at WHTG for making things happen with little to no budget.
Ken Matthews, former morning host for B104 in the Lehigh Valley PA. He owned the market! He could have ran for Mayor in the area and won!
The group I hired to re-launch WHTG as "G 106.3" was pretty spectacular too! Most went on to bigger things: Stacey X is now host of the syndicated show "The Tour Bus" Dave Moore is now afternoons on B101 in Philly. Scott Rizzuto is doing mornings at KPNT in St. Louis. Michele Amabile is now reporting for the likes of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. Hell, I got the chance to hire my old PD Rich Robinson to be a part of all this!