10 Questions with ... Steven Mills
August 27, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- KMAJ/Topeka, KS
- KLZR/Lawrence-Kansas City,KS
- KMXW/Wichita, KS
- KANR/Wichita, KS
- KTBT/Tulsa, OK
- KBLR/Omaha, NE
- KQKQ/Omaha, NE
- KQIZ/Amarillo, TX
- KSZR/Tucson, AZ
- WXMT/WBYB Olean, NY
- WLVY/Elmira, NY
- WOKN/Elmira, NY
- "Sunday Nite Slow Jams"
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
I used to listen to Chris King on KPRS in Kansas City and I thought, "I could do that!"
2) How would you describe your first radio gig?
It was pretty cool. My Station Manager, Brother Ken Scates gave me an opportunity that I can never fully repay him for!
3) What makes your station or market unique? How does this compare to other markets or stations you have worked at?
WLVY and WOKN in my home market (Elmira, NY) are heritage stations. I have the ability to really "direct" the programming. The owner of the company gives me his blessing.
4) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
Cutbacks! Along with the under utilization of radio's digital properties.
5) How do you interact with your sales staff, and how do you position the station to prospective clients?
I am a business Program Director. I work with sales hand-in-hand, daily. I have the CRMC and CRSM sales certification which allow me to better see things from a sales point of view.
6) What is your favorite radio station outside of the market and why?
That would be WIOQ in Philly. Romeo has done a great job with this station. It is going to take a really skilled person to fill his shoes.
7) Have you explored launching an HD Radio channel?
I used to have mixed feelings about this, but HD Channels allow you to attach translators to them which could touch a whole other group of listener customers that you are not currently touching... "Yes" would be my answer.
8) How often do you go out on sales calls and what is your role?
I go on sales calls a couple of times per week. I play the informational guy about each of our formats!
9) How do you feel about the new royalty rate increases for Internet radio and proposed royalties for terrestrial radio?
I have no problems with them. The artists need to be paid for their music.
10) What do you enjoy most about music scheduling?
The ability to hand schedule the log and massage the music to draw an emotion. I am not the F10 Selector guy by any means. (Thanks to Todd "Shannon" Pitts for teaching me the right way!)
Who do you consider your radio mentor(s)?
Skip Dillard, Sam Weaver, Lyman James, JJ Morgan, the late Tom Land, Beverlee Brannigan, and R-DUB!
What do you do in your spare time?
Play the piano.
What type of features do you run on the station?
We run a "Mystery Music Montage," "The Dirty on the Thirty," and "Phone Scams" among others.
Who is the most amazing talent you've worked with?
That would be Kid & Ruben, formerly of KZON in Phoenix.
What's the best hire you've ever made?
That would be Hotboy, of KBLR-FM/KOPW-FM Omaha!!! The guy is sharp!
How did you get your on-air name?
The name "Stevie Swing" came from the term New Jack Swing coined by Barry Michael Cooper (given to me by my dear friend and owner of NJS4EVER, Andrew "Knyte" Ahiakpor).
Who were your early influences?
Dan Kieley, Chris King, Joel Denver, Todd Shannon, Derrick Brown, Jerry Boulding, Myron Fears, Tracy Austin, Mark Strickland, and Rusty Walker.
What are your hobbies?
Music, the casino, and the Candle Club (A private members-only club in the ICT.)
Who is your best friend in the business?
Joseph (Jo Jo) Collins.