10 Questions with ... Chuck Knight
October 29, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- KKRC/Sioux Falls, SD - '78-82
- WLXR/La Crosse, WI - '83-85
- KRNQ/Des Moines, IA - '86-'90
- WENS/Indianapolis - '91-93
- WYXR/Philadelphia - '94-95
- WSNY/Columbus, OH - '96-07
- WBEB/Philadelphia - '08-present
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
Hearing the magic that came out of a radio speaker! It was bigger than life! I discovered it when I was seven years old, so I'm lucky to be living my life-long dream.
2) WBEB (B-101) recently received their 8th Marconi Award. Please tell us about the thrill of receiving this honor and how your staff achieved this accomplishment?
It all starts at the top with owner Jerry Lee and VP/GM Blaise Howard. Their commitment to doing radio the right way is well documented. We're all honored to be part of the B101 team. It carries a big responsibility to continue the success that others before us built. We work smart, we work hard, and we never rest. Marconi awards are a huge honor because they come from your peers. Winning is a great feeling! But I think we're all happiest for Jerry when we win these.
3) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
First, it's being proud of our vibrant industry which reaches 93% of the population every week. Second, we need to educate Madison Avenue and Wall Street that there are demos below and above 25-54 that advertisers need to reach.
4) How are you using social media to market your radio station?
We put more emphasis on engaging our followers rather than trying to build big numbers who never pay any attention to what we're sending out.
5) What marketing techniques have you found to be most effective for your station?
We'll spend more than anybody else ever could. We usually outspend the rest of the market combined. We'll use anything that works. TV remains a very important part of our mix.
6) How do you stay in tune with your audience?
Jerry and Blaise continue to commit excellent research resources to keeping our finger on the pulse of what B101 listeners want, need and desire from us. Nobody in the industry does more research than we do.
7) Describe your weekly music meeting and how you select your new music. What percentage is gut, research, sales, video play, and chart position when determining the status of a record?
Research and gut guides us on new music adds. This isn't an out-of-the-box format so we're usually picking up on things that the market has already made somewhat familiar.
8) How often does your airstaff front and back-sell songs?
We do pre-recorded title and artist announcements on the end of every song. We call them "Song Tags."
9) 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?
Radio is a free music service that listeners can count on to introduce them to new things and still play the songs from the past years they like. With our content we provide localism, relatability and companionship. Radio will continue to be the driving force behind music.
10) What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
Honesty. If we have honesty in our relationships, we can work our way through anything. If we don't have honesty, we have nothing upon which to build trust and a relationship.
What's the best piece of advice anyone's ever given you?
Steve Rivers was the VP of Programming when I was working in Pyramid Broadcasting in the 90s. He had Scott Shannon speak at one of our PD meetings. Scott said there are three words that will take every on-air break to success..."Preparation, Concentration, Moderation." That's true. I use those words almost daily to help make us better.
As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
Get a college degree in another area of interest other than Mass Communications. Your passion will take you where you want to go in this business. However, if in ten years you figure radio isn't what you want to be doing, you have a head start on another career choice.
What advice would you give people new to the business?
Radio is like baseball. Baseball players start in Class A ball, working on their pitching, hitting, and fielding. Then they move up to Class AA. If they're good enough they move up to Class AAA. If they're really, really good they move up to the Major Leagues. Radio's the same.
What is the biggest misconception about your station?
Everything you hear about B101 is true...and more. It's the best radio station in the business.
Besides your own, what format would you like to program and why?
I like teaching. By its nature, the Top 40 format always has young people who are eager to learn.