10 Questions with ... Don Rosen
July 8, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WGBB-A/Long Island, 1972-1977
- WLTA/Atlanta, 1977-1978
- WSB/Atlanta, 1978-1980
- WEZW/Milwaukee, 1980-1990
- WOKY/Milwaukee, 1991
- WEZY and WRJN-A/Racine, WI, 1991-TFN
- (Voicetrack) KBZQ/Lawton, OK, 2004-TFN
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
My dad was a traffic reporter in the mid 1960's for WINS (1010)/New York in their Rock'n Roll days. I had a Caravel transmitter (Remco?) at age 9. That was it.
2) Who do you consider your radio mentors?
Bob Lawrence (WGBB), Bob Ottone (WGBB), Bill Moos (WEZW), Cal Casey (Consultant).
3) What makes your station or market unique? How does this compare to other markets or stations you have worked at?
Racine is the smallest city I've worked in. What's great about being here, is that we can be 'The Racine Radio Stations', even though it's part of the Milwaukee-Racine market. The bigger guns in Milwaukee tend to concentrate on Milwaukee.
4) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
Too much competition. There are way too many ways to get music and information now. Radio still has many good years ahead, though. Count on it!
5) How do you feel terrestrial radio competes with the satellite radio, Pandora and Internet these days?
Sometimes poorly. You can't "out-music" satellite radio and Pandora, but some stations try. I don't. We add local personality. Something satellite radio and Pandora can't.
6) In your opinion, what is that special magic that makes a hit record "a hit?"
It's like this...a Broadway musical is a hit if you leave the theatre humming a tune. Same way with a record...if you are humming it after hearing it...it's a hit!
7) How do you prep yourself for your radio shift?
Since I do morning drive on the AC station and a Hot-Talk shift at 9am on our News-Talk station...I need different prep for each program. I watch the three cable news channels and a local news channel when I wake up at 4:21am. I try to catch Entertainment Tonight or TMZ the night before. I subscribe to InterPrep, E-Prep and use 24/7 Metro News. And...I always have a Diet Pepsi close by.
8) What is the most rewarding promotion or activity your station has ever been involved with to benefit the community or a charity?
"Coats for the Children." Over several years, we collected thousands of winter coats for children. At our distribution site, I saw a little girl grab one of the coats, smile, hug it and wouldn't let it go. That made it all worth while.
9) What is the biggest change that you'd like to see happen in the business?
Go back to doing radio. No Internet, Facebook, Twitter, Streaming. Oh, I was dreaming? Sorry.
10) What's the best piece of advice anyone's ever given you? The worst?
Best: My dad...don't do anything half-ass. My father was a poet.
What do you do in your spare time?
Road trips, especially Route 66.
What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
I never smoked a cigarette or drank a cup of coffee in my life!
What has been your station's biggest accomplishment?
To still be a top radio station and a money making success for 87 years!
What advice would you give people new to the business?
Do anything and everything in the business. Don't worry about the money. It will come eventually.
What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
If you work hard and keep your nose clean, you will always have work in this business. Must be true...I've never been let go from a job in 40+ years!