10 Questions with ... Danny Lyons in the Lyons Den
November 4, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WLIZ/West Palm Beach, FL - 1972-1974 (I started on my 18th Birthday)
- WWCO/Waterbury, CT - 1974-1978
- WAVZ & WKCI (KC101)/New Haven, CT - 1978-1983
- WNNNNNNBC/New York - Part Time - 1980 -1984
- WTIC/Hartford, CT - 1983-1987
- WEBE/Bridgeport, CT - 1987 to present
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
My father bought a 3M Wollensak reel-to-reel recorder for the whole family. But I managed to co-op it and sneak it into the basement where I would intro songs and write and produce commercials using the sound effects album that came with a stereo system at the time making the proverbial "basement tapes." I couldn't go to sleep without the radio on and that's still true today!
2) Who do you consider your radio mentors?
I have had the good fortune of working for some the greatest programmers of all time starting with Joe McCoy, Pete Salant, Steve Goldstein, Garry Wall, Buzz Brindle, Kevin Metheny and of course Curt Hansen who has shared his radio knowledge and philosophies with me for the past 35 years. I am thrilled that I can tap into the mind of one of the most brilliant programmers today, our Cumulus Sr. VP Mike McVay.
3) What makes WEBE and the Bridgeport, CT market unique?
How does this compare to other markets or stations you have worked at? Our market is flooded with 50+ signals coming in from New York City to Hartford, so our audience expects high quality programming at all times.
Connecticut is the land of steady habits and like me, our listeners have been at their jobs for 20+ years so they love the comfort factor of familiar music presented by familiar personalities. There's also a lot of flux in the market with families moving in from the "City" for our school systems and a better quality of life, so we need to constantly market outside to attract those new families to sample us and make us their new hometown station.We are in one of the most affluent counties with lots of commuters who listen on the way in and stick with us throughout the workday, as well as busy moms who spend a lot of time in the car.
Besides hearing their favorite songs, our traffic reports have become a signature feature on WEBE. And we are in the Top 5 cities in America with the worst traffic!
4) Please tell us about your recent ratings success?
WEBE108 has consistently been #1 since 1983. The station was an instant success playing "Todays Hits and Yesterday's Favorites," and we remain true to that today.
5) What is it about WEBE that you feel really makes it cut through?
Although our station is AC, WEBE has always used Top 40 formatics and our up, relatable air talent, imaging, and especially the jingles have always cut through. Our personalities have been on air for a very long time and live the life of our listeners, so there is a comfort factor.
6) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
The Digital Dashboard. There are a lot of distractions and music apps on the way, and I feel that as long as we remember our winning formula by staying local, presenting compelling content, and remaining active in the community, we can stay relevant and successful. LOCAL! LOCAL! LOCAL!
7) What are your thoughts on the growth of digital radio and how are you promoting your online brand?
WEBE108's brand is supplemented by both our website and social media. Our digital\online stations may very well siphon some TSL from us, but like with our on air product, our digital is local and is geared to match the lifestyle of a targeted 42 year old women in Fairfield County.
8) How do you stay in tune with your audience?
Answer every phone call, Facebook post, E-mail etc. Engage listeners at remotes and visit them at their workplace with free food. You'll have a friend for life!
9) What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Besides being a DJ, I always was interested in acting and film-making!
10) What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
Play the hits!
What do you do in your spare time?
I love to play golf on Sunday with my family and eat in restaurants where they know my name. The food always tastes better for some reason
What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
I once appeared on the ABC soap, "One Life To Live."
How did you get your on-air name?
It's Biblical. Daniel in the Lion's Den. Except the "Lyons Den" is a much friendlier place!