10 Questions with ... Philip Moore
July 14, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- KTRC/Santa Fe, NM, - Part-Time to PD - 1970-1977
- KOB/Albuquerque NM - Promotion/Programming, and nearly every day part - 1977-1997
- KMGA/Albuquerque NM - Morning Show - 1997-2014
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
I was an electronics geek by age 10 or so, experimenting with old vacuum tube receivers and antenna tuning tricks for amping up distant signals. I discovered the Rock music on WLS/Chicago and KIMN/Denver before any local stations played it and was hooked as a listener. I could tell the DJ was having way more fun than most people!
2) Who do you consider your radio mentors?
Just about every PD I've worked with has been brilliant in some way. The first one I think of is the late Steve Hatley back in the 80s. He encouraged us to ignore the obvious and tedious, and talk to the most intelligent audience in all history in a focused way. He created such a comfortable environment for talent that the station really couldn't lose. I believe KOB-FM (then owned by Hubbard Broadcasting) topped at a 15 share under his leadership. It was number one by a wide margin for years.
3) Now that you are retiring, what are your plans for the future and will you still be involved with radio in some way?
I can't help thinking that my own short attention span and Internet blogging were somehow made for each other? I love to write, and while I'm a total introvert (which is not uncommon in this business) I've become an almost-extrovert with a keyboard. I'm looking forward to lots of editing. I still plan to do some spots for a few favorite clients. Those who let me do what ever I want quickly became my favorites.
4) What makes the Albuquerque market unique?
It's not quite what you see on "Breaking Bad." The boom/bust business cycles tend to be more moderate here, possibly due to massive national funding for the labs. The weather is so consistently sunny (barely 8 inches of rainfall a year) I used the weather jingle to rhapsodize about the aroma of Cocoa Puffs baking at the General Mills plant or other goofiness. The Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande are breathtaking features.
5) After 37 years in the business, what is one of your greatest radio memories?
The day we gave away a house was a dramatic moment. People were lined up for blocks hoping to win it. It was the biggest promotion I was ever involved in. The winner was in orbit, of course... and at the same time I watched hundreds of disappointed people who didn't win walk away. I've had mixed feelings about radio contests since then. There are better long term ways to connect with our listeners.
6) Over the past couple of decades, the radio business has gone through some major changes including digital music technology, social media, automation, consolidation, and many others. Please tell us what it was like to be part of these changes over the years?
When I started we were using heavy tone arms that made the records scratchy. That was "air-able" only because AM radio tended to muffle everything. Razor blades were used to splice magnetic tape. Great production was possible but painfully slow. I love the ease of digital audio now, even if there is a price to pay in ear fatigue.
Social media makes it possible to communicate with listeners who would have gotten a busy signal in the old days. This is still a people business and in that respect the changes have only been superficial. Now I miss hearing quirky beginners on the air... but fortunately there's an endless array on YouTube. I believe I heard some vinyl scratch added to a digitally recorded Bruno Mars song for flavor.
7) How did you prep yourself for your daily radio shift?
Real life is always the best prep. A waitress telling me how a famous actor treated her when he was in town trumps shiny PR!
Is there an uncommon part of the city that deserves to have its picture painted with words? I tend to read everything from The Atlantic to fark.com. The beauty of radio in the age of information flowing like a fire hose is in the process of elimination: there's never a shortage, just leave out the dull stuff. I always enjoy the hilarity of a botched quest for customers, like the blueberry yogurt that contained no actual blueberries.
8) What is the biggest change that you'd like to see happen in the business?
How about encouraging those who bought a station ONLY for the money to open a nice bank or a fast food franchise instead! This has been a problem even before consolidation. Cheaping out can lead to the radio version of blueberry yogurt with fake blueberries. Listeners are way too media wise to stick around for it.
9) Have you gotten any good feedback from listeners?
Here's my favorite: the guy who asked me if Phil Moore is my real name. I told him it was. He said he's sure that's a porn name and that he's seen me in some movies.
10) What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
Listening, for me is better than talking. I love to ask questions and I am naturally curious and fascinated by people. Listening carefully to one radio station that offered me a job saved me from a possibly disastrous job hop. Maybe we all are listeners before we can be broadcasters.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love to bike. Albuquerque is blessed with some incredible bike trails and beauty that is just not available by car. Picture a sixty year old guy and a bike with one gear so the scenery passes very slowly and sensuously.
What advice would you give people new to the business?
Pay attention to your stress level. You'll get lots of advice to work harder than ever and you probably do. The curious thing I've noticed over the years is that good ratings rely on inspiration over perspiration (apologies to my hero Thomas Edison who said the 98% perspiration was what counted for genius).
There is an easy going feel to a station that has been artfully strategized. It's fun and easy to execute. I believe the listeners pick up on that even if they're not aware of it. The win begins with the plan. High anxiety in the building has a way of getting transmitted, even with the best of intentions.