10 Questions with ... Bill Schulz
January 10, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
My radio career started back in 1988 for Journal Broadcast Group's WKTI-FM and WTMJ-FM/Milwaukee as a "do whatever it takes" to get to the next level radio guy.
That included answering the phones on the night show to taking out the trash. For some reason they decided to put me on a few overnight shows and it just kind of grew from there. I was the utility guy for about seven years trying to get my wings in the most impossible situation. "Impossible" meaning there was little to no growth at the stations due to incredible heritage talent on staff for many years. But, it provided me an incredible opportunity to learn and work with some of the most talented people in the industry.
In 1995 the Journal moved me to North Central Wisconsin to take on Promotions/mornings at 95-5 WIFC until it was purchased by Midwest Communications the following summer. I then decided to pack the U-Haul and head west to Reno/Tahoe and have been here ever since with Americom Broadcasting.
1) What Got You Interested In Radio? Who do you consider your radio mentors?
I knew very early in my childhood that I wanted to be on the radio and I would do whatever it took to make it happen.
I have way too many mentors to mention here and would not want to offend anyone that I could miss. There were so many people that influenced me and actually took the time to teach a young, hungry radio kid the ropes. At times it was almost like bootcamp for radio. Sometimes it was pretty harsh and air-hecks were brutal. But, this in was a large market and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from the best.
2) What makes your station or market unique? How does this compare to other markets or stations you have worked at?
Reno is a very competitive market with a lot of sticks in the metro and more on the way. No two markets are the same and every market has to be looked at that way. The Bay Area and Sacramento are just over the Sierra's and there is no comparison. It's the people.
3) What is it about your station that you feel really makes it cut through?
We have great local talent...that makes all of our stations sound like they are in a major market.
4) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
The hunger of new talent is not there any more. People don't look at radio and use radio as they did in the 80's/90's when I entered the business.
5) How do you prep yourself for your radio shift?
Prep is a 24/7 process. Keep your eyes open all the time for content. You never know when you will experience a gem. Also, never rely on the prep sheets. If you use canned material...you will sound canned on the air.
6) Do you have any music scheduling tricks you've learned that you wish to share?
Trust your gut. The rules can only get you so far. Know the music...how the track starts and how it fades. Also, the imaging that will go around it needs to be played out in your head first.
7) How do you feel terrestrial radio competes with the satellite radio and Internet these days?
It doesn't! A jock on 80's on 8 can't be talking to listeners at the Heart Walk or running into them at the grocery store. I had a clerk at Costco call me out the other day...that was kind of cool!
8) How do you feel about the new royalty rate increases for Internet radio and proposed royalties for terrestrial radio?
Radio made the recording industry period. Money is the root of all evil and greed from the recording industry will kill radio if allowed.
9) What advice would you give people new to the business?
Never loose the hunger or the desire to be the best at what you do. Also...know every day that you have the best job on earth.
10) What led to your station's recent ratings increase?
It's simple. Take the time and use the resources to figure out how to satisfy your listener base. Happy listeners bring you happy ratings!
1) How do you position the station musically?
You look for any potential holes in your market and you try to fill'em the best you can. You also have to look at what is best for your group of stations as a whole. You may have to make some sacrifices to achieve future success.
2) What's the best liner you've ever heard?
In Green Bay at WIXX-FM "We know Green Bay radio sucks...we just suck less...101 WIXX"
3) What is the most rewarding promotion or activity your station has ever been involved with to benefit the community or a charity?
When hurricane Katrina hit back in 2005 we wanted to do something. So we just decided to pick a parking lot on a busy corner and sit there with a Marti and a bucket to collect funds for the Salvation Army and their efforts in the region. I had high hopes of maybe a few grand...well that turned into over $400,000 in three days. I have never seen support of that kind for any other radio promotion, stunt, whatever in my career. Reno is not a large market....but the people have big hearts.
4) Favorite artist you have met?
Pink had to be the coolest of all. We talked at the Gavin cocktail party in San Francisco for over an hour when she was first starting out with Arista. This may be a shocker. But, she was pretty shy that night and very down to earth. She has proven her self to be a true talent in the industry.
5) What is the biggest change that you'd like to see happen in the business?
The change that needs to happen is that revenue needs to increase on and off the air. That is a struggle every broadcast company will have to deal with over the next few years.