10 Questions with ... Doc Thompson
June 21, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WZOO/Ashtabula, WKDD/Akron, WQAL/Cleveland, KKNB/Lincoln, KFBI/Las Vegas, WMJI/Cleveland, KAGM/Albuquerque, WRVA/Richmond, WLW/Cincinnati. Also filled in at WMAL/Washington, WTVN/Columbus, WTAM/Cleveland, Glenn Beck Show.
1. You were part of the morning team (and production director) at Majic in Cleveland for years, and then you moved to talk radio. What precipitated that move -- why talk radio?
While at Majic, I realized my true passion is personality radio and TALK radio offers a great platform for personality. While working fulltime in Cleveland I started guest hosting for talk stations all over the country. I left to grow my career, and although I made some bad career moves, it ultimately was a blessing.
2. You're doing shows for both WRVA and WLW; have you found differences between the audiences (and, for that matter, in other markets where you've worked)? What are the similarities? Do you make any adjustments in what you do based on the different stations' listenership, or is it all the same?
There are some adjustments for local topics, but my approach is basically the same.
3. How would you describe your show to a newcomer? What makes you different?
The PC description: Doc hosts a topic-driven show from a Conservative/Libertarian perspective with a lot of passion and humor.
My description: I'm a loud smart ass!
4. Who would you say have been your greatest influences or inspirations in the business?
- I got a great radio education from John Lanigan, Jimmy Malone and Chip Kullik at WMJI!
- John Bulmer (Former owner WZOO-Ashtabula) He was a good radio guy.
- Glenn Beck for the opportunity to guest host for him!
- Jimmy Barrett (WRVA PD) he has helped me grow!
- Jeff & Flash (former WMMS mornings) when that style of radio was popular... they were the best!
5. You've been management (in Albuquerque and Dothan), and talent (everywhere); what would you say, if anything, your management experience taught you that applies to your current job? Did you get anything from being on the "other side" of the business as PD or OM, like, say, an appreciation for what the bosses go through?
I realized that I am not nearly PC enough to be the boss. Bosses have to do a lot of "compromising." I am much better when I have the luxury of not dealing with the many layers of BS bosses have to.
6. If you hadn't gone into radio, what do you think you'd be doing today?
Living under a bridge and talking to myself... or maybe a politician! (They have equal societal significance)
7. Of what are you most proud?
With all the changes and down-sizing... I guess I am most proud to have survived 20+ years!
8. How do you do two shifts on two stations in two markets? How do you prep for both, how much duplication do you allow yourself in topics, how do you find the energy?
Before I agreed to do two daily shows I talked to Joe Pags (who hosts 2 daily shows in Houston & Austin) and he warned me how difficult it is but also told me how rewarding it can be. He was right about the difficult part. I'm still waiting for the rewarding part. (hahaha)
It is exhausting but the most difficult part is finding enough time to surf, read and prep. I work a minimum of 13 hours a day and I always want to do more prep but I just don't have the time. I can duplicate an average of 40%-50%.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ___________.
...at least 2 hours of sleep!
10. What's the best advice you've ever gotten? The worst?
Best: "Don't stand on principle!"
Worst: "Don't stand on principle!"