10 Questions with ... Randy Price
May 10, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I came to WQYK/Tampa 20-plus years ago from WJEZ/Chicago. I was only in town a week when I got a phone call from the PD of the new Country station in Chicago, WUSN, wanting to know if I'd be interested in coming back. I told him that my children had just started school and that I'd pass on the offer. He told me that if I didn't leave Florida within the next six months my career would be over. I wouldn't change a thing. I found a place to dig in and make home. It's been fun. I've been able to be a part of WQYK's ride to national recognition as one of America's great radio stations. WQYK has been cited as CMA Major Market Station of the year, and I have had the privilege to receive the "2008 CMA Major Market Broadcast Personality of the Year" award. Even though my future is without WQYK, I hope to continue the fun of being a part of another drive to excellence.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
After I finish the first bottle of Jack, I start on the second ... just kidding, Mom! I have been using the oldest trick in the book: Getting my mind off me! For me that's been getting involved with charities like the Susan G. Komen for the Cure fundraisers and some local St Jude events, plus outreaches through my church. So far, so good! I haven't jumped off the Skyway bridge or opened that bottle of Jack!
2) Some people get discouraged or enlightened with the business when they actually step out of it for a while. Tell us your observations from the outside.
I'll tell you what I miss the most -- and I never thought much of it until it was gone -- and that's having a forum to help people. Whether it's encouraging the neighborhood little league or saluting the volunteer firefighters, radio people have a gene that's designed to stand up and shout praises and encouragement to our village, big or small. I miss that.
3) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
Other than All Access, it almost always comes down to someone who knows someone. Yet you can't stop doing your due diligence -- responding to all the postings that might be right for you, making the cold calls, etc. Because somewhere in all that, is that someone who knows someone.
4) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
Mosquito control officer for Pasco County, Florida. Good pay for killing the things that annoy you. The rest of us should have it so good. If not that, drive-time radio. Just having fun being yourself ... it doesn't get any better than that!
5) Are you finding salaries/benefits lower than you ever thought, about the same, or have you seen some pleasant surprises?
There's no way around it; this is a bad time to be on the outside looking in. Companies in trouble can't afford to pay what they used to and those companies that are doing okay have 500 qualified people lined up around the block. But if you're the one who can spin the PPM, make the sales staff sing, and get the clients begging for more, they'll remember where they locked up their wallets. "Ain't America great!"
6) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
By keeping up with the times. Radio is a changing medium. From station websites to fan Facebooking, you really have to expand your reach in all mediums. You have to reach beyond programming to clients and community and bridge that gap to create win-win opportunities. The way I figure it, make the man money and he'll remember your name.
7) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
More now that I'm on the beach. Before, my focus was on one station in one town. Now my ears have to wake up to a larger universe and with the Internet I can listen into the heartbeat of any city in the world via radio. It really is quite amazing. Plus, one of the benefits of being "out of the box" for a while is that I get to listen to radio with a listener's ears. It really gives you their perspective on radio; in the long run it will make me better at what I do.
8) Are you able to slow down and enjoy free time doing things with your family and friends that you probably did not have time to do while you were working?
Apart from the underlying financial concerns, I'm learning the importance of having a supportive family. We are zeroing in on the important things and our eyes are seeing the needs of others around us. In seeing those needs our troubles grow smaller and we grow closer. I'm not trying to blow smoke here; that really has been our experience. When our eyes fall back on us, depression usually follows. That too has been our experience.
9) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
A case could be made for the "2008 CMA Major Market Broadcast Personality of The Year Award," but what touches me most is when a 20-something comes up and says, "I grew up with you on the radio." That makes me a part of the soul of my community. Beat that!
10) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
Do it because you love it. If you're doing it because you want to be a star or make lots of money, forget it. There are plenty of things you can do to make a lot more money. I tell the kids who come by, "Pick something to do in life that you love so much, you can deal with the crap that goes with it." Every profession has a plateful.
Care to contribute a low-cost recipe to our "ON THE BEACH" cookbook?
Still in development is the "Randy Price's 236 Ways to Serve Potted Meat" ... three cans for a dollar. Life is good.