10 Questions with ... Kevin "Crash" Davis
September 13, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
From September 2002 to January 2011, I served as PD of Gainesville, FL's highly rated Classic Rock/Hits "Wind-FM." From '94-'02 some of my Country PD stops included Wichita, KS; Fort Wayne and Evansville, IN, as well as Radio One Networks, a Colorado-based satellite syndication provider (now a part of Dial Global). Prior to that I worked at some really cool and fun Top 40/Hot ACs throughout the Southeast. In the mid-'80s I got my start in my hometown of Nashville working part-time around some amazingly awe-inspiring talent and programmers.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
I've been taking advantage of being blessed with precious time off. This allows me to spend more time in prayer and devotionals. For the past several years I've been actively involved in various areas of ministry. Lately, though. while on the "beach" I've been able to amp up that commitment without distractions. I play bass guitar in the worship band at a contemporary mega-church and lead a small group Bible study ministry. Plus I stay in shape by walking about 25-30 miles per week. Great way to clear my head! I also read AllAccess.com daily to keep up with industry news and business trends.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
This has been the most exciting year of my life! By having "down-time," I have been able to check off a major bucket list item, and I mean MAJOR! That is to be a stadium P.A. announcer for a major league baseball team. I did just that for the Detroit Tigers during the pre-season exhibition games out of Lakeland, FL. But most importantly my wife and I adopted the most beautiful and adorable baby girl. She was born in April just after spring yraining. Perfect timing!
3) 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 ALWAYS strived to listen to my radio station as a listener, not as a radio person. That was the #1 practice I would preach to both my staff and when I managed "up" to my GM. But stepping away from day to day has been both eye and ear opening. Many but not all radio stations are bogged down with clutter, excessive rambling, clichés, self-serving meaningless, inside radio language that doesn't always connect with the listener.
There's a lot of hard-sell and the B.S. meter detects this -- the average Joe Q Listener is hip to it and doesn't always fall for it! There are many other exciting new choices than terrestrial radio to enjoy. Radio needs to take off the blinders and acknowledge this. The culture in radio needs to change and pretend it's the newest and most exciting invention. A radio station needs to be on a mission, have a purpose and be more relational with the audience.
This is not an attack on radio but a challenge to liberate ourselves from the soul-less results of stripping down and destroying a radio station in order to meet the bottom line ... AND it's a call to action to get our heads out of the sand! Traditional radio is so easy to access and it's such a habit when making an entertainment device choice. We've got a lot of momentum going for us! In light of a tricky economy and more diversions I am encouraged that we will persevere.
4) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
With the shrinking radio workforce, for the past few years or so I always thought that if/when this last PD gig would "end" that would probably be it for me and radio. So when I left earlier this year I was at peace to hang up the headphones for good. But now as time rolls on I know I am completely wired for this business. We were made for each other!
5) What's the longest stretch you've had on the beach?
By far now; since January 25, 2011! I've pretty much been in radio non-stop for 25 years until this present break. Other than taking a few days or a couple of weeks to get from one gig to another I've never been on the beach! I always had something lined up.
6) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
Ideally within my existing market of Gainesville-Ocala ... part-time OR full-time (PD or non-PD position is fine). If not, I'd love to get plugged in to a Florida station in and around or in between Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, etc. But if necessary for the right opportunity and situation I'll consider relocating out of my area for the next PD or OM job. Stability, nice people and a commitment to success are "musts."
7) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
Very little communication, but that is what I expected. PDs are typically spread too thin or have their hands tied. Been there, done that. I can relate and sympathize, so I expect little. My feelings won't be hurt.
8) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
Early in my career I survived and moved up by giving it my all and doing what others of my then-talent level were not willing to do or learn. Years later I am still in that mode. I love to learn and I ooze with passion for radio. This is so valuable for my next employer whether I serve as a PD and/or air talent. My formatic background is diverse. My on-air chops are solid with time in all dayparts. I actively embrace new/social media as well as video to leverage the success of a radio station and build relationships with the audience. My ears are keen and I possess laser focused attention to detail. Luckily I started in this business at a fairly young age. I bring years of experience to the table, but I'm decades away from being a 'burn-out.' Most importantly, I help produce a great product geared for ratings success to generate great revenue.
9) What have you learned about yourself, others, or life in general in your downtime?
God has another plan for me. I'm excited to embrace what is next. Despite the challenges of unemployment I am SO blessed. A lot of other folks are way worse off than me. And my heart is truly heavy for them. Even if I never work in radio again, the Lord's Grace is all I really need.
10) Is there anything specific that you regret doing while you were still working?
A lot of greatness came out of the speakers during my 8+ years as PD of an amazing Classic Rock station. I wish I would have airchecked more and archived some of the awesome imaging I produced! Sadly, I presently have very little to show for all of my work. I was truly committed to being a lifer; there WAS no "Plan B" for me at the time. ALWAYS assume that any given day could be your last working day. I regret not keeping a cleaner office ... LOL. Many of my personal belongings were left behind on that cold dark January day.
My favorite new diversion is...
My Baby Girl 'Addison' and my Pug Puppy 'Sweet Pea'