10 Questions with ... Doug Daniels (Holzmeier)
June 12, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
In my 30+ year radio career, I am probably best known for being a Mainstream AC turnaround specialist. I programmed the following stations to #1 25-54/Women Arbitron ratings: KONA-FM/Tri Cities; WZSR/Chicago-Crystal Lake; WGFB/Rockford; WVAF/Charleston and WKWK/Wheeling. WKWK and WGFB were nominated for AC Station of the Year by Gavin and Radio & Records magazines, respectively.
In addition to programming, I have doubled as Ops Manager in Tri Cities, Chicago and Wheeling; and performed morning drive for 20 of my 30 years in the industry. I fulfilled my dream of working at the legendary Top 40, Most Music 92X/Columbus, in the late 1980s along with contemporaries Jon Zellner and Tony Coles.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
Eighteen months before my layoff, I began taking spiritually based courses at my church. The classes encourage self-empowerment. It not only helped me navigate my way through this "off" time from the business but it has led to an additional vocation as an inspirational author; motivational speaker and life coach.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
As mentioned in the previous question, I have authored an inspirational book using spiritual principles to create and live the Undeniable Life. The book is called "You Are God's Best Idea!," published by a subsidiary of Hay House, which publishes the Wayne Dyer books. I already have the follow-up written which will be released in 2013. I also just put the finishing touches on a screenplay about my early years in radio called "Stairway to Cleveland."
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.
To be honest, some of the people I talk to on the inside of the business seem to be having a more difficult time than me. They are "hanging on." It seems so counter to what radio is supposed to be -- a fun and exciting way to entertain and serve our communities. I hope, by returning to day-to-day broadcasting, I can remind the industry, or at least my cluster, of why it is we do what we do and HOW to do it well and make it fun again.
4) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
The skill set I have developed over the past three years regarding motivation and Life Coaching, has prepared me to be a powerful and positive force for a forward-thinking operation. I do plan on returning to the business, but it may be in a capacity where I can positively influence many stations in multiple markets as opposed to one or two in a single cluster.
5) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
As hinted in the previous question, I'd like to, ideally, be a person who can promote better GM and PD relationships. It is beyond sad how these two managers often end up at cross purposes. It should NEVER happen, yet so often does. I have always had GREAT relationships with my GMs. I would love to go into markets where there may be a riff and be a HEALER, so companies avoid unnecessary and costly programming (or GM) turnover.
Otherwise, I'd love to program in a top-35 market, specifically Columbus, Cincinnati or Cleveland ... or someplace WARM!
6) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied?
One of my best days was when Dave Popovich at CBS in Cleveland called, just to see how I was doing. Other class acts are Tony Coles and Jon Zellner and, of course, Joel Denver.
One of the tough calls a prospect has to make is in balancing persistence with being a "pest." Just how many "here's my latest resume" e-mails and "situation wanted" All Access posts can you do before they become counter-productive? I have great empathy for some of my fellow broadcasters who I see posting every day. I feel your pain.
7) Are you finding salaries/benefits lower than you ever thought, about the same, or have you seen some pleasant surprises?
It's so weird. I have seen small, unrated markets in Wyoming and North Dakota offering salaries in the mid-30s, which is also what I have seen in many Top-150 markets. In either case, those are salaries I made 15-20 years ago. I consider myself a major-market talent, especially as a PD. I understand that the six-figure positions that were the industry norm in the 1990s are fewer and farther between, but we should still be talking well above $50,000 for 20+ year vets with proven track records.
8) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
In the AC world I have been in over the past 22 years as a PD, I have always held down a drive-time daypart. I know of few other top quality PDs who still do an AM-drive show. And I have been my cluster's OM for most of the past 20 years as well. I even sold advertising the last 15 months I was at KONA Radio - and often - I was the #1 sales person on staff, based on hitting the percentage of my budget. Who else in the industry can say that?!
By the way, I don't want to spin that many plates again. But,\ the fact that I have a skill set that expansive has got to place me in the SERIOUSLY CONSIDER pile, most of the time.
9) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
The next one! Seriously, it's the one coming up.
I was thrilled to learn that the two suburban Chicago stations I programmed in 2007 (Hot AC WZSR and Oldies WWYW) both achieved their best Chicago market ratings ever, up to that time. I made those two stations sound like CHICAGO - and we kicked ass, even though we were an hour from the heart of Chicago!
10) What have you learned about yourself, others, or life in general in your downtime?
I've learned that I am not my job. The message of my book is that, regardless of my income and social status, I am still divine and important, needed and necessary, loved and the Beloved. I am a child of the Most High.
Any books you can recommend to people who need something inspirational to read?
Yes! My book. I can use the royalties!! It is "You Are God's Best Idea! Divine Acceptations and Living the Undeniable Life" (Hay House/Balboa Press). If you order from me direct, I'll personally sign your copy!