10 Questions with ... Daniel Weatherhogg
July 30, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Started at KBCS (college radio) in 2001
- Board Operator, Segment Producer at KRWM/KLSY/KIXI 2001-2003
- Programming Assistant (2005-2006) and APD/MD/Weekends (2006-2012) at KQMV
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
First thing is that I spend as much time as I possibly can with my family. Spending time with them always cheers me up and gives me the motivation to keep moving forward. My wife has always wanted me to be happy, and she knows that radio made me happy, so she tries her best to keep me motivated. The other thing that I do is that I allow myself to vent my frustration in a creative or productive outlet. Most of the time this means I take the golf clubs out and go hit a couple buckets of balls. Some of the time, what I do is pick a random station in the U.S. (mostly Top 40s) and give them a listen for three to four hours straight with at least two of those hours being in drive time. After that, I will sit down and write a station critique based off what I would do considering my knowledge, experience, and programming theories. I always tell myself that I will send it to that stations PD/OM ... but I never do. (I don't think most PDs would appreciate getting a two to three-page critique from some random person they've never heard of before.) I find it a good exercise that keeps my mental processes sharp while making me feel that maybe I do have the talent to keep doing this and I just need to wait for the right opportunity to come along.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I try to keep some of the same routines that I did while I was still working. I still look over the Mediabase charts on Monday, I still listen to new releases on Wednesday, and I still keep up on what the local stations rotation moves are. When I'm not doing that, I spend as much time playing with my kids as I can. I have a four-year-old and a three-year-old in the house ... and having the time to really watch them develop and grow has been a blessing. I still create remixes and custom edits for songs that I use when I DJ. When I'm not doing all of that, I work overnights for a local retailer and spend quite a bit of time helping my extended family with whatever they need.
3) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
While I know my doctors would like me to find a different career, it's never going to happen. I knew the moment I pushed the button that put my first song on the air that I would always be a radio guy. I have tried a lot of other things that I thought would be stable, rewarding career paths (I've worked in retail, been a waiter, detailed high-end cars, installed and serviced HVAC equipment, and even have spent time as a telemarketer), but I ALWAYS come back to wanting to be in radio. Nothing that I have done in my professional life has given me as much happiness as my time inside a radio station. Sometimes the stress of the job has literally almost killed me, but I still wake up the next morning excited to get into the office and do it all over again. I really hope that doesn't change any time soon.
4) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
My ideal situation would see me as a PD or OM of a Top 40 (Mainstream or Rhythmic) station. I am also interested in being a PD/APD/MD of a Hot AC/Mod AC or even an APD/MD of a Top 40 in a PPM market.
5) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
Hit or miss. Some companies really get it and make sure that you are notified of their decision toward you. Others ... well ... don't get it. I have taken interviews with some hiring managers for positions that I end up finding out were filled by reading All Access, when I still thought I was under consideration. I could understand not hearing back if I submitted my package and it was never under consideration. But if you took the time to contact me further about the position, at least send me an e-mail letting me know you decided to go a different direction.
6) What's the most unbelievable question you've ever been asked in an interview?
"Who's the better football team ... The New England Patriots or the Denver Broncos?" When I told them that I don't follow football but follow soccer instead, "What? There's professional soccer in the U.S.?" I'm actually happy that opportunity didn't work out.
7) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
While I don't typically have the radio on in the background through my day, I do find myself actively scanning through the channels when I am working out and driving (something that I didn't do before). I know more about what a lot of stations are doing, but less about everything any given station is doing.
8) What do you miss most about music/radio? The least?
What I miss most about being in radio is the constant bombardment of new music coming at me. While I do my best to keep on top of new releases, I know I am not catching them all as they come out. There were a lot of tracks that I used to get that never made it on air that I would fall in love with and add to my personal collection (or even remix for use in the clubs). I miss getting those tracks. What I miss the least is the calls at 2a because of some problem in the studio. I can go to bed at night and turn my cell phone off knowing that nobody will need to get a hold of me!
9) If you were offered a similar position to what you were doing for considerably less money, would you seriously consider taking the job just to stay in the biz?
I would have to say that 99% of the time I would seriously consider taking the position. If there is one thing that I have learned from my family, it's that you will always find a way to support yourself and your family if you are working at a job that you love. I would take a radio job where I would know that every morning I'd wake up excited to go to work over some other job making more money, but every morning I would consider trying to get away with calling out sick ... again.
10) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
My I.T. guy at KQMV had the best advice I have ever heard about breaking into radio, and I would tell it to anyone who asked me. When he would go talk to the local college, he would ask the class, "How many of you are seriously considering radio as a career?" 90% of the class would raise their hands. "How many of you with your hands up are willing to work overnights and holidays for years before getting a daytime slot?" 30-40% would still have their hands up. "How many of you would be willing to put your career in front of any relationship you may have now or will have in the future?" At most a handful of students would still have their hands up. "You few with your hands up, you have a chance of actually making it." Basically, it's a grind to make it. You're gonna work long hours at odd hours of the day. You're gonna end up working while your friends and family are out partying or at dinner. You're gonna get called last-minute to fill in for someone who can't make it in. The few people who can grind through that and still want to be a part of this have the best chance of making it big someday.
What's your handicap now that you've had time to practice?
With all the practice I have been able to get in since being on the beach (I get in a round a week with at least one trip to the range) ... I haven't made much progress with my handicap. My handicap is 14.