10 Questions with ... Mike Mason
January 19, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started as a part-time on air talent in July 2002 and, over the next nine years, I broke into doing sports imaging, which eventually led to my first APD (for a Country station) and PD (for a Top 40 station) at the same time, at the same cluster. I have spearheaded a total of two format flips and would love to do another! Extensive knowledge of Adobe Audition, NexGen, and I was recently selected as a "MusicMaster On The Go" candidate. Most recently, I was the APD (with no PD above me) of a struggling Top 40, competing against a heritage competitor. I did my own imaging and I quickly gained the trust of my consultant, Mark St. John, to the point where he basically allowed me to have complete control of all programming aspects for the station. Some would say to you that I made that Top 40 sound like a major-market station. I would say to you; "I just love what I do." One thing is for sure, my heart is in Top 40!
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
Talking with friends, both personal and radio friends. When you are great at what you do, they certainly remind you of that and don't let you forget it. It is very encouraging to know that I have many supporters! One of them recently reminded me that "There's a reason why the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror."
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I am spending time with family and friends, cleaning my apartment, eating food that is actually healthy for me, working out, and watching my two favorite sports, hockey and football!
3) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
I definitely plan to stick with radio ... no job like it anywhere on the planet!
4) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
Here's what I did, I walked in the door and asked for an application. Turns out I needed a resume, so I went home and sent in a resume. Two weeks later, I was on-air on Saturday and Sundays. The next best way to get your foot in the door with no experience is to seek an internship or a part-time gig as a street teamer (at some stations an intern is a street teamer).
5) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
All Access, as well as simply maintaining a positive relationship with those whom I have met and/or worked alongside with at previous radio stations. Connections are good!
6) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
My passion is in programming and imaging! So if I could be the PD for a Top 40 station that I can also image, that would be the perfect gig!
7) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
On the beach or not, no matter where I'm at, I am always listening to radio stations to see what they are doing for promotions, how the imaging and jingles sound, who the voice guy/voice gal is, would I hire the DJ who's on the air? The list could go on and on. I love playing out scenarios in my head of how the station I am listening to could do even better. 99% of the time I keep those opinions to myself. :)
8) What do you miss most about music/radio? The least?
What I miss the most is spending late nights at the studio putting together a promo. What I miss the least is the sleep I didn't get when I went home after those nights!
9) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
If you are brand new, get in part-time and give it your best 100% of the time. It will be noticed and it will lead to a brighter future in radio for you. The people you meet on the way up are the same people you meet on the way back down. So keep a positive attitude even in negative situations!
10) Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
I still want to be programming a station in five years from now and learning as much as I can about programming. Ten years from now, I'd love to be a successful operations manager and hire up-and-coming programmers who I can teach what I have learned.
Any books you can recommend to people who need something inspirational to read?
One of the best books I have read recently is called "Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box." This can really help a person realize how much of a jerk you can be as a manager, in any type of job. The key thing I adapted to my leadership skills from this book is; "Be a leader, not a boss!"