10 Questions with ... Wes Styles
January 29, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WWIZ (August 2003- -April 2008)
- WXQR (July 2008-October 2012)
- WQBK (October 2012-current)
1) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
At 11, I met Jim Loboy (who would become my first PD at WWIZ 8 years later ... small world) and loved the idea of radio. At 14, Dom Nardella took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. I knew then that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
2) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it?
To be honest, Yes. Everything I've seen and been through has shaped me in a positive way. I couldn't see myself doing anything else outside of the music industry itself.
3) Last Fall you joined WQBK/Albany from WXQR in North Carolina. How has the transition gone for you and what makes WQBK unique?
The transition has been great. The team here at 'QBK, our sister stations, and even the sales staff (Ha ha) is amazing. QBK, like WXQR, is unique to its market and while that presents new challenges, I am ready to tackle it. Was it a learning curve coming from the very active leaning WXQR? Yes, but I was ready for a new, fresh look at programming.
4) You are running the nationally syndicated Free Beer & Hot Wings Morning Show. How is it working for you?
Amazing! The show cranks out amazing numbers and they draw very well when in market. They have to be the easiest syndicated morning show to work with. Anything we need from spots to liners, etc. are turned around quickly. I couldn't ask for a better group of guys to work with.
5) You do middays on the station. How do you like being on the air and balancing your other programming duties?
Love it. I believe a PD/Brand Manager should not be on during drive times like mornings or afternoons because of the work load that goes into a day. I am off air at 2 and that gives me plenty of time to handle my day-to-day operations without making me stay till all hours of the night.
6) Let's talk about the music on Q 103. Albany is the state capitol and right in the heart of upstate New York. Does this influence the music you play on your station at all?
I can't fully answer that question (I guess). I'm still learning the market day by day via interactions with the audience or just getting out and roaming the streets. The audience is very vocal on their like/dislikes so that has to be taken in to account.
7) What's your take on current music in the Active Rock format? Is it as good as six months ago, better, or about the same?
It's good right now, not the greatest. We have a new mix of bands making their marks and building new brands (Adelitas Way and Volbeat). We haven't had a movement since the "Ozzfest era" of the early 2000s to really captivate the format. The bands that came from the era are taking indefinite breaks or extended periods of time between releases now. We need to build new core artists. On the other hand, having a band like Soundgarden come back in to the mix is a huge help to the format. When we get new music from a core artist; it's a win/win.
8) How does your station utilize social media as a marketing tool?
I'll say it a million times over; social media is the ultimate connection to the audience. We publish our best stories of the day on there to created discussions with the audience; we keep them in the know with everything that's going on. Our social media circles around our website (see next question).
9) How has Q 103 navigated its station website to better the station as a whole?
We run the site as a news based site -- music, entertainment, sports and even the weird. It's not just an online brochure for all things with the station, we create content to make our audience come back and keep them there for extended periods of time.
10) Is there a great station promotion you can share with the rest of the industry?
I've been dubbed the "mad scientist" by a few friends and with that, I cannot say what my evil plans are to take over the world just yet.
Are you more a TV or movie guy and what are some of your favorites of each?
TV. Love Big Bang Theory, Family Guy, Walking Dead, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, along with WWE and UFC programming.
What do you like to do to relax when you're not fully in radio mode?
Relaxing with my girl, checking out my new hometown (so much to do here), working on the (early) development stages of a comic book series, and building an online big band/swing radio station for friends/family. I'm a huge fan of the genre; it's what I play when I am making dinner each night at home.
You're stuck on a deserted island and you only have 5 CDs with you. What are they?
First, if I am on an island, how do I have power to play them? Second, if I had power, I am creating a Cabo Wabo-style resort and making millions. Third ... these are my CDs:
- Social Distortion "30 Years of Rock" (homemade greatest hits)
- The Damned Things "ironiclast"
- Oasis "stop the clocks"
- 101 Essential Swing Hits Collection
- The Chemical Brothers "dig your own hole"