10 Questions with ... Terrie Carr
October 8, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WRAN, WRNJ, (1980 something) WPST (1987-89) WDHA (1989-2005), Sirius (2005-2006), WHTG (2007-2009), WDHA (2010-present).
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
My first job was as a board op of NJ Devils hockey games at WRAN that ironically was located right next to WDHA! I was in college and thought ... I want to work THERE one day. I loved '70s radio talent and Ster,n who I listened to every day after school on WNBC. His ease blew my mind. However, my two main influences were Carol Miller and Allison Steele The Nightbird. I remember hearing Allison tell a story about hanging with Jimi Hendrix and I thought ... now THAT is the job for me.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
I was a late-night radio junkie. As a kid I would stay up all night and listen to the mystery of what was coming up next on the overnight on WABC. I loved the feel of the overnight as a kid. When I was in junior high, I went to my first Stones show and I was a pre-ordained rebel from that moment on. I knew I had to marry the two to make my living.
3) This is your second go-round at WDHA. What makes this station so unique?
WDHA is the people's station. Always has been. Our listeners feel that they are a part of the DHA brand. They have listened since they were kids; their kids listen now and it's NEW JERSEY! We all feel connected in Jersey! It's interesting how we are technically the Morristown market however 75% of our listenership is out-of-market. We thrive in 10 counties and have a huge cume for a station our size. We also have never pigeonholed ourselves into just playing Classic Rock (as tempting as it was at times). New music discovery has always been a part of who we are. I believe that has kept us successful and on the radar of NJ music fans for so long. Plus we are LIVE! We truly are unique and extremely fortunate that there is no one else in our listening area doing what we are doing. Our point of difference is our true strength.
4) After many years at WDHA, in 2005 you left for Sirius Radio. How was the experience going from terrestrial to satellite radio?
Lonely! Lol ... Nothing at all against the satellite world, but I really missed the energy of a live and local audience. I missed the beat of the day-to-day unpredictability of live radio ... there is just a certain chemistry that's in a local radio station that can't be beat. I missed our listeners and the satisfaction of the different hats that terrestrial radio requires these days. Clients, interactive, charity causes, face-to-face connecting ... there is so much more to do ... I don't enjoy being idle.
5) In 2007, you moved back to terrestrial to program Alternative legend WHTG. Give us the highlights of your time at that station.
GROCK really gave me perspective and experience in the interactive world. And interactive revenue generation. The Alt crowd really responds to that platform. We were way ahead of the curve on all of our web-based content. Texting campaigns, video content, webcasts ... we did it all early on. I am extremely proud of what our fantastic staff accomplished during the WHTG era of my career.
6) Now that you're back at WDHA for the second time, you have the dual role as MD and midday host. How do you balance your time so both roles are effective?
I always felt I can't do one effectively without the other. Being on the air is my best research tool. I couldn't imagine programming to people I don't interact with! Being in radio these days means wearing a TON of different hats. It should be that way. Our business is moving so fast. We must try to stay ahead just to keep up.
7) What's your take on current Rock music? Is it as good as six months to a year ago, better, or about the same?
Rock music is absolutely as good. Bands are a bit freer these days and able to construct a career with the help of social media. Older bands are reinventing themselves with the help of social media as well. There are still artists creating unique sounds such as Volbeat, and we are able to discover artists, sounds and trends without counting on someone else or a chart to tell us it works. If you are a true music fan, there are great bands everywhere!
8) WDHA has long had a reputation as a "tastemaker" station, especially when it comes to mixing Active, Mainstream and Classic Rock. How do you balance these different music styles so it doesn't adversely affect the station's cume and TSL?
It is a balance ... no doubt...WDHA is a station that has evolved through so many musical trends in our 35-year history. The balance comes from picking the proper gold, figuring out where our eras are, what works in our region (that may be unique for us) and not being so afraid to take a chance on a current record that we think may work, but isn't tried and true. Sometimes me and Curtis Kay (our PD) look at each other and say "Total DHA record" ... chart position, downloads, etc, don't matter.
9) How much does WDHA use social media like Facebook and Twitter to interact with its listeners? Are there any recent promotions where the station utilized this media to connect with your audience?
I have to sometimes remind myself that what matters MOST is what comes out of the speakers and NOT Facebook and Twitter because we are so socially connected. Our interactive platform is growing so quickly and FB and Twitter are a huge part of our growth. We webcast band performances, get dogs adopted, post interviews with A-list artists and recently held a contest where we looked for a Dog to represent the station as our Ultimate Rock Dog that had record high voting solely based on social media sharing. We consider the social media platforms an extension of our on-air brand. I'm most proud of our Rock N' Ruff program where we have placed hundreds of homeless dogs in loving NJ families. Social media has been a big part of the Rock N' Ruff program's success. The goal is always timely, topical, regional and compelling content.
10) What are your three favorite artists or songs of this year and why?
I mentioned Volbeat earlier because I love them! Metal meets Rockabilly ... So fresh. Anything off Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies is amazing.
I also love the new Winery Dogs Record. Monster talents. "Elevate," to me, is the rock song of the year. The connection this band made with our listeners is crazy awesome.
And Alter Bridge, "Addicted to Pain" is a hard rock gem. I so appreciate that band and their great new single.
I know you're a huge dog lover. How many dogs have you had in your lifetime and any special ones stand out for you?
I've had probably 10. I brought every stray home ... I was raised with dogs sleeping under my crib. Oh man ... I love them all for different reasons. I'm just hoping on Judgment Day, if they decide to let me in, they will all be waiting for me!
You're stuck on a deserted island and you only have five CDs with you. What are they?
- Rolling Stones- Exile on Main Street
- Aerosmith- Rocks
- Prince (box set ... I need more than one ...sorry)
- Stevie Wonder- Innervisions
- STP- Core