10 Questions with ... Johnny Maze
July 28, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Not sure if this means anything but most of the stations I've worked at were sold and flipped formats ... ha ha ... A highlight was working in my hometown, I was late night/swing at 94.5 The Buzz in Houston in the late '90s for three years ... More recently, I was PD at WXZZ/ Lexington, KY before coming to Wichita for KICT/KFXJ in September of 2011.
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
My first job in radio was a paid internship at a Top 40/Dance station in Houston right out of high school as a college freshman. Then a year later, was on air in a small market in Texas. Growing up in Houston, I would say 97 Rock - KSRR, 101 KLOL (Ken Anthony was the PD when I was in high school :)), KRBE and 93Q. Visiting family on the East Coast until I was 15 years old every year for months at a time, I listened a lot to 92.3 K-Rock WXRK and Z100 in NYC.
2) How long have you been at KICT (T95) and what makes this station so unique?
I've been in Wichita since September of 2011. T95 has been a Rock format since day one and we are 36 years old this year debuting in 1979. All of our full-time staff has been on T95 over a decade. We have a strong morning show within our company, based out of Omaha in Todd N Tyler, who this year will be on T95 for nine years.
3) During the last year, an Alternative station KTHR was launched in the market. How has this new competitor impacted, if any, the music position for T95 and The Fox?
The music positions have stayed the same. T95 is Mainstream Rock and 104.5 The Fox, a Classic Rock. We really haven't changed much at all. Staying focused on what we do, and doing it as best as possible
4) What's your take on current Rock music? Is it as good as six months ago, better, or about the same?
We don't break bands here. But with the Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown, Disturbed, Pop Evil and a few others' new albums, and the second and third songs deep in others, I think the format is fine. We make sure it fits our vision of the station and that it's a song that we truly want to get behind and support.
5) What does the Classic Rock format need to do today and in the future to continue to stay relevant while playing music that is sometimes over 40 years old?
The format in the last 18 months has really exploded. You hear more songs in commercials, movie soundtracks, sporting events, and even Presidential running speeches. Providing top-notch content is very important. Being creative in music stunting to highlight the format is also a great way to keep the format fresh. Feature weekends, A-Z, and we even did a 'March Bandness' three-week on-air feature this past March that was huge. Sixty Classic Rock bands in tournament style battles to ultimately determine the winner voted on by listeners. Connecting to your listeners via social media is becoming more and more important. Many of the bands are still touring and releasing albums of either new music or live/best of, so finding ways to connect listeners to those happy memories of then to making new memories today.
6) Now let's talk about the morning shows on either station starting with Todd and Tyler on T95. How is this morning show performing for you?
Todd N Tyler have performed great. They do extremely well with men and even appeal to women. They have been our morning show for nine years, make market visits at least once a year and incorporate Wichita into their show daily through participation from phone calls and e-mails. We do contesting using them and during their show. They are great to work with.
7) For years The Fox morning show consisted of Jan and Phil in the morning. With Jan Harrison leaving the show last February, how has the transition to Phil and Amber been working out for The Fox?
Amber has been nothing short of awesome. She has incredible energy, is full of ideas, loves pop culture and loves social media ... a solid formula for a successful morning show. Phil has been doing mornings in the market for 20 years and the chemistry between Phil and Amber was instant. They've been together only three months and we already see growth.
8) How much do both stations use their websites and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to help enhance the listener experience?
Our websites and social media are a huge part. Everything we do, we try to incorporate the station website and also the Facebook pages and Twitter. Jock blogs, picture galleries, and video are updated regularly. There is always room to grow as we continue to learn new ways to connect the dots.
9) PD of two stations, on-air full-time and swing on the other, what do you do to de stress and try to have a balanced life?
Poker, golf, fantasy baseball, road trips and concerts seem to be the most rewarding for me to balance my life out of radio. Plus I am a huge dog guy and do what I can with my dog SJ after work and on the weekends. And football season is less than two months away and I hit a sports bar every Saturday and Sunday to watch my teams games.
10) Finally, since you have Texas roots, I know you're a huge Texas football fan. How do you think both the Houston Texans and University of Texas Longhorns will do this season?
The Texans have everything BUT a quarterback, which you would think is a HUGE piece of the puzzle. I expect the Texans to make the playoffs again this year guided by JJ Watt and the defense. And well, the Longhorns, I think this upcoming season will be a LONG one ... ha ha.