10 Questions with ... Ron Way
August 30, 2016
1) What was your first job in radio and early mentors and influences?
My first gig was co-hosting "The Pit on WXTB. It was THE Metal Show for the Southeast U.S. The halls were filled with incredible talent (Greg Mull, Ted Kamikaze, Ron Diaz, Scott Ledger, Big Rig then later Bubba and his crew, Mike Ricker and of course the jerk that got me in radio, Brian Medlin)... still one of my best friends. Everybody (good and bad) has influenced me tremendously. I've been very lucky with who was around me in my younger days. Sherri Carlson was a huge mentor in making me an actual manager and less of an idiot.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it?"
I "accidently" fell in to radio -- no joke. I was playing in a really popular band in Tampa that led to meeting all the air staff to interviews to becoming an "on-air talent." There was no defining moment-I loved doing radio and have survived that storm that is our industry.
3) Before we talk about your new gig at WRXK (96 K-Rock), you spent quite a few years rocking in Reno. Give us the highlights from your time there.
Wow - KDOT was such a fantastic place. PD/OM Jave Patterson was instrumental in its success and it trickled down to the air staff to be better than everybody else. I am forever grateful that I was the guy they took a chance on and dragged me out of Florida to fill the afternoon spot. Great company.
4) Congrats on your new PD position for WRXK (96 K-Rock). This is a return to Florida for you. How long has it been and where in FLA did you Rock?
I left in October '09. I started at 98 Rock in Tampa then went to WYNF/Sarasota and the turmoil of signal downgrades and format flips until I was given the PD stripes to launch WTZB 105.9 The Buzz. That was some of my best days in radio. We took a crappy signal and turned it in to a station that was successful. We, at times, would beat out the 100k rockers blowing in from Tampa.
5) Now let's talk about 96 K-Rock. This is a heritage station in Southwest Florida. Besides the pillar of talent with Bubba the Love Sponge in mornings and Stan & Haney in afternoons, what makes this station so unique and special?
The belief in talent. There is a focus on being "entertaining" and "liner" jocks are frowned upon. Weaving the Rock format around these amazing talents is crucial. They/we like to take chances -- I respect that.
6) Ft. Myers is one of the few markets in the country that sports two Active Rock stations. What sets 96 K-Rock apart from WXNX (93X)?
I've been focused on K-Rock, so any answer would be a dart at this point. Also see answer to #5 above.
7) Now that you're back in action at the Active Rock format, What's your take on current Active Rock music and the format as a whole?
Wow ... Active has always been very cyclical. When it ramps up, it's crazy and then it all starts running into itself. Brad Hardin once said, "We're not here to break bands; we're here to get ratings." Good or bad, I try to keep that in the back of my mind. (cue: sound of labels loading their weapons). I truly feel there are too many faceless acts out there. The "Rock Stars" seem to be few and far between and a lot of the up-and-comers with potential seem to suddenly disappear. Who's to blame? I can't answer that.
8) Besides your role as PD, you're doing the midday shift between Bubba and Stan & Haney. With such talk heavy cume coming from mornings and afternoons, how do you balance the music to keep the cume and TSL strong?
What's weird is that I have a lengthy resume and I have never done middays. I am learning as I go as far as content, energy, music vs. talk ratio, currents vs. library and familiarity. And avoid tune-outs that I can control ... to be continued.
9) Do you have any special features or benchmarks that you are doing during this time slot?
I'm only a few weeks in -- and I didn't walk into "set" features. I have several ideas that I feel pretty good about and will be implementing in the coming week or so.
10) Finally, what's the scoop on the name Ron Way? I know your last name is Miller, so how did Way come about?
The short of it was ... I went as Miller for my Florida career and Lotus didn't like it due to beer sponsors. Out of nowhere I said "Ron Way" and laughed because of the whole wrong way deal. My wife can attest to the fact that my sense of direction sucks. A quick search online came up with no other talent going by that and the only hit was a street in none other than Reno, Nevada! I ended up living five minutes from "Ron Way." The name worked great in Reno and it will stick with me from now on.
You're stuck on a deserted island and you only have five CDs with you. What are they?
- HOUSES OF THE HOLY
- DIRTY ROTTEN IMBECILES - DEALING WITH IT,
- BLACK FLAG - THE FIRST FOUR YEARS,
- THE CULT - ELECTRIC
...and any reggae disc due to the fact that it's a deserted island!