10 Questions with ... Bill Weston
March 15, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WMMR/Philadelphia, PD, 2004 to present
- WKLR/WDYL Richmond, PD, 2000-2004
- WAXQ NYC, PD, 1998-1999
- WHJY Providence, PD, 1989-1997
- WHTT Buffalo, PD, 1988-1989
- WIXV Savannah, PD/afternoons, 1985-1987
- WOKW Ithaca, PD/afternoons, 1984-1985
- WGRQ Buffalo, MD/afternoons, 1981-1983
- WCCK Erie, afternoons, 1979-1981
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
WKSN-A daytimer in Jamestown, NY. Grew up listening to CKLW skipping across Lake Erie.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
Couldn't play guitar to impress the chicks, but I could play records.
3) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it?
Without a doubt. I love my job, going to work each and every day.
4) What career path would you be following had it not been for this industry?
Probably a marketing position or maybe running a construction company.
5) How do you feel terrestrial radio competes with the satellite radio and Internet these days?
It's so much more relatable, more personal.
6) Where do you see the industry and yourself five years from now?
Still developing a relevant mix of entertainment, music and information for an audience- though they will be more spread out into the digital realm.
7) Describe your weekly music meeting ... a) what is the process when you listen to new music? b) approximately how important by percentage is gut, research, sales, video play, and chart position when determining the status of a record?
Sean "The Rabbi" Tyszler brings in the 15-20 most relevant songs to preview and consider. APD Chuck Damico and I listen and give each song a 1-4 rating. As songs play, we review local research, competitive airplay, Soundscan and national airplay. We consult Keith Cunningham of the Jacobs organization for another, objective point of view. I really value the broader view that Rabbi and Chuck provide. If all three of us agree on a record, it's usually a lock to go in. Overall I'd say it's 50% gut, 40% research, 10% charts.
8) What is the biggest change that you'd like to see happen in the business?
More live air talent. (I am so lucky to have a station that has live jocks 24/7.) The industry overall needs more people in the creative/ product side of the business
9) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Work as though your job depends on it, every day and treat employees as you want to be treated.
10) Most of us have known or even worked for a "colorful" owner/GM/air talent. Care to share a story? (The names can be changed to protect the innocent).
Sandy Beach was the morning guy at WHTT and was crossing the street to a Country station. For some reason he was still on the air and was a challenge to manage given his lame-duck position. He proudly displayed a bumper sticker of his future station on his car which pissed me off to no end. I surreptitiously covered it up with a 'HTT sticker. He came charging into my office -- Sandy was a BIG guy ... 6'4", 300+ pounds - and physically threatened me, bellowing in my face. It was a scary moment.
What's the best concert you've been to so far this year and why?
Linkin Park- never seen them- Chester's vocals were very strong. Surprisingly, I knew most of the setlist
Tell us what music we would find on your car or home CD player (or turntable) right now and what is it you enjoy about that particular selection?
The new Cake CD- who doesn't love horns?
What format does not exist that should? Would it work?
A real teen to 24 focused top-40 with air talent that lives it. Depends on what the sales budget looks like.
What was the first song or full-length release you purchased?
Sly and the family Stones Greatest Hits