10 Questions with ... Lisa McKay
November 8, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I got my start while attending the University of Virginia at WUVA/Charlottesville, where I worked on-air, and served as Public Service Director. After graduating, I worked on-air and as Promotions Director for WSPV/Staunton, VA and WVJZ-WJMA/Orange, VA before landing in nights at WRSF/Nag's Head, NC. I joined WRVQ/Richmond for middays in 1988, added MD stripes in 1989, and became PD in 1992. I also did weekends/swing for WAVA/D.C. in 1989, and for WWZZ/D.C. in 2001-2002.
1) It's been quite awhile since your Q94/Richmond days. How does it feel to be back in the Top 40 game?
I've been using all the Top 40 format tricks on QDR, the Country station I've been programming for a decade ... so really only the music is new, but surprisingly familiar --guess the '90s beats are back -- even had a song that sampled Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" come in this week!
2) G105 has been a great station for a long time. What are your thoughts when it comes to taking them on head-to-head?
About a decade into programming WRVQ, our own company launched a Pulse-like station called The Beat and eviscerated 'RVQ. The attack was Rhythmic and on the young end. They succeeded because 'RVQ, like G105, had greedy management that thought that being a 25-54 adult station was more important than super-serving the core of W 18-34. Both stations were carrying fat spotloads and way too much talk, plus they both played music that was more in the AC arena than what is hot now.
Pulse 102 is laser-tight focused on our bull's-eye core demo and everything -- including the commercials -- go through a filter to make sure the whole package is right for our listeners' eyes and ears. In one year, our AM and PM-drive numbers W 25-54 are equal to both G105 and WKSL.
3) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
Right now I am the QDR Station Manager, PD and PM-drive personality. In addition I sell for the cluster and have personally billed over $2 million. I also am the PD for Pulse. All of this is possible because I have a seasoned 'QDR staff and Mike Biddle as my Pulse APD, who rolls up his sleeves every day to make Pulse a winner.
4) What's the coolest promotion you've EVER been involved with?
RVQ's Countdown to the Meltdown ... think back and remember all the fear surrounding the computer crisis heading from 1999-2000 ... Y2K. It sounds so silly now, but back then, we were terrified. Two days before the new year, I sent my jocks around the world to countdown to the meltdown from different time zones. We were in Brazil, Russia, Hawaii, Texas and New Zealand interviewing first responders, hospitals, business owners and of course, partiers ... and each of us were filing reports every hour so. When you listened, you got to hear all kinds of different accents and plans. And when Y2K passed without a problem in New Zealand where I was and it hit first time-zone wise, it reassured everyone that our computers would be OK in the U.S.
5) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
I have my real estate license and have sold four houses this year.
6) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
I'm not a fan of talking morning shows, but I think Bert and his staff at Q100 are right on target. They should offer four or five two-minute breaks an hour for syndication.
7) What was your favorite station to listen to growing up?
I grew up outside of L.A. and loved KHJ and KIIS.
8) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Focus on the real issues -- always have a goal, a plan and a strategy to get the job done.
9) Could you give us a little insight into your on-air staff?
Mike Biddle holds down afternoons and as APD, does all the imaging and keeps the station heading in the right direction. He delivers one thought per break with energy and connects with listeners big time. Mike also is unique because he understands that by making the music and the listeners the stars, he becomes one. We also have Ka$h in middays, who makes me smile every time I hear him. JR, Esco and Cameron round out the stable of folks who have perfected the art of communicating inside seven seconds.
10) What makes Pulse 102 unique?
We put a format search in the field through Harker Research and gathered info from 500 respondents. Then when we found the hole in the market, we called in focus groups of in-demo females and let them tell us what they wanted and what they did not want. They chose everything from the name to the logo to the way Pulse 102 sounds ... more like your favorite Pandora channel than radio. We also have a very cool Facebook page instead of a website with all kinds of bells and whistles. The response has been so strong, in a year we've achieved all of our ratings goals and continue to grow -- tune in pulse102.com!