10 Questions with ... Dave Adams
December 6, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WSUE (nights/afternoons, AE), WYSS (nights, middays, Sr. AE, Promotions/NTR, APD) WGRD (AE), WHZZ (APD, afternoons, middays), WBNQ (PD, middays, mornings), WRNW/WRIT (PD).
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
Probably the worst "radio" I've ever done, but the most fun I ever had in the biz. I was too green to know the rules and too young to care. Good times ... bad radio. Feel free to use that as your new positioning statement.
2) What led you to a career in radio?
I was lured by the promise of big money, easy women and free food. So far, there's been a lot of free food.
3) How would you describe the radio landscape in your market?
It's very competitive and dynamic. There are many well-programmed stations in Milwaukee with brands at various stages in their growth cycles. It's a friendly competition, though. We all want to win, but everyone I've met has been genuinely nice and welcoming. So far, it's been a very positive experience.
4) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
I've worn multiple hats since the day I started in radio, as most of us have. Even though we're all doing more now than ever before, it really doesn't seem that much different to me. It's just part of the gig.
5) What is the most challenging part of the job?
The most challenging part for me is maximizing opportunities to engage and connect with our listeners. We have all of these amazing tools like mobile, digital and social media to help cultivate and expand our brands, but it's tough to stay on top of it all. The challenge is to truly embrace these platforms and utilize them effectively.
6) Do you have a favorite hobby outside of radio?
What is this "outside of radio" of which you speak?
7) What is it about our industry that keeps you wanting to do it for a living?
A former GM of mine once said that radio is like the "Island of Misfit Toys" and that people in this business just don't belong anywhere else. Good times or bad, I really can't imagine any other career.
8) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
If you're genuinely concerned with helping others succeed, then success will find you as well. Oh, and if you truly value your headphones, don't let anyone borrow them ... ever.
9) What advice you would give people new to the business?
I would tell them to be realistic with their expectations and be flexible in their approach. I see too many kids just out of school who think they should have their own morning show and a six-figure salary two months into the job. Radio is a rewarding career, but you need to work hard, be patient and be willing to adapt in order reach your goal.
10) What would you like to do to save radio from its "dying-industry" image?
The first thing we need to do is to stop believing the hype that we're in a dying industry or it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sure we have our challenges, but over 90% of people 12+ still listen to radio on a weekly basis. Many of our competitors only dream of having that kind of usage.
Unfortunately, we're no longer the most efficient music delivery system available, so in order to remain relevant we need to become better content providers. We must adapt and stop being one-dimensional. We must embrace digital, mobile and social media platforms to expand our brands beyond the terrestrial signal. Most importantly, we must understand our audience and how we fit into their lives, then deliver to those expectations.
For someone vacationing in your market, what one thing would you say they "must see?"
Summerfest. I was blown away by it my first time. They don't call it the "The World's Largest Music Festival" for nothing.