10 Questions with ... Zac Davis
May 15, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WWLD/Tallahassee-Promotions Dir. 1996-97
- WVYB/Daytona Beach-nights 1997-98
- KQKS/Denver-swing 1998-99
- KUUU/Salt Lake City-APD/MD/afternoons 1999-02
- WBVD/Melbourne-PD/afternoons 2002-2004
- WGBT/Greensboro-PD/afternoons 2004-06
- KOSO/Modesto-PD/afternoons 2006-07
- WABB/Mobile-PD/afternoons 2007-08
- WRDU/Raleigh-APD/afternoons 2008-09
- KDHT-KJHM/Denver-OM/afternoons 2009-11
- WDCG-WKSL/Raleigh-PD/afternoons 2011-Present
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
Amazing. I worked for Lee Reynolds when I was at Florida State and he really believed in cultivating talent and putting on a great product every day. He is a great radio person and saw something in me that I didn't even know that I had. He made me the Promotions Director at 21. What was he thinkin?!
2) How would you describe the radio landscape in your market?
Much more competitive than it was the first time I lived here in 2009. There are essentially three Top 40s in the market and the AC has gotten much warmer. G105 and Kiss FM have found a way to compete and win in the new PPM world and we are really happy about where our stations are right now. Both stations have hit new highs in the last monthly and now it's up to us to continue to grow these great brands.
3) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
Brody and I have G105 and Kiss FM and we love cultivating each of these brands, but it's a balancing act. G105 is a 30-year legendary Top 40 station in the South. Its following is unprecedented in my career and it has A LOT to do with the personalities who are perceived as celebrities here in the Triangle. All dayparts have strong talent on G105. The promotions are larger than life as well; we have a STRONG Promotions Dept. 93.9 Kiss FM is a Rhythmic AC that is growing steadily and we are excited about its development over the past year. The Kiss brand is very community-minded, led by morning man Dave Kent. One advantage that we have is that G105 and 93.9 Kiss FM have the two strongest signals in Raleigh-Durham.
4) What's the coolest promotion you've EVER been involved with?
Matchgame. It worked in Tallahassee in 1997, it worked in Denver in 2010 in PPM and it worked in Raleigh in PPM in 2012. It takes some planning and it takes some time but the pay-off is worth it.
5) Could you give us a little insight into your on-air staff?
G105 has gotten up with Bob Dumas for close to 20 years. His show and cast of characters is like no other -- and we are LOCAL! Bob can tell a story better than Andy Griffith (more shout-outs to NC) and he is the man. He's a natural talent and a great family man. Erica is his new co-host. She is naturally funny and such a kind person. She's really coming into her own. Mike is the Executive Producer and attempts to be the singmaster on our unpredictable show. He's been with the Showgram for eight-plus years. Then, there's Peanut Butter (Bob named her) and if we were in a league, she'd be Rookie of the Year. She comes off naïve but being on the Showgram, she's growing up FAST! It's a GREAT group on the Showgram. Randi West follows the Showgram and she's a star in this market. It's a blessing to have her on the air staff. She's solid every day. Ryan is on at noon and then G105's Brody is ruling the ride home! He's done every shift on G105 and he brings it EVERY DAY. He's a celebrity here in the Triangle. The Carolina Girls LOVE him. In between dates, Brody is my APD/MD for G105 and Kiss FM. Then there's our new night talent, Tyler (sigh), He worked for me in Denver and when we had a night opening at G105, I knew he was the guy. He works hard and plays hard and is always coming up with new ways to create solid content; he learned from Kane, so I knew he was brought up right. He is a social marketing master.
93.9 Kiss FM is anchored by Dave Kent, who handles mornings -- and the market LOVES him. He's shy about his following but women in Raleigh-Durham from 8 to 80 really enjoy his show and he's heavily involved with the community, which is a HUGE asset for the Kiss brand. Mandi is holding down middays on Kiss, and this girl's energy is unmatched. She is so hungry to put on the best show every day, and she has a heart of gold. She hosts the Ol Skool Lunch on Kiss FM and it's truly interactive. I hold down afternoons on Kiss FM, and Ryno does the night show. He's really done a great job for us and grown that daypart exponentially. He's a GREAT talent.
6) Who are some of your favorite programmers and why do you like them?
Romeo is rockin' in Philadelphia and was the first programmer who told me about FUN. I returned the favor with Gotye. He has reestablished Q102 as a perennial force in that top-10 market and he's one of the first programmers to incorporate online features that move the needle on the air as well. Alex Tear has done the same thing in Miami with Y100 and reestablished the brand and is killing it. Dylan in Boston continues to amaze me and he taught me a lot in Denver, and when we were competitors!
Jagger is just about ready to be a programmer, but does a great job with the music on Z100 and he's one of the best jocks there is. He's a radio geek like me and can pick a hit, months out. Boomer and Jojo here in North Carolina have done a phenomenal job unseating heritage Top 40s in their market and planting new flags with great brands that continue to get numbers. Their stations (within driving distance) sound great every time I drive through the markets. I like what Chris Michaels has done, too, first in Mobile and now in Memphis. He's sharp. My boy J.R. is doing big things with legendary station WNOK in Columbia too, and I love seeing him hitting it outta the park down south!
7) What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
Lots of vacations to Atlanta when I was a kid and Power 99/WAPW in Atlanta is what made my neck turn and my ears perk up. I know everyone says how great 99X was, but the day they changed Power 99 in October of 1992, I was heartbroken. The hometown station in Daytona Beach actually came out of Orlando and it's still around today, XL 106.7 ... a great station that is still entertaining and compelling in a competitive radio environment. I still have old T-shirts and stickers from both great brands.
8) What is it about our industry that keeps you wanting to do it for a living?
The love of music and the friends I've made along the way. I enjoy learning and creating in a constantly evolving business. It keeps you on your toes.
9) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Work hard, play hard. Stop and smell the roses along the way. Celebrate the victories with your team and learn from your setbacks. Find the good people in your building who will help you get better and keep an open mind on how they can help you in your career. I'm so thankful I've been able to work with Lee Reynolds, Tim Satterfield, Chris Shebel (twice) and Alan Burns. The good people in radio generally float to the top and the bad ones usually end up selling cat food. Much love to Purina. :)
10) What would you like to do to save radio from its "dying-industry" image?
When the lottery was $640 million a few weeks ago, I wanted to win the jackpot and buy a few clusters in good cities and continue to do good radio with good people and be profitable. Hey, a guy can dream, right?
Which character on a current TV series most reflects your personality?
For years, I've been told I'm just like Chandler from Friends (sorr,y it's not current). I don't have a third nipple, though ... I swear.