10 Questions with ... Brian Mack
June 12, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I got my start doing late-nights at Rock WVBR/Ithaca, NY while studying marketing Cornell University. I landed summer internships at Z100/NYC and Kiss 108/Boston, and after graduating, landed my first full-time gig at Clear Channel's WMRV (Star 105.7)/Binghamton, NY, working on-air and as Dir./Creative Services. Next, I landed at WLIR-WXXP-WBON/Long Island as Dir./Creative Services, then I re-joined Clear Channel in 2003 as Dir./Creative Services at WAKS (96.5 Kiss-FM)/Cleveland. I helped to build campaign elements for Premiere Radio Networks, and oversaw and conceptualized the launch of Clear Channel stations in Greensboro, Chattanooga, Fort Myers, Augusta, Las Vegas and Mobile. Next, I joined WHYI (Y100)/Miami as Dir./Creative Services, eventually rising to MD and APD. I also became a part of Clear Channel's iHeartRadio Task Force, building custom digital radio stations. This spring, I joined WRVW as PD.
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
The building on Linden Ave. in Ithaca, NY no longer exists. I did overnights on a Rock radio station, 93-5 WVBR, and to this day I can remember the first song I played was "Cherry Bomb" by John Mellencamp. Just firing the imaging on cart (yes, I said cart) and firing the song on CD (yeah, that too), I was hooked. Even though it was 2a.
2) What led you to a career in radio?
I've been lucky enough to have two entertainment industry executives in my family. They may have led "the horse" to water ... but drinking it has come so naturally to me. It felt like I had been doing it for so long ... perhaps I was actively listening/watching as a child more than I thought?
3) What is the most challenging part of the job?
Much like being an APD, MD, CSD, there are always lots of balls being hit at you that you must try and catch. However, the analogy I would make as a PD is, the balls are all hit at you and it's always the 8th or 9th inning.
4) What's the coolest promotion you've been involved with recently?
In the last week we have done a few great on-air promotions:
- This came from our Promotions Manager LunchBox called "Shades of Bieber." Listeners must decipher between Bieber lyrics or excerpts from 50 Shades of Grey; Justin Bieber tickets are on the line.
- This was a new spin on 'Throwback Weekends' over Memorial Day. We localized it with "Class Reunion Weekend," calling out local high schools with songs from their respective graduation years.
5) What's the coolest promotion you've ever been involved with?
Watching Train perform for 200 people in a bar only months ago was incredible. Especially when you consider the admission and silent guitar auctions benefited Musicians On Call, bringing the healing power of music to hospital patient bedsides all across the greater Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. The event raised over $50,000.
6) What artist would we be surprised to find on your iPod?
You might be surprised to find quite a few Billy Holiday songs on my iPod.
7) Could you give us a little insight into your on-air staff?
I can sum it up in two words: PROVEN WINNERS. All are dominating their respective dayparts right now and seem to improve each week. Yet, they are all open-minded and creative in their own right. Many of the promotions we're currently running on-air, online and via our social media platforms have been thought up by this team of talents.
8) Looking back, which years hold the best musical memories for you and who were your favorite acts at that time?
I grew up in a house where my father would play Paul McCartney's "RAM" and "Band on the Run" albums constantly. I thank him for that. :)
9) What music do you listen to when you're not working?
A benefit to being the baby in the family is having a long and colorful spectrum of music exposure. I've been listening to a lot of music of the '50s like Buddy Holly, lately. Shocked?
10) What advice you would give people new to the business?
Find someone you admire and spend as much time with them as you can. Listen and ask questions. Be proactive in bringing ideas to the table and think unconventionally.
What was your last non-industry job?
I did personal dryland training for young, aspiring ice hockey players.