10 Questions with ... Stan Priest
July 16, 2013
1) Belatedly, welcome to Philadelphia! What do you love about the market? And is there anything that you hate about it so far?
I love pretty much everything. I really love being here. It's a great place with great people. And it's a legendary station with a great crew that I'm proud to be a part of. There's not much about Philly to hate. I guess if I had to hate one thing, it's that I spend so much time working - because I'm a work-a-holic ... I just wish I could spend more time experiencing how cool Philly is.
2) What led you to a career in radio?
I was mixing in nightclubs, and Marc Chase came up to me and asked me if I wanted to be a part of the Power Pig. That's how it started.
3) How about a Power Pig story? What's the best one that you can share that would give somebody who is young and new to the business the essence of the Power Pig?
That's a tough one, because most of them, I don't think I can share. Okay, here's one that comes to mind. We did a car giveaway. It was one of those deals where listeners had been registered to win a car, and we were going to give away the car at a minor league ballpark. The idea was that the car would drive around the bases and then run out of gas, and the listener who was standing closest to the car would win it when that happened. The car was only supposed to have a small amount of gas in the tank, but it kept running and running. Finally, we got the staffer on the phone who had brought the car to the ballpark, and he said, "Yeah, I noticed that it was really low on gas, to I filled it up." ...You can't make this stuff up!
4) What are you doing social media-wise? Anything cool?
We were one of the first stations to do "what's trending." I'm fortunate in that I walked into a situation where Tim Herbster had already laid some phenomenal groundwork from a digital standpoint, and we have an incredible infrastructure. So now we're expanding upon that, and scanning for what the next big thing is, and constantly watching the trends. We're watching where the people are, and what their interests are, and we're trying to be there all the time ... very similar to what we do with programming.
5) What makes this station unique compared to others that you've been involved with?
Where it is, really. The Philly people, and their lifestyle ... the proximity to the shore ... the vibe of this particular place ... Every great station has a certain amount of that kind of local vibe. This one has an extreme amount.
6) Size up the competitive situation.
It's really tough, and very tight. In PPM, by nature if you're a Top 40, all of your competitors are going to be very close to you. We've all moved to the middle in PPM. It seems like this is an over-radioed market, but it's not. We have just the right amount of stations here. But the competition is really thisclose to you, and you don't have a lot of room to claim your own real estate. Beasley has a strong competitor that's bringing the heat every second, and their Country station is also doing very well right now. Then you have my sister stations: Radio 104.5 on the Alternative side, which is very close to us in one or two ways; and Mix 106.1, the Hot AC. With any Hot AC and Top 40 these days, the points of differentiation are rare.
7) Who's your favorite air personality not on your staff, and why would you say that you like them?
I love Kane. I think he's an exceptional talent, and he's just going to continue to grow his empire. He's phenomenal.
8) What's the current state of the radio talent pool?
There are still some good candidates. Sometimes I see that spark in someone who has the hunger and the passion to do it, but I also see the rawness, because they weren't worked with on a regular basis. It's almost like an unpolished gem. I can see where they're gonna go, and where they're gonna be someday, if they stay on the right track and they have the right coach.
9) What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
KMOX/St. Louis. I grew up listening to Jack Buck, Sr. and Cardinal games. That was my station. It was a full-service station and it was great how they handled everything. I really loved that station. For music, I listened to KSLQ and KSHE, but I wasn't a "radio head," so I really didn't "get" how special some of those moments were, and how special some of the talent I was hearing was. But I really picked up on the importance of the talent when I listened to KMOX.
10) Looking back, what years hold the best musical memories for you, and who were your favorite musical acts at the time?
Maybe my memory isn't so great, but last year and the year before have been great for Top 40. The format has been in one of the best places it's ever been, truthfully, in the last three or four years. It's been a lot of fun.
What was your last non-industry job?
Prior to mixing in clubs, I was a teller in a bank. I've always had a fascination with the financial world, and I wanted to follow the money, so I went to a bank and started working there as a teller. I learned that while I'd followed the money, it wasn't very rewarding, so I became a club DJ, made some money there ... and then I got into radio and you know the rest of that story.