10 Questions with ... Chris Edge
January 5, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Twenty-six-year radio veteran with stops at WKSS/Hartford; WDCG/Raleigh (twice!); WNOU/Indianapolis; KGSR/Austin and more! Positions included Marketing/Digital/Programming/on-air
1) Top 40 G105 and Classic Rock WRDU are rolling! What's driving all of that success?
I kid you not, it's belief. It's belief in our products, our systems and our people. That belief drives the success of our brands. PD Brian Taylor has 'RDU on point and our Talk station is about to reach that level of success, too. Our New Country station has made some tremendous growth over the last 18 months as well under PD Todd Nixon ... the gap between B93.9 and the competition keeps getting tighter. We believe in each other, share ideas, discuss, debate and ultimately do the right things to drive ratings and revenue. We have a fantastic group of people here who recognize what great radio sounds like and have the support and guidance from our senior programming team in the likes of Jeff Wyatt and Rod Phillips. Add to that, local leadership from Market Pres. George Allen and a smart sales force, and you can see how this collection of people and their inspired efforts have delivered a team win for iHeart/Raleigh!
2) What is your favorite part of the job?
I love asking why, wondering if we can do something better and finding ways to improve. I love discovering more insights from digging deeper in research or taking the bias out of making music decisions and pulling as much math together as possible to challenge our natural tendencies to do what we want. I love discovering something new.
3) What is the most challenging part of the job?
I feel a sense of responsibility to help people grow personally, professionally and financially and that's not always possible. There are times when providing one of those growth items might not be in line with the goals of the team or cluster. You have to make tough decisions. They weigh on me; it makes me human, I guess.
4) How do you disconnect from work?
Wait. You can do that?
5) What do you think most managers miss in the process of managing?
Listening. We don't do it enough. It's so easy to miss new ideas and unique perspectives when we're running a hundred miles per hour every day. I know we don't want more meetings, but we have to have them. Face to face. Drop the tech, look away from the laptop and really listen to what people on the team are saying about your systems and your brands.
6) What is it about our industry that keeps you wanting to do it for a living?
It's constantly changing; it's fun, and it's kind of like a damn science experiment! Because of that I don't see it as a job ... even work, for that matter. They are projects. My current project is helping the iHeart/Raleigh cluster and its brands be as successful as they can be. I don't wake up and go to work every day. That's what the guy making widgets does. I wake up and think about where we are within our current project. What's the next step? What parts of it should be analyzed, improved, or removed?
7) What advice would you give people who our new to the business?
Drive things. Do your job. Don't be afraid of work. There's a generation right now that expects big money and a trophy for a minimal amount of effort. Get over yourself and get to work. You are only as good as the effort you put in. If we don't see it, you won't make it.
8) What is the current state of the radio talent pool?
This conversation has less to do with talent and more to do with opportunity. We have people in our building who are ready for what's next. I bet it's like that across the country. Add to that the interns who seem to be diamonds in the rough, or the guy down the street who if given the opportunity could be star on the radio. There are plenty of stories about people being plucked out of other industries or slowly working their way up the radio ladder ... our real problem is opportunity. It's tough to break into this business. It takes a lot of luck ... and the answer to question #7.
9) What would you like to do to save radio from its "dying-industry" image?
Ignore questions like this. Who said it's dying? I work for iHeartMedia and this company is an agent of change, driving the agenda for the future of content curation and talent development, and leveraging its assets to create meaningful touchpoints between the artist and their fans. I could laundry list all of the unbelievably cool shit we do at this company, but the bottom line is that radio as a whole is alive and well. We just need to keep telling our stories.
10) If not radio, then what?
My freshmen year in college, I got wrapped up in a psychology class. I think that could have been a path for me if I had stayed at school. The following year I believed an internship was the same as a job. I don't know what made me think that, but luckily for me it worked out. It led to a part-time job and a career ... proof again that belief is a powerful thing.