10 Questions with ... Lacy Neff
February 16, 2010
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I am the Sr. PD for Top 40 for The West Virginia Radio Corporation. I have been in Radio for 25 years. Started my career in Fairmont, WV at the small Rock station, WTCS, before coming to Morgantown and WVAQ. Like everyone else these days, I spent a minute at B94/Pittsburgh.
1) Congratulations on your Fall book, which saw WVAQ topping the market with a 15.6 ... or as we say here in Jersey, a 15 freakin' six! What were the demo and daypart highlights?
We were solid across the board. This was an interesting book for WVAQ. Half of our morning show was out most of the book and we lost our midday girl to another market. So, we moved our night guy Edge to middays and hired a new night jock named Jason Knight toward the end of the book. So we made a lot of changes, which is rare for WVAQ. We worked our butt off remarketing the station and getting out in front of people. WVAQ did over 325 live broadcasts last year. So we were on the move. We all came together. The goal we set out was clear and we went for it. I'm excited to see what the next book holds with everything being in place.
2) Run down some of the awards that you and WVAQ have won in recent years.
We are a four-time Marconi award winner. Two for Top 40 Station of the Year. (I know RIGHT!) And I was honored to be named Small-Market Personality of the Year. Our Morning show, Eric McGuire and Kevin Connolly, have been named West Virginia's Best Morning Show. WVAQ was voted West Virginia's Best Top 40 and Legendary Radio Station, and I was voted West Virginia Personality of the Year by the West Virginia Broadcasters Association.
The biggest award is that we are currently second in the nation in a contest with Forrester's called America's Most Caring Radio Station. If your station gets the most votes, they will donate $50,000 to your local Children's Hospital. This is a contest voted on by your listeners. Market 178 is beating bigger markets around the country. Why??? We have the greatest listeners in the WORLD! We owe everything to them.
3) What is it about your ownership and management that has allowed your station to be so dominant?
I was taught a long time ago that you better use your signal for more than just playing music or you're dead! Let's face it ... you can get music anywhere. TALENT, COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT, NOT BEING AFRAID TO BE WHO YOU ARE makes the difference. I'm very lucky to work for a guy named Dale Miller, who is a radio guy, and an owner named John Raese, who is also radio guy. And we have a sales manager named Gary Mertins who came from programming. Everyone gets it. I'm blessed to be here.
4) What is your favorite part of the job?
I love it all! Doing the music, developing talent, coming up with creative promotions. listening to listeners ... it's all good!
5) What's the coolest promotion you've been involved with recently?
It's cool to us. You can ask any jock on our radio station and many listeners - "What is best thing WVAQ does all year?" ... and many will say our radiothon for WVU Children's Hospital. We raised over $120,000 in a tough economy. Not only do we feel good when we are done, it ties our station and our jocks to something special.
6) What artist would we be surprised to find on your iPod?
John Denver "Country Roads" (maybe not that surprising).
7) Could you give us a little insight into your on air staff?
They are an amazing group of people. Eric and Kevin in the Morning. They are a syndicated morning show and are on a few stations throughout the state. Very funny, local ... the listeners are almost the third "person" on the show. Middays is the Office Party with Edge. Great voice, very plugged in to pop culture and the lifestyle of our listeners. I do afternoons, and I'm excited about our new night guy Jason Knight. He just came to us from WSTO/Evansville. He puts a lot of time and work into his show. I also have to mention that Lauren Boczek is my APD, Allison Popp is our promotions Director, Amber Miller is our Director of Events, and Tim Loughry and Patrick Rinehart handle our interactive at WVAQ.com.
8) If you could add one full-time position to your budget right now, what would it be?
A masseuse ... need something for the stress. :)
9) What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
Believe it or not, it is the one I am now programming! I used to listen to people like Kevin Nicholas in the Morning, Mary Anne Buchannon. Bill McDonald and Loray Robinson EVERY DAY. These were the people I would listen to under my pillow at night. That is why this place is so special to me.
10) What would you like to do to save radio from its "dying-industry" image?
HA HA HA, that cracks me up! We are going nowhere. Back in the day, TV was gonna kill radio, then it was MTV, then is was CDs and iPods, oh wait, noooo! Satellite radio was going to be our death! Guess what ... WE ARE STILL HERE! The only thing that could have hurt us was the Internet, but now it's like our younger brother. We're using our website as our TV, video, information ... everything, and we are making money doing it. LOCAL Radio is still the place people turn to for companionship, to get the information they need now. How many times do you hear people say, "I heard it on the radio."
For someone vacationing in your market, what one thing would you say they "must see"?
A Mountaineer game is a must-see. A Pepperoni Roll is a must-eat.