10 Questions with ... Maynard
March 22, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in promotions at KQKQ (Sweet 98)/Omaha, NE., 'till I segued to full-time on-air. While in Omaha, I did stints on air at our Adult Alternative station, as well as weekends on Waitt Radio Networks Satellite Rock station. From there I moved to Eugene, OR to do nights, imaging and music at Clear Channel Top 40 KDUK. From there, I spent the next two years at Z100/Portland doing nights/APD/MD. I left Portland to become PD of both KZZU (Modern AC) and KEZE (Top 40/Rhy) Spokane. For the last 4 years, I have been PD/Middays here at MOViN 92.5!
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
A very long road ... I watched two complete staffs come and go, and I think the only reason I made it through was because I was the least-paid person on the staff. In all seriousness, I learned a ton! I showed up every day until they hired me, and then sat waiting for people to call in sick or quit, so that I would be at the right place at the right time. That last year, I went to school full-time, had my radio gig, another part-time job and spent the summer sleeping in an empty studio.
2) How would you describe the radio landscape in your market?
Competitive, with many well-branded heritage stations with great execution. It's a blast working in Seattle and I'm humbled to compete with such great programmers and talent. The listener is the clear winner in Seattle, as there are several points on the dial to find whatever type of music you are looking for. It's a radio geek's dream, watching each of them navigate around each other through the PPM lens. It's the never-ending point/counterpoint. It's like the weather here; they say give it another 20 minutes, and it will change.
3) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
We currently just segued to a Mainstream Top 40 from a Rhythmic Hot AC. This was about three years in the making. There was really no one like us in the whole country, and when other stations in the format started going away, we continued to excel and compete at an even greater level. We were always adapting, which led us to our next transition to Top 40. Before we made the "official" move to Top 40, we finished top 5 women in all core demos -- 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54! A few months after making the switch, we are #2, #3, and #4 with women 18-34, 18-49, and 25-54 for the month of January! This is the first station I have ever worked at, where there were no other stations to follow, or a format to lead us ... we just kind of cut our way through.
I had an opportunity that very few programmers get today; the ability to work with an amazing privately held company like Sandusky Radio, and I just got to go with my gut. There weren't any out-of-market examples of how it "should be done," which at times was a blessing and a curse. This experience has not been like any other that I have ever had.
4) What is your favorite part of the job?
Besides working with my GM, I would have to say scheduling music. I love it. I hope I'm doing it 'till the day I die. I also really love strategy, in every sense of the word. I love hearing that promo come in from production and feeling it in a way that I can't help but scream out loud ... "YEAH!" I love seeing a concerted effort and strategy pay off in PPM; five weeks all trending up and knowing that we did that. Knowing that we are essentially dealing with the same people from five weeks earlier, and we have done the impossible; slowly began to change behavior. There is nothing better than seeing a plan come together, no pun intended.
5) What is the most challenging part of the job?
Being in a career, that no matter how many hours you work or how sales-friendly you are, or how well you get along with the people you work with, no matter how many web clicks you get, that our job security is based on people that have never met us or seen us work. Even furthermore, a group of panelists that can change on the drop of a dime and can raise a station's cume from 8th to 2nd in a demo in just one week! It's not the norm, but its scary knowing big changes like that are more possible now than ever.
6) What's the coolest promotion you've been involved with recently?
Now why would I want to go and spread my secrets...?
7) Could you give us a little insight into your on-air staff?
Brooke and Jubal in the morning. Brooke has been with the station for the last few years and Jubal just joined us from our crosstown competitor. They have only been on-air together for a few months, but it's such an incredible feeling to drive to work in the morning and know that my favorite morning show is mine. Mason, who is hilarious, is on PM drive. She transitioned from part-time a few years ago to full-time, and brings something to PM drive in Seattle that most stations don't have ... an extremely funny woman!
Justin Barnes at night is amazing. Justin has been in the market the last three years doing PM Drive for another station, and has just recently begun to set the night on fire with us. He has his finger on the pulse of the city and he is the jock that other people try to be; the whole time being himself. I wish I was that cool when I did nights. Our mixer, DJ Mayhem, who's also on our morning show, is the best in the country, and my APD/MD Daniel W. is the future of this business.
8) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
I really like Brotha Fred at Kiss in Chicago. That's my boy. We both kind of started out low on the totem pole, driving several hours each way to do weekends in bigger markets. He is driven by the same things that drive me -- and it's not the money. The love of the craft and the people! It's not like we cure cancer, but we do have the ability to take someone's day, and make it just a little bit better.
9) What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
That's tough. I loved KIIS-FM in Los Angeles most of my life. When I was 17, though, KROQ won me over. Their street team was running through traffic tossing KROQ gear into car windows. The second that KROQ acoustic beanie flew through my car window, I was hooked. That's where I learned ... win the streets!
10) What is the current state of the radio 'talent pool'?
With syndication and voicetracking taking hold the way it has, I really don't think the talent pool has developed that well. Here at Sandusky Seattle, with the direction of, hands down, the most amazing GM Marc Kaye, we pride ourselves on the opportunity to breed talent. Working for Sandusky offers the luxury of a live and local platform, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are committed to helping talent grow. I have a couple guys right now that I know will do big things in this business, as long as there's room for them ... Kel Anthony, and CJ Miller.
For someone vacationing in your market, what one thing would you say they "must see"?
There isn't just one thing. I have lived all over the country and traveled to most of the states, and it just doesn't get prettier than Seattle. Call me up when you're in town, maybe I will show you around.