10 Questions with ... Phil Becker
January 17, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- General Manager Oasis Radio Group
- Operations Manager Oasis Radio Group
- WPYO/Orlando PD
- CKEY/Buffalo PD
- WJFX/Fort Wayne PD
- WBCD/Dothan PD
- WSNX/Grand Rapids APD
- WVTI/Grand Rapids MD
- WIRX and WYTZ/Benton Harbor Air Talent
1. When you were starting out in radio, did you ever imagine yourself as GM of a cluster?
I have always believed that my career would evolve into the General Managers position. I feel strongly that more programmers should be given the opportunity to step into the GM role. Our industry tends to be very narrow minded and only casts those with sales backgrounds into the GM seat.
In most operations though, the most well rounded employee is your programmer. In any other field of business that is the person most often to be the leader. Yet in radio the guy that generates the most revenue is the one that the career advancement goes to. The harsh reality is that if it were not for programmers, the sellers would not even be needed.
If you look at the loss of audience share and lack of imagination in our industry, I think it is directly related to the fact that not enough people from the creative side are asked to step up to the plate to lead a company's vision as the General Manger
2. Name two titles you have NOT held in your radio career?
Director of Engineering and Traffic Director. I truly have had every other job at a radio station.
3. From your perspective as a GM, what skills should programmers be developing?
The ability to negotiate contracts for employees, vendors and clients is an area that programmers should become versed in.
4. In September, Oasis Radio launched a Website with its own FM signal. What brought about the birth of Clickhop.com??
The Clickhop.com concept came out of my personal desire and passion to create products and brands that are progressive and innovative. Anyone interested in an in depth break out of the Clickhop.com concept is welcome to contact me. I am certain that we are having our "Zuckerberg" moment with our newest product.
5. Your stations have been very active in fund raising and helping communities in the area deal with some rather significant tragedy. Is that something that Oasis Radio has made a point to commit to?
Our involvement in fund raising is something that I am very proud of. In the last twelve months we have had sixth in depth community focused efforts. We do it because I believe that making a difference is more important than making a buck.
6. Like most people, you've had your professional ups and downs. What would be some of the career highlights?
For me watching people that I have hired, trained and coached go onto rewarding careers is the most personally gratifying career highlight. I have had team members that have gone onto media careers in New York, Atlanta, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Nashville, MTV, and network television.
7. How much new music do you still listen to?
I listen to new music daily. Having three contemporary formats in my building requires me to stay aware. I still believe that product must be perfect, polished and remarkable before we ever get sales involved. The music on each of our properties is step number one and I will never forget that.
8. Thinking back on what got you excited as a jock and a programmer, what gets you excited now as a GM?
Believe it or not, the same types of things. I get as excited about one of my jocks doing a killer break as when it was myself in that chair and I get pumped watching a seller close a deal that was "never going to happen".
9. Do you interface with other GMs as much as you did PDs when you were a programmer?
I don't spend a great deal of time talking to other radio GMs. I want to run our own unique course. Most of my conversations with General Managers are from non-media related business.
10. Think back to your first PD gig...what do you think your GM would say about you being a GM now?
I'm not sure he even knows my name.