10 Questions with ... Maurice "Mo Better" Rivera
February 28, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I have worked in many facets of the entertainment business, radio, ad agencies, record labels, social media companies, etc. I have programmed College and Urban Stations. I take pride in being the Chairman of the Hip-Hop Committee for the Memphis Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. I curate the Mo Better Hip-Hop Stream for news app Taptu. I also consult individuals and companies on social media, digital marketing strategies, and direct to fan/consumer connections.
1. Why Radio?
I never really went looking for radio, radio actually found me. I always knew I would be in the entertainment industry just never thought about radio it just happened.
2. In your mind, what's the key to radio growing amid the competitive environment today?
The most wonderful thing about terrestrial radio... it's FREE! Free to listeners. Think about all of the different formats available in each market. The key is simple, offer programs that connect with your community. If you're a news station, break the news, a Hip-Hop station... break new music but make sure you're up-to-date on how to reach your listenership, social media, fashion trends, lifestyle, etc.
3. You've been a promotions director, PD, and now you're a sales executive in Memphis. Is there anything you haven't done in radio?
Let's see... started as a jock in college, street team, janitor... only thing left I guess is GM.
4. How did your experience as a promotions director help you as a program director?
As a promotions director you must work hand in hand with your PD because I believe promotions is an extension of programming. The transition for me was painless because I've always been close to my previous PD's so learning and improving what I learned was easy.
5. You bring tremendously varied experience to your sales department. What edge did being former PD give you as you jumped into sales?
Some people can sell, some can't. I approached sales from a different view from anyone I know. I make a personal connection with each client. The fact that I have worked in multiple departments in my radio career I think I have an edge. The major advantage is that I know the product so when I talk to a client I know all aspects of the station. Also I don't have to wait to pitch a promotion to a client I just go off the top of my head.
6. Social media isn't just important to the programming department. What about in radio sales?
It's the most under utilized aspect at any station in the United States. Social media is the new street team. As a revenue stream... it's endless. From banner ads, streaming video, online promotions, social media can be a new NTR stream for a station who finds the right person who understands social media and analytics. Did I mention I now all of that?
7. About programming...miss it?
No... OK I'm lying yes I do miss it. It's hard sometimes to ride in markets listening to stations and wondering why the hell are they playing this or not playing that? Or I can't believe that jock had 10 thoughts in that one break.
8. As a former Rhythmic programmer, I used to hear account executives practically apologizing to clients for Rhythmic and/or Hip Hop programming. Have you run into clients expecting to hear those apologies?
No, if I run into a client who says they don't like that kind of music, I laugh and ask them do they refuse to sell their product to those who do listen to Hip-Hop? The answer is always no. See my point?
9. If Twitter and Facebook are the superstars. Who are a few important role players?
FourSquare, Instagram, Tumblr, uStream, Google+, Pinterest, just to name a few. If your station is not using all of these, Hire me!
10. You've lived in a number of markets around the country. Anywhere you'd like to live and work?
New York, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, San Antonio, Dallas, Orlando, or anywhere with an NBA Team #GoSpursGo
If you were to leave Radio and music today and you could choose any other, non-related occupation, what would it be?
Work for a sports franchise.
You may not be programming right now but you have an interesting perspective on record promotion execs. I'll give you 4 TV "reality" shows. Give me which promotion executive you'd like to see as a contestant on that show.
The Bachelor: Dee Sonaram (as the Bachelor)
The Apprentice: Joey Carvello
Wipeout: Sujit Kundu
American Idol: Deb Dorsey