10 Questions with ... Brian "Big Bear" Davis
October 29, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started out doing college radio while I was at Fresno State on THE MIGHTY 90.7 KFSR. While doing college radio, I began interning at KBOS/Fresno working with Tony Tecate. In 2000, I came to KCAQ to do the Love Pad (slow jams show). After grinding it out I had the opportunity to be APD/MD. Years later, after more hard work, I had the opportunity to be Program Director for KCAQ, and now after more years of hard work and navigating through it all, I am Director of Programming/ Broadcast Operations for Gold Coast Broadcasting and Program Director for KCAQ.
1. What's most exciting to you about radio today?
In a way, it's the same things that got me into it in the first place. The Love and excitement of being able to connect with people via the music, first.
On another note, it's the fact that we have all (as a medium) had to step our game up, and remain relevant. I like the fact that you cannot just be in radio and be an introvert anymore, you have to really connect with people. Collectively, we have all done a great job of understanding the needs of "real people" and our audiences. I think that we've (radio) gotten over ourselves, and are doing a better job of using our stations, and other platforms available to us.
2. What are some of the biggest challenges in programming for two markets, Oxnard-Ventura and Riverside?
Just the little nuances of being graded on different things. One of our markets is still a diary market, while the other is PPM. It's hard if you make it hard, but the truth is, "good is good". Good product, good music, good content, good execution. Many of the practices that people say "you have to do" to maximize meters, often times are just good practices. At the end of the day, we just want to make it great.
3. In addition to being a programmer, you're a big music fan. Where are the next stars of Hip Hop?
Probably already in your market, selling out medium sized venues. It's happening... and it's exciting. People are telling us what they like, and if we pay attention, we can harness it and use it to go along with what we need to accomplish with our brands.
4. Where are the next stars of radio?
In your market at some of the same shows I mentioned in question #3. Or they're making some clever Vine or Youtube video in your market. There are some really creative, clever, passionate people out there. You can teach radio, but those other things you cannot, so those are the people we're looking for/grabbing.
5. You're based in Oxnard-Ventura. What other markets do you work with as Gold Coast's Operations head?
Riverside-San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, and Palmdale-Lancaster, for now.
6. What's your favorite song on Q104.7, right now?
Ty Dolla $ign "Paranoid"
7. Who inspired you, early on in life, to push yourself?
Hands down... My Grandparents (Mom's and Dad's side). There is the term that says, "It takes a village to raise a child..." I am a true product of that. I had a conversation with my grandmother a few weeks ago, and I was thanking her, first for the prayers that I know she sent up before I got here, and still sends up today, and for making sure that we (me, my brothers, cousins etc.) were never told (or allowed to be told) that we "couldn't" do something... (I hope that makes sense)
8. What do you like to do with all of your spare time?
Oh wow... I mean I have so much of that. Seriously, I enjoy time with my family (immediate and distant). I have a 5 year old who keeps me on my toes, and I like to make sure that she has the opportunity I had to be raised by the village, so whenever we can we're out doing some random thing on the weekend, or connecting with family. I am also a reader of anything, so I stay in several books.
9. How do you keep up with what's hot in social media applications and how they relate to your stations?
First off, I have a great team, who all keeps each other in check. If there is something that seems to be gaining traction or that we can use to enhance some of our products, we figure out how to make it work for us and implement it. Even more importantly we revisit everything (often) to see if what was working, and "hot" two weeks ago, is still true today. I also just look to keep myself educated, and informed on all of it. You know, try new things, mess things up, figure out what you won't do again, get a good feel, it becomes irrelevant, than you start all over again.
10. You're working with many stations with different target demos, how does that affect social media use and implementation?
It's just speaking through different filters, and wearing different hats. The cool thing is that it's not just me. It's our entire staff that has to do this. We all work on all the stations. So the skill sets, and attention to detail that we have to have is intense. Once you've been doing it for awhile, and understand that you have to be focused, it just becomes part of what you do.
What can record companies do better to help radio?
This will sound cliche... but it's just communication. We work in the same field, area or whatever you want to call it, but we serve different functions. If everyone understands, and acknowledges that, then it's easy to discuss things.
Best meal in Oxnard-Ventura?
The Waffle Breakfast from Café Noveau. Trust me. They have a magic syrup recipe, it's crazy good. Let me know when you're in town, and we can hit it up.