10 Questions with ... Dan Hunt
December 10, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- afternoons at WGZR/Savannah, GA
- nights at WWVV/Savannah, GA
- PD/mornings at WGZO/Savannah, GA
- PD/afternoons at WKPO/Madison, WI
- PD/middays at WWKX/Providence, RI
- PD at WRDW/Philadelphia, PA
1. Congratulations on winning the Marconi this year. Let's hear the key points of your acceptance speech.
I would have to start by thanking the entire Wired 96.5 team which includes Bruce Beasley, Natalie Conner, Justin Chase, Dom Theodore, Bill Tanner, Chris Ackerman, Chunky, Ghia, Tingle, JP, Casey, Buster, DJ Bonics, Late Night Mijo, Bethany Kent, Samantha Sylvia and everyone else in our building that was involved in the win! This award was not won because of one person but because of the team effort of so many different people working together to achieve the same goal.
2. What do you think the Marconi voters saw in WRDW?
Wired 96.5 is not just a radio station; it has become a brand over the past two years. We are live and local 24/7. We live on social media and fight for social causes. The station is a partner in the Equality Forum, which fights for gay rights in Philadelphia. We created The Backpack Challenge to collect backpacks and school supplies for kids in the foster care system. This week we just completed our 1st ever bike drive to collect new bicycles for these same foster care children. We are more than just a jukebox that is competing against our immediate competitors and those in the new media world; we are a radio station that you can connect with on a local level.
3. I'm most excited about my job when ________________
What makes me most excited about my job is when I have the time to be creative and innovate. Nothing is better than taking a moment to take two steps back and listen, then reevaluate what you are doing and improve. The daily interaction that I have with my staff also gets me excited. I am blessed to work with some of the best in the business here in Philly.
4. WRDW is your first foray into major market radio. What's been best thing about coming to Philadelphia?
The best thing about coming to Philadelphia is that my profile has increased. I feel like I've accomplished and done some many amazing things in my radio career, but for some reason, most people didn't take notice until I moved to Philadelphia.
5. Time for some quick self-evaluation. What makes you so special?
I pride myself on my team-building skills and my abilty to help my team achieve its goals. I have had luck finding diamonds in the rough throughout my career and been able to push them into the spotlight to the point where other radio stations come calling. I would put my current staff up against any other radio station across the country and feel confident that we would win everytime.
6. Let's do something different and look back. What tool that you have now in Philadelphia do you wish that you had at your disposal in Madison?
I truly don't know if I would go back and change a thing. I have grown and learned from every job I have ever had, and it is dangerous to play the what-if game. I can think of a few things that I may have done differently, but I know that we had an amazing radio station in Madison. The only thing we needed to put it over the top was a full signal.
7. How are your wife and kids liking Philadelphia?
We enjoy exploring the city as a family. My wife, Melissa, is the queen of public transportation and can tell you how to get anywhere via bus or train. My daughter Anna just made honor roll and has become very worldly (her best friends are from all over the world). My son Shamus is playing the French Horn in the school orchestra and has met a best friend for life in Will McIntosh. I always say that all is well in the world as long as we have each other.
8. What's your favorite song on the station right now?
I have two songs, both of which we stepped out on recently: Katy Perry -- Dark Horse and Eminem -- Headlights.
9. Most underrated record executive?
I wouldn't say Ayelet Schiffman is underrated, but I would say that nobody works harder for her artists and her stations. If I was an artist, I would want Ayelet to work my song. Lee L'Heureux is equally as passionate, and both should have the opportunity to run a record label someday.
10. Who would you cast as Dan Hunt in a new Showtime series called "Wired"? Go ahead and cast the rest of your staff, Chunky, Tingle, Ghia, etc
I am going to assume that this series is being backed by WWE Films, so here we go:
- Dan Hunt: Damian Sandow
- Chunky: The Big Show
- Ghia: Brie Bella
- Tingle: Chris Jericho
- Producer JP: Ryback
- Casey: AJ Lee
- Buster: CM Punk
- Bonics: The Rock
- Late Night Mijo: Ray Mysterio
How can radio stations and record companies do better to help each other?
We all need to work together better to maintain and develop artists for each format. Top 40 and Rhythm record labels have become content with the big national roll-out platforms that some companies offer, and I truly believe that it ends up hurting the artists in the long run. We have a country station down the hall, and I am truly jealous of how well thought-out and focused the plan to break a new artist can be in their format.
Right now, Rick, Noah and Scott at Def Jam are doing an amazing job of developing a star with Iggy Azalea. They have done a great job of getting the artist to radio and making sure that programmers understand the end game, which is very important.
Cheesesteak or Maine lobster?
I am going to give the victory to the Philly Cheesesteak. I never liked them until I moved here.
You're a radio veteran now. Got any sage advice for a relative newbie in programming?
Find a great mentor and learn from that person. Always trust your gut and be true to yourself. Be willing to move anywhere and never stop learning and growing with each job.