10 Questions with ... Terri Thomas
January 25, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started in radio at 14 on WHSR. I'm a graduate of Emerson College. I spent four years on WERS on air and programming. I moved to Columbus, GA to work for Davis Broadcasting at WFXE as middays and programming assistant. I spent one year in Tallahassee at WHBX as middays/APD/MD. I joined Blue Chip Broadcasting (later bought by Radio One) in Cincinnati as middays/APD/MD and later PD of WIZF. I was promoted to my current stations in Houston five years ago.
1. What got you interested in Radio?
Music! I always loved music and was a radio junkie. I took a tour of community station WHSR when I was a freshman in high school and the GM said if I could get my FCC 3rd Class license he would give me a shift after school... I did and so the journey began
2. What excites you about coming to work in the morning?
Radio gives you the unique ability to make a difference in someone's day... EVERY day!
3. As a woman rising in radio programming/management, did you run into obstacles that you can specifically attribute to being a woman?
My first PD, Philip David March always taught me that it would always be more difficult for a woman. He challenged me to learn my craft from the bottom up. He knew that in order for me to achieve my goal, I would need to work 3x harder and make sure I was a lifelong A student. He always said: "know your ish!"
4. Best advice for jocks looking to make the jump in programming?
You have to know what you're seeking. This job has evolved into something very different from when I began in radio. It used to be that most of your day would be surrounded by listening to music, writing promos and coaching your talent. Now, we wear more hats than we ever imagined and are responsible to the bottom line in a very real way. Once they investigate fully what the job requires, seek opportunities to help. The smallest task could lead to greater responsibility. Ask questions. Study... study.. study... and netWORK to increase your netWORTH. Who you know may help you get there, what you know will help you stay.
5. Your talents aren't limited to programming successful radio stations. Aren't you also an author?
I am! I published my first children's book "J Mac is the Freestyle King" (www.thefreestyleking.com) and I am a staff writer for Frequency Magazine.
6. What lead you to write?
I'm a creative soul by nature and I needed to find an additional outlet for expression. (Too many ideas in my head waiting to come out - lol). I think that children are born without limits and it's the world that teaches them what's not possible. I wanted to inspire kids to know that anything is possible. My message in my book is to "keep God first and follow your dreams".
7. KBXX has been an amazing ratings winner in Houston through the transition to PPM and beyond. Is there a simple answer for why?
We have a great team who understands our station needs to be a positive reflection of the culture in which we serve.
8. Local artists seem to have always been a significant part of KBXX's music. Do you treat local artist's music any differently than national, big label releases?
I hold all artists to the same standard of quality. It must be good enough to earn the slot. We spend a lot of time coaching artists on how to be prepared for success in our industry. The cream rises to the top and our station is just one representative of the rich musical heritage of Houston.
9. You've had some turnover in your staff in 2010. You seemed very measured in filling the spots. Is that something that you've always done as a programmer?
I think you have to find the best fit. Someone who will enhance the team, grow with your station, and be a positive force at all times. I look for talent potential, quality of character and heart. There's a lot of talent on the market and I was honored to meet and interview so many gifted people - ultimately, taking your time to make the right choice is the best choice. Plus, someone may not be the best fit here but I was honored to recommend many of the people I met for other openings across the country.
10. If you were to leave Radio today and you could choose any other occupation, what would it be?
Writer and speaker. I aspire to inspire people to motivate themselves to achieve their dreams. There are so many people that allow others or situations and circumstances to set limits for their lives... I want to help them clear out the clutter and inspire people to reconnect with their inner child and rekindle the spark to follow their destiny and live their dreams.
What do you like to do to relax away from the office/studios?
I play the saxophone, work out, movies, spending time with loved ones. It's the simple things :)
What's your favorite song your NOT playing on The Box right now?
David Banner and 9th Wonder "Death of a Popstar" entire cd is the BIZness!