10 Questions with ... Greg Williams
March 29, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Top 40 KLEO/Wichita, Top 40 KEYN/Wichita, Country KCBQ/San Diego, Top 40 KKRD/Wichita, Top 40/Rhythmic KDGS/Wichita
1. Do you remember the first time you went into a radio station and studio? What was your first impression?
Yes I do! I was 12 years old and instantaneously I was hooked. Every Sunday afternoon used to ride my bicycle out to radio station KLEO (a flame throwing AM Top 40 from back in the day!). If my Mom knew where I was riding every Sunday, I am certain that she would have given me a whipping that I would never forget! One day, one of the news guys (remember when radio stations did news 7 days a week?) Yelled at me and said "hey kid! You wanna come in?" After all, they would see me every Sunday afternoon sitting in their parking lot and watching the DJs going in and out of the building. Needless to say, that was a day that changed my life forever. I knew from that moment on that I wanted to be in radio. I am proud to say that the only work that I have ever done has been in radio.
2. What's been the highlight of the KDGS portion of your radio career?
Wow! Where do I begin? From day one, every day and every moment has been an adventure. The highlights include winning Station of the Year at the Gavin in 2002, numerous S.I.N. Awards, being named to the Entercom #1 club four times and counting, but the absolute best was when we firmly established KDGS as the number one contemporary music brand in the market. We dethroned long time market heritage Top 40 KKRD, and ultimately forced them to blow up the frequency and turn the station off. Which I believe was a colossal blunder by the station owners, but it was a HUGE victory to deliver the knockout punch to a station for over 20 years was the market leader. I should know because I was the music director at KKRD for 16 years. This was particularly sweet because when I left KKRD to become the PD at KDGS I was told that it was a huge mistake and that the Rhythm format in Wichita could never win. Well, we did win, and it only took 6 months to become the ratings leader, it took another 2 years for the competitors to realize that this was no fluke, and four years later we delivered the knockout punch. Now we are the market leader and everyone is aiming for us. The tables have turned from the hunter to the hunted.
3. You've got a new MD in Royce "Rolls Royce" Stevenson. What do you think is the most important thing you're teaching him as a programmer?
Royce has tremendous passion. He is loyal, committed, dedicated, and eager to grow and learn. Royce has assumed a key role on my team. He takes direction well and he asks a lot of questions. The most important thing is teaching him that today's PD has numerous multi-faceted roles and that person has to be knowledgeable as a total brand manager when positioning the brand on a number of marketing platforms. We must be creative enough to think outside of the box and find ways to bring value that continually monetize our brand. That there are trends in our business that demand that we are continually prepared to face the challenge to create fun radio, as we do more with less.
4. Wichita is not yet a PPM market. Do you spend much time pondering what you might do differently, if it were?
We have already learned some very valuable lessons as we start to collect data about PPM and how we function in this new arena. As we evolve we have learned that some old tried and true radio principles really do apply and that there are some things that we need to fundamentally change and re-apply. As a result, we have started to implement these changes now, because now, more than any other time in broadcasting we have some real data that is giving us clear trends in how people listen to their radios. There are some old diary practices that still apply in our market, for example, brand re-enforcement and brand recall make a huge difference. I do not know when if ever we will get PPM in Wichita, but we need to be prepared when and if we do. Also, as a broadcast professional I need to be prepared to execute successful radio whether it is in Wichita or another PPM market.
5. What about Wichita might surprise people unfamiliar with the city/market?
It is a beautiful city with a proud heritage. It is the largest city in the state and that we have a very diverse population of whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. The city is CRAZY about sports and loves a winner, so Wichita State basketball and baseball are very huge. The cost of living here is about 10% less than anywhere else in the country, and the people here are friendly, patient, supportive, and there is a real sense of community that is like nowhere else in the country.
6. Taking a quick look back on records over the years, any records that you may have been late on or missed that you'd like to take a "mulligan" on?
There have definitely been a couple...LOL!
7. You're a busy man. PD...mornings...school...family. Have you wrapped up your Master's?
I have taken a break from school for now. I started working on a master's in public administration, got 12 hours into and realized, this was not something that I had a passion for. So I am re-evaluating this part of my life. I love education and I have a continual thirst for knowledge and to learn, so I am like 15 all over again trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up! I am blessed with a beautiful and loving wife. Her name is Necol, she absolutely the best person I have ever known, EVER. She is patient and she puts up with me and trusts me. That is no easy task. I have an incredible family and a little 6 year old girl that absolutely owns my heart. So coming home every day is something I ALWAYS look forward to. Personally and professionally I am blessed beyond measure
8. If you could have an extra $50,000 in your operational budget going forward in 2011...where might you spend it?
9. Got a favorite vacation spot?
Hawaii, anywhere where there is sand and a beach and no cold weather!
10. Please complete this sentence. 'If I was the President of the United States, I would...
Propose legislation to address laws on the care for seniors in our country. Being in a situation where my 88 year old mother has Alzheimer's and being her guardian, the current system is designed to financially suck the monetary worth of seniors and destroys all that they have worked their whole life to have for their own security and well being. Care for the elderly is a financial train that has had free will in cost that requires families to make tough decisions regarding the care of their loved ones. It is something you never think of until you have to deal with it as a family and it is one of the toughest things that you will ever have to do.
Professional golfer or quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs?
Well, I love golf, but like Tony Dungy, I suck at it! My days and illusions of playing football have long faded away. If I had an option to be a coach, then that would be the best choice! LOL!