10 Questions with ... Dan Hunt
April 19, 2011
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
1. Why Radio?
I can never think of a moment that I did not love radio. Radio plays the best music. Radio gives away the best prizes. Radio allows listeners to be the stars! Radio gives listeners access to the stars. This is the greatest job ever. We are the in the entertainment business on a local level; how can you beat that?!
2. Best life lesson learned in radio?
That surrounding myself with a great staff of hardworking and passionate people who share my vision for success is a must. My co-workers are my other family, and just like at home, we all need to be pitch in together for it to all work. Every Program Director should hire a team of all-stars; it will make you look like a genius very quickly.
3. Taking a look outside of radio, any role models or people you really look up to?
My only role models outside of radio are my Mom and Dad. They are both extremely hardworking people who lead by example. My Mom is a first generation Irish-American who grew up in the same project as DMX. She was the first in her family to go to college, and now she is an extremely success Nurse Practitioner in Maine. My Dad built, from the ground up, one of the most successful law practices in the history of Northern Maine. My entire childhood I watched them put in that extra work on Saturdays and Sundays to get ahead, and they did this all while successfully raising a family.
4. At what point in your radio career did you know that you wanted to be a programmer?
I got into radio wanting to be the #1 night guy in the city (which I did at WWVV/Savannah, shout out to my Adventure Radio family). After being in the building for about six months, I caught the programming bug. I loved to watch the Program Directors make the record labels squirm. I loved to ask the question why? I loved to come to my Program Director with liner and promotion ideas. I will never forget the day my GM, Mike Buxser, called me into his office and told me that they were taking a station Top 40 and that he wanted to make me the Program Director! From that point on, I have never looked back.
5. When you've had a rough day, what do you do to get back to your happy place?
I think we will cover the answer to this question in my answer to Question 6. Having a chunk of metal miss your heart by three millimeters puts things into perspective for you pretty quickly. The things that anger us daily are not as important as we think they are because you could be dead. Don't get me wrong, I go to war daily for my radio station, but I now have a life point that I can think back to that makes me remember how important family and friends are.
6. So you're lying on the floor with a bolt stuck in your chest...what was going through your mind?
My first thought was, I can't die this way, too many people will be making fun of me at my funeral. My second thought was, my heart is still beating and my lungs are still working so maybe I will survive. My third thought was that if I can stay calm and make it to the hospital I probably will survive. My fourth thought was, who is going schedule music for tomorrow because there is no way I am making it work?!
7. Think back to when you were 10 years old. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Most of my childhood I believed that I would become a lawyer and join my father in his practice. With that said, I picked the "Radio DJ" card on career day in second grade (Everyone else kept putting it back after they saw how much money the job paid, but I was smart enough to know that it would be the coolest career ever).
8. What do you view as the strength of Hot 106?
Brand passion. We have some of the best listeners in the world. They are loyal and attend all of our events. We have the most follows on Twitter in Rhode Island! We have the most Facebook fans in Rhode Island! They participate in the conversation, and we listen! We are as obsessed with the listeners as they are obsessed with the radio station. I actually get star struck not by artists but by our Hot 106 super fans!
9. What do you think is the biggest way that you have grown as a programmer at Hot 106?
In Madison, I played it safe. In Providence, I have gone with my gut and a strategy of big gains over a short period of time to cultivate success. The PPM has also forced me to grow and think differently about how the listeners consume radio.
10. I don't think people outside of the Northeast have a strong public perception of Providence. How do you think people perceive Providence and how accurate is that perception?
Providence is an amazing city! It is has so much to offer. Broadway musicals are always at the Providence Performing Arts Center. The best restaurants in the country are located here, due to the Johnson and Wales University culinary school. We are home to the minor league teams for the Red Sox and Bruins. The downtown is thriving day and night. Maybe once Pauly D's spin-off reality show hits MTV everybody will understand the hidden gem that is Providence, Rhode Island! This is hands down one of the best places to live in the country.
Want to play Word Association? What comes to mind when I say, "PPM"?
Let's say that the "Dan Hunt Story" is being made into a HBO or Showtime series. Which actor plays Dan Hunt? Who would you choose to play your lovely wife, Melissa?
Ben Affleck would play me since we have matching giant Irish heads. Jennifer Garner would play Melissa since they are married in real life.