10 Questions with ... Dennis Constantine
September 12, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Started in Top 40 radio in Baltimore area in 1966.
- Became PD at WYRE/Annapolis 1969 (Top 40).
- Moved to Miami/Fort Lauderdale 1973 and worked at legendary stations WMYQ and Y100.
- Moved to Denver in 1974, Music Director and night deejay at KTLK (Top 40)
- Changed from Top 40 to AOR 1976. Mornings at KBPI Denver.
- Started KBCO 1977. Program Director/Ops Mgr/VP Programming through 1993.
- Consulted two dozen AAA stations in the late '80s through late '90s.
- Moved to Portland 1997. Program Director KINK through 2010.
- Moved to San Francisco. Dir./FM Programming KFOG/KSAN since February 2011
1. How did the chance to program the legendary KFOG come about for you?
I was available and Cumulus had an opening for a PD in SF. I met with Jan Jeffries, John and Lew Dickey and we all clicked. It is a marriage made in heaven.
2. You also program sister station the Bone. Tell us a bit about that.
The Bone is the Classic Rock station in SF. Great air staff, an amazing morning show, and the legendary Steven Seaweed in middays. And the station plays great music!
3. How would you describe the music on KFOG at this point in time?
Contemporary Adult Rock. The CAR format ... I just made that up.
4. What benchmark events from the station are you going to hold on to?
10@10 is legendary. Dave Morey, former morning man at KFOG, set the bar high. Annalisa is doing a great job of keeping it fresh and exciting. Acoustic Sunrise and Acoustic Sunset with Rosalie are benchmarks of the weekend KFOG.
5. You have made a few on-air changes ... tell us about that.
We hired Dred Scott (Dred of the Night) from The Sound in LA. He's added a great new spirit to the night times in the Bay Area. I'm on the air every afternoon.
6. What other "tweaks" have you made to KFOG?
We stay in touch with trends and keep the music fresh. I have a great partner in our Market Manager, Bill Bungeroth. Bill is constantly challenging the status quo and looking for the thing that will get radio listeners excited. It's a great partnership.
7. What stations do you like to keep track of?
I look at certain stations that have great PDs and MDs who listen to music, and to other stations that research their music. It's a mix of science and art. Listing those stations would give away my secret sauce.
8. What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
"Broadcasting" is an old model. It's no longer a top-down world where we can push our agenda on listeners. "Unicasting" is the model of the future, where radio stations can give listeners more choices to create the perfect listening environment for the moment, all under the brand name. With thousands of choices available, radio stations need to build strong brands that listeners can trust and will spend time with.
9. Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
I would love to learn how to extend the day so that I can better manage the thousands of e-mails that stack up in my inbox and all the phone calls that go unreturned.
10. What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
How you treat others is how you will be treated. The Golden Rule applies at all times and in all situations.
If you wanted to completely change careers today, what would you do?
The most important part of every job is to have fun. If you love what you do and have a great time doing it, then you will succeed. I love what I do, and if it weren't radio, it might be as a recording engineer, an editor, or a behind-the-scenes tech. Possibly a job as planning engineer. Whatever I do, it's most important to love what I do. I always remember when I got my first job in radio. I would have paid them to work there. I couldn't believe how cool and wonderful the job was. I always keep that perspective when I get up in the morning and feel blessed to do what I do.
Last non-industry job:
My Dad's restaurants in the '50s and '60s (Greeks own restaurants). I learned a lot about how to please the customer working in restaurants.
First record ever purchased:
Haley Mills "Let's Get Together (1961). I had a crush on Haley Mills in The Parent Trap. Hey, I was young with hormones.
Yardbirds (Jeff Beck era 1965)
Favorite band of all-time: