10 Questions with ... Dave Benson
February 18, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Stumbled in, fell forward, gained momentum. Saw great sights, heard great songs, met great people. Took a few detours and hit the beach. And then found myself here.
1. How did you originally become interested in radio?
I was a music guy more than someone fascinated with radio. So, my initial reason for trying to get a job at the local underground station was to get my hands on all those albums.
2. After KMTT, you took some time off and traveled the country. What was your impression of radio from coast to coast?
I hardly listened. Because the vast majority of it isn't being done for someone like me -- it doesn't interest me. KHUM in Humboldt County gave me 40 minutes of personal enjoyment on a nice drive one day.
3. What prompted you to go to the noncomm side after all these years in commercial radio?
It seemed like it might be the only place to do what I do without having to do what I'd been doing.
4. As GM, what new skills will you need to nurture?
To find the financial fascinating.
5. What are some of the biggest challenges for noncomm radio?
Well, there's that pesky money thing. Figuring out how to build and grow the mutually beneficial relationship with our members. And how to find an identity and an entertaining presentation that radio can offer that isn't being replicated a thousand times over on the 'Net.
6. WNRN has a far reach; tell us about that.
These crazy folks built a network of transmitters, translators, streams and signals that puts us up and down Central Virginia in places I still don't know how to get to.
7. What is your biggest challenge specifically for WNRN because of that reach?
Making a connection with folks outside of Charlottesville -- with programming, promotion, membership and underwriting sales. Literally, just making people in these outlying areas know that we exist. We see amazing results from our signal reach into Richmond, but I doubt that 1% of our possible Richmond audience knows we exist.
8. Do you feel it is important for the station to remain musically adventurous?
I feel it's important for the station to be musically interesting and effective.
9. What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Packing light is the way to go.
10. What is the best advice you would give to young programmers/promotion people?
At least pretend you find me interesting.
Last Non-Industry Job:
I sold a house full of furniture.
First record ever purchased:
The Best of The Animals
The Mama's & Papa's. Dane Country Coliseum, Madison, Wis.
Favorite band of all-time:
Ask me in 20 years.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
I drive around and let Ziggy stick his head out the window.