10 Questions with ... Dan Reed
May 13, 2013
1. How did the idea for the NONCOMMvention come about?
John ... now how am I supposed to remember back that far? Thirteen years ago? It was actually an attempt to get all of the noncomm stations together to discuss the special challenges and opportunities that we all shared on the left side of the dial ... and hear some cool music. It hasn't changed from that initial idea, really.
2. But how has the gathering changed over the past 13 years?
It's gotten bigger. More competitive. Harder to book. More moving parts. But it's more fun every year. I think the items we are discussing now are much different, obviously.
3. Tell us about the great WXPN/World Cafe Live facility you have at your disposal.
We work in an awesome facility. We just added another studio upstairs, as a matter of fact. The venue next door is owned and operated separately from us, but we do a lot of work with them. It's an impressive operation, and I'm very, very fortunate to work in these surroundings.
4. Are you trying anything new or different this year?
I'm actually going to try to get some sleep the week before!
5. Who is your NONCOMMversation with this year?
The one and only DON WAS. I'm so psyched! He's got one of the most impressive producer resumes ever, and he's now the President of Blue Note Records. I actually had the opportunity to do a phoner with him last week on my radio show, and I can tell you that this will be a great conversation. This is a guy who obviously understands music, but - more importantly - he loves it.
6. You have a great lineup of performances this year. Who are you most excited about seeing?
So many, but I'm really excited to see this guy JOHN MURRY play on Wednesday night. His album "The Graceless Age" is my favorite album of the first half of the year. It's just such a killer record. I'll be up front for that one, for sure.
7. What are some of the biggest challenges Public radio faces today?
Funding. Engaging younger generations. Staying relevant in the face of all those entertainment choices out there. We need to strive to make radio a primary destination again, which is easier said than done. I continue to believe in the power of radio to change lives, to be an awesome companion and to create real excitement.
8. What are some the biggest accomplishments for Public radio in past few years?
Hey, we're still here! It's interesting ... if you look at the list of these noncomm stations who will be represented here this year, so many of the same ones are showing up. In the Triple A world, we've gained quite a few new stations, but we've actually lost very, very few. Most of us have been through some trying times - especially financially - but we're still standing.
9. What is the best advice you would give to young programmers/promotion people?
Don't e-mail BOB LEFSETZ looking for advice. Ask JOHN SCHOENBERGER instead.
10. What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Hard work trumps just about everything all the time. And, if you admit that you're wrong when you are, people will respect you more. That's two truths for the price of one. Like a bonus track.
How do you feel about the current climate of music?
Partly cloudy, with a 50% chance of more stupid hats and banjos.