10 Questions with ... Bobby Russell
May 26, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started full-time in radio in 1978 at WLBZ/Bangor. Did mornings at WSTW/Willmigton, DE 1988-1989. Returned to Maine to program WKIT/Bangor in 1990. Stephen King bought station in 1995 and added WZLO in 2000.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I have loved radio pretty much all my life. I remember listening to my transistor radio with the earpiece in bed so my parents wouldn't know I was still up. I loved tuning in WRKO/Boston or WKBW/Buffalo late at night and hearing the jocks. I always wanted to be on the air.
2. How long has WZLO been a Triple A station?
103.1 first went Triple A in 2000 as WDME. The station changed call letters to WZLO a couple of years ago.
3. How did management decide on the format?
That's an easy one. I'm the GM, plus the owner, Stephen King, is a fan.
4. How would you describe the music on the station?
The music is a blend of new and old Triple A artists plus a touch of Blues, American and Roots Rock, with the occasional "what the hell was that" from the vault.
5. What new bands excite us?
The Hard Working Americans, Lake Street Dive, Tedeschi Trucks, St Paul & The Broken Bones, Devlan James Band, Sons of Bill, Jake Bugg and Slaid Cleaves.
6. What would surprise people about the station?
I guess some folks are surprised to find out author Stephen King owns the station and will often bring me new music to listen to.
7. Tell us about Bangor
The Bangor market is quickly becoming the entertainment center for the state. This summer alone we are host to James Taylor, Steely Dan, Sarah McLachlin, Dave Matthews Band, plus rockers Boston, Cheap Trick, Styx, Don Felder, Queen of the Stone Age, Seether, Avenge Sevenfold ,and country artists such as Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum and Willie Nelson. That's pretty darn cool for a city the size of Bangor!
8. What efforts are you making to reach out to the community?
The Zone Corporation's WZLO, WZON and WKIT take great pride in our community involvement. We just finished helping the Bangor Library raise $9 million for some much needed improvements including replacing the 100-year-old copper dome roof. We are now in the process of collecting over 10,000 pounds of food for the local food cupboards.
9. What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
Remaining local, relevant and embracing new ideas. We are in the process of going HD ...
10. I can't make it through the day without ...
... a good laugh.
Last non industry job:
Played in a band
First record purchased:
The Beatles "She Loves You"
My dad took me to see Buck Owens
Favorite band of all time:
What do you enjoy doing in spare time away from work?
Hang with my wife, Rosemary, and our two goldendoodles .