10 Questions with ... Justin Tyler
June 9, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started my career with stops in Northern New Hampshire and Northern New York in 1999. I then worked as the OM for the Vox Radio Group/Glens Falls, NY from 2001-2005. Moved up to PD for Clear Channel in Poughkeepsie, NY and Springfield, MA from 2005-2007. I moved to be the PD/midday host of WWGR (Gator Country 101.9)/Fort Myers, FL from 2007-2009 and have been with Great Eastern Radio of New Hampshire/Vermont since then.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
As a kid growing up, I was always interested in radio. I would setup my small Fisher Price microphone/cassette player ... make a mix tape ... and act like I was playing "DJ" while my parents and their friends were around the pool. I knew I could actually do something in the business when one of my mother's friends asked her what radio station was on ... because "she really liked it." That's when I knew, even at 12 years old, that this is what I wanted to do.
2. What prompted you to launched WHDQ F2 (The River) as a Triple A?
We looked at the entire landscape of the market and came to the conclusion that what our market needed was a locally focused Triple A station. Our competition in the market is heritage and has been a great station for many years. We hope that by launching the River, we are giving the listeners another option that will make them want to tune in on a daily basis.
3. What is the set-up - an HD2 channel broadcasting on a signal?
This is something that we started talking about last year, and we really wanted to harness an opportunity that many broadcasters are taking the chance on. "The River" broadcasts on the HD2 of our big signal, WHDQ, and we rebroadcast it on a translator serving the market. The coverage area has impressed us and really hits the core of the market.
4. What markets will you be serving?
Lebanon, NH...Hanover, NH ... and White River Junction, VT.
5. How would you describe the music on the station?
The music selection for "The River," while mainstream Triple A has that "OH WOW" factor that we have gotten comments from listeners about. They love hearing a lot of familiar music but then all of a sudden being taken back by a song they love ... but mainstream radio doesn't play. Its music that you can listen to wherever you are, and if you are a business owner you know you can keep it on for your customers.
6. What marketing are you doing to get the word out about the station?
We took some newspaper ads out, but I will say Facebook has been such a valuable tool. We took out some Facebook advertising for the launch and continue to focus on social media on expanding the reach of the station. It is such a valuable tool to harness onto.
7. Tell us about the other stations in the cluster.
We have WHDQ, which is Classic Rock ... WGXL, which is Adult Top 40 ...WXXK, which is Country ...WWOD, which is Classic Hits ... and WTSL-A, which is ESPN Radio.
8. Are you doing the programming or have you plugged in a PD or MD?
I'm doing the programming for the station, along with programming WGXL and WWOD directly while overseeing the operations of our company.
9. When do you plan on having live jocks?
We have a morning show starting on July 1st ... and we have live (and local) personalities from 10a -10p already on the air. While it was great to launch the station with just music, adding personality brings the station to another level. It was amazing to hear our listeners say when we launched, that they loved the music but wanted to hear a voice. It goes to show what the radio audience wants ... and it will always ring true ... personality.
10. What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
PERSONALITY and LOCALISM! I can't stress that enough. It still puzzles me to this day when radio stations who are counted on to serve an area, are not reporting on important issues. Our area was devastated by Tropical Storm Irene three years ago, and our stations were live and talking to the local audience about how the storm affected them. I was blown away that some stations were talking about what happened on TV the night before ... while bridges and homes were being washed away five miles down the road. If you aren't going to be local and have a personality, why even try to compete? You are essentially Pandora or iTunes Radio with a transmitter and a tower ... but yet they can be carried wherever you go. The advantage we have over those services is we CAN be counted on in an emergency, and we can make people laugh on a daily basis. So let's harness that and run with that advantage.
Last non-industry job:
Cashier at Wendys back in college ...Would you like fries with that?
First record ever purchased:
Milli Vanilli ... Yes, I can admit that.
Favorite band of all-time:
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Spending time with my beautiful wife Tricia and my four young boys. They keep me running continuously, but wouldn't change anything with it!