10 Questions with ... John Harper
September 14, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I've worked in commercial radio since the mid-'70s in a variety of formats (mostly in Richmond, VA), including AC, Top-40, AOR and Triple A. From 1984 to 1993, I programmed Triple A WOBR (Beach 95 FM) on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I was out of radio until 2011, when I joined WVOD (99.1-The Sound) (thanks Matt Cooper and Mike Smith).
My regular on-air shift (which includes "Two From the Archives" and "The Acoustic Lunch") is 10a-noon Monday through Saturday. I also voicetrack 6p-midnight weekdays on two Classic Rock stations in our building.
In addition, I have a mobile DJ business and write about entertainment for the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
Radio was intriguing and mysterious when I was a kid. I loved music. Being a DJ seemed a cool way to make a living.
2. With Matt Cooper stepping back, what role will you play at WVOD?
The GM, Mike Smith, and I will program the music, with me reporting and taking calls.
3. Will you still hold your 10a-noon air shift?
Yes -- I'll continue with that shift.
4. Will there much of a change in the music/sound of the station?
Nothing radical, but certainly that will be some tweaking (mostly weeding out some tired titles) in the coming weeks. We plan on playing more new music.
5. What do you think of the current state of the Triple A format?
It's alive and well.
6. What do you like best about your job?
Discovering new music.
7. What are some of your biggest challenges as an independently owned station?
We're owned by Max Media in Virginia Beach, but even though it is a smaller company, they give us many tools to get the job done.
8. What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
The relationship is between the DJ and the listener, not the DJ and his ego.
9. What is the best advice you would give to young programmers/promotion people?
Stay aware, not only of music, but also of your community and the world.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ....
Last non-industry job:
Working in an independent bookstore
First record ever purchased:
Meet the Beatles.
James Brown or Otis Redding.
Favorite band of all-time:
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Playing tennis and hanging with my family and friends.