10 Questions with ... Laura Duncan
January 24, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Have worked a variety of formats, including Classic Rock, AOR, Country, News/Talk, Oldies, Top 40, AC and Triple A. Spent 12 years as Program Director for stations that included WQRK, WWEG and WBIW in Southern Indiana. On-air includes co-host of morning show and at one time or another, all dayparts.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
When I was a young child, I used to listen to the radio under my pillow so my sisters (roommates) would not complain about being "kept awake against their will." I never really thought about radio broadcasting as a career choice. I really just lucked into this business. I used to call a local radio station and request songs. The PD asked me to come in and talk with him. He ended up giving me one overnight show per week. I fell in love.
2. Who were/are your mentors?
Karl Moore, my first PD, has been my mentor for 22 years. He put his faith in me when I had absolutely no experience and molded me into a professional. His work ethic is contagious and his love of life and sense of fun are inspirational. I still call him when I need to get to the heart of any major business decision in my life. My husband, Sean, is also my mentor. He spent 20 years as a radio professional; he trained me and guided me throughout my career. I would not be where I am today without him.
3. What do you view as the most important issue facing Triple A radio today?
Since I am not the President of the Triple A World, I will speak about the issues facing WTTS. I believe the focus, even in a PPM world, needs to be what it has always been -- DO GREAT RADIO. Know your audience and your community, reflect their tastes rather than dictate their tastes and deliver local and compelling content and connect.
4. What do you like best about your job?
Connecting with the WTTS listening family. Whether it is through on-air presentation, phone calls, e-mails or direct interaction at an event, connection is key. When I get ready for my show every day, I remember these words imparted to me by a friend: "Someone is going to hear you for the first time today; someone else is coming to the radio or the computer for their fix; and for someone else, you may be the last voice they hear." I think those words should be engraved in the wall of every radio station control room. Powerful.
5. What has been your biggest career highlight?
Working with Brad Holtz. He is one of the smartest programmers I have ever had the pleasure to work with and has taught me more than I care to admit (Surely Brad will read this, right?). Other than that, highlights include meeting the people responsible for crafting my musical tastes. I grew up listening to Chicago radio -- namely WXRT with a little WMET and WLUP thrown in. My desire to deliver excellence can be traced back to the influence of those radio stations.
6. What stations do you like to keep track of?
For business purposes, mostly those in the Indianapolis market. Making decisions for WTTS has to be based on what is best for the WTTS audience, not a Triple A station miles away in a completely different market setting. I do glance every once in a while, but "keep track of" may not be the correct wording.
7. Besides your own, what is your favorite radio format?
Probably News/Talk. I have programmed the format and always wanted to explore being a part of a talk show. If I could get over my shy nature, I just might try it sometime.
8. What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Good is the killer of Great.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ...
10. If you wanted to completely change careers today, what would you do?
I don't ever want to change careers, so I have not thought about it.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Believe it or not, I like to catch a great live show.
Last non-industry job:
Manager at Arby's
First record ever purchased:
Don't remember because my first albums were stolen from my sister's stash. Led Zeppelin "IV" and Neil Young "Harvest" were among the first to be thieved.
Favorite band of all-time: