10 Questions with ... Maxx Myrick
August 23, 2011
1) Where and what was your first job in radio? Early influences?
First job was in 1977 at WKLR in Toledo, OH. Early influences were Charlie "Chuck" Welch and Paul Brown at WKLR, Brother Bill Gable and Ted Richards at CKLW, and Frankie Crocker at WBLS.
2) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it?
I would definitely do it because I love radio, and what radio can do to impact the lives of listeners and communities.
3) You have had some very unique experiences with Sirius/XM. You had an opportunity to do some very innovative things with jazz. There was a hole that was never really filled when you left. Share some of those highlights with us. Does anything surprise you along the lines of new media platforms in terms of effectiveness with the audience that WHUR now needs to reach?
It was an honor to work with Wynton Marsalis at XM to create North America's largest and most successful real Jazz radio station. It's an exciting time to be back in Washington, DC, at 96.3 WHUR during our 40th Anniversary. I totally embrace all the options available to our listeners, and Jim Watkins, our General Manager who literally built this unique radio station in 1971, has a clear vision of how WHUR will extend across multiple platforms.
4) How you prefer to be promoted on new records? And how do you feel about playing local Washington artists' records or would you still prefer to wait until the research validates it?
WHUR is expected to play great music, whether it's an album cut or a single, and whether it's local, national or international. Our goal is to find and play the best music possible for the WHUR audience, no matter where it comes from.
5) With the current trend toward talent importation and voicetracking, it feels like we're at the end of an era of fundamentals and the dawn of a new paradigm. How do future personalities continue to maintain relevance? Who's going to train them?
Voicetracking isn't new and in my opinion, the fundamentals are still the same. As far as relevance is concerned, the business will continue to evolve and the best and most compelling talent will emerge. Getting your foot in the door is harder, but with so many platforms, the next generation of personalities will be bigger than ever.
6) Because of callout research are today's Urban AC programmers going to be slower in adding and playing new music? And given the syndicated dayparts in morning and afternoon drive, what is the maximum number of spins a record in power rotation could be expected to receive in a given week on WHUR?
It isn't because of callout research; it's because audiences want to hear some songs longer. UAC, like AC, never was a format that was quick to add and play new music. WHUR may be a little different in that our audience expects a certain amount of depth from us.
7) Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
I plan to never stop learning and growing.
8) What's your read on the format music wise nowadays?
I'm thrilled to see "Soul Music" returning to the scene.
9) As you assess the financial shape of the industry today, are traditional budgetary expectations still taking precedent too often over the investment on the product and human resources channeled into it?
I think that the companies who paid inflated multiples are doing what they feel they must do to address the challenges they face.
10) As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
I've been fortunate to have worked with many gifted individuals in a variety of formats, in some great cities. I have no regrets, I'm still excited everyday I get to come to work and do what I love to do.
What would people who think they know Maxx Myrick be surprised to know about you?
The people who know me would say what you see is what you get ... no surprises.
How can Urban AC radio best bridge the gap that exists with the younger/future listener base that exists today?
The music is the bridge.
What the best piece of advice that someone has ever given you that you still use on a daily basis?
"Keep your integrity; it's all that you have."
What's been your biggest disappointment in Radio today?
Sorry to see the centralized programming template some companies apply to their stations, but if I had that kind of loot invested, I'd probably have my hand on the wheel too.
Do you feel that Urban stations should be more careful not to blindly copy formats but tailor them specifically to the age and racial make-up of their own markets?
I don't think most stations have that option anymore
Do you feel that Urban stations should support new artists?
I think that radio stations should play the best songs available for their audience.