10 Questions with ... Doug Davis
September 13, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- NAACP Award for Excellence In Public Service (2010), Myrtle Beach Chapter
- MLK Award for Professional Service (2009), Carolina African-American Heritage Foundation
- Football Bowl Game Sideline Television Reporter, Comcast Sports
- BRE Radio Station Of The Year (2006)
- Billboard Monitor/AIR Competition 2nd Place (2003)
1) Where and what was your first job in radio? Early influences?
First radio job --WHIO-A/F. Board-op overnights
Second Urban radio job --WROU part-time weekends (mix show jock), part-time receptionist, part-time copywriter, coffee maker, carpet cleaner, and lunch order taker for PD and GM. Mustard, no mayo! LOL
2) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it?
Yes sir! It's my destiny.
3) Does anything surprise you along the lines of new media platforms in terms of effectiveness with the audience?
Social media, the new request lines, are great for radio. We can't go against the grain of technology.
4) How do you feel about playing local artists' records or would you still prefer to wait until the research validates it?
Artists are finally getting more sophisticated with technology but few understand the importance of creating unique, ground-breaking music. A hit is a hit! If a local artist has a track that has all the right working parts, it's important for radio to support IT. Also, I believe in following corporate policy.
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?
It takes a village to raise a child! There's a young teen talent here within the cluster named Hunter Gorman. We all (PDs in the cluster) take time out to teach the fundamentals of the business. This kid is going places. He reminds me of myself when I was trying to break into the business. By any means necessary. He's hungry and he WILL win. There's still room.
6) Because of callout research are today's Uban and Urban AC programmers going to be slower in adding and playing new music? And what do you feel is the maximum number of spins a record in power rotation should be in a given week?
Let's face it, radio listeners tune us in to hear the hits. PPM proves that familiarity is key. New music is cool, but playing the "best" new music is better. Maximum spins depends on the type of format, market, demo, etc. While the Top 40/Rhythmic burn our hits, urban listeners still need variety. Who wants to hear the same songs 50 times a day?
7) Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
As a student of the game, I would like to improve in all areas.
8) What's your read on the format music wise nowadays?
It's great to see artists like Marsha Ambrosia get in. The new sounds are fresh. Wiz is getting' it. Our music keeps evolving.
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?
We as programmers have to think smarter. We can still deliver the goods but in a wiser, more cost-effective way.
10) As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
I passed on a few major-market opportunities because I wanted to stay focused on my goal, which is to become a major-market PD. No regrets, though. I can honestly say because of those decisions, I am a smarter, wiser programmer with a wealth of experience.
How can Urban radio best bridge the gap that exists with the younger/future listener base that exists today?
Stay relevant and in tune with the culture. Technology is moving fast and we should never play catch up.
What the best piece of advice that someone has ever given you that you still use on a daily basis?
My mentor, Marvin Hankston, once told me that "to survive in this game, you MUST be multi-talented. Can you crack the mic? Can you program music? Can you create exciting promotions that sizzles on-air and sizzles in the sales pit? Can you image? Because to be a great PD, you have to know how to do all those things. Not just be good at it, but be GREAT at it." I strive for excellence daily.
What's your favorite reading material? Right now I am reading "Lead Like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time" by Ken Blanchard
How do you feel about Arbitron's PPM replacing the diary? It's not really about how I feel about it; it's more so about how can I tackle the reality of it so I can win!
Most annoying thing people ask you.
"How much money do you make in radio?"