10 Questions with ... E.J. Greig
November 22, 2011
1) Where and what was your first job in radio? Early influences?
My grandfather, a minister, was my most significant earliest influence. I had a big Afro and a flippant attitude, and when my mother sent me to stay with him one summer - in two days I had a military haircut and the smart mouth was gone. He took me with him when he did his weekly gospel radio broadcast on Saturday mornings. I learned to run the board when I was 14, and got a worker's permit. This was WCLS in Battle Creek, Michigan. No doubt listening to my grandfather preach every Sunday helped me to develop my verbal skills and be at ease talking to large groups.
2) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now, what you didn't then, would you still do it?
Absolutely! I love the business. Each morning I wake up loving to go to work. To do work that you love is a blessing. If I were just starting out however I would work harder than I did initially, and keep the ego in check (lol)
3) Does anything surprise you along the lines of new media platforms in terms of effectiveness with the audience?
Social media is great! I believe when you have the right team to use it effectively, the sky is the limit. We are building a monster data base for marketing. Check us out: www.wiznation.com follow us on twitter email@example.com be friend us on Face Book www.facebook.com/101.1 WIZ NATION
4) How you prefer to be promoted on new records? And how do you feel about playing local Cincinnati artists' records or would you still prefer to wait until the research validates it? Elaborate.
My MD DJ skills and I collaborate on all music. He knows this market well. I like record reps to call Skillz on Mondays. That's music day, and we later get together with Steve Harris and Jay Stevens to put together our play list. As to local artist: There is a tremendous amount of talent here. We invite local acts to perform at our events. We have a big Christmas party in the works now. The WIZ HOME GROWN CHRISTMAS JAM. We will have 10 local acts, and a national recording artist to host.
5) With the current trend toward talent importation and voice-tracking, 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?
You know the Bible talks about the value of new wine, and says not to put it in old bottles - but it also says "the old is good." You have to embrace what's new - but not throw out the traditional that is valuable -
Things have definitely changed. In a ppm world you can still be relevant. You have to find ways to still be funny, informative, and entertaining in 30 seconds. There are programmers like me who have been around people like John Mason, Janet Gee in Detroit, Ryan Cameron in Atlanta, and remember real personality radio, but have had to adjust to ppm, and voice tracking. We can teach the next generation. Folks like Bill Black in Atlanta, and Jay Hicks in Detroit are the next generation of teachers. I hate that with ppm some people feel you don't have to brand the station. No drops or station id's. This lets Jocks' egos get in the way. It easy for them to say their name 20 times, and never sell the station. Especially if it's a heritage station like WIZF, you want to let listeners KNOW they are listening to the Wiz. It's like your favorite team. You wear their colors and shout their battle cry (WHO DEY) (to my Bengal's fans!) lol
6) Because of call-out research are today's urban and urban AC programmers going to be slower in adding and playing new music? And what is the maximum number of spins a record in power rotation could be expected to receive in a given week on WIZF?
Well, we don't do music without research. So yes, it can be time-sensitive, and feel a bit slow sometimes. A power record here will get about 100 spins with mix shows and all. We are live from the clubs 5 nights a week.
7) Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
I learn something new with Selector daily. I would love to be a master like Earl Boston. I wish I had the people/management skills of Steve Harris.
8) What's your read on the format music wise nowadays?
HA! It is what it is! The music is not the same. The quality is just not there. Everything sounds the same.
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?
Radio is a business and although from time to time there may be some budgetary constraints as programmers we must become more tenacious and creative in the development of our product and our people. Because of the creativity in our industry, Radio has learned how to do more with less which helps us survive in a tough economy.
10) As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
Once when I was doing afternoons in Atlanta (when WHTA first started) Steve Hegwood told me to start going in early help out, and learn how programming works. I let the then Programming assistant tell me for 3 days. "We don't have anything for you to do." I stopped coming in early. He went on to become Pd. I should have continued to come in until he let me help out in any capacity.
What the best piece of advice that someone has ever given you that you still use on a daily basis?
Keep God First!
Describe your favorite meal?
Lobster, Shrimp, Crab, Oysters. I LOVE SEA FOOD!
At what store would you max out your credit card?
Dillard's in the POLO Section.
Name the one gadget you can't live without.
My 2 smart phones.
Most annoying thing people ask you.
Why do radio stations play the same songs over, and over?