10 Questions with ... Karl Roberts
February 28, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
It was in the early years of high school when I first discovered a love for journalism, music and radio. During his junior year I served as the local high school reporter, where I reported all the happenings in and around the school. Then later Arkansas State University, Change to Tennessee State University, Things were getting better!
1) Where and what was your first job in radio? Early influences?
I started in Nashville, That's where I first met Cy Young, but Sam Brown hired me later for weekends for WVOL-A. My Memphis influences were Rick Dees, WHBQ, CJ Morgan, Melvin Jones, Ron Olson, Maxx Fortune, Herb Kneeling and host of great legends.
2) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now, what you didn't then, would you still do it?
Absolutely. Wouldn't change it for the world!
3) Does anything surprise you along the lines of new media platforms in terms of effectiveness with the audience?
No, it's not a surprise. Cell phones are the new landline; we can't deny that. From the social media aspect, several well-known sites have a large audience following, among all demographics. New media is the future; it's easily accessible, and allows people to communicate within their groups. Radio constantly looks for ways to stay on top of the new platforms.
4) Tell us about the 2012 Mid-South Radio & Music Conference.
This year I'm the key contact and organizer for the 4th Annual Radio Music Conference -- 2012, a premier gathering for radio and music professionals featuring nonstop interactive panel discussions on critical issues and trends in radio broadcasting and the recording music industry. The Mid-South Radio and Music Conference will be held April 6th and 7th in downtown Memphis at the Crowne Plaza Hotel
5) Who are some of the names and sessions and what can we expect this year?
Here is the website link: www.midsouthradiomusic.com You can register now and the early bird has been extended; here are some of the confirmed panelist and honorees: Pastor Melvin Jones, Brother James Chambers, Tracy Shaw of WOJG; From The Sheridan Gospel Network, Rick Joyner; Al Bell; James Alexander of "The BarKays" and others!
6) With the 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? Is this one of the issues you're going to address at the conference this year?
Personalities will have to advance beyond the microphone and embrace social media. It's going nowhere and that is yet another place to stay connected with your listeners/fans via Facebook, Twitter, Skype, etc. Networking will always continue to be essential in getting with the right people who can help you become the kind of radio personality you want to be. You need more than just your PD to help you. If a personality cares about their career, then he or she will reach beyond their PD and network with other PDs in and out of their company. And we will address this at some point during the conference.
7) It is true that in today's complex digital world not connected means not in business?
Radio has got to keep up with the technological times. As Gordon Geckko in the movie, Wall Street, once said, "If you're not inside ... you're outside." Everyone needs to be outfitted with the latest technology and up-to-date new systems to make our business better. We must be keyed in to the latest trends that allow us to function better and faster in our field.
8) Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
I want to learn more about marketing. I believe if I can hone my marketing skills I can become stellar in my on-air career as well as my radio conference business.
9) What's your read on the format music wise nowadays?
The Top40s, Active Rock, soul R&B an others are trying to survive these economic times but good music is good music.
10) As you assess the financial shape of the industry today, are traditional budgetary expectations still taking precedent too often over the investment of the product and human resources channeled into it?
The bottom line is the main thing for many companies. Unfortunately, the investment in quality employees and community presence has been dropped to the lower end of priorities.
What would people who think they know Karl Roberts be surprised to know about you?
I like building model cars I have a nice car collection.
As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
Didn't get the full-time radio gig I knew I qualified for, but was denied!
What the best piece of advice that someone has ever given you that you still use on a daily basis?
Find a niche you're good at, then go for it because when you've achieved it, you own it!
Name the one gadget you can't live without
The iPhone and other tech stuff!
What's been your biggest disappointment in Radio today?
Lack of personality!