10 Questions with ... Mary K
September 25, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- 10/3 - present, 610 WAGG/Birmingham, PD
- 2/99 - present, 957 JAMZ/Birmingham, APD/middays
- 2/99 - 10/04, 957 JAMZ/Birmingham, MD
- 5/94 - 1/99, 102 JAMZ/Greensboro, middays
- 2/95 - 1/99, 102 JAMZ/Greensboro, MD
- 5/94 - 1/99, 102 JAMZ/Greensboro, Image Producer
- 5/94 - 2/95, 102 JAMZ/Greensboro, Production Dir.
- 2/93 - 4/94, HOT 1015/Jacksonville, middays on-air
- 6/93 - 4/94, HOT 1015/Jacksonville, MD
- 6/92 - 2/93, 102 JAMZ/Orlando, weekend on-air
- 5/92 - 2/93, 102 JAMZ/Orlando, promotional assistant
- 8/91 - 5/92, WBCC/Daytona Beach, PD
- 10/88 - 5/92, WBCC/Daytona Beach, on-air
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
My early influence of radio was listening to Star Force 99 (99 JAMZ) in Miami. Back then the reception was horrible, so I would have to sit my boom box in the windowsill with tin foil around the antenna.
My first job in radio is folding 102 JAMZ T-shirts for Mickey Johnson in Orlando! That's when T-shirts came in small, medium, large and x-large.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
The defining moment when I realized radio was for me was when my professor at Bethune-Cookman College (Dr. Akinleye) said that I was born to be on the radio and talk the talk. So, I switched majors from Pre-Law to Communications; it's a good thing because I was bored my Pre-Law classes anyways!
3) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it?
I would absolutely do it all over again. From washing station vans to being the #1 midday personality in Birmingham, from folding T-shirts and speaking to high school students and from hosting sold-out concerts to eating 50-cent tacos so I can pay the rent. It's a great job. I wake up every morning thankful for my life and career.
4) Where do you see yourself and the industry five years from now?
I see myself in five years still the #1-rated midday personality in whatever market I will be located in. And probably still programming and telling folks what to do.
5) What's your take on radio currently? Is it as good as six months ago, better or about the same?
My take on the current state of radio is "It is what it is." As a female in radio, my concern is to make sure that I am always doing a good job, relating to my audience and always giving back. Issues come and go, technology is always improving, but your listener will always be, first and foremost, the most important element of radio.
6) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
The one constant truth that has held with me since 1992 (and really since 1988) is to be just "plain ol' Mary" on the air.
7) Despite the new competition, how do you account for the continuing success Cox Radio has had in Birmingham?
I account for the success of our Urban stations (WBHJ, WAGG and WBHK) to the team. We stay focused! And the ratings speak for themselves.
8) Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
The skill that I would like to improve upon is how to tell someone their record is really awful because I listen to music. I find no matter how you tell them, they are still mad at you.
9) How well do you think today's Urban broadcasters really understand Arbitron?
I believe that the knowledge Urban radio personalities have about Arbitron is improving. I think program directors should take the time to explain Arbitron to their staffs, so it's not some big secret.
10) As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
Looking back to 1998, when Glen Walker put me on the air at WBCC in Daytona Beach, FL to now in 2006, I believe honestly there are no regrets and no missed opportunities because I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason.
What's been your biggest disappointment in radio today?
My biggest disappointment in radio today is the lack of support to build/grow and create new on-air talent.