10 Questions with ... Tony Neal
October 23, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
11 years at WKKV (on-air/mixer/msc), show on Shade 45 (5 years), started the Core DJs (in Nov '05), WNOV (PD/April '07), started Core DJs syndication (Jan '09-present), Mixer at WEDR/Miami (June-Aug '09), Operations WNOV (present), etc.
1) Where and what was your first job in radio? Who are your mentors?
First job in radio was at WKKV (Dec 1996), Jim Frazier (RIP), Tony Fields, Nate Bell, Jerry "Smokin" B, Brian Anthony, Doc Love, Homer Blow, Reggie Brown, Bailey Coleman, The Baka Boyz, and Jerry Boulding
2) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it?
3) Now that you have become involved as an owner with WNOV, what do you plan to do different that will give WNOV a ratings advantage in Milwaukee, which is now measured by Arbitron's PPM?
Better programming and shows (syndicated and local), consistent hits and not all over the place, get listeners not only on radio but online (website and phone apps) as well.
4) How are you going to juggle your duties with the Core DJs and running a major-market station? What are some of the most challenging aspects of the job of programming WNOV?
Well, this is all new to me so for right now, the Core DJs, my board of directors handle that "day to day" operation I'm focused on the station as a whole. I have another radio veteran I'm working with -- Homer Blow ass.
5) How important are morning shows in 2012. You have Ricky Smiley. In PPM does it really matter if the morning show is live or syndicated as long as it is connecting with the audience?
In some markets, a local morning show is definitely needed, but I think the listener needs consistency which some local shows are known for having issues with, in most PPM markets, Rickey Smiley in #1, I had Rickey added to the station before when I was the just the PD at WNOV a few years ago, I'm glad to bring the show back to the market.
6) Because of callout research are today's Urban and Urban AC programmers going to be even 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 WNOV?
For now, WNOV will be Mixshow and syndication heavy so I would say the most spins in Power would be between 45-50 on my end, that's for now ... as we go along, I'll cross that bridge when its time.
7) Do you think today's radio/record label relationship is in a good place where both have a better understanding of each other's goals?
I'm not sure how to answer this question but for me, it's on a individual basis. Some may have a great understanding, some may not.
8) What's your read on the format music-wise nowadays and what excites you most about the future of radio?
With the Top 40/Rhythmic format becoming so in popular with the youth of radio (again), it's either giving someone that shit has some room to exercise, explore more options in programming (with adds and mixshows)
9) What are some of the future plans and events you have scheduled for the Core DJs?
I'm putting together a draft in Las Vegas, every year in Nov., we add new DJs and official welcome those we've added throughout the year. As you are award, we've made changes with our syndication and our conference, we will continue to improve those as well.
10) As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
Only regret that I have is not being able to spend the appropriate amount of time with my children and family but other than that, I've been blessed to be here and maintain this long.
What would people who think they know Tony Neal be surprised to learn about you?
That I'm very spiritual, I've dodge a few bullets coming up (figuratively & literally), I have major respect for those who've came in this game before me, a leader who learns & listens to leaders & very humble.
How can Urban radio best bridge the gap that exists with the younger/future listener base that exists today?
Playing hits, recognizing a hit, hot mix shows, realizing the turnover in listeners/adjusting to it, and keeping a young ear.
What the best piece of advice that someone has ever given you that you still use on a daily basis?
Help me help you help us.
Name the one gadget you can't live without
What's been your biggest disappointment in radio today?
Honestly, PPM. I don't think it's accurate and it has cost several of my constituents jobs. The inconsistency of employee, the dedication is not there like it used to be. That's where most of the syndication shows come in.