10 Questions with ... Deon Cole
October 30, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- 1995-1999 WSNC/Winston-Salem State Univ., Winston-Salem, NC on-air personality, Production Assistant, Programming Assistant
- 1996-1999 WAAA-A/Winston-Salem, NC on-air personality, Production Assistant, Programming Assistant, Talk Show Producer
- 1999-Present WPEG/Charlotte Talk Show Producer, Programming Assistant, on-air personality, MD
1) What was your first job in radio?
Producer of a talk show.
Andre Carson, Nate Quick
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
Met Nate Quick at a high school career fair. Stopped by the radio station afterwards and fell into it from there.
3) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it?
4) Where do you see yourself and the industry five years from now?
PD of a station, using the knowledge gained to help be effective in the community and the industry. We'll be more mobile and direct, ie: streaming to cell phones, more Internet-interactive.
5) How you feel about being asked to wait on a record you hear until the research validates it?
It's important to that you use the tools at hand and not to rely on one aspect to move on a record -- the use of tools, meaning requests, mixers, night clubs, the Internet, etc., along with research and most importantly, your gut. Every market is different -- some songs work and some don't, but using all that's available helps to keep in tune to what the audience wants.
6) How do you feel about syndication? Does it affect significantly on the number of hours that you have control over the music that you play?
Syndication has its good and bad points. It takes away for the local appeal of the station, but at the same time it can provide a general-market, mass-appeal national figure, which in some markets, may be an asset.
7) Because of callout research, are today's Urban 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 WPEG?
No, research is a tool to help in programming to give an idea of what the market audience is leaning towards. It shouldn't dictate verbatim what needs to be played and what needs to go. A record in our power rotation could get no more than 80 spins a week.
8) Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
No, I like the fact of continuing to grow and learn as much as possible. Every day offers its own challenges and new things to build upon.
9) How do you account for and what effect do you feel the continuing ratings dominance WPEG has and what type of effect is that going to have on the Charlotte market?
We are community-oriented and base ourselves on maintaining that confidence level with our audience. We want them to feel as though they are as much a part of the station as anyone else is.
Do you feel there are going to be new challengers from other formats?
I can't really say what the future will hold as the market changes and grows.
10) As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
No regrets; the only thing I would've changed would be to make a stronger connection with some of the artists who were new then and are now some of the biggest artists in the industry.
What would people who think they know Deon Cole be surprised to know about you?
That the quiet, reserved person they know is working now on the radio.
What's been your biggest disappointment in radio today?
Being slow to embrace the Internet.
Describe your favorite meal...
How important is consistent marketing to a station's overall success?
It's very important; it goes back to the old cliché, "out of sight ... out of mind." You have to brand the station in the market and continue to let the audience know who you are and what you are there for.