10 Questions with ... Faith Daniels "The Midday Motivator"
October 8, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Radio the early years: '92-'94 WPXR/Rock Island, IL;
- '94-'96 WCIN-A/Cincinnati; 97-'99 WVMX/Cincinnati;
- '99-2001 WIZF/Cincinnati; 2001-2006 WMJO/Cincinnati;
- 2006-2011 WMOJ/Cincinnati; 2011-Present WROU/Dayton, OH
1) Where and what was your first job in radio? Who are some of your mentors?
My first job was at WLOU-A in Louisville. I was just 14 years old! I won a DJ for a day contest and actually got a job! I was addicted from the first crack of the mic! Mentors for me are Harry Lyles, Mitch Faulkner and most recently, Bill Travis. From afar, I have always followed "The Dr.!" and am a huge fan of "Urbanizing" ... it has helped me grow professionally.
2) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it? What would do you differently?
Yes! I would still do radio!! It's IN me. The one thing I would do differently is focus on the business of building my personal brand earlier in my career. I am from the "old school" when the jock was NEVER bigger than the station. I would also develop my personal line of studio chairs for the "full-bottom and short leg" DJ! I'm only 5'2"....
3) What do you plan, if anything, to do differently that will give WROU a ratings advantage?
My game plan is simple and can really be applied in any market: Learn the what it takes to win in this market.(Do the research.) Develop community-based relationships and immersion opportunities. Evaluate the current on-air game plan; if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Daily execute the simple things of being live, local, topical, relatable, visible and accessible. Play what the market wants to hear! Stay true to the music, the lifestyle and the listener. Meet the listeners where they are. Increasing the digital interaction and online experience. Stay ready for any opportunity to promote the 92.1 WROU brand through events, partnerships as well as traditional marketing opportunities.
4) As a first-time programmer, what are some of the most challenging aspects of the job of programming?
Wow, the biggest challenge is knowing "it's all on me!" Seriously, I have been in the game a long time as an on-air talent and have the benefit of watching and assisting some of the best programmers in the business. Most recently, I had the pleasure to work with Garth Adams here at WROU. The experience was priceless.
My challenge is that I get so much great information and support from so many veterans, I just want to be sure that I am creating my own "imprint" that I can be proud of when I look back at my total body of work as a on-air personality and programmer.
5) How important are morning shows in 2013? Does it really matter if the morning show is live or syndicated, as long as it connects with the audience?
Morning shows set the tone for the rest of the dayparts. They are important and either live or syndicated, if they miss the mark with the target. it's a struggle to recycle the listener to middays and beyond; I witnessed this in a "conservative" market. However, when the right morning show is on the right station in the right market ... it's a home run! We carry the "Tom Joyner Morning Show" and the Dayton market loves it, setting 92.1 WROU to build huge TSL and cume by riding the wave that starts at 6a!
6) Because of callout research are today's Urban 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 WROU?
For a programmer, callout research is important and in some cases, it does slow down how quickly some music is added. However, using your true gut feeling about music and what your listener is saying to you on the phones, in person and via social media is also a strong indicator of what they want. I feel that I should lead the listener into a musical experience, while giving them a chance to become familiar with music and expose them but not overwhelm them.
It's safe to say that the maximum number of spins a power would get is 16 a week.
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 lived through it all. From the good to the bad to the so-so where it is now ... balanced. When you communicate with labels effectively, your relationship is easier to manage. The key is getting an understanding and finding a balance in the process of dealing with your label reps and what they want from your station.
8) What's your read on the format music wise nowadays and how do you feel about the future of Urban radio?
The R&B field was becoming narrower by the day for a time. I feel the future of Urban AC is going to depend on music from true artists who will give us the showmanship of the past. We are seeing it coming from legends such as Charlie Wilson, Anita Baker, Eric Benet and R. Kelly. I look forward to more of it from groups like Mint Condition.
9) Is Urban radio moving swiftly enough in keeping pace with outside media competitors attempting to invade its space, especially given the streaming options growing in auto dashboards?
You can never move fast enough with all the technology that is available to the listener any more. Soon we will be able to listen to a station broadcasting live from the moon! Urban radio has to move at a pace it can manage and not forget that there is a listener who will still simply turn on a radio to listen. Be swift to protect that listener and do what you can to step your digital game up to compete while being careful not to forget that you still have to give them a reason to listen. They can get music anywhere; what makes them choose your station?
10) As you look back over your career, any regrets? Missed opportunities?
Over my career I have always put my family first. I didn't take some of the jobs I was offered that I believe might have given me more experience earlier on. I have had a number of opportunities to move to large markets, but they all came at times when it would not have been best for my family. I was raised as an Army Brat and was very accustomed to moving every 18 months to three years. But when God blessed me with the opportunity to be a mother and wife, staying in one place so that my children could have childhood friends and be close to their grandparents, which was something I missed, was more important to me. So, no regrets in my career, just great memories. Missed opportunities? There are no missed opportunities in my life. God had my life already planned out before I was born and I am just excited that He chose me to live it.
What would people who think they know Faith Daniels be surprised to learn about you?
I can talk to dead people (spirits) ... I'm "bootleg," though, because I can't control it. Some days it's nothing; some days it's like a live chat room in my head! When I do focus and share what I am told, it's amazing and brings a lot of peace to the loved ones of those who have passed over.
How can Urban radio best bridge the gap that exists with the younger/future listener base that exists today?
Stop playing crap that glamorizes drugs, guns, sex and living beyond your means. We have to take some responsibility for what we play. We have to open a dialogue and take what we hear seriously. I still believe in the power of radio,its personalities and what they can do in the community as well.
What the best piece of advice that someone has ever given you that you still use on a daily basis?
"Follow your heart and follow your gut!" And "Believe what you know about you, not what someone says about you!" and always play at least the 15-minute version of "knee deep" when going to the bathroom!
Most annoying thing people ask you.
"Is that a radio voice or do you really talk like that?"
How important are consistent marketing and contesting to a station's overall success?
I feel it's extremely important! That's why I look for non-traditional ways to promote my station, with budget being cut and give-aways sometimes being few and far between, I utilize strategic partnerships to keep the brand visible and the give-aways interesting and fun!