10 Questions with ... Faith Daniels
August 26, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
1350A WLOU, 1370A WABD, WQQK 92Q, KALA 88.5, WPXR 98.9, 1480A WCIN, WVMX 94.1, WKFS 107.1, WIZF 100.9, WMOJ 94.9, WARM 98.5 AND WMOJ 100.3 and now, 92.1 WROU, Dayton, OH ...What a ride!
1) You just switched shifts with your afternoon jock, now you're PM drive. So what are all the advantages to the change?
I get the opportunity to be more interactive with the community! Career Days, Community meetings and things like that were taking place while I was on the air. I can be a MORE functional part of the community now. Additionally, I am more accessible to my sales team during a time that is most beneficial to them. (Who doesn't like a free client lunch?!) Finally, I have done everything BUT afternoon drive and I am excited to be a little more entertaining and a great resource for my listeners. I want to be exactly what they have been waiting for and everything they need!
2) What made you want to work in the radio business?
I was 13 years old and I suffered from what I now know was insomnia; I listened to the radio all night and I just always knew that is exactly what I wanted to do! I would practice breaks and commercials and believing I could do it. Then, I entered and won a "DJ for a Day" contest and realized I could live the dream ... AND GET A CHECK!?!?!? Yes sir! That was the job for me! The very first time I read a liner over an intro and hit the post was like a rush and drug to my spirit!
I am NOSEY by nature and when I realized that listeners would tell me anything (sometimes I never even asked) I knew I couldn't stand going to school long enough to be a psychiatrist, so this was the next best thing! This biggest plus was no matter what you looked like, people liked you! Even if you did have a face/body for radio!
3) How did you get started in programming?
Being a radio personality is really ALL I desired to do. But I also knew that when jobs were scarce I needed to be able to do ANYTHING to stay close to the business. So, I became a Promotions Director; I joined the Sales team and learn to sell radio, I became a Community Affairs Director while keeping at least a part-time shift on the air. Then, finally GOD smiled on me and blessed me with the opportunity to program and be on the air full-time and my vision was completely different. I wanted to create and shape what the audience heard, not just take direction and take up space with my little four to five hours on the air. I wanted my whole station to mean something to the community and to those that poured their energy into being entertaining and informative on the air each day.
Despite my age (45), I'm still a young programmer. I am learning everyday and I am overjoyed with the opportunity to make radio something today that it wasn't yesterday.
4) You were an army brat, so radio is a perfect fit for you. Between the two, could you tell us how many places you've lived and about some of your experiences?
Wow ... you do know I am in RADIO ... to remember all that requires BRAIN CELLS! LOL!
I'd say eight states and four countries. Being an Army Brat and Radio Rat has made me one of the most versatile and resilient people I know -- and that INCLUDES all the people that live in my HEAD! One of the best experiences in my life is when I FOUND MY VOICE ... or should I say my mother's voice! Let me explain, I have always had a deep, raspy and rich voice; for as long as I could remember, people always said I sounded like a "grown woman." Growing up having a black mother, early on I realized she had a "work" voice and an "it's just us" voice. UNTIL the phone rang and she was all business! At the age of nine, I learned I could imitate her and do it so well, I could fool my dad on the phone! I soon turned that into a business by extorting money from my older brothers! We were latch key kids and teachers would call after school to report their shenanigans and who would they get to take the call? ME! I got away with it for a full school year until Jr./Senior Night and my mother actually came face to face with a teacher she/we/ I had been speaking to almost weekly for a full year and well ... my cover was blown, but my career was born! After I got off punishment!
5) What do you think is unique when it comes to Dayton and its listeners?
Dayton is the home/birthplace of Funk and you cannot get them to like just anything! No matter what may do well other places musically, Dayton is loyal to GOOD music and I love that! Additionally, they are very passionate about THEIR station and take slowly to "outsiders"... BUT once they like you, they really like you. Dayton is loyal and in this day and time that is hard to find in people, much less a whole city!
6) Other than radio, what is your passion?
Voiceovers and writing. Doing voiceovers is a direct connect to my daily job. However, writing is something that I am sure will feed me well into my 80s once I push this first book out. I write everything from motivational literature and children's books to a steamy, hot adult series (fiction and non-fiction)! Sometimes, I would rather write than eat!
My Pastor will get a kick out of knowing this ... better find another church home.
7) What do you think it takes to be a successful PD?
You have to be willing to work with everybody! Sales, management, consultants, the community and the record industry. Plus, be willing to work FOR the audience!
You have to treat your staff like you want to be treated and learn to be a coach/teammate and good listener. That's just the day-to-day OUTSIDE of your programming abilities. As a successful programmer, it takes the ability to learn your market and know when you must go against the grain to give them what they want from your station. You must program to win (more music, less talk), while working with sales and clients to deliver the results they desire. You have to continue to learn daily and seek resources and people that can groom you to be better.
Know the hits, play the hits and make sure the talent ANSWERS THE REQUEST LINE! If a listener makes the effort to call, we need to make the effort to be on the other end of that phone or IM (instant message) to respond. Success as a programmer is not a destination; it's a journey. There is a little of that motivation seeping out ... sorry!
8) How do you balance research with gut when it comes to putting together a music list?
Research is a great tool and the gut feeling comes over time. I let my audience tip the scales a little as well. Taking, logging and factoring in requests is also a part of my process. The balance is delicate and I don't always get it right, but it would be fair to say that I come close with my consultant's input. Percentage wise ... 50% research, 30% gut and 20% request research. However, these ratios can change from day to day week to week. After all the only things constant is change -- that's s nice little motivational closer -- sorry, told you I was trying to be a writer!
9) What's your opinion on the future of radio and Urban radio?
If we are careful and committed to the process, we can again make it as great as it was in years past -- but programmers have to get back to coaching talent, finding awesome personalities and let them be just that and give the audience a reason to listen! Yes, the music is the star, but keeping in mind, the listener can get music anywhere ... what makes your station their choice?
We all hold the future in our very hands, we have to believe and encourage our listeners to believe as well that we are the only thing you need and show up for the challenge daily!
We have to take the future of our business serious and devise plans, station by station to groom interns into part-timers and part-timers into talent, not just using them to pick up lunch and drop off dry cleaning.
10) What people in radio and outside the business have helped you?
I loath questions like this because if you leave someone out then I get the side-eye... Wow, there have been so many for so many reasons. I'll list categories instead of people ... fair? Then they can place themselves in the one that suits them best! lol
No, seriously, Dr. Jerry Boulding, "The Radio Doctor" was a sounding board at all times, and I miss him. I saved his last voicemail to me and listen to it just about once a month for inspiration.
Mitch Faulkner, Tony Rankin, Phillip David March, Harry Lyles, Tony Fields, Garth Adams, Brad Waldo, Joes Sears, Edna Howell-Parrish, Dr. Bobby Cartwright Jr., Jeff Wilson, Keith Mitchell, Tori Turner, Everett Cork, Andrea Cramer, Dave Kampell, Bill Milliken, JoEtta Perkins, Bobbi Holloway, Alan Sneed, Sam Weaver, Karen Hunter, Joann Daniels, Kent Robinson, Brandon Hatchett, Matthew Robinson and Trinity Daniels, Donna Lavoie, Clyde Gray and Curtis Fuller.
What's a favorite childhood memory?
Realizing that no matter what I look like ... sooner or later the VOICE is the great equalizer!
If you have to give one piece of advice to an air personality or a PD, what would it be?
Pray before you do anything! Yeah, I pray before I drop a record, too! LOL!