10 Questions with ... DeDe McGuire "DeDe In The Morning"
February 3, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started my career in Killen Texas at Urban station KIIZ Radio. I stayed there a year and then went to San Antonio's CHR station KTFM for a year before accepting a position with KKDA as Afternoon Host. I left after two years and spent time on stations in Chicago and Philadelphia before joining the syndicated Doug Banks Morning Show.
1) What are you passionate about and why?
My family! I'm the youngest of 5 and all I had were my brothers, sisters and Mom. We have ALL been together through the toughest of times and the best! They are who I KNOW for sure will always be there for me.
2) Has there been guest interview you've done that stands out in your mind and why?
Mary J. Blige stands out from a long time ago. She always appears guarded and this one time I got her to loosen up. It was just me and her in a studio with no interruptions. We just talked as two women bonding over life, relationships and career.
My Best advice for others during an interview is; don't try to be overly clever or funny. Communicate with your guest as you would at your home. Show respect, courtesy and interest. Make them feel at ease. The best point of reference to any great interview is to find a commonality with your guest. And....do your research on the person.
3) What annoys you about radio?
People thinking there is one set way or formula to winning. Every market, show and talent is different. What works in one market may not work in yours. What also annoys me is the dependence on research. Back in the day many PDs and MDs were put in those positions because they had a passion, feel and gut instinct for the listeners' wants and taste. That natural talent is not needed or used anymore.
4) Could you give me your views on working various formats? How have you been able to do it?
Radio is my profession, my career. Radio is not just a job to me. When you understand and love the business of radio and/or "doing radio" you love the art of; communicating, you love the art of a seg, you love the challenge of running a tight board, you love the excitement of a caller on the phone, you love cutting new commercials, you love BEING an on-air personality. The music or format should come last, if you truly love radio. I didn't get into this business to be popular or get into the VIP section at a club. I got into radio because I LOVE it! Most who have chosen to make this their career will tell you they had to move across country, away from family and friends because CAREER opportunities arose in another city.
5) Could you give us the names of those who have influenced your career and what contributions each have made?
Of course Doug Banks! He is and was THE BEST teacher I ever had in radio! He taught me how to even DO morning radio! He taught me the art of a great on-air set-up, he taught me how to become a better interviewer, how to become more personal on the air, how to super serve the client and how not to be selfish with the spotlight and share mic time as part of a team.
Tom Joyner; I admire his work ethic, the foundation he started, and he showed it's possible for talent to take control of their brand.
My brother Mychal Maguire; his knowledge and love of radio inspire me to remember why I got in this business in the first place. His encouragement and support to "get mine" keeps me grinding.....because I see his grind and he never gives up. He keeps me going!
6) You love to talk radio, what is there about it you love so much?
It's FUN!!!!! What is there NOT to LOVE!
7) How do you see the landscape of radio and urban radio in the future?
Radio in general will need to keep up with its ever changing listener. We all need to figure out or develop how to make radio as user friendly as social media. Twitter is the new Underground Railroad! LOL! It's the new CNN! The way people get and exchange information is through social media. Radio will need to figure out how do we compete and keep listeners attention. I'm not sure it's just with playing music or the same songs over and over. I think the difference will be that human touch. We're going to have to develop talent. Develop personalities that are likeable, interesting and addictive.
8) What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you while on the air?
I got the giggles with my producer during a live commercial read.
9) How do you advise those who tell you they want to go into broadcasting?
Be prepared to take three steps backwards in order to take one step forward. Many people believe they're going to walk into a radio station in a top 10 market and do mornings or afternoons. They have no idea the work, sacrifice and grind needed to make it in this business. I tell most to learn everything they can about the operating process of a radio station. I have worked as a receptionist at a station, PSA Director, Office Manager, Overnights, Late nights, Afternoons, Music Director and Program Director. Again, I say if you want to do it because you want to meet celebs and get into the VIP section, you will have a nice job with perks. But if you want to make this your CAREER.....it's a different story.
10) How do you prepare for your show every day?
Preparation is an all day, every day thing! Anything from going to the grocery store, to my gynecologist appointment to a Mavs game is fodder for my show. I was reading a magazine while getting my tires rotated the other day and had to tear out a great article I read in a magazine I found in the waiting room! I brought it in and made it a listener letter for the show! So prep happens ALL the time.
I have subscriptions to every magazine! I watch the morning news every morning before work to find out what's happening in DFW. I read all the blogs and gossips sites once I get to work. And, my Producer Gary Saunders has a one sheet of all the day's latest news, stories and station contests. Plus, he calls me DAILY to catch up and review tomorrows show.
Why do you think they are so few female morning show anchors in contemporary music radio?
The stereotyping of women is one. I think there are certain stereotypes this country that people have and for some reason it's taking a longer time to break. But, I also think the opportunity for the creative announcer has dwindled due to the formulated control of the radio talent. Outside of Mornings, there is little opportunity in other dayparts for talent to explore the realm of their personality. All I know is, I am thankful that Owner Hyman Childs, OM Geo Cook and the late Michael Erickson believed enough in me and took a chance with putting me in the lead. It's an honor and dream position. I will forever be thankful.
What are your goals for the future?
To dominate Morning Radio in the DFW area. To crush ALL competition! LOL! To make women proud, to show the industry you CAN put a woman in the lead and win! To be GREAT on the air everyday and leave the job knowing it was a good day! To give back, pay it forward and accept and thank God for all his Blessings!
Could you share some of the more important lessons you have learned along your career path?
Nope...the rest everyone's got to figure out like I did!