10 Questions with ... Reggie Rouse
February 10, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
PD V103 for nine years. APD/morning show producer at WPGC for eight years;
Co-APD/Producer at WBLS for a year; WAEG/WAEJ Augusta, GA - PD;
WQKS/Hopkinsville KY - PD; WUSS/Atlantic City, Research Dept; Board Op, Hot 97; Intern at 98.7 KISS FM/New York
1) There is a lot of direct competition in general in Atlanta; could you explain how you've been able to stay so consistently successful?
There are 9 FM Urban stations in the ATL. V103 has been able to be successful by serving the needs of our listeners and clients and being local. We have a great TEAM and it starts with our VP/GM Rick Caffey. V103 is a throwback station. We want to win every demo. We have to be #1 25-54, but we also want to win 12+, 18-34, 18-49 and 35-54.
2) What is your approach to balancing the information you get from Mscore and your online listener research? Could you also give us some examples?
We use various types of research; callout research, Media Mscores, talking to our listeners every day, club research etc...
3) What do you think the keys are to doing a morning/entertainment show?
Be topical, informative, funny and relatable.
4) You have worked with some legendary radio people, could you share some of the many stories involving some of them?
Donnie Simpson and Frankie Crocker. Both were great talents. You don't see talent like them anymore. They know how to relate to the audience and they were always prepared for anything.
Donnie was a great people person and a great interviewer. Celebrities and listeners opened up to him because he was genuine and cared about what people had to say. If Donnie taught Radio Interviewing 101, everyone in radio would benefit from his knowledge. Donnie Simpson playing Jesus is Love at the end of the show is memorable for anyone who listened to him.
Like Donnie, Frankie was a star. People were drawn to him. Frankie used do this one feature where you could join him in the bubble bath. Only Frankie could do that feature and get away with it. Frankie's theme song, "Moody's Mood," was a classic. I can hear that song in my head now ..."Whenever Frankie Crocker isn't on your radio your radio just isn't really on"
5) A know there is a list, but who are some of the people who have influenced and mentored your career?
The CBS Radio programming team and Michael Martin has been a great help. Tony Gray, Johnny Allen, Ray Boyd, Jay Stevens, Thea Mitchem, Doc Wynter, Elroy Smith and Steve Hedgwood. Growing up in New York City listening to KISS FM, WBLS, WKTU, Music Radio WABC and jocks such as Chuck Lenard, Carol Ford, G Keith Alexander, Champaign, Ken Webb, etc...
6) How have you changed over the years?
I've learned how to get the best out of my staff, how to reward them and motivate them more.
7) The local music scene in Atlanta has nationwide influence. Without giving away any trade secrets, how do you stay on top of the scene?
I stay visible in the streets, in the clubs and rely on my team to keep me in the loop on what's going on in the ATL.
8) You have the reputation of being very detailed; how much of that comes from the days you produced Donnie Simpsons show?
My time at WPGC made me a better programmer/producer. Working with Donnie Simpson, GMs Ben Hill and then Sam Rogers, Jay Stevens, Thea Mitchem, Maurice Devoe and the great talent that WPGC prepared me for the next step in my career, V103.
9) How do you see the future for Urban Radio?
We need to find a way to groom the next PD, the next great air talent, etc. Urban radio is pop culture; it's here to stay. We MUST support R&B music.
10) Some of the people you worked with at WPGC have gone on to have incredible success elsewhere ... would you tell us about some of those folks?
The time I spent at WPGC was special. Just like my time at V103, KISS FM and WBLS was special. It was family. Everyone from the receptionist at the front desk, to the air talent, board ops, promotions team, the sales team, it was all family, fun and VERY SPECIAL.
What new challenges are you looking forward to?
Becoming a better programmer. In my next life I would love to program a Sports radio station.
Is there anything you do that others would be surprised to know?
I'm taking cooking/BBQ classes this summer. I've learned to take more time for myself, stop and smell the roses.
Would you share with us some of the important lessons you have learned along your career path?
You're only as good as the team around you.