10 Questions with ... Phillip David March
October 13, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
First job out of college On-air personality WJYL/Louisville, KY; then KATZ/St. Louis. Became a PD for Davis Broadcasting WFXE-WOKS-WKZJ for nine years then programmed WIZF/Cincy for Blue Chip Broadcasting. I had a run with Cumulus programming WMNX-WKXS/Wilmington, NC then launched WHRP/Huntsville, AL. Did a second tour of duty in Cincy at WIZF this time for Radio One. Now in Louisville working for Mainline.
1) Could you tell me about some of the local organizations you are involved in?
For the last six years, I have volunteered my time to the YMCA Black Achievers. I actually started as a speaker to the Communications Cluster about radio broadcasting as a career and I've been a volunteer ever since. I am now the Communications Cluster leader. We meet every other Saturday morning 9:30a to noon during the school year. The program puts professionals in several fields with high school students who have an interest in that profession. I bring in guest speakers from sales, marketing, TV news anchors and cameramen along with field trips to radio and TV stations and a college visit to Western Kentucky University with the best in-state college Communications Department and facilities.
I work with the students to improve their communications skills by holding a workshop on "The Elevator Speech," but I customize the speech for the students to give to college admissions instead of trying to get a job. So I work with them to talk confidently about themselves and their accomplishments.
Elevator Speech for College Admissions
- Year in High School (Freshman/Sophomore/Junior/Senior)
- GPA/ACT Score/SAT Score (Whichever you are most proud of)
- School Activities/Clubs/Sports
- Outside School Affiliations/Clubs/Church
- Jobs/Volunteer Hours
- Interested in Your __________ Program
My goal is to help the students develop good communications skills so they can be successful in whatever field they pursue.
2) What is your opinion on the future of the urban format?
The Urban format has a bright future if approached correctly. Utilization of research, social network, good formatics, and talent development will be the keys to the format's growth. Record labels must do their part to keep the Urban format moving forward by stop putting disposable music and disposable artists out for consumption.
3) Because of what you are doing, has it opened your eyes as a programmer?
The students help me understand what social networks they use, how they use them, and how frequent they use them at the same time I try to make them see how important communications is in their life. I ask each student what is the first thing they do when they wake up in the morning; 90 percent of them say they check their social media. If we have a few minutes at the end of a session then I use them as a focus group.
4) What advice do you have for programmers in putting together a music playlist and sound for their station or stations? And does the approach vary depending on the format?
Today programmers should program music for their specific market and not let national charts sway them. The format shouldn't make a difference.
5) Is there something in the industry that irks you?
The fact we teach young talent how to do talk breaks and when to talk, but not why we talk when we do. They are not being taught quarter-hour maintenance and why we do a tease, or how to increase TSL. We really should break down the science of what we do so the talent can become the programmers of the future.
6) What advice do you give those who want to get into the business?
- I tell them figure out if this field is their passion! I encourage my students to find their passion and follow that! What you are passionate about makes for a more rewarding career.
- You don't need to have a Communications Degree to get a job I tell them to major in something else and minor in Communications. That way they are bringing more to the table when they interview for a job. Today we all do more than just broadcast.
- Set goals
7) What people have influenced your radio career?
Ken Johnson, Tony Fields, Cy Young, Charles Richardson, Jay Stevens and Harry Lyles. I've been blessed to have been able to work with some of the best minds in radio.
8) Do you have any annual events that help market your station in a big way?
We don't have the signature events due to budgeting; however we are currently planning our first event for the fall of this year.
9) Where was your first job in radio and how it did shape your thinking?
My first job out of Emerson College was at WJYL/Louisville, KY. In five years, I worked for four PDs. I took what I thought were the best practices of each PD and made them mine. Each PD had a different strength so I learned a great deal. The last staff at WJYL was the very talented Tony Fields, David Michaels, Keith Landecker, Mark Gunn, Tony Rankin and myself.
10) Looking back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
I never second-guess or regret the career path I've taken. I just follow my blessings and every opportunity I get in this business I am determined to make a difference in that station and in that community.