10 Questions with ... Earl Boston
November 3, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
From an announcer to radio program director to business owner ... the span of career experiences have been vast. The mission of Earl Boston Inc. (EBI) is to be a conduit of the technical by providing easy to understand music programming concepts in a way to empower the radio music programmer.
1) You always say good programming is good programming, could you elaborate?
Uniformity throughout each daypart is key; knowing your target audience a must; weekly aircheck sessions cannot be overlooked; and constantly reinforcing the fundamentals of your brand are of paramount importance.
2) You are a very analytical person where does that come from?
From a young age, I've always loved the intricacies of how things work. I remember getting a record player as a kid. It lasted all of two weeks because I took the motor and turntable apart to see how it worked. The funny thing is I couldn't put it back together. Flash forward to today ... that same desire of trouble-shooting and then analyzing music scheduling related issues programmers have makes what I do very enjoyable.
3) Could you explain what you do these days?
My small business assists radio programmers throughout the country with music-scheduling and rotations concepts. EBI is not a radio consultancy, but a music-scheduling service provider that focuses on generating the most precise music log file. This entails many aspects starting with the very basics of coding an individual song cards to the projected hourly and or daily rotation of music categories with many other areas of services offered in between.
4) How do you see the future of radio?
Like so many legendary forms of communication or media, radio has its lane and will only improve as time progresses.
5) In your career you have been exposed to a lot of great programming and programmers, would you share some of those experiences?
It's the individual's work ethics that stand out boldly. When confronted with slipping ratings, and all programmers have, it's how they worked to counteract the slippage. Another major aspect witnessed is their people skills ... how each was able to motivate and get the most out their staff members. I recall seeing a co-worker get fired then leave the PD's office with a smile.
6) Following up on what you just said, could you share the names of your mentors in this business?
Jim Maddox, Michelle S., Lee Michaels, Michael Saunders, Jerry Boulding, Jay Stevens, Hurricane Dave, Verna S. Green, and Terri Thomas. Some are mentors, others have impressed me by their working practices. I have actually borrowed some of their techniques to keep me fresh and reinvent my approach.
7) How did you get into radio?
I started as an intern at my hometown radio station WILD-A working as an assistant to then-Production Director G.L. Hayes. I would watch him produce spots and then practice voicetracking commercials when he left the production studio. One day he surprised me by playing back one of my spots on the air and I was hooked.
8) Share with us the most important things to utilize in music scheduling systems.
The three most important aspects of any music scheduling program are: 1. Consistency with coding the library's numerous chosen attributes. 2. Uniformity with the structure of the database library including clocks and category structure. 3. Music library and software maintenance is an area that is so overlooked it's painful. Each of these items go hand-in-hand in support of a good running music-scheduling system.
9) What's your advice for those who are either just getting into radio or want to get started into the business?
Have an unmatched passion for the radio industry and get good initial instruction from someone who is patient and wants to help. Never do any profession just for the monetary benefits.
10) Would you agree that there are more windows of opportunity for those who can master the skill set required for traditional/terrestrial radio?
Yes, and the skill sets have increased dramatically over the last seven to 10 years. Those entering now more than ever, need an understanding of social media and the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing this tool. As it relates to music-scheduling applications make certain to get good fundamentals from the start. Remember this very important point; just because someone has mastered an application does not mean they can be a conduit of the knowledge they've mastered. Not everyone has the patients and compassion to assist.
You told us about your mechanical background; what other interest do you have that would surprise people?
I love architectural design, automobiles, reading and travel. Witnessing other cultures and the ways in which people in other parts of the world live their lives is intriguing to put it mildly.
I enjoy running and get in three miles per day as a means of motivation and a feeling of accomplishment. For the past 15 years, I have only eaten fish, fruits and vegetables. "One acquires a taste for food that is healthy." These are words of wisdom from Jerry Boulding.
Here is Earl's contact information.
Website: www.earlboston.com Twitter: @EarlBostonInc Facebook: Earl Boston Inc. LinkedIn: Earl Boston Inc.