10 Questions with ... BJ Murphy
November 17, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WSHA/Raleigh, WLLE/Raleigh, WQOK/Raleigh, WWDM/Columbia SC, WQMG/Greensboro, WXYV/Baltimore, KPRS/Kansas City, WPEG/Charlotte NC, KRNB/Dallas-Ft. Worth, morning syndication Superadio/Dallas, WVAZ/Chicago, WGIV Charlotte NC.
1) What are you working on these days?
I am the GM of a Contemporary Gospel radio station in Augusta, GA called Shout 94.7 WAAW. This is a legendary radio station that was once owned by the godfather of soul, James Brown. It is an independently owned radio station owned by Dr. Frank Neely Broadcastin,g who has been a close personal friend of mine since 2008. We are having so much fun building this radio station into a great vehicle to entertain and inform the listeners of Georgia and South Carolina.
2) In what ways has this new venture changed your views on radio?
It reminds me of the excitement of when I started my broadcasting career in the late '80s, when radio was a creative art form, as it still is today. This is the only life I have ever known and I'm so honored to be able to do it on my terms. So what this experience has done for me is reinvigorate my creative juices because every day is a new adventure.
3) What are the keys to doing a morning/entertainment show?
You must learn how to be yourself and not be afraid to express the inner you. That is your attraction power. It doesn't matter how much show prep you do, the inner you or your camera angle lens on life is what makes you interesting to listen to. Once you have broken that barrier, there will be nobody who can handle you. Your personal truth makes you funny, direct, witty and clever. All the things you want to be is in letting it go. If you have great teachers like I have been blessed to have, listen and be a good student.
4) Would you share with us your thoughts on the future of radio?
Radio is not going anywhere. Radio is a business of constant change. In a matter of moments great opportunities come for those who love this business. Radio has also prepared us for a great future on the Internet with podcasting Internet radio and other online ventures that call for the creative minds of Radio entrepreneurs. The future of online broadcasting was made for us because all we're doing is transferring our skills and talents to the digital.
5) I know there is a list, but who are some of the people who have influenced and mentored your career?
Sam Weaver, who was and is my master teacher in the subtleties of morning/entertainment radio. BJ Johnson (my namesake), Jerry Boulding, Helen Little, Cash Michaels, Tony Gray, Vinny Brown another master in on air formatics like Elroy Smith. Harry Lyles, Cathis Hall, David Linton, Skip Dillard, Tim Greene, Reggie Rouse, Derrick Brown, Valerie Geller, Armando Rivera, the late Wayne Brown, AC Stone, Jay Stevens, Donnie Simpson, Mike Love, my big brothers Jeff Foxx and Roy Sampson, my great coaches in Charlotte Andre Carson and Terri Avery, Frank Neely, Shylinne Cole, Gary B, Eric Faison, Ken Dowe & Hyman Childs, Tommy Kramer, Guy Black, Marc Ramsey, Jerry Del Colliano, the great Skip Murphy, Slack Johnson, Tom Joyner, Doug Banks, Michael Saunders, John Mason, Russ Parr, coach and friend Brian Carter rest in peace.
6) You love new toys, is there anything new you are using these days?
I believe my iPhone6 is my secret weapon. My good friend Marcel formerly of Radio One taught me about a lot of apps to use on my iPhone to broadcast from. Also, I love the TwistedWave and bossjock apps.
7) Can you give us some of your career highlights?
Beginning my morning career in 1990 in Greensboro, NC at WQMG, and getting my first big gig at V103 in Baltimore with Roy Sampson, coming to Charlotte to work with my ultimate morning show partner in radio, Keith Richards at WPEG. Filling in for Donnie Simpson on WPGC/Washington, Working in Dallas at KRNB linking back up with you Sam and getting a shot at syndication. Working in Chicago with Elroy Smith, and to crack the mic for a couple of hours in 2007 on WBLS.
8) What advice do you have for those just starting out in broadcasting?
Be a good student and seek out people you admire to help you grow. I wanted to know everybody who was where I wanted to be. I would write Donnie Simpson and Tom Joyner and major cats in the industry because I wanted a shot to be like them. You have to study, practice and be serious about your craft. I would stay in my dorm room in college and listen to tapes of my favorite DJs for hours and mimic them. Master the digital and become an expert in the new trends. All the jobs I have ever gotten throughout my career have been through relationships. You do the same and network.
9) How do you see the future for Urban radio?
Is this a trap question, Sam? LOL. All I know is that we better wake the hell up because the digital space is where we need to pay some serious attention. I don't plan on being on the wrong side of history with this one. Terrestrial will always be here and we must perfect what we call Black radio and not mistake the reasons for measurement like PPM or the diary as a mandate take the soul out of what we do. For example, PPM is not only a measurement, but a quick way to get research on what should be done or not done on the air. There is something on the horizon that I don't think we are taking serious enough. iHeartMedia has proven what the possibilities are, with what they have done with iHeartRadio. They are telling people on the radio to go download the app on your smartphones and listen to anything you want, to fit the mood you are in right now! They are driving people to the digital. Just look at the new shape of the Apple production facility and that will tell you where this thing is going. Black radio must fully engage with digital. More specifically, mobile.
10) What profession would you have chosen had you not gone into radio?
You may laugh at me, but I would have been in the NBA playing for the Atlanta Hawks. I was the best 5'5" NBA talent in my mind in my prime. Seriously, I could have been in the NBA. Mugsey Bogues and I are still friends and he knows it's true.
Are there some things about you that people would be surprised to know?
I like to write. I have 52 diaries that I have been writing in since my career began in 1984. I have an industry blog, too. It is called insideurbanmedia.com.