10 Questions with ... Charlie Mack
February 22, 2011
1) What was your first job in radio?
My first job in radio was here at The Juice (WJUC). My father gave me a chance and a trial period to make things happen. My influence as a businessman and as a broadcaster has always been my father, W. Charles Welch. The biggest influence to my on-air style was Ludacris. While living in Atlanta I listened to "Chris Lova Lova" and decided that he had the kind of energy that I wanted to project on my own show.
2) When did you first know that radio was it for you?
I never wanted to do radio until it became a family-owned business. I was in college to become an accountant. I knew this was something special for me after I signed my first autograph.
3) If you had it to do over again, would you still choose radio?
I would do radio if I had the chance again. However, I would look towards the broadcasting future and broaden my career opportunities.
4) Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I will still be in Toledo doing some sort of broadcasting. Hopefully the PPM will be perfected by then.
5) How much does Detroit influence your playlist choices in Toledo?
Detroit radio only influences my playlist when there is a song that is taking off in a crazy way. For the most part, I'm playing what they call "new" music for a month or so before they play it.
6) Where are tomorrow's talent and program directors going to go to learn and get started?
Tomorrow's talent and programmers will learn just like everyone else did -- help from someone in the industry or through good old-fashioned luck. Syndication is a great thing in its proper place. The same can be said for voicetracking. Everything in moderation.
7) How competitive is the Toledo market now and what, if any, adjustments have you had to make recently?
We've never had direct competition in our market until very recently. It's a business move that we all have to make. You capitalize on your strengths and attempt to eliminate your weaknesses. Good programming will always rise to the top. Besides, this is my home and my station ... I'm NEVER leaving!
8) What is the one area of skill that you feel you need to improve?
Improving my organization skills is my biggest challenge.
9) Is gut still as important as research, or do you feel you need both in making the best music decisions?
Stations want to be sure that they play a good record. A gut feeling is becoming less reliable -- especially when you have "suits" who don't have a feel for the music or the market because they're out of touch or just busy doing budgets/promotions/etc.
10) Do you have any regrets in the choices you have made in your career?
My only regret is that I haven't made a bigger philanthropic impact on my city. I'm working on it and getting much better since the death of my daughter three years ago.
What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?
The best piece of advice ever given to me was said by Maya Angelou to Oprah Winfrey. "When someone shows you who they really are -= believe them!"
What would surprise some people who think they really know Charlie Mack?
I am a magazine and book junkie! However, the thing that I read most often is my BlackBerry. People would also be surprised to know that my wife and I lost our 11-month-old daughter about several years ago to leukemia. Since then we have started many successful programs in her memory at our favorite children's hospital here in Toledo. Plus, I go to the hospital once a week and give books and toys to the children there. Staying behind to go back and read to a sick child whose parents can't be there because they have to work is an awesome feeling! The greatest joy in my life is knowing that I can make a difference to someone who needs it.