10 Questions with ... Rob Neal
March 15, 2011
1.) What was your first job in radio?
Top 40 WXXX/Hattiesburg, MS was my first job. My influences were Spiderman Harrison (WLAC/Nashville), Lee Armstrong (WTIX/New Orleans), E Rodney Jones (WVON/Chicago), John "Records" Landecker (WLS/Chicago) and Jerry Boulding (OK-100/Washington).
2.) What led you to a career in radio?
My mother bought me a cassette recorder.
3.) Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
My first time on-air.
4.) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it?
5.) Where do you see yourself and the International Black Broadcasters Association (IBBA) five years from now?
We're looking forward to our first Conference in Washington DC in August 2011. I see the IBBA as a major leader in providing information for African-Americans in broadcasting.
6.) What plans do you have for the organization this year and in ensuing years?
Continuing to build our conference. It's going to be bigger and better. This year's IBBA Conference in Washington will be an outstanding learning and networking experience everyone should look forward to attending.
7.) What's your take on radio currently? Is it as good as six months ago, better, or about the same?
Radio is about the same.
8.) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Good radio is good radio, regardless of the format.
9.) What is the one thing you would like to see change in the industry?
It probably won't happen, but I'd like to see a return to limiting ownership of no more than one AM and one FM in a market. I believe the FCC had it right before de-regulation and the Telecommunications Act.
10.) Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
Yes, I'd like to work on and eventually eliminate procrastinating.
How well do you think today's Urban broadcasters really understand Arbitron?
I think they understand Arbitron much better than they used to. One of the main reasons for that is generous and sharing nature of Julian Davis and the Arbitron Urban PD and Sales Clinics which he started.
As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
I missed the opportunity to program a Country station.
Describe your favorite meal.
My favorite meal is blackened catfish.
How do you feel about blessings that many of us take for granted?
After Haiti, I quit complaining and became very grateful for those blessings that have been bestowed upon me.
What "reality show" could you see yourself appearing on and why?
"Celebrity Apprentice." It would be great going one-on-one with Donald Trump.