10 Questions with ... Stan Branson
April 19, 2011
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
My first radio job was WJSU on the campus of Jackson State University. I was hired as a weekend overnight jock at WJMI in 1978. My early influences include Michael Payne and Earnest L. James at WABQ/Cleveland, Frankie Crocker at WBLS/New York and Byron McGregor at CKLW/Windsor, Canada.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
Radio and TV has been my focus since high school. I was a jock in high school and the classes were always easy for me. I probably should be a brain surgeon, but I chose the path of least resistance.
3) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now, what you didn't then, would you still do it?
I think I was made for radio ... and radio made for me!
4) Where do you see the industry and Arbitron five years from now? At what point do you feel the PPM will replace the diary in the top markets?
The PPM will replace diaries in all market over the next 10 years; however there will have to be major refinements in the way the system is administered and data is collected. They will have to figure out how to eliminate interference from the equation.
5) 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 as six months ago; however it has changed drastically over the past six years. The landscape as changed in terms of competition for ears -- XM, Sirius, iPods and new and different formats make the challenge to keep listeners longer a greater feat!
6) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Being the first and the best at what you do make you stand out!
7) What adjustments have you had to make in your current position?
Taking on more of the administrative work, which has to be done and making sure everybody else is doing what they have to do.
8) Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
I need to be more organized.
9) How well do you think today's Urban broadcasters really understand Arbitron?
Not as well as we should. This game we play is based on those numbers we get from Arbitron.
10) As you look back over your career ... any regrets? Missed opportunities?
No regrets, but a few second thoughts What if I had gone to Memphis in 1983 when they put K97 on the air ... where would I be now? I also had an offer to go to Columbus, OH in the '90s. These are just thoughts.
What do you do with a song you don't like?
Unless it's a big song on the charts, I do nothing with it!
What's the best liner you've ever heard?
WBLS/New York ("The first with the best ... WBLS")
Describe your favorite meal?
Soul food (Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, turnip greens, corn bread and sweet potato pie)
How have some of the recent events and the current economy affected you personally?
They have turned me into even more of a skeptic than before. Can we trust our government?
What "reality show" could you see yourself appearing on and why?
Fear Factor ... I love a challenge.