Thank you to Mark Strickland from All Access for allowing to talk radio, social media, and about the one time I said “fuck” on air.
10 Questions with … Amy Reed
September 18, 2017
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WBZC (Z88.9)/Pemberton, NJ 2008-2010
- WBEC (Live 95.9)/Pittsfield, MA – Mornings/Middays – (May 2011-May 2012)
- WNCL (Cool 101.3)/Milford, DE – Middays (May 2012-March 2013)
- WAFL (Eagle 97.7)/Milford, DE – Mornings (March 2013-March 2017)
- WARQ (Q93.5)/Columbia, SC – APD/Middays (March 2017-Present)
1. What Got You Interested In Radio?
I was going to school for social work/psychology and I hated it. I had a quarter life crisis which led me to radio. Music has always been my biggest passion (I have absolutely no musical talent or capability). Getting to know people and hear their stories is second, so radio was a natural fit.
2. What makes the Columbia market unique? How does this compare to other markets you have worked at?
Columbia is unique because both the University of South Carolina and Ft. Jackson bring in a ton of transplants, but once they’re here, they stay. It’s an old textile mill town that is transforming into a new, young, and vibrant city.
3. What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
We market our product in a way we would not consume it. We need to find a better way to get our advertiser’s message to the audience and we need to find ways to connect with our audience, instead of just temporarily bribing them into listening with contests. We slip on CONTENT. Nothing will beat “local.” And not just saying it, but actually living it. If you’re a local morning show (or any day part), you have a huge lead over your syndicated competitor. Shop, play, and live where your audience does, discuss topics that are personally affecting your audience and my God, please have an opinion. What do you CARE about? Chances are your audience cares about it too, or doesn’t at all. But both sides want to share their view.
4. How are you using social media to market your radio station?
Social media is huge for brand building and growing your audience, but it’s not a one way street. You have to interact with your listeners the same way you want them to interact with you. Social media allows us to connect 24/7 and in real time. Its work but it’s where your audience is so it’s worth it!
5. How do you stay in tune with your audience?
I follow them on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat). I see what they’re doing, I comment on it, I give them shout outs (old school but effective as hell) using their social media handles. I ask their opinions on things: their favorite spots, stay-cation ideas, how to handle certain situations. People have all the answers for everyone else!
6. How are you using new technologies in your personal life to listen to music, and what observations have you made about how today’s listeners use technology?
I have a hard time disconnecting from radio and just being able to enjoy it. So I mostly listen to Spotify. Tech in general has made discovering and consuming any kind of media so incredibly convenient. It hits me every now and then how completely amazing all of this is; there Is more technology in the palm of our hand than what was in the first spaceship to go to the moon. That’s f-ing nuts, right?!
7. Who do you consider your radio mentors?
Mike Kaplan (ALT 98.7)/Los Angeles, Kidd Chris WEBN (102.7)/Cincinnati), and Jason Varga (WBZC Z88.9, Pemberton, NJ)
8. What is the most rewarding promotion you’ve ever been a part of?
In terms of a charity: “The 12 Days of Christmas” (created by Petch at Eagle 97.7) giving kids throughout our listening area in Delaware a chance to have a Christmas.
Personally, a “Single Mingle” I started at Live 95.9 because it’s been successful and a great way to connect with listeners. I’m super proud of that event.
9. What advice would you give people new to the business?
Be passionate. It’s easy to be disheartened when looking for a gig and never hearing back. Be valuable, it should hurt when you leave a station. Be yourself, but please be thick skinned. It’s ok that not everyone likes you. You’re working in a unique industry. No one calls up the new teller at their bank to tell them they suck and need to find a new career (or do they?!).
10. What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
It’s your name and your brand, so do work that you are proud of, regardless of the situation. You can always move on. It’s hard to shake a bad rep.
What do you do in your spare time?
I read, watch documentaries, work out, eat, and try to get outside and experience life.
What’s one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
I’m not outgoing and don’t like to be the center of attention, I’m shy/quiet until I get to know you.
What was the biggest gaffe you’ve made on air?
I said “fuck” because I’m from Jersey and its part of my natural conversation. We were talking about the prices of tickets for baseball games, and I said “that’s a fucking lot of money for standing room only.” No one complained, but yikes that was a bad morning.
Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you’d like to improve?
My in-person interview skills. I research and write questions beforehand but I rely on looking at my phone throughout an interview and find myself only listening to get to the next question, instead of having a conversation.