Chase Murphy, OM, WFBC & WSPA/Greenville
&
Dino, PD, KWNW/Memphis

Dino: The first question is always the most important...you miss me yet?
Chase: I miss you in a way that a man misses another man.  It’s equal to how I feel when there isn’t any more beer in the fridge and I just want one more. You complete me.


Dino: WFBC has established some strong friendships with artists during your time there.  Who's a rising star in your opinion?

Chase: I thought Warner Brothers did a great job setting up Jason Derulo. They brought him to radio and made him very accessible. This allowed stations to feel connected with the artist and in some ways; we all wanted him to win. He ended up with 3 big hits off the first album in a time where there were a lot of male-pop-solo-singers (including Usher) on the chart. I listened to the new single the other day and it sounds like another hit to me. Jason Derulooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!


Dino: Greenville is truly the best keep secret of the South.  What is there to do in "G-Vegas" (besides make fun of your Christmas lights)?

Chase: People don’t understand the amount of growth that has occurred in this city. Forbes Magazine named Greenville one of the biggest post-recession cities in the US, news reports of hundreds of jobs coming into the market each month and the downtown area is amazing for tourism. Michelin and BMW are based out of here and there are close to 20 colleges in the listening area.
          The Murphy Family Lights Spectacular is only going to get bigger pal! My wife is already drawing up the blueprints and I bought an even bigger ladder! Garden Ridge had a post Christmas sale and we stocked up! Get ready to see my house from the moon!

Dino: What's been the most satisfying promotion/event you've been a part of?
Chase: Every promotion provides excitement, stress and a learning opportunity.  Whereas I can’t really pick my “favorite” promotion, I’d have to say that I have enjoyed building some great promotions that have helped to positively affect the brands. Things like the Hawk and Tom Prom and Big League World Series/Just Show Up Show are promotions that have become fixtures in the market and continue to grow and evolve. 


Dino: Explain this "Operation Boyhood Dream.”  Does it involve Wendy Peffercorn?
Chase: Wendy Peffercorn is the most beautiful woman to ever exist and I could go on for hours about her.  Quote: “I’ve swum here every summer of my adult life. And every summer there she is, lotioning…oiling…oiling…lotioning…smiling. Smiling! I can’t take this no more!”
          Anyone who has been following my Facebook status updates has heard about “Operation Boyhood Dream”. (Nobody has been following my Facebook updates. My mom isn’t even on Facebook). I’ll try to be brief. In 1997 I sold my dream truck to a father and his son so that I could pay for a move to another radio station. It broke my heart as I handed over the keys to my 1964 Chevy Step side truck….sniff. I swore that one day, whenever I had the money, I would buy that same model of truck (or something similar) and restore it. Flash forward, after battling my wife about it for 10+ years, I now have saved up a nest egg to purchase and restore my “Boyhood Dream.” I’ve been stalking e-bay and Craigslist for a truck now for 2 months. Fingers crossed, I hope to have my truck by the end of the summer. Then I will be whole again….or split in half when the tire jack slips and I’m under the truck….

Dino: We hear so much about the "dwindling talent pool".  How are you cultivating the next generation of radio?

Chase: You have certainly done well for yourself and to be a first time PD in a Top 50 market is a pretty big deal. Not only do I want 10% of your income, but I am happy that I was some small part of your success. 
          If you are a GM, Program Director, Sales Manager, a member of management or a senior staff member; you should never pass up a teaching opportunity. If you are knowingly doing this, shame on you. If you are a talent in need of learning more about your craft and do nothing to attain that knowledge, shame on you as well. 
          We can’t continue to look at building radio "stars" the same way we once did. Traditionally, you interned, got a part time job in promotions or on the weekends, and then just waited for your big break. With budgets being scaled back and the traditional opportunities lessoned, we as managers need to create and apply energy towards new ideas and outlets for the next generation. Create viral stars, intern bloggers, characters on shows, role players, etc.  If you find an intern or a promotions person who has that special something, but they aren’t ready to be on the air, teach them how to create airchecks in the production room or how to create viral content for the station. You'd be amazed by the creative imaging you get if you ask a rookie radio employee to write a few sweepers for the first time. Give them the tools and the opportunities to become stars. Who knows, if they do it right, you just created the replacement for the jock that is leaving. In some cases, they might help your decision on keeping or letting go someone who is not doing all the things you need them to do (blogging, social networking, viral videos, etc.).
          We cannot be selfish with our knowledge. In order for the craft to live on, we need to teach the next generation and set them up for bigger success than our own. In order to get into the hall of fame, the next generation needs to vote you in!

Dino: I always joke that your morning show, Hawk and Tom, have been around since "The Big War,” yet they continue to win big and are icons in Greenville.  How blessed are you to have a hard working heritage show like that?
Chase: As many people know, Hawk and Tom are Power Pig alumni. No matter how big my radio “wars” have been in the past, they don’t really hold a candle to what they have experienced. With that being said, I believe the true measurement of success for a morning show is not how many places they have worked in their career, but how they have DOMINATED in the markets they have been in. Hawk and Tom have been able to grow their audience and carefully adapt to the changing trends in radio; while staying true to the unique lifestyle of the Greenville market. We’re in the south and things are different here. Hawk and Tom are market fixtures and their show dictates and reflects the culture of the market.  The ratings reflect the amount of hard work they put in.   
          Also, if I go to Cracker Barrel with them, we never have to pay. That, right there, shows me just how big of deals they are!

Dino: Why are you in FMQB every other week? Surely, I'm not the only one who noticed this...

Chase: If only I was
Rich Davis or Jon Zellner!  Then I could be in it EVERY week and maybe even get the front cover!  Guess I’m not “front cover” material?  It’s a shame because I am so damn handsome….shame…

Dino: We both have kids under 5.  What are the chances that my son runs away to Vegas with your daughter?

Chase: Currently I am injecting my son, Sean, with HGH and steroids. Not only will he be playing for the Red Sox before he’s 12, but he should be able to stomp your son before he comes anywhere near my daughter. Keep in mind you have a daughter too….those jokes will come back to haunt you pal. 


Dino: What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? 

Chase: From my father: “If you’re going to fire someone, do it on the first floor.”
 



 

Chase: You're a PD now. What's the biggest surprise for you going from #2 to #1?
Dino: I knew it going in, but time is really my biggest enemy. Thankfully, Clear Channel understands this. Having men like Brad Hardin, Jon Zellner, Rich Davis, and Rod Phillips on your support team is a tool in itself. I've been blessed with a plethora (love that word) of resources along with a versatile and very motivated team. I didn't realize it until a few months in Memphis, but the APD experience has already paid dividends, so if you get the chance to step into that role, do it!  

Chase: What was the best advice given to you in life that can be applied to what we do today?
Dino: Above any superficial celebrity, my dad will always be my hero. He was the first person in his family's history to graduate from high school and instilled the simple "do the right thing" mantra in me. Sometimes we may feel compelled to act out of spite or revenge, but at the end of the day...it's just radio. Life is too short to hold grudges on who did what to whom.

Chase: It's a small radio world. Your night guy, Jiggy, was my overnight guy in California. Brag about him for a minute.
Dino: If you don't know him, Jiggy is an 85 pound woman magnet and can battle rap with the best of Memphis. Needless to say, we get mistaken for each other quite a bit. His imaging blows me away and he's quickly becoming a star in this city.

Chase: What's the one thing you learned in PPM that you didn't learn from diary?
Dino: Whether diary or PPM, setting specific appointments is crucial. "Why should I stick around? I have 25 things to do today, so what's in it for me?" As "content creators" we must continually hyper focus our efforts on not tricking the listener to stay an extra 5 minutes, but rather providing them with substance that is significance to them. Every music decision, promotion, blog, etc. should be made with this in mind.

Chase: Best ribs in town?
Dino: I'm a little burned out on BBQ right now, but Corkys is solid. The smell is so intoxicating that I may switch from Acqua Di Gio to a dry rub.

Chase: As you know, I'm a reader. I've even bought you a few books. What one book has helped you the most in launching Radio Now?
Dino: This is a sign that we're both old and lame: we buy books for each other. Tribes by Seth Godin (the Purple Cow guy) lit a fire and provided me with inspiration for not only leading my team, but understanding the growing fan base of Radio Now fans and how they communicate. Tommy Chuck has done a terrific job of nurturing the worldwide tribe of WFLZ, and it shows.

Chase: When hiring a staff for your new station, what qualities and skills did you look for?
Dino:
You can't beat someone who is willing to work their hands to the bone for you. This is a not so much a skill as it is an intangible. Hard work cannot be taught. Similar to the team we had at WFBC, I wanted people with aspirations and goals. Every person on my staff "gets it" and wants more. A great example of this is Kane. Here is a guy (and his surrounding cast) who is working his butt off to succeed in Memphis. You want people like that on your side. Ty Hawkins, who produces the Kane Show, shares this mentality and has a great hunger to learn and grow in this industry. 

Chase: After sitting in the chair for a minute now, what's your favorite thing about being a PD?
Dino: Besides not having to share an office? The positives easily outweigh the negatives. The satisfaction of being a part of something that simply didn't exist a year ago; seeing the response to something like our Big Time Rush promotion that we received over 28,000 texts for. I've also found a new appreciation for being on the air. Between 2-6p.m. I don't have to be the boss or signal caller...I get to goof around and interact with fans of the station, which energizes me as a programmer.

Chase: Better sweet tea...TN or SC?
Dino: I had to switch to unsweetened with lemon because the sugar was just too much. When you can chew your tea, you may want to think about cutting back a little.

Chase: Ok, I'll ask....did I teach you anything in our 5 years together?
 
Dino: You taught me not to trademark "The Future of Radio" because you were going to do it as soon as you developed enough courage to ask your wife for the money.
          In all honesty, all of the advice and pep talks were great, but the way you carried yourself around others really stuck with me. It also helps that you laugh at my lame jokes on Twitter. You're a good man.

[FMQB ORIGINAL CONTENT, published April 2011, please do not republish or reprint without the express consent of FMQB. Make sure you visit us on the Web at www.fmqb.com]


FMQB NOW

Jon Zellner
SVPP, iHeartMedia

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