Radio program/music director

Radio program/music director

Jim the radio guy

Boston, MA

Male, 55

I have spent over 25 years in radio as a program/music director as well as on-air for various stations in New England. Feel free to ask me anything you like or wanted to know regarding this fun career!

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29 Questions

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Last Answer on July 22, 2019

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How much data did you have access to about listener behavior? Could you tell when listeners would change stations and did you use that to add/remove songs from rotation?

Asked by Bill over 4 years ago

Hi Bill

Just about everything we do is a barometer to tell us about behavior. Requests give us an idea of what our audience wants to hear to the town/city they live in & that can tell us to a point where a lot of our audience is listening from. Station ratings are the report card which tells us when people listen & how many are listening. All of the tools are taken with a grain of salt & are used as a guide as well as a sales tool. That is one tool that can help us determine when listeners change stations.

Adding/removing songs is another story. Not every listener calls to tell us he/she likes or dislikes a song. So when someone does we pay attention but can't use that as a final say. It would take a lot of calls to get us to remove a song. That decision is usually left to the program director. Different stations have different rules as to when & what to add, rest for awhile or remove for good.

Thanks for your question Bill!

Who makes the decision about what words in songs to censor? I'm always surprised when I hear relatively innocuous words like "gun" or "high" bleeped out. Seems like someone's taking censorship way to seriously.

Asked by Adele over 5 years ago

Hi Adele - It can come from many levels. Stations could do editing in-house or, if they are owned by a company, perhaps that company decides. Some stations that I have worked for feel that a song might be really good except for a certain line or 2. It depends on what audience they are trying to reach. If a station subscribes to a music service it could be edited there. Of course, certain words are illegal to broadcast. If the station edits just the words "gun" or "high" it's probably because they don't feel their audience would like to hear that but otherwise the song deserves airplay. Also, some single versions of songs come from albums but are edited for time while the album version of the same song may be longer. To be honest, I am not sure why "Gun" or "High" would be taken out of a song but I suppose it's the context in which they are used. Thanks Adele!

So I think my kids' (11 & 14) favorite music is horrendous noise, but my parents said the same thing about my Sabbath, Ramones, etc. Do you think parents will just always hate their kids' music or am I right that today's stuff is objectively awful?

Asked by CP over 5 years ago

Sorry for the delayed response...been a busy week. This is a fun question that is talked about a lot. I have seen it work both ways...parents who have no use for their kids music & the other way where a child got heavy influence from his/her parents. As an example a 50 year old mom or dad may like The Doors, Jimi Hendrix etc & their child(ren) love those groups as a result. My parents never really cared for the music I liked but "put up with it" while I wanted control of the radio in the car. I happen to like older stuff & currents as well. So then CP as far as parents always hating their kids music it depends on their taste & everyone differs. This question is a great one for the dinner table...you might get all kinds of answers! Take care CP & thanks for the question.

What on-air incident generated the most listener letters?

Asked by Mike over 4 years ago

Hi Mike

Stations do receive letters about different things. Usually the bulk of any audience however does not write in or call. If they are upset they change stations, turn it off or keep on listening.

One incident that I remember is one of the DJ's did not know how to pronounce "Paul Masson" (The winery) & as a result called it Paul Mason. A Paul Mason who was very prominent in the city I worked had unfortunately passed away a few weeks prior to that. We had many letters from upset people & although the error was not on purpose it was embarrassing.

Thanks for the question Mike!

When did you first hear about satellite radio, and what did the industry initially think about it? Was it viewed as a fringe thing, or were stations immediately concerned about what it would do to AM/FM?

Asked by roller about 5 years ago

The industry naturally was concerned about it but didn't really think it would do too much to hurt the business. Down to our local level, I am not worried one bit. Local radio will always have something to offer & competition is healthy. I first heard about satellite radio around 2001-2002...somewhere in there. Appreciate your question, roller!

What songs were initially hated by the listening public that eventually became big hits?

Asked by Bear over 4 years ago

Hi Bear...that's a tough one. Songs become big hits because they are well liked. There are probably many songs that can "grow on you" but I don't have any specific answer to this question. At most if not all places I've been, a new song that is liked gets requested by a lot of people & thus the song becomes a hit. If a song is released that is hated by the listening public as you say, it probably would not become a hit. There are songs that are released & don't fare well & then get released once again and succeed. It usually is not because the public hates them, they just didn't get enough exposure for various reasons.

Did you ever bring artists into the studio for live segments and who were the biggest jerks or sweethearts? Was anyone completely different than what you were expecting?

Asked by Matthew about 5 years ago

It's been awhile since we've had a really famous artist in but as I recall, all of them acted like what you see...very nice & enjoyable to talk to. I can't think of anyone who acted like a jerk!Thanks for the question, Matthew!