The plan came together pretty quick for success, expound on it?
We have a small and dedicated staff that all take direction and give me feedback very well. We’re all of the same mindset,..I’ve got morning show hosts who are still here at 5 in the afternoon, cause they are still working and having fun. We laid out a plan and a set of principles that will direct all on air performances. This team is far flung (Atlanta, Birmingham, Chicago) but they all live in the same mind. My assistant PD and Music Director, Lance Houston is a Selector and Nexgen genius and makes my wild ideas come to life on the air while counseling me on what the best methods are technically and operationally. Add to all of the that I have the two of the best out of market voice trackers in radio with Madison Reeves and Ty Bentli (listeners call to talk to them every day) and I have the personnel to win the war.
Tell us about your new morning show?
Jason Pullman, who’s last on air gig was at Star in LA, had been doing primarily voiceover work when I first started talking to him about The Bull. He immediately hit me as someone that was not only a big fan of country music but someone who didn’t sound like a typical country DJ. He’s the guy you meet that looks like a GQ cover guy wearing a $50 t-shirt, designer jeans, driving a convertible Mercedes and is cranking Montgomery Gentry and singing at the top of his lungs at the stoplight. He’s paired with Kristen Gates who is a favorite of Atlanta from her presence on Kicks 101.5 (how could they let her go!?!?) and Star 94. They have a chemistry most PD’s work for years to develop in a morning show. I got lucky by putting them together. They’re driven, focused and they make me laugh about every ten minutes.
Our imaging is done by Deke at one of our rock stations in Dallas. He’s got a lot of swagger but can also put the soft touch on our more heartfelt pieces. Deke is also a hilarious guy and ad libs quite a bit with the scripts I send him. Our Bull Imaging producer Rachel McGrath, has skills that bring a big time sound to the stuff Deke voices. We go for the irreverent, funny and left of center. The stuffy chest pounding typical country radio imaging does not have a home here on The Bull. I let Deke and Rachel have as much fun and push the envelope as much as they can. Not everything they submit gets on the air but the surprises they give me when I review the final product does make me giddy from time to time. Both are fans of the station as well as fans of doing it differently. We use a different producer, Randy Spicer, for the daily Caffeinated Radio promo and Music City Minute feature that Kristen hosts all day on The Bull. Randy brings a style to these two pieces, that run very heavy all day, that incorporate several sounds, drops, music clips and sfx. Most of the stuff he adds to these pieces are less than 2-3 seconds long,…it’s magic to hear them on the air.
What now sets THE BULL apart from KICKS?
We play way more music, we really do. We run sweepers every day starting at 6 AM telling listeners how many more songs we played than Kicks. Our DJ’s are less chatty and less old school sounding. I demand that all DJ’s do the liners and station announcements in their own way so the listener gets the vibe of what we’re doing for them from several different sounding personalities. We cater to the true country music fan by spotlighting new music with The Bull Buzz Cuts, we have a local country music show on Saturday nights, “The Bull’s Backyard Country”, we have a music news feature that runs all day called “The Music City Minute” (2 versions every weekday, 3 versions on the weekends). You won’t hear any of those things on Kicks. Our DJ’s endorsements aren’t out of control the way they are on our competition’s station, we target lifestyle products that our DJ’s really believe in. You won’t hear any jocks on The Bull hawking a diet pill in one break then talking about a cheeseburger special in the next break. The flow of elements on The Bull also carries much more energy,…you won’t hear us play 2 down tempo songs back to back. It’s a subtle thing but if you listen to both stations for 20-25 minutes you easily pick up that things happen faster over here without being rushed.
Here’s something you won’t see in the trades,… in the first week of PPM here in Atlanta, total week 18-49 persons, WKHX had a 6.0 share and WUBL had a 1.7. In the last PPM Month (May) WKHX had a 3.4 and The big bad mighty New 94-9 The Bull had a 3.3. The Bull is at the door,…and we’re coming in horns first!