All Access: 10 Questions With J.B. Miller...

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All Access: 10 Questions With J.B. Miller...

Post by Lee »

From All Access:
Please outline your radio career so far:
WGNT 76-87 and WRVC/Huntington, WV 87-88, WKRC/Cincinnati 88-90, WODJ/Grand Rapids, MI 90-92, WKEE/Huntington, WV 92-93, WTCR/Huntington, WV 93-96, WKEE/Huntington, WV 96-06. I am currently PD/mornings at WMGA/Huntington, WV. (April 06 to present).

1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
My brother was the influence that got me started. He was in radio and made me a radio station in the basement of our parents home. I bought a Radio Shack wireless microphone and hooked it to my father's old TV antenna to broadcast to the neighbors in a one block radius of home. Seven years of practice in the basement landed me my first radio job at age 15, running religious programming on Sunday mornings for a full-service station in Huntington, WV. I was instructed not to talk, but found ways to slip in a time or temp whenever possible. I did not have a drivers license yet, so my father would drive me to work, and sit with me during my 4 hour shift. I flunked my FCC exam (Element 9) three times before finally getting it. And then they did away with the license process.

2) What is your favorite radio station outside of the market and why?
WLW/Cincinnati. It was the station I listened to growing up and always thought I would work there some day. I enjoy the Talk format as a change of pace after a long day at work.

3) What's your take on current music? Is it as good as six months ago, better, or about the same? Elaborate.
I spent 10 years in Top 40 radio and didn't like the way it was headed. I asked my 16-year-old daughter, "Is this what you'll be hearing at your 10-year reunion?"

4) What can we be doing with our station web sites to better our stations as a whole?
We use the website for many contests, and offer our listeners nationwide the chance to listen live to our broadcast. The key is keeping it simple and always updated. The worst is when a website isn't updated with new information at least one time a week.

5) How do you keep tabs on the competition? When your competition attacks you on the air, how do you react?
What competition? They have a job to do and so do I. I don't have time to worry about what they are doing.

6) Please describe the best or worst promotion you've ever been part of?
When our city would not sell land to build a Red Lobster restaurant, I drove a caravan two miles long to Lexington, KY to eat at one there and show support. It made national headlines and Huntington got their restaurant some three months later.

Also, last year Huntington, WV released the WARNER BROTHERS film "We Are Marshall" based on a 1970 plane crash which took the lives of the local MARSHALL UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL TEAM. Since much of the movie was filmed in the market, I tracked down two benches on E-Bay that were used as props in the filming. I also purchased other props such as film reels, clipboards, a helmet, banners, playbooks, and more. I then hired an auctioneer to help sell the items and raise donations for a children's charity. I also located 12 members of the 1971 MARSHALL UNIVERSITY who were on hand to sign autographs at the event.

7) Tell us what music we would find on your car or home CD/MP3 player (or turntable) right now and what is it you enjoy about that particular selection?
Earth, Wind & Fire, and Donna Summer. As these songs bring back a time in my life that was simple, and brings back great memories.

8) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Never burn bridges. Do onto others as you would want done to you. In this business of buy and sell radio, you'll never know when you'll be working with these people again. Love thy neighbor and your co-worker when possible.

9) How do you position the station to prospective clients?
Very Family friendly.

10) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff?
My brother Bob Miller of KPAM Portland Oregon taught me everything I needed to know to get started. He has been my best friend and "go to guy" when I had a problem.

Bonus Questions
1) What's the best hire you've ever made?
Locking in with the number one TV station. We use their weather people on our station. I never understood why no one else ever thought of it. As part of the package, they promote us on their website that gets 9,000 hits a day and I offer their logo on ours. In turn we joint promote many local events.

2) How often do you listen to your station when you are away from the station?
It is always on in my car and in my home, so I always am aware what's going on. It's never off.

3) You just won the lotto and you have your boss on the line. What's the first thing that you would say?
Can I cut back to part time? Honestly, this is all I have ever done. I would miss it if I didn't do it everyday.
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