Superstar Spotlight: Entercom Buffalo PD Sue O’Neil

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Sue O’Neil is the Ops Manager for Entercom’s WKSE, WTSS, and WWWS in Buffalo. She started her career in 1987 and has been programming since 1995. And even though Sue has been in the business for three decades, she’s not slowing down. In fact she’s evolved quite nicely just as the position of PD has, taking on more and more responsibility, like many PD’s have had to do.

Sue oversees all programming for Top 40 WKSE, Hot AC WTSS and Urban AC WWWS. She coaches talent, hires, picks the music, images the stations, takes care of the social media accounts and works on digital strategies. Oh yeah she also holds down a shift, afternoon drive on WTSS.

Entercom Buffalo Market Manager Greg Reid says of his star PD, “Sue has carefully positioned two stations, (Kiss a CHR, and Star a Hot AC) into an extremely dominant position cornering the market for women from teens to 50 year olds in the Buffalo metro. She’s done this with strategic music selection, well thought out content between the records, and strong ties into the local community. Her stations connect with listeners through sharing of new music, and sharing in all that Buffalo has to offer as a community. They reflect everything radio needs to be as we head into the future in a crowded space.”

Sue O’Neil is on Radio Ink’s 2017 Best PD’s in America list which is out now (and will be posted to Radioink.com in its entirety on Monday). Here is our extended interview with Entercom’s Sue O’Neil.

Radio Ink: What is your day like, and how are you able to accomplish it all?
Sue O’Neil:  I have a to-do list on my desk for the day. Sometimes it gets completed. Other times the day goes in a different direction. But I am extremely organized and when I can work ahead on anything I do, so that if something else needs my attention it’s not a big deal.

Radio Ink: Who do/did you look up to or admire, and why?
Sue O’Neil: Most of the people I look up to you won’t find in the industry. Most of my life lessons have come from elsewhere. My mom is my most respected confidant, and teacher. Born in war-torn England, she is the truest example of a person who just soldiers on and nothing can keep her down. My husband, who reminds me to notice the little things, to engage and be interested in everything. He knows something about everything, he surprises me with his knowledge, all because he is interested. In the industry, I’ve had some sharp teachers who challenge me to think outside the box. I would include Pat Paxton, Weezie Kramer, and Kim Reis on that list.

Radio Ink: How do you manage talent to get the most out of them every day?
Sue O’Neil:  Communicate. Do if informally, do it formally, but make sure you are talking to your talents every day. Include them in everything. Let them know the strategy and empower. Telling people what to do is not as effective as someone who knows what to do.

Radio Ink: What is your biggest station accomplishment over the past year?
Sue O’Neil:  The hundreds of thousands of dollars we have raised for our community. Children’s Hospital, the SPCA, the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

Radio Ink: Tell all the young broadcasters reading this who want to be successful PDs exactly what they have to do to make that happen.
Sue O’Neil:  No excuses. If you aren’t where you want to be. It’s on you. Find out what needs to happen, then do it. It’s the greatest job in the world and a privilege to sit in this chair. But it’s not easy to get here.

Congratulate Sue on being one of the Best Program Directors in America for 2017 — sue.oneil@entercom.com

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