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Managing In A Major Market


Yesterday, Kim Bryant was walking the halls of WABC-AM and WPLJ-FM in New York City. Call letters that are recognized industry wide. Bryant was just announced the new Market Manager for the two Cumulus stations and was taking note of some of radio's biggest stars, who at one time, called one of those two stations home. 

From hundreds of applicants looking to lead the Cumulus New York cluster, Bryant got the call. Most recently at cable channel CineMoi, Bryant is a radio person, having spent 25 years with Clear Channel, and Westwood One. We spoke to Bryant about getting the call to turn WABC and WPLJ back into New York powerhouses.

RI: Why come back to radio?
I just love radio. I am just so glad to be back in it, back in the local side of it, and thrilled to be working with Cumulus. I think radio is redefining itself as we speak. There are so many platforms out there. All of those platforms, whether you are talking about digital or any of those spaces, online, magazine, print....they all need radio to extend the reach. I think radio is being seen as an extension of that. I think we are having to redefine ourselves, so I think this is a perfect time to get back into radio and to help redefine it. I am thrilled to be a part of a company that is doing it and growing again, and not going backwards.

RI: What's it like getting the call to be the manager of WABC and WPLJ? 
I am still pinching myself. It is a thrill of a lifetime. I never dreamt in a thousand years that I would get that call. I am absolutely thrilled and full of pride and excited to be a part of these unbelievable stations that have been a part of the fabric of New York for years and, quite frankly, created radio as we know it today.

RI: What do you think the biggest challenge of managing in New York City is?
I don't think it has anything to do with New York City. It's like any market in any format. It is about selling radio today. I think you have a generation of buyers and planners that live a different lifestyle than  the rest of the country,  or who's listening habits are different in Manhattan, or maybe their listening habits are different. I think selling through the relevancy of radio is really important in New York. I think that has been the challenge in New York for a while. In talking to people that live and breathe here, who have been doing this for the last 20 years, Manhattan is one of the biggest challenges. I think that is probably it. I think, again, that radio is in a different place today than it was three years ago, and we are redefining ourselves and really redefining where we fit in that new landscape.

RI: Where do you want to take those two stations, other than the obvious, to drive the revenue higher?
In the market, I want the market to believe and feel that they are the brand and the heritage stations that they once were. I want this building to believe that they are the brand that they once were, and currently still are. I walked the halls today, and you can't help but be impressed with the Scott and Todds and the Imuses -- everything that built these two stations to where they are today, really their essence is still here, and they're still great and there is still great things going on in this building.

(6/2/2015 11:12:14 PM)

- saF
(11/17/2013 11:19:55 PM)
nvnM5S Thanks a lot for the article post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

- NY
(10/24/2013 4:14:20 PM)
xzVHi8 Wow, great post. Great.

- NY
(1/21/2013 10:23:59 PM)
Without Joe Nolan and Bill Evans, the Scott & Todd show isn't the same. For my commute home I listen to satellite/pandora or my iTunes. NOW I find i do the same in the morning as well. I liked my morning show. But it isn't the same. I'll start listening again when the "team" is back together.

- Tish
(1/10/2013 10:16:12 AM)
I wish her luck...and she is going to need it. As a former suburban station GM, I know what it takes to succeed. Neither her remarks in this interview nor the programming on WABC reflect the soul and the pulse of New York. I hope she is more responsive than the management we have dealt with at Cumulus.

- Barry Cohen

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