DAVE PEACH, General Manager, WCDQ, WIMC & WCVL/Crawfordsville, IN, Forcht Broadcasting, [email protected], Twitter: @DavePeach101
Dave Peach started his radio career as a part-timer back in 1978. He became a general manager in 2004 at WREL & WWWZ in Virginia, and he’s been the GM for Forcht Broadcasting in Crawfordsville, Indiana since 2007. Peach has in his career also served as a PD, operations manager, AE, sales manager, news director, and news anchor. And in 2015, he was named one of Radio Ink’s Best Managers in Radio.
RI: How do you keep your leadership skills sharp?
Peach: I serve on three local boards. I look at every meeting as an opportunity to serve the community, but also to learn from local leaders. How are they conducting the meeting? How are they handling employee issues? How are they adapting to change? These are successful people, and I want to model my style after theirs! Also, being in a small market, I cover some news stories on occasion, and I have the honor of interviewing our mayor, legislators, and other leaders. I look at every meeting, speech, or press conference as a learning experience. I have read many books on leadership over the years. Grant Cardone is one of my favorite current reads. I also watch leadership-improvement videos.
RI: What advice would you give other managers around the country to be successful in 2016?
Peach: Stay positive amid the negative reports regarding radio that flood your in box these days. Acknowledge the threats, but don’t dwell on them. Keep doing the things that gave you the chance to be a GM. These are tasks associated with taking care of employees, clients, and your community. And instead of looking for mistakes to point out, look for ways to get your team excited about their jobs. Pride in your job goes a long way to improve performance.
RI: What traits must sales managers and PDs have to work for you?
Peach: We do need people with technical expertise and talent without question, but they also must have a heart for radio. You have to have employees who are passionate about how the stations sound. They also must be attentive to client and community needs. If a person is not fired up about radio, they will not last long when they see the challenging work to be done. Education is very important, but passion is just as, if not more, important.
RI: If you had a chance to speak to the top 10 advertising decisionmakers in the country about radio, what would you say to them?
Peach: Local communities love their local radio stations. You would be surprised to see how many loyal listeners we have. It is logical to think that these loyal listeners can become loyal customers for your products and services. Give us a chance to tell them what your company can do for them. We will work hard to make your investment be a profitable one for you. As far as scheduling, make sure you air enough messages to achieve your goals. As Dave Gifford said in the first sales seminar I ever attended, “Repetition builds reputation.”
RI: What motivates you every day to lead your people to do great things?
Peach: We have an excellent team here in Crawfordsville. We have several staffers who represent the next generation of leadership, and I want to pass along to these young broadcasters the principles of exceptional local broadcasting I was taught at their age by broadcasters I admire to this day.
RI: What is the number one challenge facing you as a manager?
Peach: Knowing when to jump in and try to save the day and when to let the team figure it out on their own and fix it. You want to make sure every spot is up to-date, every break is tight, and every sales call is well prepared. You have to trust your team. Passionate broadcasters will learn from their mistakes.
RI: How is radio going to get its revenue growing again?
Peach: Take some risks. Expand local programming. Develop on-air personalities. Then hire and train sellers who will take our local content and tie in sponsors.
RI: What are the three biggest challenges radio faces heading into 2016?
Peach: Finding ways to expand staffs and revenue at the same time. Determining what human resources to devote to social media. Capitalizing on the tremendous increase in listenership.
RI: What would you like to see radio do better?
Peach: I would like to hear air personalities tell people the impressive numbers of overall radio listenership. They are always promoting the top television shows and movies. Why not tell people how many million people listened to radio last week? Why not promote the top 10 radio personalities in the country?
RI: Is radio in a good place?
Peach: I feel that we are, because we continue to serve the community. We are live at their events, we talk to local people on the air, and we promote local achievements and happenings with on-air announcements. Advertisers can hop aboard and join us. Listeners support the advertisers because they support the local community coverage on the radio, and so it goes. Other media cannot do this with the personal touch that radio can.