It was only four years ago that Amy Stroud joined Mike Tarter’s Forcht Broadcasting as Digital Media Director. On Wednesday, Tarter promoted Stroud to Senior Vice President where she will spread all of her broadcasting knowledge across Forcht’s 25 stations by working with managers on personnel, programming, and operations as she continues to run the company’s social media and website products.
Tarter said Stroud’s strong work ethic and vast knowledge of broadcasting and social media make her the perfect choice for this corporate position. Radio Ink spoke to Stroud at length Wednesday about her promotion, and her up-close view of how the radio and digital roads have intersected. Oh by the way, did we mention she also has a morning show on WYKY-FM in Somerset, KY?
Radio Ink: You joined Forcht focusing on digital, responsibilities you will hold onto. How have you seen digital in radio evolve over the years?
Amy Stroud: In the four years I have been with Forcht Broadcasting I have learned we no longer have the option of whether or not to bring our stations to our listeners via online, social, and digital mediums. Our listeners come to us from their smart phones, their computers, their mobile devices, and social mediums — and we must be there on our end when they arrive. We try to always use our online and digital presence to enhance our on-air presence. But, wherever our listeners are, we must be there, also.
Radio Ink: Why is it important that all radio salespeople understand what clients want in terms of digital and how do they learn to be experts in that field?
Amy Stroud: I am not sure one can ever be an “expert” in the digital field! We keep up with the advancements of digital technologies and social mediums, but rather than try to become experts on how to use all of them, we work to become the best experts in radio. When you understand the radio business and your own markets, audiences, and clients, then you can determine what digital technologies work best for you and them. It is better to use a few online and social mediums extremely well to promote clients and your station, rather than use all the digital and social mediums one can name just to have bragging rights for using them all. However, I do think all radio stations must have strong websites, station apps, relevant Facebook pages, and the ability to allow listeners to text them in order to truly be successful in the digital field. Don’t just know how digital mediums work, know how they work for your stations and clients.
Radio Ink: What is your philosophy on managing and leading people? How do you succeed at it?
Amy Stroud: It is easier to manage and lead people when you work alongside a President/CEO each day who does it well, and I certainly have this pleasure. My mother is a retired elementary school teacher, and I have heard her say regarding her students, that they won’t care how much you know and can teach them, until they know how much you care for them. I work with some of the hardest working and most passionate, community-minded, and sincere broadcasters in the radio industry. Working with our Forcht Broadcasting team makes me better at what I do daily. I think when your team
knows you know what the radio industry is about and that you go through the highs and lows of a day with them, then they welcome your leadership more openly. I believe my job is to talk with our team, help them determine what they need to be successful, provide them with what they need, and then let them do what they do best — make great radio and serve clients.
Radio Ink: Do you believe the radio industry has any chance of growing revenue over the next year to five years?
Amy Stroud: Absolutely! We live, oftentimes, in an impersonal world, and radio, especially small-market radio, is a very personal business. People need us, and they always will. We provide local and community news, weather updates, sports reports, and interviews with people who are making their regions better. We play great music and present strong programming. As long as we continue to provide what people need, our clients will remain interested in doing business with us, and thus we will continue to generate revenue for our industry. But, it will become harder to remain relevant, so,
we’ll just work harder and smarter over the coming years to develop and advance our industry.
Radio Ink: What would you like to see the radio industry do better and how do we get that done?
Amy Stroud: I would love to see more women working in the radio industry, especially in small-market radio. Women are great storytellers and communicators. Although our industry has made tremendous advancements in recruiting and supporting women in the radio business, as an industry, we still have work to do. I would like to see more high schools and universities take young women who are interested in the radio business and begin teaching them its fundamentals from the moment of first interest. While it does take time to teach one-on-one, I think radio stations offering internships to students should take the time to explain how all facets of a radio station make the station work. We must teach those interested in the radio industry that you cannot have just one skill set at a radio station, but that you must understand all parts of the radio business.
Reach out to Amy to congratulate her on her promotion and love for the radio business at [email protected]
Forcht Broadcasting operates 25 radio stations in nine markets, including Hopkinsville, Columbia, Campbellsville-Greensburg, Somerset, London, Whitesburg and Paintsville in Kentucky, in Olney-Newton, Illinois and Crawfordsville, Indiana.