Dayle Honda-Stice, Creative Director/Partner at Mind Over Media, and former Creative Services Director at KZST-FM, Santa Rosa, California
It happened in the medium market of Santa Rosa, California. Dayle Honda-Stice took the job of Production Director at KZST-FM, and in the two years that followed, Dayle orchestrated perhaps one of the biggest turnarounds of a production department the average person will see in their career. Two months ago, she left the station to make the big bucks at her own ad agency. This month's interview is one you'll want to copy and pass around. Give it to your GM. Give it to your Sales Manager. Let the sales staff read it. Let your Program Director read it. Let anyone on your production staff read it, but most importantly, read it yourself. Read it twice. Read it three times. There ARE other ways to run a Production Department.
R.A.P.: Give us a quick rundown of your résumé.
Dayle: I guess I started as a kid, studying classical piano and voice in New York, then went on to do more of that in Chicago as well. In college, I studied Radio/TV/Film and got a degree in that at the University of Colorado. I went straight from college to Ogilvy & Mather as a copy cub. I trained in copywriting then went into production and became Production Assistant and Associate Producer.
At that time, I had a boyfriend who was a Production Director at "The Loop" in Chicago. He now owns a few radio stations across the country. I thought that radio production might be an interesting thing to do eventually, since I was doing post and pre-production. After a marriage and a divorce, I moved to Santa Fe and KLSK opened up. The station was looking for a Production Director and somebody to do mornings, and I ended up getting that position.
I did that for a while, and ended up having babies and moving to Santa Rosa with my present husband. KZST had an opening for a Production Director a couple of years ago, and that job became mine. Now, I'm back at an agency again.
R.A.P.: Before we get into your new ad agency, let's talk about production at KZST. What was it like there?
Dayle: KZST is a dream radio station, depending upon what stage of production you're at. The equipment is fantastic. The owner is an engineer, so you don't have to work too hard to get equipment out of this guy. The present facility is only about a year old. When I took over the job, we were in another building. He built this whole new building with three studios for production. All of the new equipment was put in within a year. Getting up to speed and learning how to use all this equipment was really hell. It was exciting too, but I can tell you there were days when I put in twenty hours just learning how to use the rooms, training other people how to use them, and just getting up to speed.
R.A.P.: How were these studios equipped when you left?
Dayle: In studio A, we had the Wheatstone board. We mastered everything onto R-DAT. We had the Eventide H3000B Ultra-Harmonizer, which we used a lot for all kinds of effects. We had a Neumann mike and a couple of others which I can't remember right now. We had the Dyaxis in there with the 50-track recording capability. We had an Otari MX-70 8-track as well and two Otari 2-tracks. We didn't have any samplers yet, although people kept bringing them in from time to time to do special things.
R.A.P.: How about the second studio?
Dayle: Studio B also had a Dyaxis. I had to wage a big war to get another 8-track in this studio because the Program Director and I, getting into difficulties with the Dyaxis, were always fighting over the studio with the 8-track in it. This was simply because we weren't up to speed with computers and the whole Mac system of the Dyaxis. It's like learning Japanese. It's backwards and inside-out from the process that your mind goes through to do production. For me, it was your basic catch 22. You had this fabulous machinery available with no time to learn it, and learning it is time intensive because it's more video oriented that radio production oriented. And when you're already working ten to twelve hour days, it just doesn't leave much time to learn new equipment. So, I fought one last battle and put my job on the line for another 8-track, which we got. That machine was a Tascam.
R.A.P.: What was in the third studio?
Dayle: This room was strictly for R-DAT to R-DAT dubbing and for the Music Director to use. What we were doing at the time was getting things set up so that the entire overnight shift was automated on R-DAT -- commercials and music. They were even getting to the point where they wanted to eliminate the usage of CD's during the day and put all the music on R-DAT. I don't know if that will ever come to pass, though. It was a technical nightmare. They were stacking the R-DAT's and there were problems with the machinery. We used carts for commercials during the day, but at night all the spots were on R-DAT and the third studio was used for a lot of that.
R.A.P.: How did clients and agencies react to your superbly equipped main studio in that medium market?
Dayle: When they would walk in, they'd be blown away. Our basic process was to say, "Hey, look at this machine, the Dyaxis." We'd flip it on and let them see all the lights and all the razzle dazzle, we'd put headphones on them and make them sound like Darth Vader through the Harmonizer, and they'd just go, "Oh, wow! You guys must be able to do all kinds of things!" It was such a nice looking room, and it looked like you could do a lot of things in it; but, even so, it still comes down to the writing. How good is the copy? Where's the concept coming from? You can have none of the fancy equipment, and if you've got good writing and a good library and voices to back you, you can make something sound wonderful. But as far as the agencies go, they'd look at the equipment and say, "Okay. This is where we're going to produce."
R.A.P.: How many people were on the production staff?
Dayle: We had a Production Director, a full-time producer, a part-time producer/writer, a full-time dubber at night, and a relief dubber.
R.A.P.: Dubbers at night?
Dayle: Production ran twenty-four hours a day, and everything was in systems. I swear, half of production is having a good system. It lets you be a lot more creative. Our system was just perfect. We would do all of the creative during the day. At night, the dubbing took place. Plus, all of the voice-over work that came in from the national agencies -- like the Lucky stores, the Alpha-Beta's and whatever -- would be done by the dubber. The dubber was also a producer, so he had to have a good voice and be able to work on the 8-track. We would give any straight voice-over work and dubs to the dubber. He would do dubs to cart, dubs for backups, and then dubs onto R-DAT for the nighttime automated stuff.
R.A.P.: You had backup carts for all spots on the air?
Dayle: Oh yea. You can't lose those spots; those are dollars.
R.A.P.: Did all of this -- the equipment, the systems, the staff, everything that became known as KZST Creative Services -- exist before you in any fashion?
Dayle: No. When I took over the job, they had your basic, small, one-person studio without any of the frills -- no Dyaxis, no Harmonizer. Now, there was a dubber at night prior to me. That was the way it was structured before I came on board. I started as their Production Director. KZST Creative Services and my new title of Creative Services Director came about because I created them. I really had to sell the idea, but it wasn't a real difficult sell when I presented it as a profit center for sales.
R.A.P.: Why did you create KZST Creative Services?
Dayle: It all came about because agencies were killing us on studio time. They would come in and spend four hours doing their song and dance. That was largely because they didn't understand radio production and were not very knowledgeable as to how to go about creating what they wanted to create. Also, management and the sales staff wanted more complex production to compete with the hot spots on our station that were coming from the national agencies. If a national spot was bumped up against a cruddy local production, it was real noticeable. KZST has a real major market kind of sound, and they wanted the local production to be more consistent with that sound. We have the majority of the market listening shares, plus we compete with San Francisco for listenership. So, it was real important to make that more cohesive, to make the production sound like what was on the rest of our air.
Of course, production like that translates into more time, and to me, time is money. So, how I ended up selling Creative Services to management was by presenting it as a profit center for sales and a way to make the production department itself pay for more staff and more libraries. I built in a commission for the sales people and an override for myself to make it something that I wanted to do because it was going to take more time. When you do it like that, what's to argue with? In the end, they weren't able to argue with me because I had found a way to build in the cost of a salary for another producer, the cost of another library, the cost of utilizing outside talent, and all kinds of other things.
The main thrust of Creative Services was to be able to deal with agencies and also to be able to deliver the complex production to the kinds of companies that have been moving into Sonoma County. This is a real boom area where housing is still going up in droves, and people are moving up from the city. We're not even an hour's drive from San Francisco in the traffic. The businesses that are moving in are more sophisticated, and they're willing to spend the money. They're willing to take on agencies, and there aren't a lot of agencies up here. The agencies that are up here are mostly print oriented.
The small and mid-sized agencies up in this area, and I would presume in most markets, don't understand radio and radio production. So, they either avoid it, or they make a total nuisance of themselves out of their ignorance. I guess, depending upon the size of the egos involved, they can either be a thorn in your side or they can be educated on how to do it right or turn over the work to the producer. In my mind, if the producer is compensated, it all becomes worthwhile for everybody. Agencies don't mind paying for the quality, and the producer doesn't mind spending the time with the agencies. It serves the agency's time as well, and what it all boils down to these days is how we can all save each other time, still provide quality work, and make money. Stations can't continue to see agencies as adversaries. Agencies, at least in growing markets like Sonoma County, are going to bring radio more and more business. They have to. But it's production's job to make it work, and that's not always easy. It's an educational process, but it doesn't have to be difficult. One hand can wash the other, and that's why I created Creative Services -- to find a way to make that workable. There was no consistency in dealing with agencies, and the agencies really didn't know what they were doing. They would walk in with a sixty second script that was really only thirty-five seconds, and they'd want to produce something that wasn't producible. They'd have a concept in their minds that just wasn't doable, at least not in an hour's time. I felt there was really a need, and when some of these agencies were approached with the concept, they just gobbled it up. They said, "This is wonderful that we can just come to you, tell you what we need, then have you give us a price on it and deliver." We would build in the cost of talent, big outside voices, and it worked.
R.A.P.: Explain in further detail this commission and override structure you mentioned.
Dayle: In making Creative Services viable, the salespeople had to get behind it and sell it to the clients and the agencies; and in order for them to get behind it, they had to make money. Otherwise, why should they do it? I built in a commission for them; I think it was ten percent of whatever the profits were. I had an override on the net of whatever the sales department sold, not just what they sold utilizing Creative Services, but a percentage of everything they sold, period. That was an incentive for me to back the sales department because, at this radio station, production is part of sales. I think that's the smart way to go. Plus, if you make it such that it's not an opposing relationship with sales, it works out real well.
R.A.P.: Was Creative Services more or less a service KZST sold to clients on top of the spot schedule?
Dayle: Right. That was additional budget for production which is something that clients in our market are used to. In order to get something real special, we would sell it to them in terms of Creative Services. Now, for the salespeople who had been on staff for years, this was real difficult. They thought, "Why do I have to sell something else? Our rates are already high enough, and now you're going to charge for production?" I'd say, "No. We're not charging for production. We're charging for Creative Services." Your basic voice-over or your basic two-voice spot is not charged for, but something that you load up the tracks for, something that takes a few hours to put together, something that is a major production would be something that we would give the clients a bid on. The client would decide whether or not they wanted it. Creative Services did jingles and donuts and whatever else we came up with that was creative. Donuts were a real profit maker because they were consistent with the whole theory of selling advertising and not spots.
With all the new salespeople it was real interesting. The new salespeople had no trouble at all selling Creative Services. It worked. From the very beginning it was viable, and it covered all our expenses. The first month out, it just knocked my socks off. I couldn't believe it. It covered the cost of our additional employee and everything else including the commissions for myself and everybody else.
R.A.P.: How much writing and producing was being done at KZST, and how much of it were you doing?
Dayle: There is so much production done at this radio station. We would easily do ten to fifteen spots a day. That's just the production. We wrote twice that many spots. I did the majority of the writing; I would say eighty percent of it. I probably did ninety percent of all the Creative Services production. As I said, I put in some twenty hour days, and the usual was a twelve hour day.
R.A.P.: Did you handle any promo production?
Dayle: Very little. Our Program Director was in charge of the promos, and he did some really terrific stuff. We had an adversary relationship, but one thing I can say is that his work was top notch.
R.A.P.: This adversary relationship, would you say that was largely due to the fact that you worked more for sales instead of programming?
Dayle: Definitely. That's going to be a natural. The things we fought over were never personal. It was always about programming wanting to have more control over the production studio because they didn't. Production had control over the studio, and programming hated that. There's an incredible value for the promos. That's one of the most essential elements of programming, but when you have a Program Director that's not organized and doesn't show up for his allotted studio time, and then comes by the next day and says, "I need this time or this won't get on the air," you have problems. You've got all kinds of studio time already booked for clients and talent coming in, and then you get bumped because the promo has to be done. You're going to have some sparks flying, at least out of me. It was a matter of optimal management of time.
R.A.P.: There seems to be a growing trend to have one full-time producer for sales and another full-time producer for programming. Is this how it should be?
Dayle: I think it has to be this way if you're going to tie in heavy promotion, and that seems to be where the success of stations is lying, in promotions. That's a whole different offshoot from sales, and I don't disagree with it being that way; but it's too bad it has to be that way because I think the most fun and creativity comes from doing promos, at least for me that's true. I think doing promos is a blast. You don't have to cover a lot of things you have to when doing a commercial, and it's a lot more creative; but, in order to satisfy the production needs of the promotions department at any big station pumping mega-dollars into promotions, you have to be aligned with that and only that. You need a separate producer for the promos.
R.A.P.: What kind of rates did Creative Services charge for their services?
Dayle: We never charged over a thousand dollars for anything. We did a couple of donuts for nine-hundred dollars, seven-hundred dollars; but most of the stuff we did remained in the three-hundred dollar range for a real creative spot. Now when I say real creative, I mean loading up all the tracks, bouncing tracks, casts of thousands if you needed that, or just some really gorgeous sounding spots.
R.A.P.: Tell us a little more about how you sold this massive project of Creative Services to the management and owners of KZST.
Dayle: It was a long, drawn out process with the threat of quitting coming up a couple of times. I hate to threaten because I figure if you threaten more than once you ought to just follow through on it, and I was ready to at each and every juncture. I figured it was a crime to have that kind of studio and not be able to utilize it. But to have to utilize it to its fullest, work those extra hours, and not be compensated for it is slitting your own throat. So, I presented it first on that level and then I thought, "Dayle, you idiot. These are sales people you're talking to." Our GM was also the General Sales Manager, and I thought, "You have to structure this so that it is presented as a profit center for sales, or so it at least pays for the cost of production in some way, shape, or form." When I presented it that way, there was no problem.
I had to play hardball, though. It was ugly. It was laying all the cards on the table and saying, "Well, I guess you just don't see it my way. I've presented all the facts, all the numbers..." I had a proposal with all the numbers on it showing them that clearly they were going to make money on this, and so was I. In their minds Production Directors are only worth so much money. Production was only worth so much because it was a complete cost to them. There was no money made back from production; it was strictly costs going out in salary and things like production libraries. By the time I left, we had four libraries that we utilized because everybody's standards went up. We needed enough music to go around and enough variety.
R.A.P.: Which libraries did you use?
Dayle: We used Aircraft, Airforce, Capitol's newest one, and Network Sound Effects. I was thoroughly pleased, for an AC format, with Aircraft and Airforce. They have the most incredible stuff.
R.A.P.: Did you use a lot of outside voice talent for your spots?
Dayle: Yes. We rarely used on-air talent for spots. That was something that programming and I agreed upon. We utilized some big voices from Los Angeles for spots. We'd send down scripts and they'd send up voice tracks that we would integrate into our spots. These LA voices made the spots sound so much bigger than the local talent that we had. Finding talent and booking talent practically became a full-time job.
R.A.P.: Was this yet another cost passed on to clients?
Dayle: Yes, and we were still able to turn a profit on spots averaging three hundred dollars each. Nobody complained about paying for a voice. It didn't cost very much. We'd pay thirty-five dollars for a voice unless we got a big voice, then we paid seventy-five; and anybody who is going to dump a couple of thou-sand into a schedule has seventy-five dollars or thirty-five dollars. If I ever do production again at a station in a medium sized market where I have to turn out a lot of production, I'll definitely do the same thing because the product is so much better.
R.A.P.: How is KZST rated?
Dayle: KZST is number one and has been for eleven years, but that's changing. Fuller-Jeffries has moved in with a station that's taking the market by storm. The Fox is here, and people are coming in with real programming knowledge and they're making a mark. I don't know if this is true across the country, because northern California is such a growth oriented place, but in the medium markets, when this kind of growth happens, the need for stations having more to sell makes a difference between closing a sale and not. Just getting the buys these days is getting harder, and a lot of it boils down to what you can offer creatively out of production.
R.A.P.: How were spec spots treated at KZST?
Dayle: We handled spec spots exactly as though they were regular production. It wouldn't be, "Oh, that's spec. Let's put that at the bottom of the pile." We had a budget set aside so we could put money into doing just an incredible production for spec.
R.A.P.: Did the sales department abuse the fact that you could turn out superb spec spots? Did they go out and sell spec spots instead of radio?
Dayle: No. I had a really wonderful relationship with the sales department. It was a terrific, professional sales staff. I just couldn't complain about them. The hardest thing was breaking in new salespeople who had never sold radio before, but then again, they did the best at selling Creative Services because they didn't know that is wasn't something that was always done.
R.A.P.: Did you attend sales meetings?
Dayle: I had to go to weekly sales meetings, and I'd get a portion of the time to talk to them. My whole philosophy with them was combining creativity into the sell, and it's a challenge. We don't sell spots anymore. This is the day and age when you can't sell spots. You have to sell advertising. You have to structure it with the client that, "This is what we'll do this quarter. This is the theme. This is the slogan. This is the campaign." I think when we can find a way to do that elegantly, without screaming, without being ugly, we've found a way to both sell and be creative.
It's time to sell campaigns because that's what agencies are doing, and that's what clients need. As a radio station, if you can operate as a mini-agency, you are stepping forward into the nineties with a philosophy and an attitude that is going to garner more sales because it's more service oriented. You're offering your client a service that most radio stations don't. Most stations are simply coming from the clients with a copy request, cranking it out, then putting another spot on the air, and there's no consistency to the message. Selling advertising instead of spots also gets advertisers to advertise more regularly; and, as national trends have indicated, radio is becoming more and more the cost effective way, in many markets, to drive home, not only image, but immediacy.
R.A.P.: How long were you with Ogilvy & Mather?
Dayle: I was with Ogilvy for three years and then with Young & Rubicam for a year.
R.A.P.: With four years at two respected agencies behind you, you eventually became a Production Director. As a Production Director, how did this background affect the way you felt about agencies?
Dayle: It made it real easy to understand the agencies and where they were coming from. I found that most radio stations really do treat local agencies, at any rate, as an adversary, as though they are competing for the client, and it doesn't have to be that way. Agencies are going to get certain clients, period, simply because of the load of work that needs to be done. Needing to disperse the print work, needing to handle the other media besides radio, is a fact of life for many clients. To think that a radio station can simply compete with an agency and take that client, and not share a commission structure is ludicrous. Understanding that, and knowing not to position yourself in competition creatively with an agency made it really easy for the sales people on our staff, and it made it easier for the agencies to utilize our station more and not feel it was an enemy. I find that a lot of business is lost with that attitude, especially in our market. Agencies won't even use radio because they think, "If we get close to them, they're going to get close to our client and try and take him away and say, 'we can do it all for you for free.'" That's true and it does happen.
R.A.P.: When an agency takes their 15% out of a station's pocket, aren't they supposed to supply a tape to the pro-duction department?
Dayle: That's how an agency should operate. That's how my agency operates. We're structured like a major market agency, but most small market agencies are these "one-man-hang-a-shingle-out-on-your-door-and-call-your-self-an-agency" type operations, at least in our market they are. A lot of the agencies here in Sonoma County, not all of them but the majority of them, would say, "Well, I'm acting on behalf of the client. Treat me like the client. I want free production. I want you to write the spot. I want you to put it together, then I'll pick it apart and you'll go through ten million revisions, and we'll spend ten times the amount of studio time necessary while I sit there and be the agency and get my commission." That made me absolutely nuts when I went in as Production Director, and I said, "No way. No way. These people are agencies. They come in either with their dub ready -- they just hand us their tape and we dub it -- or we charge them for it. That's how it works in bigger markets. Agencies there have to go to production houses."
Creative Services is a production house for agencies or for clients that want more than your standard production, your standard voice-over that all the other stations in our market provide. The bigger franchises and companies that wanted to make a bigger statement and cared about their creativity went for it.
R.A.P.: Can you generalize agencies' opinions towards radio station production departments?
Dayle: In our market size, a medium market, the agencies think that the work at certain stations is good. It really depends on who is the Production Director and what kind of equipment you've got. I found that the agencies, nine-point-nine times out of ten, wanted to use KZST because the facility made such a difference. Plus, the staff that we hired was top notch and could make the sound quality so much better. We had clients that would record at other stations, and when they would come to KZST after their work was done they would say, "I didn't realize that I could sound this good or that you could make a commercial sound so much more different." As a result, they were always there at KZST from that point forward. If they had a small budget, it would make the difference in the sell, in whether or not they would buy from one station over another. With clients that had bigger budgets, they would still be willing to either pay for Creative Services or whatever it took to get the work done at this radio station just because the work was so much better.
R.A.P.: When you were with the ad agencies, you were in major markets. How did the ad agencies view radio stations in these markets?
Dayle: In Chicago, the way we worked there, radio was the bastard child. Nobody wanted to work on radio, so that was the thing that got passed on to the copy cubs. Radio was the bastard child mainly because it wasn't a real profit center for the agencies. It doesn't make as much in commissions as television, and there was a point when radio just wasn't utilized very much. It's used more so today than before, but back then, it was the electronic media that wasn't valued. Image was the big thing and that was done with television.
R.A.P.: You're one of a minority of women in radio production. At the station, was this an advantage?
Dayle: No! It became one, but it took some doing because salespeople and management are used to men being the Production Director. So, it was difficult initially to be trusted, and I can't quite understand why. At this particular radio station, it was real necessary for me to have to come on strong, real strong, and just say, "trust me." I had to lay guidelines down: "This is how this is done. This is how I'm going to do this. This may not be how your former Production Director worked, but it's how I work." I had to really do a lot of PR for myself -- pointing out where I came from, what I did -- a lot of bragging to prove to people that I was not only capable of doing the job, but that I could probably do it better than anybody they had experienced before. It took a few months of doing all that before I could ease up and just be myself, but I never lost the stigma of being tough. That was okay because it served me well.
R.A.P.: Aside from your PR efforts, your production talents must have convinced some people.
Dayle: By the time I left, I had convinced people. I know I'm missed.
R.A.P.: Why did you leave this lucrative situation at such a well-equipped station?
Dayle: Frankly, I had an offer I couldn't refuse from one of my clients to become a partner and Creative Director in an agency. One of my clients was an agency that I serviced, consulted, and did some freelance work for. When your income more than doubles in the first month out, you think, "Wow! Why didn't I do this sooner?" I love radio but I really haven't left it. We do a lot of radio. The name of the agency is Mind Over Media.
R.A.P.: What about a studio? Do you go to KZST when you need one?
Dayle: Yes, whenever we can get the time. They are booked a lot, but we tend to use KZST the most. I do my own production, so that's a real plus in that I get to come in and board it myself. We don't have anybody engineer it. And here's the real clincher: Now, I'm the station's largest client. Our agency spends more on this station than any other client, and I can't tell you what a joy that is. Could the General Manager be so kind? It's a blast!
R.A.P.: Does Mind Over Media consist of just you and your partner?
Dayle: Right. My partner does a lot of the print advertising, and he's real strong on media buying. We're beginning to get into the San Francisco market now. We're handling car dealerships right now which, locally, tend to spend more money than anybody else. We have four of them in the North Bay Area, and one of them advertises heavily in San Francisco with major dollars. So it's very exciting and a lot of fun.
R.A.P.: Would you say there are quite a few Production Directors and Creative Directors at radio stations with the talent to leave radio and start their own agency but afraid to make the move?
Dayle: Absolutely, and I faced that wall of fear. It was real scary to give up a full-time salaried position where I was making decent money for our market and to say, "Okay, I know I have the experience and the know-how; I'm just going to put it on the line and do it." Agency is strictly commission. There is no salary involved. To just go out and take the risk and be responsible for all of it is a major fear. I bit my nails a lot, but having now done it, I can say it was the best thing I ever did. It makes my freelance work look like a joke, and I was doing very well on freelance before I left. I am now close to tripling the income that I had from the radio station and it has not even been two months since I left. Now whether or not we can keep that up is another issue, but we did our public relations stuff and released notices and now the phones keep ringing and clients are calling us saying, "Can you take us on?" Our problem is dealing with refusing to take on the ones that are too small. If you get brave enough to walk through that wall of fear, it's amazing what you come out with on the other side.
R.A.P.: Aside from biting the bullet, what other advice would you give someone before they went out and did this on their own?
Dayle: It's nice to not do it yourself. I don't know about other people, but, for me, finding the right group of people to work with is ideal. I was educated by the agencies in the process of being creative in a group. You don't work alone. When you are working on your own, there are times that it's real tough if you don't have someone else there to bolster your spirits and keep you going. You think it's hot in the Production Director's seat, but when you have to do the selling and the client relations, that's tough too, especially when they're spending a lot of money and it's up to you to prove that advertising works on a monthly basis. It's a hot seat, and it's nice to have somebody to be working with who can share in the load. For me, finding the right partner to hook up with was half the battle.
Also, when I started working at KZST, I knew that the Production Director's job wasn't a piece of cake, but I also knew that I needed to know this market and have the market know me. Once you've established those contacts, they are so much more valuable than you can realize, provided you have been professional and you've maintained a positive image with the large majority of your clients. People don't forget what you do for them and what you're capable of doing.
R.A.P.: Any parting thoughts for our readers?
Dayle: Working in the medium of radio, where your creativity is limitless, is one of the most exciting things to do and get paid for at the same time. Anybody who is new in the business should really search for a station and a market where the equipment is good. Check out the equipment before you take the job. If you get stuck in a station where the equipment is abysmal, you're not going to be able to rise too much above that. Instead, you'll learn a lot about how to do with not a whole lot. My entire philosophy in life is that it's okay to have a lot and have the best because then you can rise above that. If you can find a radio station like KZST, take the job. In the meantime, learn everything you can about the new equipment that's out there. You'll always be on the forefront of technology and creativity. Learn that kind of stuff and you can write your own ticket because not everybody has that knowledge. ♦