Re: Get to know JJO's Blake Patton

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Posted by fmrm-wer on July 02, 2009 at 16:03:16:

In Reply to: Get to know JJO's Blake Patton posted by on July 02, 2009 at 15:26:14:

Blake is one of kind. Not only is he one hell of a talent, he's also one of the most insightful people you'll ever meet. It's great to read this!

: All Access 10 Questions with ... Blake Patton

: NAME: Blake Patton
: MARKET: Madison
: COMPANY: Midwest Family Broadcasting
: BORN: Waseca, MN
: RAISED: Blue Earth, MN

: Milbank, SD in 1975 was my first job ... then Sioux Falls, Rapid City, St Cloud, Rockford and Madison

: 1) What was your first job in radio?

: Milbank, SD (KMSD). News in the morning, air shift in the afternoon and meetings at night -- and Wednesday was my day off....

: Early influences?


: 2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?

: Yes, hearing WLS with just a touch of reverb, slammin' jingles, artists in the studio - I had to be a part of that somehow. Clyde Clifford at KAAY -- it's part his fault, too.

: 3) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it?

: Wouldn't that be awful? But, yes.

: 4) What career path would you be following had it not been for this industry?

: Well, it wouldn't be road construction or working in a steel manufacturing plant. I did just a bit of those things and the experience convinced me to pursue my dream of radio. With each passing year I understand more and more what a blessing it was to be very sure that radio is what I wanted to do from a very young age. From broadcasting to the backyard with a piece of test gear that Dad rigged up with a microphone and speaker, to here and now, there was never a doubt -- and certainly after nearly 34 years of being on the air I can't imagine anything else.

: 5) What makes your station or market unique? How does this compare to other markets or stations you have worked at?

: WJJO is unique because it's just (PD) Randy Hawke and me making all the music decisions. We have more research tools available than most stations and between Randy and me, you're looking at 50+ years of experience. It doesn't compare; this is totally unique.

: 6) How do you feel terrestrial radio competes with the satellite radio and Internet these days?

: I don't think terrestrial radio has competition from satellite. Our management wanted to be sure we were familiar with satellite, so we have the opportunity to use company-owned receivers anytime. Unless you're going for Howard exclusively, what's the point? Formats are so narrow they drive you nuts after a few minutes. A severe disconnect from anything local occurs within moments. The Internet is a different beast from satellite radio, It's an additional tool for both information and interaction ... not competition. But you have to keep up and work with it, not fear it.

: 7) What approach do you take after a soft book?

: The same as after a good one. What did we do right? What did we do wrong? Make sure all the basics and bases are covered. Examine the entire station and if you're doing all the things that you know you should be doing, then you have to let the brilliance and eternally flawless execution of Arbitron wash over you and deal with it.

: 8) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?

: The absolute necessity of defeating the incredibly stifling, poorly thought out, won't solve a thing, will kill new music Radio Performance Rights Act.

: 9) Besides your own, what is your favorite radio format?

: Active Rock is all there is. Really, why would you want to spend any time with anything else? I believe our listeners are so much like ourselves. Not a lot of game playing and posturing. Just trying to make the house payment, keep our job, do the best we can for our kids, keep up with the new music and have some damn fun.

: 10) What's the best concert you've been to so far this year and why?

: Player/Kommander, Halestrom, Cavo and The Veer Union. Player/Kommander brought experience and some very different sounds to the stage. They were doing things musically that no one else has the chops or experience to provide. Halestorm worked the stage like seasoned professionals with raw energy and fun. Cavo worked the crowd like they knew each person and The Veer Union was so energetic and fun that you got lost in the fun, the show and music.

: Bonus Questions
: Tell us what music we would find on your car or home CD player (or turntable) right now and what is it you enjoy about that particular selection?

: The Deaf Pedestrians have just finished a brilliant CD. It's a true work of art. Bif Naked because it was produced by the amazing Jason Darr I like both because they stand out. They stand out because they don't fit a pattern or mold. There's chances being taken, brilliant musicianship and new direction on both of those shiny pieces of plastic.

: What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?

: The games and the politics never stop. From internal relationships and keeping your job to dealing with bands and record companies.

: Where do you see the industry and yourself five years from now?

: I hope the industry does well. Me? (to borrow Randy's line) I hope to be cruising the high seas, playing shuffleboard and making poor clothing choices.

: In your opinion, what is the greatest song ever that never made it as a hit?

: There are quite a few. I often state that as one of the really disheartening things about the job. When you look through the cd's in the bottom of your closet and you can flip through them and know that a certain band really put on a pro show or how another band did so well here and a few other markets but never broke through. People always SAY they want new, different, thought provoking and unusual material - but then they go buy the same damn thing over and over.

: What is the best advice you would give to young programmers/promotion people?

: Listen. Look. Ask questions. Keep up to date. Don't be afraid to say. "I don't know." Then find the answer.

: What do you do with a song you don't like?

: That's immaterial -is the song right for the station? Does it fit the format? Does it fit listeners expectations? If I don't like it I won't play it in my car or at home.

: How much dayparting do you do?

: Precious little and ONLY for extreme length during drives. Otherwise I don't get dayparting.

: If a person likes Slipknot do they only like it during a certain part of the day?

: If a listener wants to hear Korn do they wait till after 7 at night to play it themselves? Nope.

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