10 Questions with B96's Music Director, Erik Bradley

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Posted by fromAA on November 11, 2009 at 15:32:12:

10 Questions with ... Erik Bradley

Nov 10, 2009


MD, WCKZ/Charlotte, NC; MD KBEQ/Kansas City, MO; APD/MD WBBM/Chicago, IL

1. Do you remember a defining moment when you were absolutely sure that Radio was in your blood?

Yes, the first time I walked in to WCKZ-FM/Kiss 102 in Charlotte, NC to take a tour with my college broadcasting class. I was FLOORED within 60 seconds. I didn't know there were so many 'behind the scenes' positions at a radio station -- as soon as I heard "Music Director" I knew that's what I was going to be.

2) What do you think is the biggest thing separating Chicago musically from Los Angeles?

Besides the obvious of Chicago being midwest & L.A. is West Coast...they don't seem THAT different to me. I like to think of Chicago as a melting pot of many different cultures (because it really is) - we can take the best from the East / South / and West, in addition to our own local flava - and enjoy the best of everything!
3) If you ever get stuck in a musical "rut", where songs begin to sound the same, where do you turn to get you fired up?

I stream B96dance.com. Killer dance music is always helpful to cleanse the palate!

4) You're regarded in the business as having a great set of ears. What's the first thing you look for in a record?

I'm a big time sucker for pure pop. A melodic and hypnotic hook will get me every time - if I sing it later in the day and can't get it outta my head, I know it's a WRAP!

5) You've always been one of the most accessible programmers in the business. Whether it be for record promoters or colleagues in radio, you always seem to make the time. Why?

That goes back to my upbringing...always treat people the way I want to be treated. You can blame my parents and my church for that!

6) Ever talk PPM with Keith Naftaly?

No, but I will talk business with Keith Naftaly ANY DAY. He is without question one of the smartest people (industry or otherwise) that I've ever met. A true blessing to call him my friend.

7) Want to play word association? I say a word and you say the first thing that comes to mind.

PPM: A challenge to figure out but certainly better than diary (imo). Change can be good!

Black Eyed Peas: Stacey Ferguson - I love that woman & am SO happy for her success!

Winter: Burrrrr - I enjoy it, but don't like how it affects our drivers!

8) What's the worst thing a promotion rep could say to you in trying to get their record on at B96?

I hate when I feel how intense the pressure is to get the song played...I mean, really???? Honorable mention for all the alphabet soup that's already playing it (yes, surprisingly that still happens now and then!)

9) We spend so much time talking about music. Your reputation as a great MD is well known. You're also the longtime APD at B96. Have you found the nuts & bolts aspect of being an APD exciting?

I really enjoy logistics and strategic thinking, two important qualities of surviving and succeeding in business in 2009+. Seeing an idea from the drawing board all the way to life is a feeling of great accomplishment. I definitely want to be a Program Director in the future, this is an exciting time for radio and I think it's only going to continue!

10) B96 has made some staff changes over the last year or so, the biggest of which was the introduction of a new morning show with J Niice and Julian. How are the boys coming along?

They're hitting on all cylinders and our AM drive PPM #'s have backed that up. It is an immense challenge starting over with a brand new morning team, not to mention with people who have never done mornings before. That said, talented people can adapt, evolve and succeed when given a difficult task. J and Julian are strong radio people who have really stepped it all the way up. We are absolutely on the right track. I must also mention their producers Mark Baggio and Tony Kelly as well as Showbiz Shelly, our Entertainment Reporter. She is a huge part of the show and the station and has an infectious, hardworking attitude. We can never ever have enough Showbiz Shelly's around the station!

Bonus Questions
What's your favorite thing about living and working in Chicago?

World class city + world class radio station + world class relationships...the whole experience has been beyond amazing for me, who knew it would turn in to 16+ years back in '93 when I moved here from Cherryville, NC?

What do you do to relax away from work?

We love to go to Sedona or to see my family in North Carolina and Texas. Then there's Costco. Seriously, I LOVE me some Costco. Cooking, hanging with Mariah, and watching a good game (shout out to Carolina basketball and the ATL Braves). I can't get enough sports!


Erik Bradley
Station: WBBM
Market: Chicago, IL
Company: CBS Radio
Born: Lancaster, PA
Raised: Cherryville, NC

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