On Tuesday Salem Communications announced Dave Armstrong is retiring from the company at the end of September. Armstrong has managed the LA, New York and San Diego clusters during his 20 years with Salem. He started in radio while still in his teens as a part-time DJ at a small station in Conneaut, Ohio and has gone on to hold positions as PD, Sales Manager and V.P./GM during his 50 years. Although he's leaving Salem, Armstrong was quick to say: "This is the end of another chapter in my work book but it's not the final chapter and I'm excited to see what's next." We spoke to Armstrong last night about his announcement.
RI: Why are you retiring?
ARMSTRONG: I am only retiring from Salem. I believe that there is a closing chapter to my career out there somewhere and I need to look for it.
RI: 50 years is a long time. How have you witnessed radio evolve and is it in a better place now?
ARMSTRONG: Consolidation has had the most impact. When there were multiple owners in a market; there was more variety and more competition. It seemed like radio was more fun then and much more spontaneous. We didn?t have to research everything before airing it. I can?t say that radio is in a better place when much of the creativity we saw over the years has disappeared. I am sure that research might show that things are better in some areas.
RI: What is the key to leading and managing people for as long as you have?
ARMSTRONG: Hire good people?let them know what is expected and then help them grow to their full potential. I also tell them that they are required to have fun!!!!
RI: What/when was the time you had most fun at a radio station and why?
ARMSTRONG: I have enjoyed my time at Salem. I was given the opportunity to manage clusters in Los Angeles, New York and San Diego. I have seen Christian radio grow in the impact it has on the culture. It is rewarding to know that at the end of the day our station has touched lives in ways that we will never know.
RI: What do you want to see radio do better?
ARMSTRONG: I think we need to return to the days of serving our local communities with on air personalities who are part of the community and stations that super serve there listener with more than ?eight hot hits in a row.?
RI:What are you going to miss the most and why?
ARMSTRONG: Anytime there is a change I always miss the people. It is amazing to realize that our staff creates a new product every 24 hours. No holidays?.no vacations?.no sick days for a radio station. Every day.. as they say?the show must go on!!! I look forward to the next act!!!
Reach out to Dave to congratulate him on a stellar career at firstname.lastname@example.org
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