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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Radio One's Gary Spurgeon. Killing it in Dallas.

Manager Profile - Gary Spurgeon. Radio One/Dallas

On October 27 Radio Ink's 2014 Best Managers in Radio list will be released to subscribers. In the issue we feature over 30 of the best general managers and market managers in our industry today. One of those managers is Radio One's Dallas Market Manager Gary Spurgeon. Spurgeon has a 35-year track record of success in radio, and his Radio One colleague, Detroit Market Manager Kathy Stinehour, says, "Gary is a highly respected broadcaster and has done a terrific job in Dallas taking on a turnaround situation. His staff would climb any mountain for him and he has a terrific rapport with the advertising community." Let's take a closer look at Radio One's Gary Spurgeon.

What motivates you every day to lead your people to do great things?
It?s all about the people. My goal is to inspire them and help them be the best they can be every day. I truly care about growing them and cultivating their personal development. Also, it?s my love and passion for radio, media, and community that drives me. It?s about building a winning culture that challenges each of my team members. It?s about the hard work, competition, mutual respect, collaboration, family, and having fun. After all, we?re in the entertainment business . . . it?s supposed to be fun!

What is the number one challenge facing you in 2015?
Recruit, attract, and develop new talent both on-air and in sales. Regarding on-air talent, I ask, ?Where is our farm team?? We have a responsibility, no, an obligation, for the future of our industry. We must develop and recruit more on-air talent. The live, local, one-on-one connection to our listeners has been the foundation on which radio has been built. This is our unique selling position. We must not lose the local, human connection and our uniqueness . . . if we do, I believe we will lose much more than we can ever imagine.

As it relates to sales, plain and simple, radio is not sexy or vibrant to the Millennial generation. We need to do more to expose them to our industry and operations. It is imperative that we lead, manage, think, and compensate differently, or our industry is going to lose in the end. We have to be more relevant and provide them with the technology, resources, and the mobile tools they have grown up with, and use every day as part of our recruitment strategies and their employment.

What role does digital play at your radio station today, specifically in your sales department? 
As in most media companies, digital and social media is a vital part of our entire operation. At Radio One, we have truly embraced digital technology and it is an integral part of the fabric of our day-to-day operations. Our streaming, social media platforms and websites have grown significantly in the past two years. Continuing to offer compelling content to our listeners is paramount for keeping us relevant.

In the sales arena we are continuing to see growth each year with the many platforms Interactive One Local provides our team. Our challenge is to continue to understand how to monetize these platforms and keep them relevant with our advertisers. We need to continue to keep our account managers educated and on top of this ever-changing digital landscape. Our team sells a 360 marketing approach; we present digital, event, and spot programs to all advertisers as part of a comprehensive media program.

If everyone you managed were sitting in a room without you, how would they describe you, how you manage, and how you lead? 
This is a great question, but a tough one. Instead of me answering, I decided to pose this question to some of my current staff and past colleagues. These are their words:
- He is trustworthy and a very detail-minded person. He is a caring and kind-hearted person. He manages people based on honesty and integrity. He genuinely cares about the company that he works for and gives 110 percent of himself every day. He is positive and is a breath of fresh air to everyone that he works with and to everyone that works for him. 
- Gary is a fixer! He excels in figuring out ways to fix any problems that might arise. Gary?s approach is firm and honest yet very welcoming. He has an open door policy, which I love.
- Aside from the fact that Gary is an amazing leader, he is also a kind, compassionate, and gentle man. Anyone can count the beans and delegate the work, but not everyone retains their heart and soul along the way.
- Fair. Trusts his managers to do their job. Leads through example.
- Gary is fair, approachable, intense, and a collaborative manager. There are very few GMs who make you feel like you are on the inside and not just spectating on the full operations of the radio station. We appreciate how open and transparent he is with the staff and how his door is always open. 
- Gary is mindful that leadership is founded in the essence of personal integrity and honesty, which is demonstrated through his credible actions.
- He seeks sustainability through influencing culture (verses structure) he favors a matrix environment (verses silos) that moves beyond traditional departmental walls, tapping talent to meet task. He?s a genuine manager that looks to build personal relationships and engage healthy debate, varied perspectives, and diverse experiences. Enthusiastically, he champions and empowers people toward thought-leadership and actionable progress. For him, the general manager?s office serves as a hub for shared vision, communication, and collaboration. In addition, Gary rewards and celebrates qualities rooted at the core of our station?s culture: honesty, positivity, passion, capability, and collaboration.

Congratulate Gary Spurgeon for making our 2014 Best Managers in Radio list and for his successful three-plus decades in radio

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