Since its merger with fellow New York adult R&B radio station WRKS (Kiss-FM) about 18 months ago, WBLS has been gaining ratings ground. With a weekday lineup that includes Steve Harvey, former Kiss personalities Shaila Scott and Lenny Green, comedian Earthquake and co-host Deja-Vu, the YMF Media outlet finished second in November’s monthly Nielsen Audio ratings — just a fraction behind the perennial market leader, adult contemporary WLTW (Lite FM). At the WBLS programming helm is radio veteran Skip Dillard, who also oversees gospel sister station WLIB. During the last 20 years, the one-time Billboard Airplay Monitor top 40/R&B editor has called the programming shots at R&B stations from Buffalo, N.Y., and Detroit to San Francisco and Washington, D.C., before landing at WBLS and WLIB nearly six years ago.
6:30 AM Wake up and listen to morning shows, monitoring what’s happening in the world and locally. Then it’s off to ride the PATH train from New Jersey into Manhattan’s West Village at 8:30 a.m.
10:00 AM Meet with WBLS/WLIB sales and marketing specialist Gloria Lee to talk about upcoming client events. WBLS’ clients include McDonald’s, AT&T, Bob’s Discount Stores, Prudential and Wells Fargo Bank.
11:00 AM Head into a quick meeting with VP/GM Deon Levingston to discuss things on his plate that are also on mine. One of those discussion points included the stations’ recent signature event: Circle of Sisters. The 2013 expo featured artists Tamar Braxton, Keyshia Cole, Eric Benét, Amel Larrieux and Fantasia.
12:00 PM Walk to nearby deli to get my favorite vegetable salad, then bring it back to eat at my desk.
1:00 PM Meet with promotions director Sherise Wright to review upcoming ticket giveaways that will be executed by the jocks. These include two Super Bowl weekend events: the 15th annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration on Jan. 31 — featuring Patti LaBelle, Donnie McClurkin and others at Madison Square Garden — and the WBLS-presented Charlie Wilson & Friends concert also at MSG on Feb. 1.
2:30 PM Talk with internationally known comedian/new WBLS afternoon host Earthquake and his co-host Deja-Vu about show content in terms of things that are happening locally that they need to touch on.
4:00 PM Work on music logs for the next couple of days with assistant PD Cynthia Smith, making any quick rotation changes that are necessary. We also look at research to check for any songs that may need to be added while reviewing additional priorities for the week. Because there are fewer record people to talk to now, I don’t have a special music day anymore. So I usually take music calls throughout the week.
5:00 PM Meet with Victoria Fleary, our director of interactive, to discuss audience metrics and what the jocks should be pushing.
6:30 PM Dinner with Sony Music senior VP of urban promotion Cynthia Johnson to chat about current and upcoming label projects. Otherwise, I’m usually headed home and armed with a few projects to work on there.
12:00 PM In bed.