“… programming Hip Hop today can be a constant struggle.”
With a storied history, it wasn’t easy coming into the Atlanta Radio One property. But veteran radio programmer and (former) air personality David Glenn “Hurricane Dave” Smith weathered it all to relocate from Dallas two years ago to take over the vacant operations manager (OM) spot. He came as OM of the trio of stations, as well as PD of urban WHTA-FM (Hot 107.9). The other two stations are WPZE-FM (Praise 102.5), which happens to be the No. 1 Gospel station in the country, and urban AC WAMJ-FM (Majic 97.5/107.5).
Smith made the move to the A-T-L from Dallas, where he was director of operations for Syndicated One. His previous experience includesprogramming seven radio stations in a variety of formats, all of which, by the way, went No. 1 under his programming leadership. He oversaw the five-station Cumulus Tallahassee group that included Hip Hop, R&B and urban AC formats, as well as hot AC, ESPN Sports and classic rock.
The moniker of Hurricane Dave began in Texas, where, he was the winner of KKDA-FM (K104)’s nationwide best air-personality talent search. Later, at Radio One KMJQ-FM (Magic 102) in Houston, his moniker was born his first day on the air, which also marked the first day of the hurricane season.
Smith says Atlanta is definitely a special market. “Here, you are plugged into the hottest music for African-Americans in the world,” he declares. “There’s literally something to do in Atlanta every night of the week, whether it’s a party, wine tasting, a music networking event or clubbing.”
Smith says that programming in the Atlanta market is quite a challenge. “There are only so many slots available for the music. You have to play the established artists who expect their hometown station to support them. Yet, you have to keep your ear to the ground for new artists because Atlanta is a cutting-edge city for new Hip Hop music.”
With impressionable teens in his household, Smith admits programming Hip Hop music today can be “a constant struggle.” He adds
, “The way I look at it, it’s my job to make sure my kids understand the difference between fiction and fact. I see no difference between the scene in‘Terminator’ when the main character shot up the police headquarters and some of the music we play. It’s all entertainment.”
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