Gunter said as general manager he plans to make sure that the station is laser focused on their target, which is African-Americans ages 18 to 34, and that they are satisfying their listeners. While he knows the station “will not be all things to everyone,” he is committed to making sure that the older demographics’ needs are met as well.
“The trick is to find a way to mesh the two without stepping on your main focus and being able to offer the older end of the demographic what they want and need. We’re looking at different things within the programming and content to be able to include them as well,” he said.
While he is currently in the assessing and evaluating phase and has no plans for any changes to programming as of yet, Gunter said he does, however, plan to tweak some of the station’s music. “We are trying to make sure some songs don’t fall in that don’t sound like a fit.”
WAMO, which can be found at 100.1 FM and 660 AM, currently includes programming such as the syndicated “Rickey Smiley Morning Show,” followed by weekday on-air personalities DJ Boogie, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; The Mayor Mike Jax from 3-7 p.m.; Tito XL from 7 p.m.-12 a.m.; and weekend personalities Miguel Lopez, Sharmyn and inspiration with Brother Marlon.
Recently, WAMO added a program called “Future Flavaz,” which plays music from local artists every Monday during the Tito XL segment. “We want to show our support of local artists,” said Orlana Darkins-Drewery, director of marketing and special events for WAMO.
Although Gunter is excited about where he can take the station, he does realize there are some challenges to face along the way. “It’s just rising above that and bringing value to what we bring to the table,” he said. One of those challenges is the weak signal, which can often be unclear in certain areas of Pittsburgh. Gunter said that is something they’ll have to deal with for now, until another plan is comprised.
As dedicated to its listeners as WAMO is, Gunter said WAMO is still and will be just as committed to the community.
“Every urban related show has come through WAMO, whether through advertising and/or both advertising and promotion, so that has not changed, including our commitment to the community,” said Darkins-Drewery. “That part of it will not slow down and has no plans of doing so.”
Along with its continued support of community events and organizations, WAMO is open to new ventures. During the meeting a new partnership was established between WAMO and the Courier. “Together we can accomplish more things. We are all focused on the African-American community,” said Gunter.
Gunter was also asked how the increase in demand for Internet radio, such as satellite radio, Pandora and iHeart radio, effects radio. He said, “There’s so many choices, that’s why we have to be so laser focused to the lifestyle, the need of the listeners. There are a lot of different choices, but when it all boils down you always need a local feedback from radio. The power of radio, just having that local immediacy and relevancy is what is going to be there at the end of the day.”
Prior to joining WAMO, Gunter served as the general sales manager of Radio One Baltimore stations WWIN-AM/FM, WERQ-FM and WOLB-AM, and director of integrated marketing for Clear Channel Radio in Chicago, where he created and developed integrated marketing programs for their six top radio channels.
He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree, and a graduate of the National Association of Broadcasters Executive Development Program for Radio Broadcasters from Georgetown University and was awarded the NAB Executive Radio Mentor Fellowship.
(For more information on WAMO visit http://www.WAMO100.com.)