Home URBAN Skip Dillard, Jamillah Muhammad, Derrick Brown, Terri Avery: Best Advice to survive...

Skip Dillard, Jamillah Muhammad, Derrick Brown, Terri Avery: Best Advice to survive in today’s industry

Here are headlines from today’s news….

  1. Stocks Drop After Jobs Report Comes in Weak
  2. Foreclosures soar 76% to record 1.35 million
  3. 533,000 jobs slashed

Of course we are also constantly getting info for radio about layoffs and downsizing as well. This might sound ridiculous but I personally focus on making my businesses recession proof instead of focusing on THE recession. It’s just too negative and I personally can’t afford to embrace it. After talking to several programmers in major markets this week. I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by their overall positive outlook and perspective on the urban industry. They are all aware of the challenges we face but they refuse to succumb to them, voluntarily. The key word for survival in today’s industry is “diversify.”


“Despite all the bad news, which can be depressing, you have to keep your staff motivated and keep them positive. I just try to give them encouragement and tell them to learn as much as they can. I tell them, you need to branch out and learn more about radio and other positions. The strong will survive, it’s not personal, it’s business. Radio is not solely being affected all businesses are challenged right now.”

Terri Avery/OM/PD WPEG/WBAV Charolotte, NC


“The only thing I can say is that there is no longer a specific job for one person. You have to be multi-faceted, period. Everybody needs to be able to deliver more for less. If you can’t do that your not going make it. We have to be more than a radio business in the future we have to be a multimedia business. You have to be able to market your Cume as a brand . You have to be a master in reaching people.”

Jamillah Muhammad
PD WMXD-Detroit/Sweat Hotel

“I would say, now is the time to reinvent yourself. the industry is moving forward with no opportunities for one trick ponies. You have to be up on the Internet, new technologies and because of the plethora of information on the Internet, you can do this without having to go back to college. The Internet is often an untapped resource that is FULL of resources. When I was on the beach for a year, visits to several sites really prepared me for PPM. I was on the blogs and websites constantly learning about it and other forms of new technology affecting radio. Unfortunately, there are programmers that have delayed and who have denied the importance of electronic measurement, HOWEVER, It’s not too late to begin. As All Access’ Jerry Boulding once told me, “If you want to get an A on the test, talk to the profession that created it.”

Derrick Brown


“This is probably the toughest time in the industry that I remember in 18 years. I remember during the Gulf War it was tough too. A lot of layoffs, so this is not the first time, I’ve seen a lot of changes. Yet it seems we forgot about those times. When we got into the Clinton years, radio became the darling of Wall Street and the web industry exploded and radio benefited. Napster came in in the early 2000s along with 911, and the industry went through another change. Right now, is the most challenging time mostly because during the previous challenges, technology had not progressed as much as it is today. We still needed jocks to man the station and sales etc. At this point, we are all doing more jobs that we have ever done and there are fewer opportunities for newcomers BUT I’m optimistic… the economy will get better… but the industry will be smaller and people coming in will have to know how to do various jobs.”

Skip Dillard
OM/WBLS-New York