R.A.P. Do you have copy deadlines for the sales department?
Bumper: No, not really. Sometimes they give you 4 or 5 days to finish it, or you have to do it in the next 30 minutes.
R.A.P. How's your relationship with sales at Y-107?
Bumper: I have a good relationship with them. There's no problem. I always ride them and they resent that at times, but I have to ride them. We have the bottom line to deal with here, and the bottom line is getting money into the radio station and making sure we don't have any discrepancies. I'm a bear when it comes to that stuff. It's basically training the sales people and making sure that on Friday or Thursday, you get the start sheet out for Monday, so they understand what's ahead for them. If there's any fault, it's theirs because they've been warned. It's working ahead, reminding them that we've got this spot or that spot starting Monday. I'll tell you what's difficult, is working with clients that don't know up from down. You have to train them as well, and you have to be patient. Some people want their commercials cut without any music, and they take all the fun and imagination out of production! I resent that because it's not creative, it's not challenging. They think, "well, we'll cut a commercial without any music and it'll stand out more". People say commercials are the negative. Well, you have to turn that into a positive by having powerful promos, powerful sweepers, and powerful commercials that people will laugh at or tell their friends about. Commercials are wonderful, and if you do good work, people will pick up on it. Having clever copy is where it's at.
R.A.P. How do you feel about the job of Production Director?
Bumper: It seems like everybody wants to be a disc jockey or a Program Director, and very seldom do they want to be in production. Production is where it's at because this is radio, it's theatre of the mind. You're just as important as the Program Director or the Sales Manager. You're ultimately making them look good with your efforts. What's important is what comes out of those two speakers.
R.A.P. picks more of Bumper's brain:
Bumper: It seems to me that every radio station has been built differently, just like houses. Every station has a different base, and for the most part, our base at Y-107 is fun, creative, and imaginative programming and production. Challenging, that's what we are. There are many owners who do not invest in production rooms and the personnel that can run them properly. It'll catch up with them eventually. They'll be bitten by the competition. In order to survive in the 90's, you're going to have to have a station that is produced well and the personnel behind it to run it. This is a great market for production. Everybody is putting a lot of pride in their work. I can hear it on KDF. I can hear it on "Fox". I can hear it on LAC. I can hear it on WSIX and WSM, they sound wonderful. There's pride. It's pride in your work.
Next month Bumper tells us how he's managed to become the sweeper voice for some 50 stations and offers some advice to aspiring voice talent. Bumper also reveals a couple of techniques he uses in the studio and talks about his own future and the future of Bumper Productions.