Payne Broadcasting has been around since the 1950’s. Is it still a family business?
My Grandfather William “Howard” Payne signed on an AM in Cushing OK in 1951. That is where my Dad, Bill Payne, was introduced to the radio business age 12. Ten years later in 1962 he was the owner of one of three FMs in Oklahoma KWHP-FM (in our home) 97.7. June 30th will be the 50th Anniversary celebration in Edmond, OK.In 1985, at the age of 12, I had my first opportunity to work in the family business when the “Bill and Will Show” was born. In 2007 I became the third generation of Payne’s in broadcast business with KDOE 102.3 Antlers, OK.
The Payne family constructed one of the very first FM radio stations in Oklahoma. Are you doing anything now that is ahead of the curve?
Digital, digital, digital. That leadership is coming from the top. Bill and I are both investing heavily into the digital world. From social media to PayneRadioGroup TV. We will be involved in all areas.
With 8 stations in Oklahoma and Texas how do you manage content?
We will be at 14 stations by 2013. The first decision we made was to add more NexGen Digital work stations from RCS. With numerous stations in NE Texas and Eastern Oklahoma we depend on RCS to spread our talented staff across the stations. This allows us to locally program each station. We use very little outside content. Local, Local, Local and proud of it.
Your stations cover the formats of country, adult contemporary, and active rock. How do you decide what gets airplay?
For the most part we follow the regional trend. Then we seek out new active talent that we can make our own. We give them the rock star treatment. Heavy airplay, on-air exposure, digital, and we’ll pay them to perform at station events. In the Country format this has been a home run. In the Active Rock world we are trying a similar business plan and just found our first act, Feel Never Real. So far it has been really successful. To sum it up, we look at chart action then we go with the acts that are coming to our town.
How cool is your job?
Radio is a lifestyle. An exciting one at that! Plus, being able to share that with my children has been special. Every day we wake up and have the opportunity to do pretty amazing things. With all the technology we use, it boils down to a simple premise, connecting with people. If we can reach and impact lives then at the end of the day we’ve done our job.