Five Questions With… Dave Farough
Dave recently launched a new venture - coaching Podcasters, and so we thought it time to catch up on his latest adventure.
By David Farrell
Dave Farough, as many know, is a long-time radio broadcaster in Canada- from running the bible tapes at CJSL in Estevan, Sask. in 1982 to Brandon, MB. (KX96), Victoria, BC (100.3 The Q!), London, Ontario (GM of the four Corus stations) and Toronto as VP; Programming for Corus and GM of Q107, 102.1 the edge and AM640. In 2016, he began working with Acadia Broadcasting and Larche Communications (now Bell Media) as a Programming and Talent Coach, and has done projects with Clear Sky Radio and Golden West. Just recently he launched a new venture - coaching Podcasters, and so we thought it time to catch up on his latest adventure.
Why the move from Radio Broadcasting to Podcasting?
It’s not a move- it’s a “pivot” as my friend Pat Bohn likes to say. I’m still involved with radio daily. Chris Pearson (President) and his team at Acadia Broadcasting are doing some interesting things to grow their radio division. I like the way Chris thinks- not afraid to try new ideas and kill sacred cows. And, the former Larche stations (now Bell Media) in Midland, Ontario and Owen Sound are great examples of what radio should be- audience focused, community-minded and fun!
But, as we know, radio is having challenges, mainly on the revenue side and playing it very safe whereas podcasting seems to be a real “growth” industry. Every day new podcasts are launched- some are good, but most are not (yet). Most podcast hosts have no broadcast experience and benefit from someone like me who can help them tell a better story.
Many Ex-Radio guys are now calling themselves “Talent Coaches”- what makes you credible in this space?
1) I’m current. I work with on-air talent and program director’s daily, so I understand the current realities these positions face.
2) I’m experienced. I’ve been lucky to have worked with some of the best on-air talents in the industry. Ed Bain at The Q in Victoria, Garner Andrews at Sonic in Edmonton, Jeff Brown and Sarah Crosbie at Q107 Calgary, Hal Anderson in Winnipeg, Maureen Holloway, John Derringer, Joanne Wilder and Andy Frost at Q107 Toronto, Dean Blundell and Fearless Fred at the edge in Toronto, Tucker and Taz in London and many more.
After a while, you learn what works and what doesn’t. Good coaches tend to listen more than they talk. They’re consistent in their feedback. They’re approachable. They don’t pretend to know it all.
3) I’ve been on the radio myself, have hosted most dayparts and can empathize with talent. I’ve been in their shoes.
How is coaching podcasters different from broadcasters?
Good question. There are more similarities than there are differences in my opinion. Good podcasters (and broadcasters) start each episode (break in radio) strong, get from A to B is a clear and concise manner without a lot of useless chit chat, end each episode with a payoff for the audience and sound like they’re having fun. These are the basics. Obviously much more goes into it, but see how the two- podcasting and radio- are similar?
One of the biggest challenges podcasters have is lack of focus. Because podcasts have no time restrictions, some hosts think they can talk forever. Many broadcasters have this problem too.
Your new coaching service (beabetterpodcaster.ca) – is it for podcaster’s only? Or, can radio talent wanting feedback also book sessions with you?
I’m here for anybody wanting and needing feedback. Aside from revenue, the second biggest challenge radio is facing is the lack of talent development. All radio companies say they are focused on developing talent, but because of the sheer volume of stations the major companies own, it’s impossible for these people to cover all the bases. I talk to many hosts across the country that haven’t seen their PD’s in months and, in some cases, haven’t even met the person in charge of developing talent.
If you’re on-air and can’t remember the last time you had an aircheck to receive feedback, let’s connect. Or, if you’re a PD, and unsure how to work effectively with talent, let’s connect. Or, maybe you’re an owner or GM/Regional Director or President with a sales background and want a deeper understanding of programming issues and how to train program directors, let’s connect.
Will podcasting one day eat radio?
Ha! No, I’m confident radio is here to stay- especially in smaller markets where revenue is generated primarily by results and relationships instead of ratings. When executed well, radio is immediate, informative, fun and as close to Hollywood as most listeners will ever get! Will it be different in the future? Yes. Does it need to experiment and take more chances? Absolutely!
Do we need younger people in power positions to try new things?
Here’s the strange thing: only people in radio (along with a few agency snobs, tech geeks and those still employed in the print industry) think radio is dying. The podcasters I talk to without broadcast backgrounds all love radio and are inspired by it. Young people don’t seem to have issues with radio- for them, it’s live streaming audio instead of archived. It’s free, easy to use and talks about things you care about. Seems to me like a formula that’s here to stay.