Getting the Scoop: An Interview with Keith Landecker

By Amanda Ellis and Natalia Pérez

On weekdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Power 94, a radio station owned by Brewer Media, is on blaze with Keith Landecker, a Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame inductee and 30+ year radio vet. 

From Frankfort, Kentucky to Louisville, Cincinnati, Detroit and now Chattanooga, Landecker says he feels like every city he has been in and worked radio has influenced the way he approaches his work, making him the on-air person we hear today. Landecker has also been chosen to represent Chattanooga in Washington, D.C. as the Jefferson Award representative for Chattanooga.

Trend: Looks like you wear a lot of hats at Brewer, how do you juggle your roles as Operations Manager and being on air? 

Landecker: The people that work here at the station with me. You got to be confident that everyone is skilled and professional in all the other positions and we are blessed we have good people here. All I need to do is be a big brother at times but overall a good team gives me the ability to do both. 

Trend: How did you get into radio? Were there any other career paths you pursued or considered pursuing? 

Landecker: I got into radio at a campus radio station at Henry Ford Community College in Deerborn, Michigan. I had a two hour show every day; that's what gave me the radio fever, but before that I thought I was going to be a professional baseball player. I played high school, college and a brief stint in the Minor League.  

Trend: What advice do you have for those interested in the radio business?  

Landecker: To be in radio you just really have to be passionate about it. There's more than just the glamorous side. You have to want to work to get better at it. You have to be a team player and you have to want to talk to people and highlight them. I look at radio like it's a spotlight and you have to be ready to shine that spotlight on the people, and not just want to come and shine that spotlight on you or you will get blinded by the light and lost. This has to be something you are passionate about and not just a means to get attention.

Trend: What are your thoughts on the future of radio? How has it changed since you began working in the field? 

Landecker: Radio is still here! So many times people have counted radio out. But, it has evolved. The people, our listeners have evolved. There are so many different ways that people can get their music and information these days. Radio has to find its niche in today's age of technology. We have to coexist with streaming, social media, YouTube and all those other new platforms. We have to live in and on those platforms as well. But one thing that has not changed is radio is free and if you are live, local and engaging you can still do well. Like I said before, you have to continue to shine that spotlight on the listeners. They are the real stars of the show.

Trend: You mentioned having to live 'in and on' other new platforms -- what specific ways has Brewer Media gone about this (especially with the existence of podcasts)? And adapted to keep up with ever-changing listener trends? 

Landecker: We have had to join new platforms not only as a media company but as members of today's society. We all have our own social media because that's a huge part of life now. It's part of the culture. We are on those platforms as a business and as individuals because it is necessary in the world today. We have all the social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, Youtube and we also do podcasting.

Trend: What would you say are the unique benefits of radio advertising today? 

Landecker: Radio advertising gives the client or a potential client an opportunity to present themselves in ways that no other media can give. When people hear advertising on their favorite radio station, they know the advertiser is inviting them into their business so they can earn their business and their trust. Connecting listeners with clients is what radio does.  

Trend: What's your favorite part about the radio scene in Chattanooga? 

Landecker: My favorite part about the radio scene in Chattanooga is that it is very competitive. There are a lot of great radio stations in Chattanooga. But the best part is being able to connect with listeners on a daily basis. We have got a chance to grow up with families. Generational listeners. We have become a part of their families.