Member Profile: Dane Wilt
Career Title: General Manager Lotus Radio Corporation – Reno, Nevada
Member since: Early 90's
Q: Favorite thing about One Nevada Credit Union:
In the beginning it was the locations and the lack of fees. Now I love the on-line banking. I'm not a huge fan of computers, but it's really simple to navigate.
Q: Can you tell us about your business? What radio stations are in your broadcasting corporation?
Lotus Communications Corp. is a small, privately owned media company. We have about 40 stations total in a handful of Western US markets, including Reno and Las Vegas. Next year we're celebrating our 50th year serving Northern Nevada. The company started with one station in 1968 but we now have seven stations and focus on Rock and Sports. The stations include 105.7 KOZZ, ROCK 104.5, 100.1 The X, ESPN 94.5, FOX Sports 630, NBC Sports 94.1 and CBS Sports 1180.
Q: Tell us about yourself and what led you to a career in this field?
Like many people, I just kind of stumbled into my career. I was enrolled in a Fire Science program at a Sacramento Junior College when I discovered I didn't have the stomach for the serious first aid work fire fighters do. While looking through the course catalog I saw an Associate's Degree program for Advertising and Public Relations. It sounded interesting, so I dropped the Fire Science and found my new passion. From there I sold ads on the college radio station, which eventually lead to a 32 year career in broadcasting. Over the years I've managed both TV and Radio stations and I can honestly say they are both powerful forms of communication. My 16 years at Lotus Radio Corp. have been the best though because I finally feel like I "almost" know what I'm doing.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
When I was younger I would say it was winning the ratings battle. I've since figured out, that if we truly focus on serving our community and clients we will win regardless of the ratings. So now it's most rewarding when the whole staff works together to help a local charity or business grow.
Q: Do you have any memorable stories about people in the music industry that you can share with us?
A station I was working for in the 80's hosted an event in which a wish was being granted for a teenage boy who was seriously ill. His wish was to meet Ronnie James Dio who had just embarked on a solo career after fronting Rainbow and Black Sabbath. Witnessing the interaction between the young man and Ronny James Dio was incredible. "Dio" totally ignored the press that had gathered and was completely focused on the boy. I will never forget the joy on the boy's face as he and Dio sat and talked for hours.
Q: Who is the most famous person you've met while working for Lotus in radio?
So here's the story. I was 13 when I snuck out to see my first rock concert. It was Black Sabbath at the Oakland Auditorium. When Ozzy Osbourne walked out on stage and started singing Iron Man I was hooked and I've been a rock fan ever since. So nine years later I was pretty excited when got my first radio job at 93 Rock in Sacramento. It turns out the fun was just starting because only one week into my radio career Ozzy Osbourne walked into the radio station. I don't think he understood me at all as I blathered on about seeing Black Sabbath as my first concert, but honestly, I couldn't understand a word he said either.
Q: What is something unique about your business that most don't know?
Over the air broadcast radio is FREE! Most people know this but don't really think about it. You don't need cable, satellite or data plan. You just need a receiver and we're there, for free when you need us for local traffic, weather, news, sports and fire updates, or just to be entertained.
Q: What advice would you give to someone that wants to pursue a career in radio broadcasting?
Be passionate about broadcast radio. You probably won't get rich in radio so it has to be something that you are doing because you love it and not just for money.