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Success Stories

(MIW SPOTLIGHT) Clear Channel's Debbie Wagner


Debbie Wagner never forgets about the people that helped her along the way. Today, she's a very successful Market Manager for Clear Channel in San Diego, the 17th largest radio market in America. Wagner is also one of Radio Ink's Most Influential Women for 2012. "Its been a privilege to live and work in some special markets and I believe its our obligation to always give back and support the community that has given so much to us. What you give out always comes back." Here is more advice and insight from Wagner. The entire Most Influential Women in Radio list will be released June 18th. 

RI: What advice can you offer readers on how to succeed, to get to the top and reach their goals?
Wagner: Determine what position you would ultimately like to have and seek out a mentorship relationship with someone who has that position.  You can then build your plan on what experience and steps you need to take to get to your goal. Work hard, be professional, positive, honest, inquisitive and always go above and beyond.  Your work and presence should make a difference to your team. Actively seek out and take on new opportunities to learn and get known within your stations, company and market. 

Develop strong relationships and super serve your clients and listeners. They are key members of your team and business.   Appreciate and treat co-workers , especially your support team, with respect as they will always be an important part of your success. Be open to change so you can quickly adapt to our constantly evolving business and market.  Once in a leadership position, you need to effectively communicate your vision, set high expectations, hold the team accountable to goals and celebrate successes. You also cant be afraid of making tough decisions regarding people, shows, formats or expenses in order to improve your business and results.

What mistakes can you help them avoid?
Take care of your reputation as it always precedes you. Avoid burning bridges- you never know who you will be working for or with in the future. Communicate your career goals to your managers and seek out their feedback on how you are progressing and areas to improve.  Actively pursue upcoming job openings which pertain to your goals and make sure to apply for the openings. Many people think that they will be recognized with advancement for their good work but you need to ask and actively pursue the opportunities you want. 

Why have you succeeded?
Over the years, I have had the honor to put together and work with some really talented mentors, managers, personalities and teams as well as great owners like Clear Channel.  Recruiting, hiring, maintaining and growing the best talent and matching their skills to the right position has been key to my being able to create successful, high performing teams and achieve and deliver results.  We all spend more time at work than at home so I have always strived to create a focused but positive and fun culture where people want to come.  Success is always earned as a team.

I never forget the quote by Althea Gibson:  No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you. Participating and giving back to the community by leading and serving on charitable and industry boards has also been a top focus. Its been a privilege to live and work in some special markets and I believe its our obligation to always give back and support the community that has given so much to us. What you give out always comes back. 

Send a note of congratulations to Debbie directly:

Read our previous MIW spotlights:
Weezie Kramer of Entercom. "Being Average Doesn't Cut it."
Nancy Odney of Radio Fargo Moorehead. "Accountable Goals and a Detailed Plan."
Alene Grevy of Clear Channel Charleston. "You Can't Get to the Top Without Goals."
Alex Cameron of Emmis in New York. "Attitude is Everything."