Do you remember the last sporting game you went to? Maybe it was a football game back in the Winter, or perhaps a baseball game this Spring. Well, if you’re Brandon Dickson, you can probably remember what big plays were made, who announced the game, what errors were made and by whom, how many innings the starter pitched and how many strikeouts he had, and whether or not the first baseman was chewing gum.
Okay, okay, maybe that last one takes it a bit far. Nonetheless, this guy loves sports. As a reporter for WPTF-AM in Raleigh and the North Carolina News Network, you can feel how much sports has influenced Dickson’s career progression and how much he utilizes the passion he feels for sports in all aspects of his reporting.
Dickson hosts “North Carolina’s Morning News” and “North Carolina’s Afternoon News.” His shows consist of local, regional and national headlines, as well as interviews with guests. He is one of the most prepared reporters we work with, and makes the spokespeople feel comfortable on his show right off the bat. He’s been there for almost three years, and did all types of reporting, including sports, before moving full-time into anchoring. Despite this, sports reporting has not completely escaped him. “I try to finagle my way to get as many sports interviews as possible in my show,” Dickson says.
Originally from King, NC, Dickson looked into colleges that have strong broadcasting and communications programs. “When I was in high school I wanted to get into sports. I wanted to be a sports broadcaster.” Deciding on Appalachian State in North Carolina, he did play-by-play announcing, color commentary, and finally was the sports director for the campus radio station.
Dickson loves living in Raleigh now. “There’s something for everybody,” he says of the area. “If you like sports, you have to go to a local game. The food scene here is really cool, especially in Durham. There’s a lot of variety here.” Dickson says this variety has a lot to do with big tech and pharma jobs bringing people to the area from different regions.
As I always do for these profiles, I asked Dickson who he would most like to interview. Surprising me with the non-sports nature of his answer, Dickson expressed that he would most want to interview the President of the United States. And if he could interview someone from the past? “It probably would be a brilliant mind – a Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein,” he says.
As for the future of radio? “I see it changing and evolving a lot now. I think social media is to thank for that.” He says more people are going to be engaging with what they hear on multiple platforms. “It has to be multi-dimensional now. You have to put content from the show on the website, tweet it, and put it on Facebook.” He continues, “I see people wanting to be connected even more now. People want to be the first one to find out about a story.”
Dickson says he feels radio hosts and stations are really figuring out engagement now – figuring out the recipe of posting what you mention on the radio on Twitter. And mentioning on the radio what you post on Twitter. “They’re feeding each other.”