Charese Fruge’ Talks To Kendra Moore

This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “Women To Watch” series, written by Charese Fruge on July 21, 2020

.She has to be one of the most patient people I know. Kendra Moore is the Traffic Director for the six station cluster for Entercom/Las Vegas. You don’t necessarily have to be on the front line to be a hero. She is the behind the scenes wizard who works her magic to schedule commercial inventory for some of the biggest brands in the market. I’ve worked in a lot of major markets since working with Kendra and she is the ONLY traffic director I’ve met who always paid attention to detail and understood everything that is at stake when it comes to both programming and revenue.

Before PPM, programmers had no idea who their traffic directors were, but for at least the last 11 years, most stations have been executing the ‘bow tie’ or ‘hour glass’ strategy when it comes to stop sets to try and manipulate ratings by crossing over quarter hours. This is a traffic director’s NIGHTMARE. That means that programmers, sales managers and traffic directors have to work closely together to make sure spots don’t air outside of their windows and inventory is being managed properly. This is an extremely difficult task which requires an enormous amount of attention to detail, because anything that airs outside of its day part, even if it’s only 10 seconds late or ten-seconds early will become a no charge. That means either loss of revenue or loss of inventory moving forward because the spot will have to be rescheduled in order for revenue to be collected on it.

I know from experience that Kendra’s direct station (the station she started at) KMXB in Las Vegas was a monster when it came to commercial inventory. Back in the day the station was consistently at full capacity and constantly over-sold. The biggest challenge was making sure we were running quality spots in the correct day parts and doing everything we could to prevent adding inventory without the loss of revenue, while making sure we were crossing over the quarter hours to try and maximize ratings. If that sounds complicated it’s because it is.

Scheduling traffic for a station like that is more complicated than scheduling music on even the most difficult of music software programs. Kendra was patient enough to endure my 30,000 questions every day, prepare me for weekly projections, talk through solutions with me and moderate between both my priorities and the sales manager’s. She never once complained (at least not in front of me) about the strategy and stayed at work until her logs were perfect. By the way, I wouldn’t have blamed her if she did.

Originally an educator from Austin, TX, Kendra got started in the radio business 14 years ago when she and her husband moved to Las Vegas. “One of my husband’s clients worked at Accountemps and they sent me to Infinity Broadcasting (now Entercom) for a traffic department assignment. That was the first week we were here and I’ve been doing it ever since,” she says. She obviously fell in love with the job and made a complete career change. She quickly moved from managing one station, to overseeing the entire department for the six station cluster. “I’m motivated when there is a challenging deadline. I dive right in so the job gets done on time and is done right. I love being a part of a good product that has such an enormous reach. Getting my promotion was the highlight of my career.”

Like most, the biggest impact on Kendra when the COVID-19 pandemic hit was having to work from home. “I work more diligently and purposefully now to make sure I am managing my time efficiently and making sure things are done properly in case any challenges pop up,” she says. “At the same time, I am dealing with everyday normal life stress like the feeling of being unsettled, and a constant unspoken hope that we’ll all be on the other side of this sometime soon. I will say that it would be remiss of me not to express the eerie feeling of surprise seeing the pictures of the Las Vegas Strip empty. That’s something no one has ever seen.”

So what keeps Kendra up at night? “It’s a nightmare I often have where I keep having to place the same spot over and over again. It makes me crazy,” she says. And what brings her peace? “Completion! Accomplishment. Ice Cream, Blue Bell Tin Roof to be exact. That’s a Texas thing. I still have my Texas twang.”

Kendra is the perfect example of someone who has a passion for radio which she says is one of the most powerful mediums to connect with people, but who isn’t on the air or in sales or programming. If finance, or research or math and science, etc., are what you are good at, but you still love music and great content, there is a place for you in radio. To be honest, if you’re good at your job it’s probably better job security than being on the front line.

As for what we have to look forward to with Kendra on a personal level, “I’m constantly working on self-improvement and being a good friend to my friends and being there for my family,” she says. “My work place goals include getting better and better with detailed dialog between programming and sales so we can get to solutions faster. And of course getting better and better at managing the commercial traffic of our six station cluster.”