Clifford Snyder Oral History Project
Interview with Cliff Snyder
Date of Interview: April 3, 2008; Salt Lake City, Utah
Interviewer: Kyna Taylor
Transcriber: Kyna Taylor
Taylor: This is the interview with Cliff Snyder for the Oral History Project. We are in Salt Lake City and the interviewer is Kyna Taylor.
Taylor: You were involved with the media for a long portion of your life.
Snyder: Yes, I am the former Vice-President of Sales KSL-TV and Radio, I’m also the former Owner and Chairman of Bajamar Broadcasting (Radio Stations including KOSI S.L.C./ Spanish Fork) that were purchased in 1999 by Clear Channel Media. I am also the former Chairman of ‘In-Store Broadcast Network’, you can google it if you want to find more information.
Taylor: What are your first memories of the media?
Snyder: My first memories of media is viewing sports and watching various programs with my mother and father on black and white TV in the early 1950’s in Coral Gables Florida.
Taylor: Did you listen to the radio with your family when you were young?
Snyder: I listened to the Dodgers play baseball on radio regularly when I was a little boy. I loved Duke Snider. He was one of my boyhood heros.
Taylor: What is your favorite type of media and why?
Snyder: Now, I would say the internet is my favorite media. It has brought the business world together.
Taylor: What advice would you give to someone just becoming a media practitioner?
Snyder: What is my advice to a college student contemplating entering the media? Get a job in the media… as soon as possible. Get an entry level position with a reputable company. Tell them you’ll do anything. Deliver mail, whatever. Then the networking starts!
Taylor: How important is networking?
Snyder: Networking is a dynamic that serves the user forever. Media is a small, close-knit society. And once you’re on the inside, great things happen. You start to formulate ideas on what area of the media you really want to pursue. And you begin to meet people who can help you achieve your dreams.
Taylor: Do you need a degree or can you just have the skills to be a media practitioner and why?
Snyder: In this day and age I believe a degree is important not only in the interviewing process, but in attaining promotions. Upper management promotes employees for many reasons, but having a degree often helps and breaks ties. Having an advanced degree is now often required for management progression.
Taylor: Why did you get into the media field?
Snyder: I got into communications when I made a decision not to pursue pre-med my sophomore year at the U. of Utah. I transferred to Cal. St. Northridge because they had a great broadcast curriculum.
Taylor: What was your first experience on the job like?
Snyder: My first job during my senior year in college was selling broadcast time for a Spanish Radio Station in L.A. (KALI Radio). I was the only anglo at the station. What an experience. I called on clients in East L.A. But this job created my first big break! I signed a credit dentist to an annual contract. That signing led me to work at KGIL Radio in the San Fernando Valley where I really started to learn the business.
Taylor: Who were your co-workers?
Snyder: My co-workers were all Hispanic. This was an era (1975-76) where ethnic media had not yet taken off. The agencies didn’t have ethnic media departments or specialists.
Taylor: How did promotions work?
Snyder: I promoted myself at KALI by finding a much better job by signing a big contract where a quality station would hire me. But my experience at KALI gave me belief in myself, and proved to me that I could succeed in a difficult environment. That first job was a great opportunity, even though it paid very little.
Taylor: Tell me about the changes over the years in the technology you work with.
Snyder: Changes in TV are widely documented i.e. cable, HDTV, etc. etc. My dealings with networks as a broadcaster for Bonneville Int’l in the 70’s thru the 90’s were totally different than they are today. There is so much competition now that we didn’t have. In those days in S.L.C. you basically had four stations competing for viewers and ad dollars. KSL (we were the big guys) then KUTV, KTVX, and KSTU. Now the pie is divided 100’s of ways. And there are so many more media. Not just radio, TV and Newspaper. But internet and in-store and so much more.
Taylor: How are you still involved in the media today?
Snyder: I am still involved in the media as an investor and former chairman of a major in store media company, IBN or ‘In Store Broadcast Network’. We display flat-screen TV’s in major grocery and drug stores including Kroger and Walgreens which is driven through the internet. We reach million of customers every day that are in the process of making buying decisions.
Taylor: How did your job affect your relationship with your family?
Snyder: My wife and kids have totally supported me during my broadcast career. My oldest daughter is now a planner for Saachi and Saachi in L.A. where she plans all of Toyota’s internet advertising.