We’ve enjoyed the opportunity to introduce you to the awesome team here at DittyTV. It was important to us that you know our on-air personalities but we wanted you to see behind the scenes, too. And no one is more important to there even being a DittyTV than CEO Ronnie Wright, who is a definite behind-the-scenes guy. You might think you know what a CEO does but Ronnie is deeply involved in the daily activities of the network.
As the CEO of DittyTV, what are your thoughts on why people should tune into the network?
Turn off the news as Lukas Nelson says! Turn on 24/7 Americana and Roots music entertainment, lean back and enjoy. Artist discovery, music history/trivia, daily music news, festival updates, we put a ton of effort into keeping the content fresh. There’s not a better or more complete resource available to my knowledge if Americana/Roots music is your thing.
You’re not a typical CEO in that you’re very hands-on with daily operations. What can you tell us about your day-to-day involvement with DittyTV?
For [wife and COO] Amy and I, it’s our passion, so all the time, money, and effort that has gone into starting the network and ultimately the [Ditty] Foundation has truly been a labor of love. I’m lucky to do what I love seven days a week, working with passionate people, it’s really a treat. The hands-on thing is part just me, and part necessity due to the technical, always moving and changing aspects of the world of digital streaming media.
What comes to mind about any special moments that stick out about your time with the network?
Too many to count: Hundreds of talented, gracious artists from all over the world have come through and performed in the studio, the industry partnerships we’ve made that have led to larger distribution and content acquisition, watching the viewership grow every month, building an incredible team that makes it all happen every day. The live concerts and event coverage are always highlights, but the moments I personally value is when our ideas come to life and then go on to really positively impact the network and of course the artists. The dedication, effort, and input the production staff gives every day is pretty inspiring. What we are doing isn’t an easy or formula-driven type venture, and not for everyone. I’m really lucky to have the team I have that makes this happen, which is pretty special to me.
There have been some recent expansions with Ditty, including the creation of The Ditty Foundation and opening the Vibe & Dime. What can you tell us about those ventures?
Where to begin, so many great things happening. Very proud of launching The Ditty Foundation earlier this year as a nonprofit centered around music advocacy, and furthering the reach and scope of what DittyTV has been doing for the past 4-5 years. The mission has always been to make a positive impact within the Americana & Roots music scene, be a champion and resource for all the great artists, venues, labels, studios, festivals, all of which deserve support, recognition, and help raising awareness. And on the viewer/fan side, there’s so much “noise” in the world, we work really hard to present a highly curated 24/7 music resource that hopefully introduces new artists and is informative and entertaining at the same time.
The Vibe & Dime is our public space that’s part merch/record/instrument store, and part performance lounge/event space. It’s a space we’ve always wanted that people could walk in from the street and learn more about DittyTV, The Foundation, and of course the artists we feature on the network. We have some great things planned including additional locations in several cities, and an on-going live music series in the space starting this fall.
Though you’re a native of California, you seem quite at home in Memphis. What do you think Ditty is doing for the music scene in a city so rich in American music history?
I’ve been lucky enough to live all over the country and have really enjoyed each stop along the way. When it came time to pick a spot for our future music endeavor, Memphis was the obvious choice on so many levels. There’s the obvious historic pioneers and artists that had such a profound effect on music all over the world. There’s always a natural pull for both fans and artists to come here. For us, it’s trying to carry on the innovation and creative spirit the city and region has always been known for, from music and the arts to technology and logistics.
We’re a 24/7 live postcard to the world promoting music from a small historic building on S. Main in downtown Memphis. It’s amazing the reach we have and the ability to raise awareness to all the truly incredible artists, venues, festivals, events, and organizations here in Memphis—and all over the world.
And you’re a bit of a musician yourself. Tell us what you play and do you ever have time to play music these days?
Music has always been the thing for me, starting in third grade and it really never stopped. Played in lots of bands as a drummer and guitar player over the years. Now days Amy and I try and make time every night to play and sing a little. We also have a great core of friends that play so “picking parties at the Wrights’ house” are pretty common.
Along those lines, what do you do when you just want to relax or have fun?
Music, travel, love the outdoors, photography.. did I say music?
If you could get any musician alive today to do a DittyTV Concert Series performance, who would it be and why?
That’s an easy one, Bob – nuff said. (Editor’s note: All of us at DittyTV knew this answer would be Bob Dylan but we just wanted you, the viewer, to know: Ronnie really likes Bob Dylan. So Bob, do us all a solid and come play at our place sometime!)