Mark Lebron

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Mark Lebron is gifted. Not everyone can say they’ve been the brains behind a brand that continues to pass the test of time. Since the late 80s, DTF has been making its mark on the world, literally. A movement that started out doing graffiti has since grown into a popular online radio station. And while most online stations function via dial-in services, Mark has helped make DTF Radio a fully functioning radio station alongside his co-founder Abner Rivera. After Abner brought the idea to Mark in 2007, the two started hosting an online morning show. As their buzz grew, they were able to move from the 17th floor of a project bedroom to an actual studio located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the two grew up. With DTF Radio surpassing expectations, Mark has gone on to create Latin Live Radio. As this successful entrepreneur ventures out to take over the Internet radio game, make sure to keep your eyes locked into his journey.

How did you and Abner spot the need for an Internet radio show?
Abner just started doing the research. We notice that the Internet market was coming up quick. It was a lot of things being done online but a lot of people were sleeping on it, a lot of people didn’t know too much about it either. We were kind of advance on it because we paid attention to the trend.


You’ve come a long way since that project bedroom. How did you guys start out?

Once we figured out our lane, we just focused on building. We used to wake up every morning on Monday through Friday from 9-12 to do the “Morning Madness” show. At that time, we were on someone else’s server. We had so many people tune into us that it got so big. I have to thank my DTF family, new and old, because without them we wouldn’t be where we are today. I salute them. We took something so small, from a bedroom, and made it into something huge.

What are some qualities that an entrepreneur should possess to create what you have with DTF?

They just have to be a hard worker. They have to set a goal and stick to it. Once that goal is accomplished, set another goal. There is no stopping. There’s no ‘This is it.’ Nope, keep going. That’s why I did DTF Radio and jumped into Latin Live Radio. We established one, now let’s establish the next one. After Latin Live Radio, it might be another station, who knows?

What happens after a person set a goal or gets that initial idea? What’s the process?
Next is the research. Then it’s figuring out what sets you apart from the rest. What will people pay attention to? What will draw a crowd? Then keep promoting and expose people to your brand.

FM stations are expanding to the online market. How do you feel about that?
At one point, we had an upperhand because we had knowledge of it first. Our current motto is ‘The Online Radio Blueprint.’ We’re structured just like an FM station but what sets us apart is that we let our team produce their own show. We tell everybody, “You’re going to be as big as you want to be at this radio station.” We’re the stage, the platform, which is why we made the station the way it is. We don’t tell them what they can play, what they can’t play, how long they can play it– it’s theirs. We have a lot of big names here too that actually came from FM stations. When a lot of them come here, they feel better here than they did on FM. They tell us that the feeling, the market, just everything is different.

You’ve had other businesses too.
In 2002, I started DTF Management with a friend of mine that I grew up with. He worked for SONY music. We were managing an artist by the name of Gage, which I still manage. The company took off about a year or so later. Now, it’s DTF Radio, Latin Live Radio and a clothing company.

What’s next for you?
Making DTF into a universal online radio station. That was always our motto when we first started. We just want to keep building. A huge shout out to The Source Magazine for this interview and recognizing DTF Radio’s come up.

Catch up with Mark Lebron on Twitter: @MarkDTF
-Danitha Jones @LifeLikeJones

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