What led you to a career in the radio industry?
The government! Seriously. I had plans to work for a record label straight out of college since I had a Music Business degree, but God had other plans. After years of working for the Florida Government I needed something to plug into, something that would pour into me because my job at the time depleted me most days. I started volunteering in the Promotions and Events Department at Z88.3 in Orlando. Two years later they asked me if I was interested in coming on part-time to work events/concerts. Since I’m crazy and eager to learn, I said yes! Promotions is NO JOKE! Much love to all the Promo peeps. Two weeks into being hired I was laid off from my full-time job. The day I got laid off was the best day of my life! There was freedom in that lay-off *praise dance.* Later that day I walked into the Z and said “well I’m available for events all this week because I just got laid off!” They thought I was joking because how does someone get laid off from the Unemployment Department? (Go ahead laugh, it’s funny and ironic). A few months later I was brought on full-time as the Promotions Assistant to the talented and smart Carol Ellingson; she taught me so much. A year into radio Tate Luck, along with some of the on-air personalities, at the Z thought it would be a good idea to have me speak into a mic. I started doing weekend overnights on Hot 95.9, a hip-hop station and sister station to the Z. I often joked that I was someone’s morning show and treated it as so, learning anything and everything I could from Dean O’Neal and Take Luck. Everything they poured into me equipped me to move to St. Louis and work at Boost 101.9. I promise my breaks aren’t this long.
What advice would you give people new to the business?
Maaaan don’t be afraid to ask questions! Questions are usually received well if your tone is in check. Asking questions help you understand people and where they’re coming from. If you’re someone in leadership, try to view someone asking questions as someone who cares about their job and what they’re being asked to do. Be flexible, sometimes your idea is simply the foundation to a stronger/better idea that’s generated in somebody else on your team.
Give a shoutout to someone who is making a difference in radio and what are they doing to make an impact
Programming: Boss Man Mike Couchman – that’s what I call him. The running joke is that everyone gives a shoutout to Mike Couchman when they’re asked about people making a difference in radio. The truth is he’s a master of his craft and is always willing to help others become masters of their own craft.
Social Media/Creativity: Lauree Austin – social media plays a huge role in connecting with listeners on a deeper level, something you might not be able to get with a 60 second break. Lauree does a great job connecting with listeners on social and creating really fun social benchmarks.
Community: Life 88.5 in Kansas City, Melony McKaye and her team are really passionate about connecting with their community and providing them with a great listener experience.
Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
An accomplishment that I consider most significant in my career has to be the day my co-host and I interviewed Tori Kelly #fangirl and I’m not even ashamed to admit it.
In addition to doing the Night Show I was also the Social Media Director when I first started at BOOST. One day we had the guys from Social Club Misfits come in and freestyle nursery rhymes over a beat. I produced the video and uploaded it to YouTube. I thought nothing of it until a YouTube Content Generator kind of like BuzzFeed reached out regarding the video, wanting to post it on their platform with thousands of followers. That was pretty awesome!
Tell us about a story of a Christian song that made a difference in your life or the life of a listener.
TobyMac‘s “City On Our Knees”. I know it’s not a super deep song, but when I was driving home from late night shenanigans (that I’m sure I had no business being a part of) the song hit a little different. At that time, I felt like I was serving two masters. My worlds did not collide at all, I had church friends and I had friends who had no idea I was a Christian. I thought I could keep them separate, but when I heard “City On Our Knees” I was like “man, I have a group of friends that know nothing about Jesus and need Jesus. Why am I depriving them of His goodness, healing, and redeeming power by not sharing Jesus with them? Why am I still straddling the fence depriving myself of Him?” That song encouraged me to step across the line and serve one King.
Tonight’s the night
For the sinners and the saints
Two worlds collide in a beautiful display
It’s all love tonight
We may step across the line
We can sail across the sea
To a city with one king
A city on our knees
On-air Personality/Social Media Strategist, BOOST 101.9
CMB Silver Member since 2015