KSLZ 107.7 FM Program Director Featured
September 2, 2003
TITLE: Program Director
STATIONS: KSLZ (Z107-7)
MARKET: St. Louis, MO
COMPANY: Clear Channel
BORN: September, 1971 Brooklyn, NY
RAISED: Brooklyn, NY
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
I started in Olean, NY at 17, where I’d run the local college radio station during the summers when students were on break. Hired my own staff, held music meetings, executed promotions and had a flame-throwing 800 watts. I grew up in NYC, loved Z100 (remember the “worst to first” campaign?), and interned at WABC while I was in high school.
2) Was there a defining moment, which made you realize “this is it”?
My dad was instrumental in a small radio network when I was in my early teens. His company had maybe a half dozen stations up and down the eastern seaboard. As any real radio man will tell you, once you get turned on to radio it’s like catching the flu. I went on to run my own mobile disc-jockey company through high school and into college, doing dances, proms, weddings, always wishing that I were on the air.
3) Say you’re just starting out. If you knew now what you didn’t then, would you still do it?
Absolutely. It’s a long & winding road, but I would, simply for the experiences, relationships and exposure to new things. There is a “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow, and as radio folk know I ain’t necessarily talkin’ about money. Stability. Financial security. I think that’s predominantly what “radio geeks” are after. I’m in a good place, with great people and the best company.
4) What career path would you be following had it not been for this industry?
Probably something in the advertising/promotions field. Exciting, compelling promotions are critical in CHR radio…I love ‘em.
5) How is the relationship between programmer and record label changing? For better or worse?
Because my day is so extremely limited, the channel of communication between the station and labels runs directly through the office of my MD, Taylor J. There are a handful of reps that really don’t like this, but most of them understand that I simply don’t have enough time in the day to be schmoozed by labels. Yes, I’ll pop my head into a meeting when a rep comes in and I’ll certainly take them up on free eats where we can discuss music, but for the most part, Taylor can speak for me and I’m completely comfortable with that being the case.
6) What do you like best about your job? Least?
I love the fact that I face a new challenge every, single day. The fact that I wear a few different hats allows me to face new & unique challenges everyday…keeps the job exciting. That could be what I like least about the job as well. I just don’t have enough hours in the day. I’m an anal perfectionist that is learning how to delegate duties and be okay with the fact that it’s not going to be perfect, but the job will get done.
7) What do you plan to do different this year, regarding work, family, or both?
Regarding work, I’d like to really get a firm grip on being a top-notch PD. I’ve seen how to do it from the best in the biz (Todd Shannon, Jeff Kapugi, Mike Wheeler). I’d like to clearly put my stamp on this station. I think there’s always room for improvement.
8) What is your favorite radio station outside of the market and why?
I still have a love for Z100 in NYC. I grew up on that station and tried to emulate the things I’d heard on that station through my early career. Early on, I think that’s what helped me climb the ladder. ‘FLZ in Tampa…great station.
9) Besides your own, what is your favorite radio format?
I love jazz. I’ve got the local jazz station on the presets in the hot rod.
10) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
I’ve got a passion for the station at which I’m working. This can be both a good & bad thing. Obviously a passion to win can propel you, your station and your staff, but, as stated above, I’m a tad on the anal side…wanting everything done perfectly the first time around. As a PD, I’ve learned how to use restraint and let my staff learn on their own, always willing to jump in and lend a hand if need be.
Most of us have known “colorful” industry character. Care to share a story?
There was an Owner/GM, 40 years old, yet still liked to hang out with the guys currently in college & in his fraternity. No less than once a month, he and the boys would get “over served” at the local watering holes, make their way to the station at midnight and go on the air while the station was supposed to be in automation, playing whatever the hell they wanted to. The station was mainstream CHR and when the guys stumbled in, there was no way of knowing WHAT would be played – worse yet – what would be SAID.