THAT OTHER FACTORS DO YOU NEED TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION?
The kinds of music that work for a radio station out here are totally different from a radio station back in St. Louis.
WHAT IS THE WAY TO THE HEART OF LOS ANGELINOS - ONE KEY THAT UNITES ALL THESE TRANSPLANTED PEOPLE WHO LIVE OUT HERE FROM ORIGINS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND BEYOND?
Boy, that's a tough question and I don't know whether I have an answer for you on that one. Perhaps it is that there isn't one universal factor and perhaps we shouldn't try to lump everyone too much together. People in Orange County have different tastes than people in the San Fernando Valley and so forth.
SO HOW DO YOU REACH THEM THEN?
If I had that answer I'd be a genius, wouldn't I?
YET YOU ARE REACHING THEM.
But not by being a genius, I just work darned hard as do all the people around me and we're slowly making those inroads. I think the most important thing we've found here is that the music tastes are much more open and much more liberal and not as clearly defined as they would be in other markets. We can get away with playing a greater variety of music out here as opposed to walking a fine line and saying, "Well, this is the Midwest and we can't play this but we have to play that." Here it really doesn't work that way.
A LOT OF PEOPLE READING THIS ARE IN L.A. ATTENDING THE CONVENTION AND GETTING READY TO SAMPLE THE STATION. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE TO THEM THE SOUND AND PHILOSOPHY OF KKHR?
I guess the philosophy of the station is quite simple: Play the hits - don't water them down too much, just play the hits. How we define "hit," of course, is a difficult question and that's the age-old battle of radio. What to expect in terms of the sound of this radio station - well, just look for a radio station that sounds like everybody's having fun and it's contagious. If our guys laugh and have fun on the station then you will too.
ED, YOU'VE GOT A REALLY ELECTRIC, HIGH ENERGY, DEDICATED STAFF FROM DAVE HALL, YOUR MUSIC DIRECTOR WHO'S ONE OF THE NICEST, MOST DEDICATED RADIO PEOPLE I'VE EVER TALKED WITH, TO JACKSON ARMSTRONG (JOE CIPRIANO USING WHATEVER NAME HE'S USING THERE)...
...EVERYBODY THERE SEEMS TO HAVE AN INFECTIOUS, EXCITING INVOLVEMENT. IT STARTS WITH YOU AND GOES RIGHT THROUGH THE RANKS AND I GET THE FEELING THAT EVERYBODY'S THERE ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT BECAUSE THEY LOVE IT AS A LIFESTYLE. HOW DO YOU, AS A PROGRAMMER, CREATE THAT?
That's not far from the truth. We were very, very fortunate that we stumbled onto the right combination of people. I don't have to tell you that you sometimes bring in a guy on the basis of his air work but when he gets there you just cannot get along and the next thing you know you have all kinds of in-house squabbles with the staff. That gets across on the air. When one Jock cross-plugs another he starts taking potshots at him and the audience is perceptive enough to realize they're not just in jest. Here our guys really care about this radio station and if there's anything they can do to help it out, they're going to do it. This is career time and they're professionals who take their business seriously but have enough fun with it so that it works.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE DIFFERENTLY IN LOS ANGELES FROM WHAT YOU DID AT KHTR?
I would honestly answer that by saying that when we fired up KKHR I don't think we were that different from what I left behind in St. Louis. The difficulty was that St. Louis evolved to a certain point and then I left it. Then I came to Los Angeles and said, "Now how do I pick up where I left off?" It's hard to remember how I got there over that period of time. We started KKHR very similar to St. Louis both musically and in jock presentation. However, over a period of time as I got better acclimated to Los Angeles and got a better feel for what was happening here, the radio station itself started to evolve in terms of jock presentation, wider limits of fun, a party-type atmosphere. Certainly our music direction changed quite a bit as well.