Radio Bio

Radio

Published on August 24, 2006 by in Bio's, Personal

*Air Check

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Past
I’ve wanted to be in radio since I was in the 5th grade, which is the one thing I’ve stuck with believe it or not. I can remember listening to Y107 in Nashville with Coyote McCloud and a bunch of jocks that would move in and out from behind the mic. Ever since then, I’ve at least wanted to be on the air. I followed that dream in high school thanks to my speech team coach Sharon Dockins. She got me a job interview at a Russellville AM Station, WRUS 610am. And so it all started back in 1998 at the age of 15. I couldn’t even drive to work yet! It made those 5am mornings tough on dad…


I continued to work there under great instruction, and great opportunity for two reasons; one, since I was only 15 and already proven to be a hard worker getting better on the air, and two because there was a tricast FM country station right down the hall, that I had started getting more hours on. 96.7fm, 100.3fm, and 94.3fm “The Beaver” It was country, which I didn’t enjoy at the time, but I enjoyed the staff, management, and the job, which was most important.
I decided my senior year to take it to the next level. I had established a presence on both my AM Saturday morning shift, and my FM Sunday night shift… so I thought I’d try my luck on weekdays (that weren’t holidays or fill in gigs). The next step… apply for a school co-op. Once again, Sharon Dockins helped out tremendously. Most of the co-op students at Logan County were Ag kids that left for work in the afternoon etc. But my co-op would consist of going to work in the morning with Scooter Davis and Myla Thomas, then going to school the second half of the day. I did this my senior year, and it made all the difference in the world.
Why do you ask? Because I also discovered that Jocks don’t make too much money unless they’re the big dogs. So I started two things… Music scheduling, and working with Jeremy Wilkinson our Engineer. I learned the joys of fixing things. It was great! If something was wrong with the computer… I fixed it, and felt so full of pride and a feeling I never got with being on the air. I then decided I’d try my hand in broadcast engineering in the company, while still being on the air as “Radioboy”.
Since I was a co-op student, it allowed me to be like a grunt boy for the station, only I enjoyed it! We were in the process of building a new studio in Bowling Green for the 96.7 and 94.3 split. So I learned the bulk of everything in building the station day by day with Jeremy. We got the studio built, and most of the big boys went to B.G. leaving the rest of us to man Hopkinsville’s 100.3fm. Which in turn made me one of the new big dogs thanks to my history on the morning show of the tri-cast. The next move was to move the hoptown station, to hoptown! I was offered jobs with 100.3 when the split happened but decided it was not the move for me. It was then I decided to go to Western Kentucky University… to do nothing really. except continue the dynasty of “Radioboy” for another year on 96.7 and 94.3fm!
So I never got to build Hopkinsville because I was in Bowling Green the whole time… but I did get to help with the Russellville AM rebuild. Which is were a big change in my life happened. During the move, I was outside with Jeremy, and Bill McGuiness (My boss and owner of all the stations I had worked at all this time) This is were I was offered a job with our stations in Murray Kentucky. It was a win win situation. My then serious Girlfriend wanted to come to MSU, I wanted to continue my college and radio engineering career, and they needed an engineer bad in froggyland. So they sent me to Murray in the summer of 2001. Sink or swim as I found out later… which kind of made me mad, but then realized and was told by Jeremy that I swam.
So there I was… Murray, in charge of three stations. One 100 thousand watt Fm, and two AM stations. It, like every other job had it’s ups and down. I ended up doing a lot of duties there… not just engineering. Lots of fill in on air work, voice tracking, production work, hosting sport shows, etc. I even did a lot of sports play by play. I was the voice of the Calloway County Lakers, and did a couple of Lady Racer Basketball games. I worked with several people in my sports broadcasts, but I feel that I must thank Tim Stark as my on air partner. He was a backbone in our broadcasts.
If you remember, I also learned a little bit of music scheduling when I did the co-op in high school. That was with Powergold though. Somehow in the company, they decided we were going to start doing our own music again. They then asked the question, who will learn this new computer software and schedule all the country music played on Froggy? let’s look to the PD that’s too busy, and maybe the Engineer that knows computers really well, and has done it in the past. Guess which one got picked? Yep, I spent more time on selector than I did fixing things. Which is ok, because I almost enjoyed it! If you look at my background, it’s what I was supposed to be doing! Radio/TV major, Music Minor, with experience with computers! So I ended up getting the “Music Man” award at a spot show I didn’t even go to, and I also ended up realizing something: I could work most aspects of a radio station if I had to!
Before I left Murray, Jeremy and I went back to work in our greatest project to date. We built all new studios for Forever Communications in Bowling Green. Now with this project completed, all of their stations are broadcasting from the same facility for the first time ever. (96.7 the beaver, WUHU 107.1, WBGN, and Willie) It was nice being home, working with the same people I did when I was younger, as well as the people that taught me what I know now. Yes, some of them still called me Radioboy. I spent several months living in Russellville with my parents and working in Bowling Green and going back to Murray on the weekends to try and catch up. Needless to say… I worked a lot, and I may have even gotten a little burned out. When we were done, I went back to Murray, and hit the ceiling… I had many problems with the changes that had been happening in the company that I trusted so much. It was a true change in my life and career. I tried to salvage the job, but it just kept going downhill. So I had to leave.
I started searching for jobs really hard after some questionable personnel changes happened in Murray. That eventually led me to several job offers. I had interviewed several places, and had narrowed it down to two. And they were two totally different jobs. One, an on air position with the rival station in Bowling Green, WGGC. And two, an engineer position with Clear Channel Chattanooga. Well anyone who knows me, knows that I do not think Clear Channel is the devil like some people believe. I think they’re an innovative leader in radio, and media. So I felt my engineer career wasn’t over and I wanted to see how they did things in a bigger market, and in a real company. Plus, I knew Clear Channel would have lots of growth potential with the most stations owned in the country.
So here I was… Chattanooga Tennessee, working with 5 great stations. One of them being WUSY, US101. A fantastic country station. They’ve won tons of awards over the years, and will probably continue to do so, because they do things so different, but so well… you can’t help but listen. A truly revolutionary station. I’ve been very lucky to be with two of the greatest country stations of all time in my career. Some can argue WSM and bigger station in bigger markets. But the fact of the matter is, The beaver is the reason country music is what it is today. Garth Brooks and other great artists would have never had a home if it weren’t for the beaver and stuff like “Live and Libby’s”. And US 101 has some fantastic history as well, winning 9 CMT station of the year awards, and even picking up a ACM medium market station of the year award while I was there! It’s just neat seeing how different things can be. I really liked the people I worked with in Chattanooga for the most part. There was a high level of responsibility, and sometimes things got stressful there too. But that’s every job, right?
After growing apart from Chattanooga, not having the growing room like I thought I would, and missing the people I cared a lot about… I decided to come back to the west side. Not exactly back to Murray, but back with Forever. They had bought a Clear Channel cluster in Jackson, TN right before I left for Chattanooga, and of course my newly found experience with Clear Channel systems such as NexGen made me somewhat valuable to them again. They also decided they were going to try and create a new business out of the station websites and wanted a young web savvy person to try and roll out the new technology. So I moved across the state to Jackson and started my new corporate position as Director of Online Operations and local IT manager. This position proved to be much tougher than I thought it would be. Both professionally and personally I struggled a little.  A lot of it was brought on by myself and taking on too much.  I also agreed to become Program Director for one of the stations there that was about to switch formats.  I even did the new morning show for a short amount of time, until I just couldn’t work all those hours!  I managed to juggle it all, and got through it alive, making more friends and hopefully leaving the company slightly better than when I got back to it.
To make a long story short, I was offered another engineering position with Bristol Broadcasting in Paducah Kentucky. And to the naked eye it might not be a move up to you… But to me, it was a chance to build new studios again, work with as many as 9 stations, and be back in the area I fell in love with in college, with the girl I fell in love with in college. That probably doesn’t make sense till I tell you that my fiancĂ© got a teaching position in Metropolis, Il which is right across the river from Paducah. So to the outside looking in, it might appear I gave up again with Forever in Jackson… but in reality, it was another professional upward move, and a huge personal upward move. So that’s where I am today… back to being a broadcast engineer with a company that tries to do radio the way I remember it was done, and has already tried to hire me twice anyway. I can’t help but feel I’m in the right place for me right now.
So what does the future hold for me? Who knows? I’m only doing engineering here in Paducah… Sometimes I kind of miss voice work, music, and programming. After all, that was my first love.  This has always been a problem for me though, too many choices in Radio. I guess time will tell. I’ve got plenty of good options, and I’m very young… so we’ll just see how everything plays out soon. One thing is for sure, I’ve been bit by the radio bug at a young age, and I don’t plan on getting out. I’m still in radio, doing what I want to do… and that’s what matters.
Old School Checks
These are mp3 as well

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