10 Questions with ... Nerf
August 30, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started out driving the van for KROQ in February of 1998, and dabbled a little in Pirate Radio (KBLT) at the same time. In June of 1999 I got a gig as a board-op and promo assistant at KTCL in my hometown of Denver. I worked my way up through the ranks stopping at just about every title along the way until they gave me the PD title in April of 2006.
1. Congrats on a big July PPM! KTCL had a big cume increase. What were the other ratings highlights for the station?
Last summer we had the station's first #1 18-34 in its 33 year history. This July, #2 P18-34, #2 P18-49, #2 P25-54, and #6 P12+ Our sales department is pretty stoked about it. It makes KTCL a one-stop shop to hit a lot of demos. Well over half a mil in cume in a market of 2.5 million is a good selling point too.
2. With several stations transitioning to a Spoken Word format, what makes KTCL a successful Alternative station?
Dumb luck. In our efforts to separate our programming from our active rock sister station KBPI, I think we stumbled onto a sub-format that happened to be right on time. Leaning away from the Active Rock music pushes us more female friendly and "Pop-Ternative." Here we are in the last couple of years watching rock music crumble, it seems that being able to branch out into Triple A, Modern AC, CHR, and Electronica has really helped us play GOOD songs that might not qualify as "Rock." That and having always had a PPM friendly methodology put us in the right place at the right time.
3. What makes the station unique?
Our imaging is KILLER! We subscribe to Frostbytes as well as having Roger Keeler and help from our morning guy Josh Goodman. With all these assets the station has this loveable smartass vibe, and we can never be accused of taking ourselves too seriously. Also we've become part of the community. Our focus on local music has made us the station that introduced many people to their favorite bands, while introducing them to the whole world. Breaking bands is vital to long term growth, so we're always listening to music that comes from smaller sources without ever ignoring the heavy hitters.
4. Could you give us a little insight into your on air staff?
We are a low talk station. Goodman is our solo morning guy. I've never heard a jock pack so much personality into an eight second break. He's also one of the best interviewers I've ever heard anywhere. Bailey is the midday diva. She's got pipes, and sauce. Judging by the web hits her jock page gets, she sounds sexy! She doubles as our talented and capable MD. Nick Cage does our Throwback Lunch show as well as our Webby duties. He's been at 'TCL to remember when those throwback tracks were currents, and he has more tattoos than the rest of us combined. Then there's me in the afternoons. Pretty unremarkable. Then Flip proves that corn isn't the only thing that grows naturally in Nebraska... gifted night jocks do too. I should also say that our overnighters and part timers B-Large, Alf and Stefani are the best bench a programmer could ask for. We all love each other, and all work great as a team.
5. What is the most challenging part of the job?
Dealing with all the minutia and maintenance when what I really want to do is look two steps ahead, and scheme up something new.
6. How do you stay connected with your audience?
Constantly. We use RTM every week, and ceaselessly keep our audience looped in to give us feedback. Plus we like being in the public in lots of different ways.
Concerts, sporting events or just drinking at bars around town. We try to meet everyone. It's harder to change the channel on someone you've met. It's a BIG benefit to be all local.
7. How are you using social networking?
I use Twitter avidly and let it feed my Facebook page. I like it! I think it works a lot better for individuals than companies. Will it revolutionize radio and bring in tons of money? No. It's engaging your audience where THEY are though, and that is a good idea even though it's nothing game changing.
8. What has been the most successful song on the station this year?
Mumford And Sons "Little Lion Man." In the Museum Of Bad Decisions there should be a picture of me holding the "Sigh No More" record and giving it a GIANT thumbs down. I fought that record furiously... I'm a dumbass. I guess the only thing that would have made my bad call on that record worse is if I had never admitted to being wrong, and not put that track and "The Cave" into power eventually. A wise programmer named Scott Arbough (KBCO our legendary Triple A Sister Station) told me "I'd rather be late to a hit, than early on a stiff." Then I told him that I was going to play Mumford and Sons and he kicked me in the balls.
9. What has kept you at KTCL for the past 12 years?
I grew up in the Denver suburb of Littleton. This is my hometown, and one of the greatest cities in the country. All the same without the station going from a .8 share to a 5 share over the years I might have considered leaving more. Being part of a success story is seductive. I love my staff, I love the city, and I love what we've done here in those 12 years.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I'm a total science junkie. I read books about Neurology, and listen to 5 different science podcasts regularly. That and Scott Arbough never really kicked me in the balls. I dodged.
Tell us about your growing family and what's most important to you when you leave the radio station each day?
I've got an awesome two year old boy named Ajax who is a BIG Alkaline Trio fan. And a one year old daughter named Jillian. So far her favorite artist is her brother singing Alkaline Trio.
Last night I had dinner with Todd and Patti from CO5 instead of going home to my beautiful wife and kids... The dinner was fantastic, but I REALLY missed coming home and hearing "Daddy!" I'm a lucky, lucky man, and not just because I somehow get 25-54 numbers playing Breathe Carolina.