10 Questions with ... Nick Chappell
November 15, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I took two years of a radio communication classes my Junior and Senior year in high school. My Senior I landed an internship with 96X and have been there ever since. I'll be there 10 years in the spring and being a part of the Sinclair Communications team has been the best professional thing to ever happen to me.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I started getting an interest in radio growing up and listening to a lot of sports radio. I thought it would be awesome to be a sports talk host or do play-by-play. But then music became a huge passion of mine about the time I hit middle school and it took over my life. I would listen to various radio stations and listen to the DJ's do breaks and basically repeat what they would say and try to make it sound better. I eventually would play a mix tape and would make and do my own breaks in between songs. Kind of corny but from then on I knew that is what I wanted to do.
2. What stands out the most from when you first started at 96X?
How much fun everyone had at work everyday. Everybody there was so friendly and was just as passionate about music as I was which was awesome. When I first started I was an intern and would just file papers or anything else they needed me to do and I would see different bands come up to do interviews and thought to myself "wow, this is freaking awesome!"
3. What part of your job do you like best? Least?
I would say my favorite part of the job is the fact that I'm getting paid to just play and listen to music. Every week I just sit down and listen to everything that's new and listen to it multiple times to see if I like it or not and if it fits with what we are trying to do as a station. Listening to music for a living is pretty awesome! My least favorite thing would have to be waking up so early. I do the morning show so waking up at 4AM can be a struggle sometimes. But once you get in the studio and get busy, it's not so bad.
4. Describe the Modern Alternative formula at 96X?
It's pretty simple. Hit people with the biggest hits out right now, sprinkle in some of the other newer stuff on the way up, and the biggest hits from the '90s-'00s. Throw in a couple big '80s songs and there ya have it. We will always stick with the artists that have made the alternative genre what it is but we don't shy away from bands like the Fray or One Republic either. I think there's a great balance right now and enough air time to get on a little bit of everything.
5. What is most important to you when championing new music for the station?
The most important thing is will the song fit with what we are trying to do as a station. We want to make sure we are on board with everything big but still keep an ear on what we think could be a breakout artist. There's a lot of great new music out there but just because I like a song a lot doesn't mean it's going to get played unless I think it will appeal to most of our audience.
6. What may surprise people the most about 96X?
Well to the regular listener it would be the fact that every DJ just doesn't go into the studio to do a shift and play whatever they want. I get so many calls from people who tell me how they love or hate what I'm playing that day like I'm sitting there playing whatever I want to hear at the moment.
7. How are you using social media at the station?
We use it every which way we can. I do most of what goes up on the Facebook and Twitter and try to update it through out the day. As for what goes up there it's everything from music related news, music videos, other pop culture related stories, and giveaways. We have recently started doing prizes that you can only win through our Facebook page which is a great way to extend content but not take up to much valuable air time. It's a way to keep our on air breaks short and tight to get you back to the music faster and just carry on air content over to the Facebook.
8. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ___________?
At least two glasses of milk. I don't know what it is but I just love milk! And I guess you could be drinking things that are worse for your body.
9. What do you like best about living in Virginia?
Living in Hampton Roads is great. There's something to do year round like going to the beach, visiting many of the historical sites around town, and there's a great nightlife scene. But the thing I love the most is the theme park we have called Busch Gardens Williamsburg. I'm a roller coaster junkie so I go a lot! The only downer about living here is how spread out everything is. But when you are just driving from A to B just turn on 96X and it makes the drive easier.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
That I hate being on the computer for long periods of time. Which is funny because I'm on it nonstop at work but other than that I hate it. I will hop on the internet for maybe 5-10 minutes every once in a while to check my e-mail and such but then I just get bored and put the laptop away. I'd much rather use my time in other useful ways than spending it starring at a computer screen.
What are your hobbies?
I don't have any real 'hobbies' like surfing or building model trains or anything like that. When I'm not at work I just like to watch a good movie and DJ parties and weddings on the side. I like to stay busy!
Last non-industry job?
I worked at Hot Topic years ago during the Christmas season when I was just getting started at the station. It was awful!
First record ever purchased?
Warped Tour '98. When Warped Tour was awesome!
Favorite band of all-time?
That's always a tough question because I love so many bands and artists. But it would have to be between 311 and Ryan Adams.