10 Questions with ... Eddie Gutierrez
January 3, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
When I moved to Santa Barbara in 1989, I came here to go to college. While I was attending UCSB, I had an opportunity to work for the local rock station KTYD as an engineer's assistant (setting up live broadcast's, sales remote's, promotional stuff). While working at this station was just a part-time job, another opportunity came up in 1993 to help start a brand new station from the ground up which was KJEE.
1. What stands out the most from your 18 years at KJEE?
Well 18 years in one place is like a lifetime in radio (in dog years that's 126 years). I've really enjoyed and continue to enjoy working at KJEE, and have met lots of great people working here. I've really enjoyed the friendships and relationships I have made within the industry and also outside the industry. KJEE is a real small radio station and everyone here is really enjoyable to work with. It's nice to be able to have a great job and enjoy the relationships I have made in the 18 years of doing this.
2. What is the biggest way your job has change?
The Internet, especially social media, plays an increasing role in radio. Listeners have more ways to reach you at the station by posting on your Facebook, e-mailing what they like or don't like, or tweeting comments to your Twitter to get your attention. Radio stations must develop an online profile and online presence in order to differentiate themselves from everything else that's going on in the world.
3. How are you using Social Media?
We use Social Media to help promote promotional events and sales events the station is doing that week.
4. What is the most challenging part of your job?
I would say the most challenging part of being a small market radio station is we don't have the budget's to work with, to help promote the station the way we would like to. As budgets get smaller it seems workloads increase. We all have more work to do and it can be challenging to motivate people to get the station message across. We all have to come up with more efficient ways on how to help promote the station so we can still get the word out.
5. What excites you about programming today?
What I love about radio is that it's never a dull moment in radio, there's always something fun and interesting going on. Recently, for instance, we had the band Angels And Airwaves do a station takeover where they guest DJ'd for an hour on KJEE and got to pick the music we played. It was fun to see fans hanging out downstairs waiting for Tom DeLonge and the band to come by. It was also very exciting for everyone at the station to have a rockstar like Tom come to Santa Barbara and hang out with the crew of KJEE. Afterwards the band went to a local club for a listening party with KJEE listeners and to sign CDs. Like I said never a dull moment at radio.
6. Tell us about all the local artists that started on KJEE?
Santa Barbara is a real hip town and we have had many bands break from Santa Barbara. We've had bands like Toad the Wet Sprocket, Dishawalla, Jack Johnson, and even Katy Perry break out of Santa Barbara (we also have musicians like David Crosby, Kenny Loggins, and Jackson Browne who all live in Santa Barbara).
But right now the two biggest bands that have recently broken from KJEE have to be Iration and Rebelution. Both are reggae bands that sound similar but have different musical styles (it's like when the Grunge scene broke out of Seattle and all the bands had a very similar style but were different in their own way). Both Iration and Rebelution have done stuff for the station and they have been very successful in their own right. It's really satisfying to see bands that you discover and enjoy, end up become big across the country and not just in Santa Barbara. The bands appreciate the radio airplay from the hometown station and when they have become bigger they always remember who started playing them first.
7. What is most important to you when championing new music for the station?
It really depends on the song. It's the song that matters most and we don't want to play anything too unfamiliar, because it's an uphill battle. Before we add a record we like to see a story build before we take it on. I think the labels see that they can't just throw something against the wall and hope it sticks. When we are presented with new music there is usually a story going along with the bands such as a tour, Facebook/MySpace presence or some other marketing opportunity to help break the band (such as being in a TV commercial).
In the end it helps to champion a band you believe in and hopefully has the leg's to stick around A great example of a band we felt was going to do well was Foster the People. They came to us with a catchy song, came to the station to promote themselves, and even played the market to help gather some exposure. In the end it was a win win because it helped the band and it helped us.
8. How are you marketing the station?
Again not having BIG BUDGETS to work with we market ourselves with some Print, promotional remotes, and Social Media to help get the word out.
9. What may surprise people the most about KJEE?
We are a single owned station from a local Santa Barbara owner JIM EVANS and KJEE stands for James Edward Evans.
10. You're living in paradise, what would it take for you to leave Santa Barbara?
I don't' think I would want to leave Santa Barbara. My wife has a great job as a RN Nurse at the local hospital (she has the serious job and I have the fun job as she likes to say), and she was born and raised in Santa Barbara (like my 2 kids). It really is a great town to raise a family in. You can take a walk at night and not have to worry about such things as crime, the schools in Santa Barbara are amazing, the people are extremely friendly, and it's really hard to think about leaving Santa Barbara. I don't think money would make me leave here. I may not make tons of money and I'm ok with that, but I feel I'm living a very prosperous and enjoyable life in this town.
When a record rep visits Santa Barbara, what are your recommendations for dining out?
There's lot's of great place's to eat in SB, it all depends on what the rep wants to eat. If they want Sushi there are a couple of nice sushi' place's here such as Arigato Sushi, if they want to have wine with dinner there are some excellent wine restaurants such as The Wine Cask, or if they feel like steak there are some great Steak place's here too like Holdrens and Joe's. But when a rep comes up for a lunch during the day, I like to bring them to my secret spot by the beach called The Boathouse, it's really beautiful and sometimes you can even see Dolphins playing in the ocean from where we are eating. Every rep I have brought to this place has fallen in love with it and always ask me later when they are in town with family or friends, "Where's that place you brought me to for lunch that one time..."