10 Questions with ... Michael Halloran
August 28, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I worked as a driver for a film company in Detroit, and listened to the radio 24 hours a day and hated it. I bugged deejays until I got a job at WDET/Detroit. I started playing Punk Rock on the radio in 1977. I then worked at KZSU/Stanford in 1977; back to WDET (1978-1984); WLBS/Detroit (1984 -- Kid Rock listened in his bunk bed); WLLZ (1985); WDTX (1985-1986); 91X/San Diego (1986-1996).
I also worked side jobs with BBC Radio One (1990-1994); KROQ/Los Angeles (1988); KISS ME KISS ME KISS ME-FM/London, England, with Lewis Largent (in late-1990 during the release of the Cure's "Mixed Up" -- it was the Cure's Pirate Station, which later became X-FM).
I left 91X when Jacor bought Nobel in 1996. I left because they suggested we stop playing then unknown local bands like Jewel and Blink 182 (if only those artists would have done something.). I worked for K-ROCK/New York for three weeks at Kevin Weatherly's suggestion. Then I went back to San Diego to KUPR (1996-1997); 92/5ive/San Diego (1997) until Citicasters, oops, Jacor, oops, Clear Channel bought them up to shut them down. Next was Y107/Los Angeles (1999); then programmed SPIN magazine's on-line radio station until I was hired by MP3.COM in 2000, where we syndicated radio shows to about 200 radio stations across the country giving airplay to then unknowns like Jack Johnson and countless others
In 2001, I went to the Astor Broadcast Group's KFSD "92/1" and eventually took over the programming of Art Astor's radio station KMXN "94/3" in Orange County. I was fired by Astor in late September 2002. In November 2002 I help launched FM 94/9/San Diego. I rejoined 91X as local host in 2011 and I was asked by Christy Taylor to host the afternoon show in 2012 when Capone left.
1. What led you back to 91X?
Capone and I started talking after I left KBZT. He asked me to do the Loudspeaker show, and then when he left, Christy asked me to do the afternoon show. I couldn't be happier.
2. What stands out the most from when you first stated working at 91X 25 years ago?
Crossing the border to go to work 25 years ago was one of the reasons we killed it. You feel different when you arrived in the studio in Mexico. I can't explain it, but those of us who have done it know.
3. What is the most challenging part of your job?
For me, trying to avoid throttling young bands who have no idea how to advance their career and screw up when it comes to doing interviews and how to get along with the radio geeks like us. I feel for them when they start to make it big but want to throttle them for not paying attention to what's really going on. I am really stoked that Jason Mraz has not fallen into the usual pitfalls of super successful artists. He struggled for years here in SD and has always been "wide awake" when it comes to his career. He could teach a college course of how not to f*ck up.
4. What makes 91X unique?
I can't tell you that. Because you would print it and all of these so called alternative stations would try to copy us. Nice try.
5. How are you using social networking?
I love Friendster. But from what I can tell this AOL thing might take off. Not sure if I want to make the leap to MySpace yet. That seems like a load of Shiite.
6. Tell us about the Loudspeaker show you host on Sunday nights?
Marco Collins started the show years ago. In fact he came back a few weeks back and co-hosted with me. That was fun. We discover new SD artists and play them on the radio from 7pm until 9pm
7. Who are some of the people who have influenced you?
You don't have enough bandwidth to cover the list of people that have influenced me, let's just say that John Peel has and Ryan Seacrest hasn't. Michael Phelps should have throttled Seacrest.
8. Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
There is way more than one and I love them all for different reasons.
9. What are you most passionate about?
My family and my kids.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
That I am working on a few patents and that I have played onstage with Buzzcocks and Mike Watt but not at the same time.
What new bands are you most excited about?
Little Hurricane, Dead Feather Moon, Anya Marina, Vokab Company, and Neveready.