10 Questions with ... Storm Avery
August 27, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started as a part-time Jock/Board Op for KGGF/KUSN in my hometown of Coffeyville, KS. Then I worked in Evansville, IN for about 10 years at various stations (WYNG 105, HOT96, 103GBF, KISSFM, etc.) Then I moved to Terre Haute, IN in 2010 to do the Morning Show on 100.7 MIX-FM. I was offered the Brand Manager job for WXXR and couldn't refuse. During my career, I've been the Program Director for stations in several different formats including Country, AC, CHR, News-Talk, and Alternative.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
Music has always been a big part of my life. But I never had a desire to be in radio. It never occurred to me as an option because I didn't think I had the voice for it. My senior year of high school, my dad got me a job interview with the local radio station so I could earn gas money. I went because it got me out of school for the day. The interview lasted five minutes and they hired me a week later. I've been in love with radio ever since. I should probably thank my dad for getting me that interview.
2. What stands out the most from when you were growing up listening to radio in Tulsa?
I grew up listening to Tulsa, OK radio stations like Z104.5, KMOD, and 106.9 KHITS. The jocks were the reason I listened. I felt like Z104.5's Banana and Mel in the Morning were my buddies. And D.C. Roberts was a cool chick to hang out with. They made radio fun. I was lucky enough to meet them one summer during an on-site contest. It just solidified my connection to them and the station.
3. Tell us about X95.9's ratings growth since signing on last summer?
X95.9 has been growing fast through word-of-mouth and grassroots marketing. The Wabash Valley has really taken ownership of the station. We would not be on the air if it wasn't for the great support we have received from the community. Our ratings have reflected that with initial gains with men in our core demos. But in the latest book, we showed impressive gains with the female audience as well.
4. What are you most proud of from the first year for X95.9?
I'm most proud of the fact that X95.9 was built specifically for the Wabash Valley and it's programmed locally. Every decision we make with X95.9 is geared toward this market. Midwest Communications showed great faith in our community with this format. Amazing things happen when you listen to the people that live in the market. We've gotten great reactions from our listeners. One woman told me that X95.9 is saving her money because she cancelled her satellite radio subscription.
5. How would describe X95.9?
X95.9 is a blend of alternative and active rock, both old and new. X95.9 is the only station in the Terre Haute area where you can hear Nirvana, AWOLNATION, Metallica, Imagine Dragons, plus new and old Nine Inch Nails. Alternative music is constantly evolving, as is our station.
6. What makes the station unique?
Midwest Communications put a lot of work into X95.9. It's not a cookie cutter station. It was created to fill a gap in the Terre Haute market where there was no outlet for new rock. There's nothing like X95.9 in the area.
7. What do you love most about working at X95.9?
I love that I can be a part of someone's day and hopefully, make it better. Radio is more than just playing great music. We are here to make real connections with our listeners. X95.9 makes it easy for me because this is the music I grew up loving. I can be myself and I think that shows on the air.
8. Tell us about Storm's Stories?
My blog is an extension of the station's brand and my personality. It's like having a public diary and a great way to solidify that connection with listeners through social media.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
Getting a song stuck in my head. I always have a song playing in my head.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I have a B.A. in Psychology and like to sing Italian arias.
What are your hobbies?
Collecting shoes, going to concerts, and stalking Shinedown.
Last non-industry job?
First record ever purchased?
Michael Jackson, Thriller
I was 6. Michael Jackson and his brothers on the Victory Tour in Dallas.