10 Questions with ... Nick Chappell
October 1, 2013
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've been here 10 years now and worked my way up from an intern filing papers to becoming PD and running the whole station.
1. What do you remember most from when you first started working at 96X 10 years ago?
I just remember being really shy but motivated. I didn't really know what I was supposed to do but I latched on to anybody that would talk to me and teach me something. I learned a lot from our production director (Nick Papageorgio) at the time.
2. How has 96X changed since you took over as PD?
96X has changed in many ways since I took over as PD. For a little while we went a lot harder and more active. But after a couple of weeks we decided that wasn't a very good way to go. Then we scrapped all the hard stuff and went a lot lighter, a complete 180. Well, that didn't go so well either. So now we are back to a right down the middle alternative station and I couldn't be happier with it. We are breaking new and exciting records and playing the biggest gold tracks in our library. We have also branded the new music we play very well so we can familiarize our audience with these tunes quicker.
3. What do you love most about working for Sinclair Communications?
That it's a "mom and pop" company and not owned by some big conglomerate. We are all kind of like a little family here. Our owner will actually come into my office and just ask how the family is and talk sports. I don't think you'll find that in many other places.
4. What makes the station unique?
I think that we will actually take chances on songs. We have prided ourselves on helping break bands in the past few years and that's always a great feeling. We have a great feature every weekday called the 4:20 when we play a brand new track to expose the listeners to some great new songs. Some are bands that aren't even signed yet!
5. I know how much you love discovering new music. How much are you balancing gut with research when making decisions on new music?
Gut instinct will always be the deciding factor. I don't care how well or poorly a song can be doing nationally. If I really dig a song and think it will do well in this market, I'll give it a chance. But of course there are some other great tools like Mscore and sales charts that I rely on as well.
6. What are your thoughts on all the alternative music crossing over to pop and how has that impacted how you program 96X?
I think it's great that these bands can cross over to other formats so their songs can be heard by the masses. Music is meant to be shared by as many people as possible. But I just want to make sure our format gets the credit it deserves for breaking these bands.
7. Tell us about your morning show?
My morning show is pretty simple. It's totally music based with some news stories sprinkled in there and some awesome contesting. I try to keep the talking brief so people can enjoy the music on their drive to work. We have plenty of morning talk shows in this town so I think people like having a station to turn to for good music in the morning.
8. What is the rest of a typical day like for you getting such an early start?
I'm up super early and work until I go to sleep at about 11pm every night. I'll usually get my scheduling for the next day done early so that gets knocked out then I'll work the phones the rest of the day with reps, listen to new music and come up with awesome station promotions and production ideas.
9. What has been your biggest challenge booking the 96X Winter Meltdown?
This year was little tough because Thanksgiving is so late this year which pushed everybody's dates back and made routing a little tougher. I've been working on our show since June but could not be happier with our lineup! We've got a great mix of bands and the labels were great in helping us out to make it all happen.
10. You are a passionate sports fan. How did you become a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Redskins?
My misery being a fan of these two teams was something I was born into. My Dad was a fan of both teams which made me a fan of both teams. I was so little when both of them were winning championships that I don't remember much. But with RG3 in Washington and the young team the Orioles have, they'll both be winning big games again!
What do you enjoy doing on your weekends with your family?
When I actually have free time we really enjoy going to theme parks. And we have a great one here at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. My son, Camden, will be 3 soon so he's really starting to get into the kiddie rides. And for me and my wife, we are both foodies so we like to check out new restaurants and check out the organic food stores around town.