10 Questions with ... Chris The Ego
November 26, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in radio at the great KRZQ in the late nineties. I moved to Tucson to go back to school, took a part time shift at KFMA, and here I am, 11 years later.
1. What do you remember most about when you first started working at KFMA?
I did a weekend shift only because Marc Young (APD at the time) "begged" me to do it, at least that's how I remember it. I didn't think of radio as a career at that point, but the climate of the station was so relaxed, and fun, that I was reeled back in within a few years.
2. What has been your biggest challenge since taking over as PD?
Probably that all of our research has told us that we still need to "rock," at a time when rock music (I think we can all agree) has fallen off the planet.
3. What do you love most about working at Arizona Lotus Radio?
I love that this is still a radio company owned by actual radio people, people that actually value the product, not just its bottom line.
4. What led to changing KFMA to Rock 92 KFMA?
"Rock 92" is a positioning statement that replaced "Tucson's New Rock". Though our library's not as '90s based as it used to be, it was becoming increasingly disingenuous to call ourselves that. The term "new rock" should probably never be uttered again, by anyone.
5. Why is KFMA positioned as an Active-leaning Alternative station?
I think we're one of the few "alternative" stations that still micro-targets male listeners. I wouldn't call us active-leaning, but we are able to pick the songs that best serve the station, regardless of the panel they come from.
6. Tell us about your music meeting at KFMA?
Creepy Pete (MD) and I both have stupid names, and are seemingly always discussing music for the station. We both have a good idea of what works for us, so we'll often skip any kind of formal meeting, compare notes briefly on add day, and go from there.
7. How much are you balancing gut with research when making decisions on new music?
There's a little bit of both. I think our gut instincts are rooted in research, research which has been remarkably consistent for years now.
8. What makes KFMA unique?
A lot of things. I don't think we sound like any other station in the country. We're a heritage alternative that produces two huge rock festivals every year that have become an unofficial holiday for many Tucsonans. That and the stupid names of our air staff.
9. What do you like best about living in Arizona?
It's not the weather, because summer's suck, but I do love the natural diversity here. On the right day, I can both snowboard and golf, there's beautiful hiking in close proximity, and the Mexican food's the best in the country. Don't argue with me New Mexico.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I don't think the people in the industry that know me would be surprised by much. But if we haven't hung out in five or six years, I've become ridiculously boring. I have three little girls, and would rather hang out at home, do yard-work, and have tea parties than go party in Vegas any and every weekend. It's pathetic, I know. Oh, and I'm not a Mormon. People are often surprised by that.
What music do you listen to when you're not working?
I think I've reached the point where I can't differentiate. When I listen to music, I always have the station at least in the back of my mind. That being said, a lot of what I like is stuff that KFMA can't/won't play. You should check out my Top 5 albums of 2013, coming to an issue of All Access near you. That Shawn Alexander guy does an amazing job compiling those lists. Too bad about his Mets though.