10 Questions with ... Eddie Gutierrez
February 4, 2014
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 broadcasts, sales remotes, 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 the past 20 years at KJEE?
Wow, 20 years already, time does fly when you're having fun. I've been lucky to hold the same job for 20 years and to me some of the things that stand out most are our BIG summer concert we have created, The KJEE Summer Round Up. It's turned into such a great show for Santa Barbara that we are constantly being asked who's going to play every year and we have had some big ones in this market such as Kings Of Leon, The Stokes, Sublime w/ Rome, and this year's past headliner Blink 182.
2. You've been with the station since day one. What is the secret to KJEE's success as an Alternative station?
It's a big college market and when we first got here there was no station playing any of the big hits at the time such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden. Once we started the station we were able to find our audience and also change as the music has changed. We have gone from Grunge, to Ska, to Hard Rock, to what we are playing now like Bastille, Cage The Elephant, Foster the People, Artic Monkey's, Mumford and Sons, and back to Pearl Jam.
3. What's the key to successfully competing against the radio giants in your market?
For us it's to be local and live and have the best promotions in the Santa Barbara area.
4. Describe the radio landscape in Santa Barbara and who is your biggest competitor?
It used to be KRUZ-FM which shared some of the songs we played but they were sold to a Christian broadcast company and are now called KYGA, which is now a commercial free Christian Rock radio station. Now that they are gone are main competitors would be KTYD (Classic Rock) and KVYB (Top 40/Hip Hop).
5. How important is it to you to be live and local?
It's very important to us and it's one of the main things that set us apart from our competition.
6. What is most important to you when championing new music for the station?
Since we are the only station in the market playing new Modern Rock music, you go with your gut on the new music, and after doing this for 20 years you begin to get a good feel on what songs will work for your station.
7. What makes the station unique?
We are one of the few independently owned radio stations in the county, we are not as corporate as some of the other stations in the market, and our DJs have been here for over 10 years.
8. What part of your job do you love the most?
I like when bands come into the station to play live. To me it's always fun and exciting and it feels like a personnel show for us.
9. What was your personal favorite concert of 2013 and why?
Pearl Jam in Los Angeles in November, because they are one of my favorite bands and they continue to rock as good as when they first started. Plus, they are one of the first adds on KJEE.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I've been married for almost 18 years and my oldest son Canyon just turned 18.
What do you like best about living in Santa Barbara?
The weather, the beach, The Santa Barbara County Bowl as a great music venue and is only 10 blocks away from my house, and the schools for our kids are great.
How did you become a big-time New York Giants fan?
I grew up in Fort Lee, New Jersey (the home of BRIDGEGATE) and got to attend some games in the 80s with some of my high school friends, and I had the opportunity to see some of the great NY Giant games with Harry Carson, Lawrence Taylor, Mark Bravaro, Phil Simms, and Local Santa Barbara resident Herb Welch and fell in love with the team and the game.