10 Questions with ... Mike Killabrew
March 4, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in 1995 at Rock 104/WRUF in Gainesville as Music Director and nighttime personality (Go Gators!). In 2000 I was hired by Rob Cressman to do nights and MD for WMFS (93X). At the end of 2003, Troy Hanson brought me into Miami to be APD/Afternoon Drive for 94.9 WZTA. In 2005, I received my dream shot, and took over as APD/Afternoon Drive for 98Rock WXTB in Tampa. 2007 rolled around and I acquired the PD position for 620 WDAE-AM The Sports Animal, 1250 WHNZ, and remained APD for WXTB. In 2010, I relinquished my PD post for 620 and 1250, and absorbed all of WXTB as its next program director. In May of 2012, WXTB and I went our separate ways. 2014 offered me another shot at radio, and I took it. I currently hold the PD post at ALT 106.3 in Des Moines, IA, and I love it!
1. Tell us about leaving Florida to move to Iowa?
Leaving Florida was difficult. My family, friends, and the majority of my relationships were in Florida, but I looked at this as a new opportunity for my family to grow. After leaving radio in May of 2012, I was blessed to have an excellent severance package, which allowed me to relax a little bit and spend time with my kids. With that being said, my wife had been traveling for work to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for several years. An opportunity came about, and my wife's company made us an offer we couldn't refuse. So, we moved up to Iowa, bought a kick-ass new house, and created an excellent quality of life.
2. What excites you most about programming ALT 1063?
The thing that excites me most is Alternative right now is excelling. There is a nice mixture of big pop artists or crossover artists, which allows for a greater cume. ALT 106.3 is very mass appeal, very digestible, and even female-leaning to a degree. My career has been about programming fairly aggressive male radio stations, ALT forces me to come out of my comfort zone, and speak to a much broader audience.
3. What has the impact been since the station rebranded from New Rock 105.1 to ALT 1063?
We won't have ratings for a while, but the buzz on the street has been amazing! Consumers are stoked about having an alternative in Des Moines, especially one that plays such palatable rock and pop songs. Advertisers are coming on board quickly, and local businesses are playing us in their store rooms.
4. What is the ALT 1063 signal coverage in the market?
ALT 106.3 has a 25,000 watt stick, which covers the metro and about 18 surrounding counties.
5. How different is the station?
ALT 106.3 is the most unique rock property in the Des Moines marketplace. It's the only brand that plays a mix of pop, alt, and rock, and doesn't play a bunch of burned out, crusty rock songs.
6. Give us a rundown of the ALT 1063 on-air lineup?
Our on-air lineup is Pyke in morning drive, Aly in middays, Killabrew (me) in afternoon drive, and Nikki Sixx at night.
7. What makes ALT 1063 unique?
ALT 106.3 is unique because we appeal to a very broad spectrum of consumers. We aren't simply targeting males or adults 18-34. ALT is going for a much bigger piece of the pie. We believe ALT will appeal to someone that's 13 and simultaneously be cool for someone that's 48 to jam out to.
8. What do you love most about your job?
The thing I love most are the fine people I get to work with every day. We are a small group, but we are passionate, powerful, and loyal to each other, and to the task at hand.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without __________?
Seeing my two sons, Barrett and Blake. They mean everything to me!
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I think that most people would be surprised to know that behind a very direct and sometimes confrontational faÃ§ade, I'm actually a very compassionate and loyal person. I believe in the people I work with, and I believe in standing up for them!
What are your hobbies?
I like to lift weights, watch and play sports, go sledding, hang out with my kids and family, eat, listen to music, play poker, and watch re-runs of Miami Vice.
Last non-industry job?
My last non-industry job was recently. When we moved to Iowa, I went back to school to get my certification as a counselor, and I was doing my contact hours at a rehabilitation facility. I was getting ready to go to Graduate School, but decided I wasn't finished with radio.
First record ever purchased?
The first record I ever received was Kiss Alive 2. I didn't purchase it, but it was given to me as a gift when I was 5....Awesome album!
First concert was Whitney Houston and the Beach Boys at the Old Sombrero (Tampa Stadium) for the fourth of July. I don't remember the year, and I don't want to.
Favorite band of all-time?
Wow, favorite band of all time. That's a tough question. There are a handful of bands I really love, but if I had to narrow that down to one, it would have to be U2. I saw U2 live in concert with Public Enemy and Big Audio Dynamite during the Achtung Baby Tour...unreal!