10 Questions with ... Kevin McKay
August 5, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WJYY/Concord, WAPE/Jacksonville, WKZY/Gainesville, and WHHZ/Gainesville.
1. What led you from The Big Ape in Jacksonville to Gainesville six years ago?
The opportunity for my first full-time gig. New England was my target area, being from there, but Gainesville was just two hours down the road and was a launch pad for several successful jocks and programmers.
2. After a couple years programming WHHZ, what was behind the decision for The Buzz to switch back to Alternative after four years as an Active Rocker?
The goal was to create a gender balanced radio station to round out our portfolio. With the explosive growth of Alternative around the country, going this direction seemed most logical based on the current market composition and our other brands within the company.
3. The Buzz uses the positioning statement, North Florida's Rock Alternative. How would you describe the music and imaging on the station?
We are a harder edged alternative. Still playing the big, more melodic active titles while still staying true to our new Alternative identity. Imaging wise, we look to be clever, not crass. Scott Fisher and Shelby Taranto really make the station pop.
4. How difficult was it for you to shift the format with Lex & Terry anchoring mornings on The Buzz?
Not too difficult at all. Several of our listeners who are L&T fans longed for the days of the "old Buzz" referring to when the station was Alternative before. Overall, the transition has been pretty smooth, much to my delight.
5. What makes the station unique?
We're the only current based rock station in the market. This gives us the luxury of being able to straddle the line between Alternative and Active.
6. How would you describe yourself as a programmer?
Goal focused and analytical. Always looking to learn and grow more. Passionate about how the brand looks and sounds (from all aspects). A well respected programmer once asked if I was more right brained or left brained. I would say I'm more left brained.
7. What may surprise people most about 100.5 The Buzz?
A tornado took down the original tower for The Buzz several years ago. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, allowing the owner at the time, Pamal Broadcasting to move the tower closer to Gainesville and increase height and power.
8. What do you like best about living in Gainesville?
With a major university in the heart of the city, Gainesville is able to provide a wealth of employment opportunities and has become an incubator for several large tech companies. Not to mention more doctors, dentists, vets and lawyers than you can count in a city of only 125,000. Being close to the theme parks in Orlando and both coasts is nice too.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ___________?
Something sweet. Much to the dismay of my dentist, I have a wicked sweet tooth. I get that from my grandmother.
10. What made you want to become a Volunteer Firefighter?
Growing up, a few of my friend's dads were volunteers for the fire department in town. I was always drawn to that. It seemed like a fun and interesting thing to do. When I turned 18, I joined with a couple of friends and stayed on before moving to Florida. After a few years in Gainesville, I discovered there was a department nearby that accepted volunteers, so I was able to continue once again. For me, it's a great way to learn something new and make lifelong friends while still doing radio. Using my background, I have also become the PIO for the department.
What are your hobbies?
Stamp collecting (kidding). My hobbies are my jobs. Every day I'm doing something related to radio, voiceover, or firefighting.
Last non-industry job?
Receptionist at my high school. They would hire and pay students to man the desk in the main office after school and during the day in the summer. I literally spent 12 months a year at school sophomore-senior year.
First record ever purchased?
It was a tape, don't laugh. Kriss Kross.
Creed at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, MA.
Favorite band of all-time?
That's a tough call. I really enjoy Maroon 5, especially the earlier stuff. But my collection features anything from classical to disco and hip-hop. As my band instructor once said, "It's all about the vibe."