10 Questions with ... Chris "Zigz" Cox
August 26, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
My first taste of radio was in college, but that was more for the girls than the love of music. It wasn't until a few years later I started taking it seriously when I moved to Georgia and started working at WWRQ. While there, I co-hosted the morning show and eventually held the title of APD and Promotions Director. I then moved back to Nashville where I briefly worked for WNPL (Rooster 106). After a format and staff change there, I started work here at WBUZ as a part-timer in 2002. In September of 2013 after a few years of filling the APD and MD roles, I was offered the PD position. I accepted, and am currently coming up on my 1 year anniversary of being PD here at The Buzz.
1. As you enter your 13th year at The Buzz, what stands out the most?
As I sit here thinking of ways to answer this question, thoughts go through my head of how much the industry has changed in all these years. How much we have had to adapt to the changing landscape. How challenging the Nashville market actually is, especially during radio's evolution process. All these things stand out, but the real answer... what stands out to me most when I look back over these years... is how lucky I am to have been able to not only have a job, but make a career in an industry I love. Yeah, I face challenges... I can get stressed, but the fact that I get to work and make a living in an industry that does what we do, and that I do it in my hometown, amazes me. For over 12 years now, I've been lucky enough to go to work every day with a smile on my face. As corny as that all may sound, that is what stands out most.
2. What has been your biggest challenge since being upped to PD?
Time... I could always use more. Meetings, schedule music, promo session, phone calls, meetings, air-shift, emails, production, more meetings, air checks, listen to music, even more meetings, more phone calls, more emails, oh yeah... have a life. Don't get me wrong, I love it... but time is so valuable right now it's challenging to fit everything in sometimes.
3. What do you love most about your job?
The fact that change and evolution comes with this job, which keeps me from becoming bored and complacent. Also, to what I was saying before, love the fact, that I love my job.
4. How does The Buzz keep its edge in the current pop alternative landscape?
We just stay true to our brand. That is the most important thing. The music has its ebb and flow, we just stay steady with our presentation and brand. The Buzz is a lifestyle station that spans over the wide lanes of the rock genre. We just try to stay on top of the landscape and pick the songs that will be right for our audience and our brand.
5. What is most important to you when championing new music for The Buzz?
That it reaches and connects with our audience and hopefully hits that crit-mass. Also, as to what I was saying before, that it fits in our brand.
6. What makes the station unique?
I think, like a few other stations out there, we aren't fearful of evolving as a station, as a format, or as a brand. We are more concerned about doing what's right for our audience rather than following certain "rules" of a particular format. We tend to blur the lines between active, alternative, and mainstream rock... and for us it works. Also, most of our air staff (including myself) are from Nashville or surrounding areas which means we tend to be a bit more passionate about what we do... this is our home.
7. How would you describe your midday show on The Buzz?
The show itself is very music intensive with quick local content or music news based breaks. I've never been the one to want to be a "shock jock" or have some crazy shtick. My angle, if that's what it is called, is to just be the guy it's cool to hang out with and listen to music.
8. What do you like best about living in Nashville?
I might be a little biased because it is my hometown, but Nashville really is a great city. It's big and lively enough to have something to do every night if you want to, but still has the hospitality of a small town. It also keeps growing with more and more people and businesses coming to town, which makes it full of opportunities. Plus, being able to be a part of the music industry in a town with such rich musical roots makes living here pretty amazing.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I never planned or had a goal to work in radio. I was a nerd kid who almost became a nuclear engineer for the Navy, who ended up majoring in religion and philosophy instead, who then went on to manage and run night clubs... go figure... it's a long story. I just happen to start in radio when I moved to Georgia for a short period of time. I obviously loved it immediately and have been lucky enough to be able to make a career of it, but if you would have asked me when I was younger if I saw myself in radio, the answer would've probably been, "No."
How did you get the nickname Zigz?
Long story... so probably easier to just say, No it's not because of rolling papers.
What are your hobbies?
As PD of a radio station... there is no such thing as hobbies.
Last non-industry job?
Marketing/PR Consultant for an Irish pub
First record ever purchased?
The first record I bought with my own money was Run-D.M.C. "King Of Rock"
The first concert that I went to by myself was Public Enemy & Anthrax
Favorite band of all-time?
I never feel right answering this question because I like so many for different reasons, but if I had a gun to my head and absolutely had to choose I would have to say, Led Zeppelin.