10 Questions with ... Steve Craig
October 21, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Began by hangin' out at KEZY in Orange County, CA... eventually finding my way on the air... First full-time professional gig... KLOM-A/Lompoc. CA. Got fired for playing Boston 10 minutes after sunset sign-off. Learned my craft in Barstow, Fresno, Salt Lake City, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles. In 1991 got the best gig of my career signing on 99X in Atlanta. I was APD/middays for our entire run until 2008. Then left for NYC and launched 101.9 RXP for a way-too-short run of four years. I've been back in Atlanta now for three years, handling Classic Rock and Alternative for Cox.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
Growing up in SoCal, I was mesmerized (or is it Morganized?) by The Boss Jocks of KHJ... I wanted to be The Real Don Steele! I actually had a chance to work with the legend himself in LA at the old Transtar Oldies Channel. In high school, I started hanging around a local radio station until they put me on the air!
2. You have deep roots in Atlanta Radio building the 99X brand in the '90s. What excited you most about becoming APD/MD at X107.1?
Alternative music is enjoying a wonderful revival, and it's almost as exciting as the early 90s. I'm finding out that young alt listeners are craving that "community" that we built around 99X and 101.9 RXP. They're just as passionate about their music now, as their parents were then. If you create that same genuinely passionate spirit around your radio station, they will come... and they will stay! It's exciting to see it happen!
3. How would you describe X107.1's hyper current rotations built as an "Alt 40" station?
It's a necessary reflection of the current listening habits of the audience we're reaching. Very active, mobile, and always on the lookout for something new. I hate to use the A.D.D. acronym, but we all know that most listeners come in for 10-20 minutes, and then they move on to other activities. In that time, we want to hit 'em with their faves, something new, maybe an "oh-wow" and give them a reason to come back when they can.
4. Tell us about the Voice Of The X?
This reminds me of the old philosophy that Jerry Clifton taught a bunch of us in Fresno back in the day... don't be a "deejay"... you're just a guy/girl on the radio with a buncha music you wanna share with your friends. We're looking to our listeners to find someone who can embody that spirit with honest passion. A great social media presence can't hurt either. We've narrowed our online search down to 5, we have them out in the scene and on the mic and we're close to finding that diamond in the rough.
5. What else sets the station apart in Atlanta?
I'd have to say it's the coverage... Our engineers have pioneered what they call "geo-synching". We have our main 100K signal from our transmitter northwest of Atlanta seamlessly integrated with our high downtown translator -- both on the same frequency! We cover the entire northern suburbs and all of the Atlanta metro without 2 separate freqs like our competition.
6. I love the name of the station's new specialty show, "The Mix Tape." What does everyone need to know about the new Sunday night show?
Kurt Krongold and Debra Green are our "music guides"... passionate, knowledgeable and deep in the music scene here. This is our showcase for up and coming artists, songs that are getting hot and some cool deeper stuff from our established and influential bands. Kurt liked "The MixTape" after finding out that some places that celebrate "record store day" are now bringing back Mixtapes with "cassette day"!
7. How is the station using Social Media?
In every way possible! It's easy to post, snap and tweet out your events, but we're using the platforms for as much interactive feedback as we can get... what events the listeners want to be part of, how they feel about certain bands, songs, live performances, contests, exclusive experiences with their favorite artists, etc... making them part of our community keeps them engaged, and it provides us with a very valuable research tool.
8. What do you like best about living in Atlanta?
Southern Hospitality is not dead! The people here are wonderful... So many Classic Rock/Alternative Music fans that I've had the chance to get to know over the last few decades. Also, it's knowing that 99X made such a huge impact on these folks, and they've never forgotten that.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
Getting caught in a "Music Wormhole"... My team and I will start listening to music, sharing old and new bands, stories, experiences, and then realize 2 hours are gone!
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I've worked in rock and alt radio since 1978, but my first platinum record was for New Kids On The Block "Hangin' Tough!"
What are your hobbies?
Flying, Scuba diving and all things Tiki!
Last non-industry job?
Delivering architectural blueprints in 1978
First record ever purchased?
The Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" (lunch money for 2 whole weeks!)
Beach Boys & Chicago at Anaheim Stadium '75. My first REAL concert? The Ramones at the Roxy in '76!
Favorite band of all-time?
The band who's cover art is tattooed on my arm. Hard to explain. "You weren't there, man!"