10 Questions with ... Christopher "Peapod" Daher
October 28, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
After almost failing out of college in attempting to be an engineer, I decided that my love of music and my intrigue on radio personalities that I would switch to Communication. I have a BA in Communication from The University of Toledo in the spring of 2009, and six months out, I scored my first radio job at Cumulus Toledo. I started as a board op and producer for our sports station, and from there I decided to try my hands on everything. I've done weekends on different stations in our cluster, I have done production work, and I also just recently graduated from Specs Howard School for Media Arts. I've been on The Zone (started on weekends) since 2011, and been on and off that station (due to format changes) since then. Now I just passed the one year mark on being on afternoon drive for 100.7 The Zone.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I've always loved music. Not just listening, but reading up on artists, discovering new artists, and sharing that information. When I was old enough to drive, I listened to the radio a lot. I got to know some of the personalities and their style on how they went to one song to another, or morning personalities and their shows. When I got to college, I checked out our university's radio station 88.3FM WXUT. I thought it would be something fun on the side to do. I'm a smart guy, but I wasn't ENGINEER smart...so my grades slipped drastically, and I almost failed out of college. My family sat down with me, and thought they I should quit the radio station to concentrate on my studies. I didn't want to do that, so they said to check out the communication program. That was around 2005, and now I do afternoons and have five years of major radio station experience underneath my belt. It was quite a journey, and it really is only the beginning for me!
2. Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why?
Howard Stern, no question. He made radio "cool" and "edgy" but also stood by his product. Yes, there were people to take him down, and even sometimes he was just indeed crude for the sake of being crude, but the man is a radio legend, and an entertainment icon. He's done so much, and he made sure to never change who he is as a person and a show. I admire that.
3. What led you to The Zone in 2011?
The Zone, throughout its format changes and frequency changes, was one of the stations I loved to listen to while I was in college, when I moved from Akron to Toledo. The music, the personalities, everything about it was enjoyable. After my first year as a board op for a sports station, I knew I wasn't going to move up or do anything on-air at that station, because I don't know ANYTHING about sports. So I asked, and begged, and bothered our (then) PD Dan McClintock for a chance to be on-air. He worked with me in becoming a weekend personality on the station. The station has gone away, and came back, switched frequencies, program directors, but it's a station that people in this town know and love and support, and it's a station that I'm a fan of, not just as a personality, but as a regular listener.
4. What do you love about your job?
Where do I begin?! First off, I love music, and I love sharing that music with others. At the end of the day, that's what I'm doing, is sitting down and sharing this music with people. I love interacting with local artists and artists coming to my town through our show "On The Radar" and get to know, interview, discover, and share their hard work with the masses. I love working on production pieces for our station as well. I like that you have just words on a paper and an idea, and you can transfer that into audio art for people. It's something people usually don't care for, but it's something I enjoy. That small little sweeper or liner can make someone's day, and I like that.
5. What makes your afternoon show unique?
My afternoon show is unique because I'm a big nerd and weirdo. I collect comic books, I don't go out as much, I'm awkward sometimes at events, I'm super corny, but I'm very passionate (and loud) on what I do. That's not a bad thing, that's just something different that you wouldn't think would work on-air, but it does. I don't try to put on some gimmick or have a super different radio voice, the person you hear on air is the person you will see out in public, just REAL.
6. What is your show prep routine each day?
I jump into the studio about an hour or more before I need to go on. I check out social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), see the news, see the posts from local papers, and also see what's new on certain artists we play. Sometimes you can't be prepared for everything, but you can be attentive as best as you can.
7. How do use Social Media?
I use our Facebook page (facebook.com/toledoszone) a lot in posting stories, photos, and news about artists and things around town a lot. We have a Twitter page (@1007TheZone), but I have a hard time with that. However, I love using our Instagram (@1007TheZone) in sharing photos of artists that I've interviewed for On The Radar to people, as well as record quick snippets of live songs that some of these artists we've played to show an "up close and personal" feel to them. Social network is not only a place for silly memes. It's connecting in a digital age, much like you would do with a group of people at a party.
8. How do you get the nickname "Peapod?"
Honestly, not as exciting as you might think. Senior year of high school (2004), I hung out with the incoming freshman, because I didn't like people in my grade. Some people knew me as Emily's Big Brother (Emily is my sister). So one day a kid name Paul (haven't heard from him since I graduated actually...) said "I'm going to call you Peapod from now on". I asked why and he goes "That's the first word that came to my head when I saw you."
So I was called Peapod senior year of high school, when I got to college, I used "Peapod" as my on-air name, and most of my friends around here call me that. When I scored a gig doing weekends on The Zone, I asked if I can use the name Peapod (since most of my friends knew me as that). Since doing afternoons, the people who knew me before I got on-air more often, always tell stories to other people, and they say the name "Peapod", and they RECENTLY get the response "wait Peapod...like the radio Peapod?"
That makes me laugh. So yeah, sort of an Animal House type story in a sense...
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
My phone (sadly). I'm on it a lot...
10. What would surprise people most about you?
Honestly, I'm a nerd first and foremost. I'm also just this personality when I'm not in studio. I'm honestly the same guy when I'm in and out of the studio. Peapod isn't really a "gimmick", it's just me. Some dude with a goofy nickname that just happens to talk on the radio and meet famous people.
What are your hobbies?
Nerdy things! Comic books, kaiju shows, sci-fi, love them all! I also enjoy listening to new and an upcoming music, as well as checking out local shows!
Last non-industry job?
I actually picked up a side job when I first started in radio working at a cookie shop in our town's mall. Fun fact, that's where I met my fiancé!
First record ever purchased?
With my own money it was Orgy's "Candyass." It was a terrible album outside of their two hits.
My very first concert was when I was a kid, and my family took all of us to Blossom Music Center (In Akron, Ohio) and saw James Taylor.
Favorite band of all-time?