10 Questions with ... Andrew Harms
June 16, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
In December 1998, I landed a job in the promotions department at KNDD in Seattle. Over the course of the next 14 years I worked my way on air and into programming. After deciding to leave KNDD in November 2012 - a call came to help launch Diddy's music television network Revolt as Director of Music Programming. After 2 years at Revolt - the opportunity to rejoin Mike Kaplan at Alt 98.7 was there - and I jumped at it.
1. After leaving your hometown station The End in Seattle after 14 years, what led you to Revolt TV in 2013 and now back to full-time radio at ALT 98.7 as APD/MD/PM-drive?
Leaving The End was a leap of faith that paid off when a few weeks after my last day, I got a call from Andy Schuon (ex-MTV) asking if I would be interested in helping to program a music television network he was launching with Diddy. After much discussion, my family and I relocated to L.A. - and spent 2 years at Revolt. A few months after we arrived - Mike Kaplan, my PD /friend from The End also moved to L.A. to take over KYSR. When his APD/MD/afternoon slot opened up earlier this year - we talked extensively about working together again. It was something that we were both excited about and, along with the help of Andrew Jefferies, were able to make a reality.
2. Obviously you and Mike Kaplan work very well together. You worked together at The End in Seattle. What's it like working for Kaplan?
It's great. Mike is smart, experienced, and is very clear what the goals of the station are and how they can be achieved. As far as our working relationship - over the years we have developed full trust and confidence in each other and our abilities.
3. After working at Entercom for some many years, how different is it working for iHeartMedia in Los Angeles?
Right now I am happier than I have ever been in my professional career. The opportunities and resources provided to do my current job are first rate. One of the more exciting aspects has been the national broadcasts I've been able to do through the greater iHeartRadio network. In my first two months, I've hosted specials with Muse, Mumford & Sons, Death Cab For Cutie, Twenty One Pilots and did a live U2 interview from the opening of their tour in Vancouver - pretty exciting.
4. What do you love most about your job?
I love that in this market, with this company - you have to be at your best every single day to keep up. Everyone here is among the best at what they do and if you ease up - even a little - you'll get left behind. It brings the best out in a person.
5. How would you describe your afternoon show on ALT 98.7?
The show is meant to be fun, local, entertaining, and informational. It's important to create something that the listener can trust to be smart, fun, and genuine. In additional to being local, the show has also very artist centric. Every week we're making a point to reach out and speak with artists - both new and established. We're building a foundation as a trusted place artists can come to talk about what's going on with them - and a place where the listeners know they'll be able to experience this unique access. In the last two months we've gotten credit for being the first to talk to Muse, Mumford & Sons, Twenty One Pilots, Metric and more about their latest projects. That means something to both artists and listeners.
6. How do you prep for your show each day?
Show prep is a 24/7 process. You've got to fully immerse yourself in the culture you're representing on the air. That's not just going to shows. That's reading what the audience reads. Watching what the audience watches. Going to where the audience is goes. Leadership plays a big role as well. You can't be a follower and simply reflect what the audience already knows is happening - you have to be a step ahead and tell them what is going to happen.
7. How often do you and Kaplan talk about new music and what is the process?
We talk about music every day. It's an ongoing discussion analyzing what's working, what's not and what's next.
8. Tell us about "The Best New Song Of The Year" feature. What is most important to you when championing new music for ALT 98.7?
This feature is great - it really allows us to get a feel of what a song will sound like on the air. What's important? Consistent quality that has a chance of appealing to a large audience.
9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time in L.A.?
My wife and I are expecting our first child later this year - so lately it's been nursery design, name debates, doctor's appointments and all the other glitz and glam you would expect.
10. What may surprise people most about you?
Two of the three cats in our family have three legs.
Your profile says you still own Seattle Seahawk season tickets. Where are your seats and do you go back to Seattle for all eight home games?
I DO still have my Seahawk tickets - I'll never give them up. My seats are incredible - literally the first row. Since moving to LA - I've made it back for the NFC Championship Game the last two years - not too shabby.
What else do you miss about Seattle?
Everything. The people. The scenery. The tap water. Our best friends in the world still live up there - it's tough not spending the kind of time we would like with them. That said, it's a quick flight from LA and we make it home a frequently throughout the year.