10 Questions with ... Mike Prendergast
February 13, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
KLTY/Dallas - Promotions, KVIL/Dallas - Promotions to APD, Technical Director & Pre/Post Producer for Dallas Cowboys radio, back to KLTY/Dallas - APD/MD/weekends to PD
1. What was your first job in the industry?
KLTY working promotions. Hanging banners with the best of them!
2. Who or what led you to a career in radio?
I went to college to be a meteorologist but God had other plans. My fiancé at the time (my wife now) lived in DFW and I was at school three hours away at Texas A&M. I would come in town every weekend to see her. I was so homesick that I moved back home and went to the University of Texas at Arlington so I could be closer to Teresa. I had to change majors and after a semester of business classes, I took a radio course as an elective and the rest is history! God's plan is not my plan and I'm so glad I followed his path and not my own.
3. What does Christian radio need to do to break through to a mass audience on a more consistent basis?
If you're a music station, don't be overly preachy. Let your music do that. Be an encouragement, a light to those listening and be real. Share experiences that happen to you that are relatable to your listener. The more we are real and connective with our audience, the more we'll reach those on the fringe. The music in the last few years has really made great strides sonically and lyrically to catch up to the mainstream music. The more we can play fresh, great sounding music and get past the "boring radio" stereotype CCM had for so long, the more we'll be able to compete with a mass appeal station.
4. What is your favorite part of your job?
The people. I love meeting new artists, I enjoy my relationships with the labels and I love our employees here at the station.
5. What advice would you give to people new to the business?
Work hard, ask a lot of questions and be available. Get an internship if you're not "quite" in the business. That's the best way to get your foot in the door and get experience that you'll need.
6. To what do you attribute KLTY's success?
Being live, local and connective. There are so many stations out there that track a good part of their broadcast day. You can be the best voice tracker in the world and not hold a candle to good, live and local talent. Your jocks must be connective and relatable to your audience. Anyone can go on air and read liners; it's the ones that can reach through the speakers and touch a listener who may be looking for encouragement that really make the difference. Plus we've got the best air staff on the planet here at KLTY so that's a huge factor!
7. What music currently has your ear? Any new artists that you can't get enough of?
I absolutely love the new music that has come out on 2012. From new artists like Jamie Grace and Dara Maclean to established artists like Phillips, Craig & Dean. There is so much great music out there right now! Jamie Grace is an unbelievable talent. She has a bright personality and such presence. And her music strikes a chord that reaches both moms and their kids.
8. If you could have any other job outside radio or the music industry, what would it be?
A full-time storm chaser. I need to figure a way to get paid for that first....
9. Any favorite or funny artist run-ins? Highlights from a promotion or interview?
I was at my first GMA and I got on the glass elevators with an obvious rock band (tattoos, piercing, spiky hair, etc). I had no clue who they were but I was courteous and said hello. As the elevator descends into the lobby area, I see a 4-story high banner of said rock band hanging in the lobby. Oh, you guys are Kutless, nice to meet you.
At Celebrate Freedom several years ago, it's a dry, hot day as usual for DFW in the summer and Jeremy Camp tells the story of how he lost his first wife. As he's telling it, a black cloud comes over the field we were in and slowly starts to sprinkle. It was as if heaven was crying with us all. I still get chill bumps thinking of that moment.
10. Do you have any favorite hobbies outside of radio?
Storm chasing! My goal this year is to get closer to a tornado then I ever have been. Hopefully you'll see some of my footage on the Weather Channel or NBC News or something.
1. If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want to have with you and why?
My wife and two daughters. I couldn't live without them anyway, so why not be stranded with them? It better be a nice desert island like Aruba or something.
2. For someone vacationing in your market, what one thing would you say they "must see?"
Go downtown and see the Grassy Knoll and the School Book Depository where JFK was assassinated. I've never been there but I heard it's a "must see."