10 Questions with ... Crash Poteet
May 22, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- KIXQ Joplin, Missouri PD/Mornings
- KTST Oklahoma City PD/Mornings
- KTYS Dallas PD/Mornings
- KSCS Dallas PD
- KJKE Oklahoma City MD/Mornings
1) Your bio says you made up your mind to make a career in radio at the age of seven after meeting a DJ. Can you remember what left such a great impression on you about the meeting?
Sure can. It was the Budweiser Clydesdales at a newly opened mall and I was more intrigued watching the jock from KFSB in Joplin, MO in the station trailer with the logos all over it playing music and working his magic on the mic. The station was owned by John David (now Executive Vice President of Radio for the NAB) and his jocks actually did their entire show live on location.
2) How did you manage to get your first part time air shirt at the age of 14 and what did your parents think?
My dad had a rebuilt motor business and dropped a hint to his radio sales rep that I was looking for work. I can't remember if he had to buy a schedule or not :) but ended up getting the mid-6am Sunday morning show at WMBH in Joplin, MO. My parents were very supportive and my Dad actually had to drive me to and from and sleep on the station couch all night since it was illegal for minors to work those hours unattended. Not every parent would make that kind of sacrifice and I'm grateful that mine did.
3) What do you remember most from your first years in radio? Was anything a big surprise to you and what kinds of things have stayed with you through the years?
First, the quick reality check when I saw how small and cramped the studio was compared to this bigger than life, high-tech palace that I had conjured up in my head when listening. The smell of smoke (everybody went through a pack or two while they were on the air) the sound of that big monstrous AP machine pecking away all night and more 45's than I'd ever seen in one place. My first night I was so nervous that I opened the mic but forgot to pot up the rotary dial so every time I talked there was dead air. This went on for the first three hours until the jock that I had relieved called me half-drunk to tell me what I was doing wrong! Early lessons learned included not beating myself up over bad breaks and that hot aircheck that I couldn't wait to go home to listen to right after I got off the air usually wasn't as good (or as bad) as I thought it was! As I gained more airtime in various dayparts I learned the power of forward momentum, keeping energy high and writing breaks that led with hooks to get and keep the listener's attention. My PD was a stickler for these things and would leave me notes reminding me "not to say the call letters going into spots, let the next song start before talking and hit the damn post!"
4) Alright Crash, tell us how you got that nickname!
I actually had three accidents in one day on Friday September 13th, 1985 so I had a history of poor driving (as practice) for my big finale in 1994 when I crashed the station's promotional van. The owner of the station was legendary Top 40 jock Chuck Dunaway and we had just launched KAT 102.5 in Joplin, Mo. (now KIX 102.5) and he immediately gave me the nickname and spun it into a station promotion including "location drops" where listeners could come by to sign a get well banner while I recuperated in the hospital. Fun aside, I was first pronounced dead and was cut out with the jaws of life but ended up with only a punctured lung and some facial plastic surgery.
5) I guess I should call you Reverend Crash, since you are an ordained minister. Is it true that you have wed some of your listeners and what sparked that idea?
The idea was sparked by a station promotion where we wanted to do a mass listener marriage at an Oklahoma City Krispy Kreme. I had heard that Terry Dorsey at KSCS in Dallas had been ordained to do something similar so I researched it and found the Universal Life Church, paid my fee, filed with the county and got the license to marry people legally. Since then I performed around 50 ceremonies including on tops of water park rides, ejection/sling shot seats at State Fairs, NASCAR infields and some traditional ceremonies at listener's requests.
6) I guess it's always been about radio for you because you even met your wife during a station promotion. Tell us how you managed to get a date out of a Valentines Day Divorce promotion.
We needed an attorney's help in giving away a romantic Valentines Day Divorce in 1998 at KTST in Oklahoma City. I was new in town and my Promotions Director suggested a female attorney that his brother had used recently. We hit it off, did the promotion, started dating and got married within a year! Not sure I'd do another free divorce promotion but thanks to the backlash we managed to get a great book out of it and I got a wife!
7) It's been just over a year since KJKE was launched. How are things going so far and what upcoming things are you most excited about for the station?
The younger end growth has started and is actually ahead of where we projected. 25-54 is also pacing ahead of where we thought we would be just a year into launch. It's a bit surreal to be competing with a station (KTST) that I programmed in the early 2000's. They have maintained a healthy share and we know that realistically the battle will really heat up over the next 12-18 months. I'm most excited about continuing to work with PD Kevin Christopher and the staff on creating opportunities on air, online and on the streets to expose the market to this untraditional radio branding that is "Jake."
8) You have worked in several markets. What would you say has been your biggest career highlight to date?
No doubt the highlight was programming KTYS (Twister) and KSCS in Dallas. The staffs (Programming, Promotions, Sales, Digital, Engineering) were major league all the way. Working with the likes of OM Ted Stecker, GMs Victor Sansone and Keri Korzenewski and early-on with ABC Programming's Tom Cuddy was a privilege. Have to admit seeing the station's first ever PPM cume of 1,000,000 ranks right up there with the sweetest of the sweet highlights!
9) What's more fun for you, being on the air or programming and why?
I enjoy both equally. Programming lets me be creative in a number of different ways with a "slap" of the "biz" part of showbiz (budgets, personnel ratings, etc) while on air lends itself to leaving it all at the door and focusing solely on communicating with someone in an engaging way while still promoting the benefits of the station. Truly an art form that to me is the "show" part of radio showbiz. I do think it's important for anyone in programming to be on the air to really get a feel for what's working.
10) If someone were vacationing in your market in Oklahoma City, what is one thing they you would say they must see?
I would suggest seeing it LAST because of its somberness but the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum is incredible. It's a dignified, tasteful and historical tribute to the April 19th, 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building.
1) What was the first album you ever bought?
Other than the K-TEL Compilation Albums I needed for my "bedroom radio station" the first was the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack.
2) What do you do for fun when you are not working?
Big Nebraska Football fan and a casual cigar smoker.
3) Who would you most like to have dinner with (living or dead)?
Non Celeb-My Aunt Marge (deceased)