10 Questions with ... Frank Edwards
October 16, 2011
1) Growing up in a small town in Texas (Tilden, TX population 425), did you have access to a lot of radio stations and what did you grow up listening to?
I did. I listened mostly to 680 KKYX out of San Antonio. That was when Bill Cody was doing mornings there, and I would have to say listening to him was confirmation that radio is what I wanted to do. I also listened to 99.5 KISS because that's what my friends listened to, and WOAI because I'm a San Antonio Spurs fan and a news junkie.
2) How did you get your first gig in radio and what made you decide that radio was the career for you after getting an agriculture degree?
Well, my degree is in agriculture economics, so I probably spent more time in the business building than the 'ag' building. I got my first radio job when Kingsville had a local radio station. They had an opening for someone to come in on Sunday mornings and play the public service shows, Gospel music, and flip the switch for the 1st Baptist Church to go on the air at 11am. I also was the board op for Friday night football games.
3) Congratulations on being inducted into the inaugural class of the Texas A&M University-Kingsville KTAI Hall of Fame in 2010. Tell us about what that honor meant to you.
It was a great honor, considering I didn't major in Radio/TV, and only worked at the station for about 6 months before I got a job in radio. Some of my fellow students made fun of me when I first started at KTAI because of the way I talk. I remember one guy told me "...you sound like Bill Clinton," to which I responded "...it's working out pretty good for him." I went to Texas A&I because it is a great school close to home (so Mom could wash my clothes) and because it had a college radio station. I thought it would be easy to get on the air at KTAI but I had to bang on their door and bother them for a few years before I finally took a communications class as an elective, and they let me do an air shift. I've stayed in touch with the program and we've hired some stellar employees that got their start at KTAI.
4) Being in Texas, you obviously have a great music scene, unique to your state. Tell us how you incorporate "Texas music" into your programming schedule.
I do a Saturday night show called "K-99's Texas State Line" where we spend two hours featuring new music, established artists like Jack Ingram and Randy Rogers Band, and songs from legends like Gary P. Nunn, Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie and Waylon. I also do a daily feature at 6pm where we interview a "Texas artist" and feature their music.
5) Are there any current Texas artists that you think could make it big nationally?
Wade Bowen. I also like Kyle Park and Granger Smith.
6) How do you like working in Corpus Christi? What do you like best about living and working there?
Corpus Christi is a great town. I'm 90 minutes from hunting and 15 minutes from fishing, though I don't get to do either as much as I'd like. This is my 15th year on the air in Corpus Christi, and I hope I can have at least 15 more. My wife and I are both South Texas natives, and I can't think of a better place to raise our 9th generation Texan than here in the "Sparkling City by the Sea."
7) Tell us about the recent drive for the Red Cross that KRYS held after the Texas wildfires and congrats on raising over $10,000. How were you able to put together the drive in such a short amount of time?
On Labor Day, I came up to the station because we woke up with smoke in Corpus Christi from the Central Texas fires. That day I was in touch with the Red Cross, and the next morning the promotions director at our local NBC affiliate called and together we pulled in various partners and were able to make it happen. We have a great sales team, and they were able to get us a client with trucks to deliver the donations. It is an overused term, but it was a great team-effort.
8) Who are 3 people that have been mentors to you, inside or outside of the industry?
- Mom and Dad - Dad just retired after 46 years in education, the last 28 as school superintendant in Tilden. My brothers and I were blessed that we had a 'stay at home' Mom. Both my brothers were Valedictorian of their high school class, and my youngest brother graduated Summa Cum Laude from A&M-Kingsville. Hardly a day goes by that I don't talk to them on the phone.
- John Richards - he is our General Manager, and used to be a Country Program Director. I've learned a lot from him.
- Jim Harris - my high school ag teacher, and a great friend. In a small town in Texas, being in FFA is part of life, and that's where I had the chance to develop public speaking skills, and even participated in 'Farm Radio Broadcasting' contests.
9) I know you have done a ton of them, so tell us what your favorite radio station promotion has been over the years and why.
We have done many, but a few years ago when Toby Keith came to town, our morning guy Mark Wintrow, made a plywood 'Bin Laden' with a hole in it and we did "Boot Up Bin Laden." People stood 25 feet back and if they threw the boot through the hole, they won tickets. Needless to say, we had a great turnout and good coverage on TV.
10) If you weren't in the radio industry, what career path do you think you would be following?
I'm from a rural area, and agriculture is an important industry. I often thought years ago that if I couldn't get into radio, I'd be doing something in an ag-related field, either marketing, PR, or sales.
1) What's your projection for the rest of the Cowboys season?
2) What's the most listened to thing on your iPod right now?
"Here For A Good Time" album by George Strait
3) What is your favorite place to travel and what should we see there?
Big Bend National Park in West Texas - go to the Chisos Basin in the mountains