10 Questions with ... Kris Daniels
April 14, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in radio at the age of 17 in Flagstaff, AZ at KAFF, worked at the Z-Rock affiliate in phoenix, went on to work at KNIX/Phoenix and Real Country (the Network) as Kris Wilson's producer, also producer for the Saturday night Request Show/ worked in the KNIX research department and weekends on air plus fill ins. I worked at WCHY/ Savannah, GA Worked Middays and Production Director, KUZZ/Bakersfield, CA Nights/MD, KIIM/Tucson/AZ Mornings Max and Kris in the Morning, John Jay and Rich/3rd mic/KRQ/Tucson/AZ, hosted Tucson Nite Live/UPN, Bakersfield/AGM/Marketing/Promotions director for 7 stations/Mornings for Real Rock, Big Country/Fresno, CA Mornings then Middays/APD/MD and now Louisville.
1) Hi Kris! Tell us what new and exciting things are happening at WQNU so far this year?
We are looking forward to a great year of bringing our listeners closer to the new artists that will be impacting radio in the near future with our Q'd up Concert Series. We are teamed up with PBR and bringing great new music to our listeners monthly. We are looking forward to this upcoming Kentucky Derby Season with red carpet parties, concerts and all great things that happen in Louisville around Derby time. As always we are watching our numbers climb as we continue to take on a heritage country station in our market.
2) What separates WQNU from the competition in your opinion?
We are aggressive in our approach to new music. Our imagining director Matt Killion does an incredible job of keeping the station sounding young, hip and in the moment. Our group in Louisville: Promotions, Programming and Sales works very well together.
3) In what ways do you synergize your on-air efforts with social media?
Combining the two is essential for connecting with our listeners, not just in morning drive. I am able to interact with our listener's morning, noon or night about anything. I'll be live blogging through all social medias with our listeners during awards shows, concerts or events--we talk about everything from outfits to performances to daily lives. I was even tweeting during the birth of my 3-year-old son, Jax, to the point that they had to take the phone away from me.
4) You're a west coast girl originally-how do you like living in Kentucky?
This is my 2nd stint in the South; I really enjoy the people and the way of life in Louisville, Kentucky. We live on an acre so we have big bonfires, enjoy being outside in the country. I wish we had bought more land so I could target practice in my backyard. The one thing I miss about the West Coast aside from family and incredible shopping is the weather during spring training.
5) As the daughter of legend programmer Larry Daniels, what was it like growing up-did he encourage you to go into radio?
KNIX was always on in our house and in the car. We only took vacations during summer and winter books. At the family table during out breakfast, we could only talk when the Morning Personality, "W" Steven Martin was talking. We had to be quiet otherwise and if there was "Dead air", the tension would rise. I grew up going to station events, remotes and concerts. One of my favorite concerts that I attended when I was very young was featuring a new artist, Randy Travis, who was opening for Conway Twitty. I met Conway, who had his shirt open, showing his hairy chest and a gaudy gold chain with the initials CT in diamonds. I thought that chain was cool and wished that I could have one like it one day. From the time I was about 7 years old, my dad would ask me what I thought about certain songs and I would give a very descriptive answer. My answer would include what age "demo" would like each song and why. I think in some way my dad did encourage me and didn't even know it.
6) Did you sometimes go to KNIX when you were growing up?
Yes, I loved the vibe at the radio station, it seemed like everyone had fun all the time. I would go into my dad's office while he did the "logs" and I would draw and write commercials (my own of course). I eventually got bored and move on to the studio. I would put everything away for the jocks and stack their records, tapes and carts only if they would let me talk on the radio. I took advantage of every opportunity to be in the parades or any event when they needed a child since I loved being on stage. I thought every kid went to downtown Mill Avenue for the KNIX Tempe New Year's Eve Block Party, little did I know that this event was started by KNIX and the City of Tempe working together. And that my dad was very involved in this planning. This event started out with about 5,000 attending and grew each year, becoming the nation's largest New Year's Eve Block Party.
7) When did you decide that you wanted to make radio a career?
I was going to NAU thinking I wanted to be a Fashion Designer, I got into several of my classes and everyone was caddy and it just wasn't for me. I realized I wanted to try radio, I called my dad for advice he told me to contact a station there in Flagstaff. So I called Guy Christian (who was the owner of KAFF) I told him I wanted to learn about radio and would take whatever shift he had, so I got overnights on the weekends....I was so bad, but he took a chance on me. I lived at that station, I always wanted to be there in the studio or I would go into the prod room and listen to the new music that came in. I did work my way up and started filling in for different shifts, and that was super cool for me.
8) Describe the Daniels & Diaz morning show that you're a part of.
After almost 4 years of hosting a morning show on my own, I was given a partner in October. We have a lot of fun in the morning whether it's "Q Conflict and Resolution" or something I started, called "Facebook Theater". When the microphones are off Diaz and I live different lifestyles, which brings an interesting dynamic every morning to our listeners. It's great that management here has a real focus on "live and local."
9) You are in school finishing up a psychology degree- that's really great-how do you intend to combine that with your radio career?
The Country audience loves to share their situations in life and hear what others are going through as well. Maybe that's because they can relate. There's a song for that (there's a song for everything in country music), and with a degree in Psychology and a passion for country music, this is a natural fit. This would not be a drawn out show, but a show that is ppm friendly, right to the point and a lot of music. There is not a show like this and I feel it would do really well in country radio. I'm planning on getting my Masters Degree in Industrial and Organizational Behavior, then move on to a Phd or Psyd in counseling.
10) Are you also interested in making TV part of your career and if so, how?
Yes, through out my career I've done entertainment TV and really enjoyed it. Last year I hosted the red carpet for America's Best Racing (during The Kentucky Derby). I had so much fun and look forward to doing more this year. I feel since a lot of what I do in radio is 'ad lib" it makes it very easy for me to do entertainment TV and I continue to look to do more.
1) What time do you have to get up each day to start working on your morning show?
2) What are your 'go to' foods to keep you going in the morning?
I eat all the time, I do a lot of yogurt, fruit, and almonds...and yes pizza and chips and salsa. To be honest I have a horrible diet. I love coffee. I probably have at least 10 cups in the morning.
3) What fantastic new music (any genre) is playing in your iPod or in your vehicle that you're excited about?
I love all genres of music. I'm always listening to our stations and competitors, new music that we are not playing yet. I love this local band they played sxsw, Houndmouth they are incredible, Sleigh bells, group love, recorded Lana Del Rey not live, Silversun Pickups, Blake Shelton's new music, Tim McGraw's, Kacey Musgraves and Randy Houser--I could go on and on.