10 Questions with ... Bree Wagner
May 11, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Born and raised in San Antonio, Bree Wagner will celebrate 13 years at KAJA this year.
1. Bree thanks for taking time out for 10 questions! We know you're a local girl, born and raised in San Antonio. What got you interested in radio in the first place?
I was in college, working on a BA in Public Relations. One day someone told me that I never shut up and loved music so much that I should try radio instead. Needless to say, I followed their advice! I applied to work here at KJ the following day and I have been here ever since.
2. We also know you're a diehard Country music fan and, safe to say, someone with an "old soul." You like all kinds of Country, new and old - so what music did you listen to growing up in the Alamo City?
Gosh, I listened to everything. Of course, being that I am from San Antonio, George Strait has always been a staple in my life. I remember listening to he and Johnny Cash and Merle [Haggard] at my grandparents house. My mom had me listening the Cranberries and 10,000 Maniacs in the car. And, when I was alone I jammed out to NKOTB and Boys 2 Men. I guess I am kinda well rounded - well, musically speaking at least.
3. When we talk to you about music, we're always amazed at how much of it you seem to hear each week. With lots of duties at the station and outside appearances too, how do you find time to stay so connected?
It's easy to stay connected at something that you are passionate about. When people send me stuff to listen to, I normally listen in the car, so that I am alone and can really take it in. I also search for new music all the time. I actually found Florida Georgia Line one night when I couldn't sleep and started playing "Cruise" the next day. This was before they were even on BMLG. I did the same thing with Chase Rice and Sam Hunt. I guess my insomnia helps me stay connected in a random way.
4. Speaking of connected, when it comes to staying in touch with listeners, what kind of an edge does being a native San Antonian give you in terms of your airshift?
San Antonio is such an amazing place. I think being able to really approach whether it's a song or a contest from a different angle helps. SA, like any city, has its own lingo. I definitely know how to make songs or promotions relatable to things going on in SA at the moment.
5. Your city has a huge appetite for Country music, between KAJA and its competitor. From what you see watching other markets, what sets San Antonio apart from as far as musical tastes? Is it typical, or do you feel some unique nuances there?
I Definitely think there is a nuance factor here. We are more cutting edge than people give us credit for. While we love ourselves some country music, and of course Texas Country music, that's not the only thing we are into. San Antonio is a huge market for Rock and Hip Hop. And with the way Country music is now, all those elements are already blended in. #winningforSA
6. We keep asking whomever we feature on 10 Questions: What's the deal with female artists? There seem to be so many good ones. How come at least one or two can't break through on the radio?
I think that Country is a format that targets women. Women as you know, are a very unique sex. They/we have a tendency of being a little jealous at times. Women want to listen to women who are not only great singers, someone we can relate to and someone that they don't feel threatened by. Women want the girl next door that could be our best friend singing songs that they have experienced. So, it takes a unique female, like Miranda and Carrie, who can accomplish all of that and skyrocket to superstar status.
7. The station is in the midst of a PD transition, after Travis Moon segued to St. Jude - Can you talk about his influence on KAJA while he was there?
Influence is actually an understatement. He transformed our station around completely. He taught us all to believe in ourselves and to strive to be the best. Words can't describe how blessed we really were to have him for those four years. He also taught us about St Jude and what an amazing place that it is. He stressed to us the importance of knowing that we are there to make a difference in other people's lives. I am forever grateful for everything he taught me.
8. You also work with Randy Carroll, who's been with KAJA for more than 30 years, most of those in mornings. The guy is a legend! What's it like to work with Randy every day?
I get to work with a legend everyday. How freaking cool is that? I grew up listening to KJ and Randy. I remember meeting him when I was in high school and thought that was the coolest thing ever. And, now, I get to call him a colleague. Insane. Randy, has taught me to always be genuine. I think that is something that he has stuck by for three decades. People know who he is and love him for just being him. He is so humble and appreciative of his long-ass career. What people don't really know is how funny he is. Give him one drink and boy, game on.
9. So, thinking of Randy and his long tenure with KAJA, do you also want to stay there as long as you can? Or, would you ever leave the market if a tremendous career opportunity presented itself?
I would love to keep doing my thing at KJ. I want to continue to help the station succeed and continue to grow as long as I am able to. I would consider leaving down the road sometime, if the path was right. I want to help Country music grow as a whole and wherever I am most needed, is where I want to end up.
10. We see a lot of PDs and MDs getting tired of the "Bro-Country" phase - what about listeners in your market? Are they still enjoying that sound as far as you can see?
I think there is still room for it in our format. Our listeners are still loving it and they don't know really what the term "Bro Country" is. They know when they love a song and we feed off of that. But they also are loving the traditional sound too. It's just about learning how to balance them both right now. We've got a good grasp on it and our listeners seem to love what we are doing. That is the most important thing.
1. Let's talk Mexican food: Mi Tiara in Market Square - or Casa Rio on the Riverwalk? .. Or?
I hate driving downtown, 'cause one time I went down a wrong way street and well, long story. I chose to stray away from the chaos and go to El Chaparral in Helotes. It has the best Mexican food in town and yummy beverages too!
2. How many times have you been to the Alamo and did you remember it?
I have been to the Alamo a total of four times. Twice during field trips when I was a kiddo. This year I actually took Josh Thompson. He was more impressed by the guns and knives than my history lesson; don't know why. He was also quite confused where the rest of the Alamo went. It really isn't like you see in the movies.
3. I see you're a Clark High alumni - how many "Gucci Bowl" games have you been to, and can you think of anything nice to say about Churchill HS?
I am such a huge, proud, Clark HS fan. I have been to at least 15 Gucci Bowls. If anyone wants to know what high school football rivalry is really all about in Texas, come with me to the game in the fall. It will change your life. And, no I have nothing nice to say about Churchill. Claw 'em Cougars - oh and Go Spurs Go! (Ask Kevin Post from Blake Shelton's band about this! He went there too and we do the claw 'em gesture when we see each other).