10 Questions with ... Kim Iversen
January 16, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- KDVS/Davis, CA - News Reporter for "90.3 KDVS"
- KDND/Sacramento, CA - Intern for "107.9 The End"
- KWOD/Sacramento, CA - Promotions/On-Air weekends for "106.5 KWOD Everything Alternative"
- KCTC/Sacramento, CA - News and Traffic Reporter for "1320AM Air America."
- WAZY/Lafayette, LA - Morning show host - "The WAZY Wakeup Crew with Big Jake and Kim Iversen" and Promotions Director
- WQQB Champaign - Morning Show Host - "Kim Iversen Mornings"
- "Your Time with Kim Iversen" - Syndicated in Portland, Denver, Austin, Milwaukee, Memphis, Indianapolis, Norfolk, Buffalo, Wichita, Fargo, Rapid City, Nashville, Chico-Redding, Dayton, OH, Greenville, NC.
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
Honestly...a boy. I had a huge crush on this guy who mentioned he once did college radio. It sounded fun to me so I looked into it. I went down to the college radio station at UC Davis and I was hooked... to radio, not the guy.
2) Who do you consider your radio mentors?
Oh geez... where to begin? There are really so many people who've helped me get to where I am today. Mainly I would say I attribute a lot of my success to Jack Taddeo. He believed in my abilities as a host when I thought my career would go in other directions.
Jeremy Nicolato (currently the PD of KQXR) was also huge help teaching me the basics and showing me the ropes of running a board and planning a show. He also let me vent to him on a regular basis, a very important quality and often overlooked. This industry can be kind of crazy! It's important to have someone to talk to on a regular basis about it. Someone who can help guide your steps.
3) Please tell us how you got your start in radio, and how you eventually ended up with your own nationally syndicated radio show?
I started off in college radio and Interning at KDND. After my Internship was over, I took a job as the Promotions Coordinator for KWOD just so I could stay in the industry. At that point, I knew I wanted to be on air but I didn't know in what capacity. I moved to New York City to do some television and I realized my passion was in talking and expressing my thoughts (which you don't get to do so often in TV).
I took a job as a morning show co-host on WAZY in Lafayette, IN. It was a huge change from Manhattan, but I knew it was what I wanted to do. Jack Taddeo then contacted me (he had part ownership of WQQB at the time) and convinced me that I was a host and not a co-host. He talked me into taking the morning show over at WQQB in Champaign.
I felt lost and clueless but Jack just let me loose and told me to create whatever I wanted. I did just that and I created many of the features heard on my current syndicated show. From there, I submitted my tape to a stealth posting in All Access for a hosting job in a "big city." I figured I had nothing to lose, so I submitted a tape. From there, Bill Pasha who was the VP of Programming for Entercom at the time called and told me I was in the running to host a syndicated night show. More tapes were sent out to him over the course of a couple of months, and now here I am! We recently struck a deal with United Stations to further grow the show. Of course, the format has changed with the show from its original morning format in Champaign to a music and Talk night show, to it's current All Talk format.
4) Please tell us about some of the segments that you run on your show, including "The Mascara Monologues," "The Why Chromosome," "Psychic Insights," and "Drama Detox."
I really like the idea of diving into the mind of the ordinary person so I created the "Why Chromosome," a panel of men, and the "Mascara Monologues," a panel of women. During these hour long segments we talk about current events, give relationship advice, and of course take a peek into what's going on in the bedroom.
"Psychic Insights" is a fun segment I do once a week with a psychic. People love this stuff. I love this stuff! Its fun to hear what a psychic thinks is going to happen in our lives rather than for us to just speculate.
"Drama Detox" is when I bring on an actual expert in relationships, sex, divorce, addictions etc. and I open the phone lines. People call in with the most bizarre questions and I'm just glad that for that hour I don't have to answer them!
5) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
I think the most important issue we're facing is keeping the creativity and originality in radio. People can get their music from nearly anywhere these days. It's important for radio to continue to provide unique and innovative content to keep people engaged, interested and coming back for more.
6) How do you stay in tune with your audience?
Well, for me that's easy. My show is all about relationships and sex. I just try to have as many and as much as possible!
7) How do you prep yourself for your radio shift?
I have an excellent staff of Producers, Ken Rojas and Jill Crapanzano who do a LOT of work during the day to make sure I am ready each night. As a team we tackle various research, we read the TON of the E-mails that come in from listeners with dilemmas and we decide on the hottest issues facing our audience.
I also try each day to do a little pep talk/mediation session before heading to the studio. It's important to always be sending out positive energy and I try to make sure I'm focused on that before cracking the mic.
8) What was the biggest gaffe you've made on air? (dead air ... forget a mic was still on ... etc.)
I'm lucky I haven't had anything major yet... Obviously, there are the inevitable technical glitches that happen but I haven't had to be dumped yet by my Producers. I wish I could say the same thing about my love life!
9) Tell us what music we would find on your MP3 player right now and what is it you enjoy about that particular selection?
Right now on my iPod Nano I have Jessie J and a few other songs from Gym Class Heroes, Tyga, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and Flo Rida. I didn't realize how all this sounded until I just typed this up. Wow... I need to expand my music a little! Listen, I work out with this Nano, everything has to be upbeat! Don't judge.
10) What is the biggest change that you'd like to see happen in the business?
We need to see more women hosting their own shows. I think women provide a unique perspective that could greatly improve radio if given the reigns.
What is the most rewarding promotion or activity you have ever been involved with to benefit the community or a charity?
The show is involved with an organization called "Stop Child Trafficking Now." Each year there are more than two-million child victims who are trafficked for sex. It's even happening here in the United States in our own backyards. Since my show focuses so much on pleasurable sex, I feel it's important to get involved in preventing atrocious sex crimes.
What are your hobbies?
I love to workout, play Jazz drums, shop, decorate, cook, EAT... snowboard, wakeboard, surf, ice skate. You name it, it's my hobby. It's sort of a running joke with my friends and family, "What are you into this week Kim?"
What advice would you give people new to the business?
I'll tell you what I tell my interns. First, you can't be in radio without being willing to move...a lot. You have to be willing to work really hard and take lots of criticism, and don't be afraid to take risks and be different even if it means breaking the rules.
What are your thoughts on reality shows such as American Idol, X-Factor, and The Voice?
I don't watch them. Do I need to? I feel like I listen to American Idol each time I turn on the radio! It seems like nearly everyone came churning out from that machine.
What do you like to read?
I read a lot of self help books. For one it helps me give answers to my audience when they call asking for advice, and secondly...I need a lot of self help!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to be the President of the United States. I even went as far as to get involved in politics at the age of 11 and wrote an actual bill that I tried to pass through the Idaho state legislature. I even went to speak to the reps and everything! It was a two-year process. Needless to say I later realized I couldn't be president because I have too sketchy of a past (I'm kidding...sort of).
Do you have any good stalker stories? Misty requests? "Fatal Attractions?"
I once received a handwritten letter from someone. I was THRILLED that someone took the time to write me an actual letter rather than an E-mail. I even went on air and raved about how excited I was and how it was written in pencil and everything. This was until listeners started calling in telling me the only reason someone would write me a letter in pencil is because they are in prison!! Sure, enough when I looked deeper into it, the letter was written by an inmate, but not just any inmate, one who was in prison for stalking and assaulting a woman!!
What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
To be true to myself, and to not put on some sort of persona. I've always been myself on air and I have never acted in a way that wasn't me. People who meet me are always surprised that I'm the exact same person in real life as I am on air. I'm me, love it or leave it!