10 Questions with ... Pepper
May 21, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- KXTE/Las Vegas - Part-Time On-Air/Web Assistant - 2008-2010
- KNDD Seattle And Radio Spokane - Part-Time On-Air - 2010
- KMXW/Reno, NV - APD/MD/afternoons - 2010 To Present
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
I've always had a huge passion for music, and knew I wanted to work in the business somehow. People always told me I had an unusual voice as well. I then went to college for photography, but all I ever wanted to shoot were concerts. So my teachers told me to get into broadcasting. Now five years later, here I am!
2) Who do you consider your radio mentors?
Chris Ripley gave me my first break in radio and is the reason I ended up here in Reno. I learned so much from him (as much as I could really) except how to be Zen in this chaotic environment. I'm still working on that one! Rob Brooks is my current mentor and boss. He's showed me an entirely new side to this business and lets me run MIX 100.9 for him. Rob has a knack for producing Rock Stars so I'm hoping I'll be the next one... Ugh! I hope that doesn't sound too snobbish.
3) What is it about your station that you feel really makes it cut through?
Right now I think we're the only station in Reno that really prides ourselves on making the music the most important thing and not talking constantly. Even though Reno is a diary market, we're trying to lean a little bit towards the PPM way of things. Short, sweet, simple, to the point, and keep it all about forward momentum.
4) How are you using social media to market your radio station?
Our Facebook and Twitter are a direct link to our listeners and it's really cool to be able to break that jock/listener barrier with social media. We keep our sites updated every day with local content, music videos, contests, celebrity news, remote info, etc. Social media is a huge part of radio these days and we try to use it as much as possible to connect with listeners and get direct feedback on the station.
5) How do you stay in tune with your audience?
It's a little more difficult now. We want soccer moms to listen to us and I'm the complete opposite of that so I go in everyday as if I were being introduced to my boyfriend's mom for the first time. Nice, Cheerful, Sassy, and I always think before I open my mouth! Celebrity gossip is a big thing for us too so I try to read Perez Hilton, E! News and watch The Voice when I can. It's important to stay current for sure. Luckily the artists we play are always in the news!
7) What was the biggest gaffe you've made on air? (dead air ... forget a mic was still on ... etc.)
When I first started at KRZQ and reunited with my boss Ripley from KXTE, we did this thing called "The ReQued Weekend" which was a lot like what we did at X1075, but it was called "The Rewind Weekend" there. Anyway, we joked about me probably screwing up the name on air and sure enough I did... as my boss was listening. I got a few nerf darts to the face for that one.
8) Tell us what music we would find on your MP3 player right now and what is it you enjoy about that particular selection?
New Fiona Apple all day, every day, and I only have one song! Ha Ha... Damien Jurado's new album is on repeat as well. That guy has a way with words and that voice! Oh and I still can't stop listening to my favorite albums from last year: Okkervil River & The Decemberists.
9) What has been your station's biggest accomplishment?
Our first book! We got really great ratings and it was cool to see some of our Alternative listeners stick around to check out the new station.
10) What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
A little humiliation goes a long way... and don't let the door hit you on your way out! (I kid). Honestly, Conan O'Brien said it best "if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen."
What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
I have a weird fascination with Sasquatch and UFOs and ghosts. I'm constantly watching the History Channel. I'd love to go on a hunt for Bigfoot or dive with sharks. I love shark attack stories! Basically I'm really creepy.
What's your favorite radio commercial?
Right now we're running a commercial for an adult toy company in town and it's hilarious. I voice a character named Anna Conda who's blasting off on a rocket in space. You almost don't even realize what the spot is about, and it's really funny how it throws people when they hear it.
Besides your own, what is your favorite radio format?
Alternative for sure! I've got my fingers crossed for a big Alt comeback. Thank goodness for KNDD and KNRK!
Favorite artist you have met?
John Mayer was a big one for me. That definitely fulfilled all of my 13 year old girly dreams. My embarrassing love for John Mayer is probably the most Hot AC thing about me and I'm okay with that.
Who is your best friend in the business?
A.J. Miller (Ralph from KRZQ) - He survived the big flip with me and is an amazing production director. Having him with me every day makes work 10x more fun. He's got a bright future ahead of him.
What is the biggest change that you'd like to see happen in the business?
I don't want to see the music take such a huge backseat. I mean I know we all have to make money, but the music itself is why people tune in, and I don't want that to get lost in the shuffle.
What advice would you give people new to the business?
Intern, pay your dues, work your butt off, volunteer for everything, and don't complain! Radio is such a great business to be in, but if you aren't in love with it... get out!