10 Questions with ... Matt Stone
October 22, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WKBI/St. Mary's, PA (Top 40) - Nights - 1998-2000
- WGMR/State College, PA (Alternative) - Nights - 2000-2001
- WJAD/Albany, GA (Classic Rock) - Middays - 2001-2002
- Cumulus/Albany, GA - Production Dir. - 2002-2003
- WRRX/Pensacola, FL (Active Rock) APD - 2003-2004
- WSMS/Starkville, MS (Mainstream Rock) PD/Afternoons - 2005-2006
- WMXZ/Destin, FL (Hot AC) - PD/Afternoons - 2006-2007
- WTMT/Asheville, NC (Classic Rock) - PD/Afternoons - 2007-2008
- KRUZ/Santa Barbara, CA (Hot AC) PD/mornings - 2008-2010
- KBBY/Ventura, CA (Hot AC) - PD - 2008-2010
- KSCF/San Diego, CA (Modern AC) APD/MD - 2011-2012
- KHBC/KHWI/KBGX/KKOA/KHNU - Group PD - 2012-Present
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
I have always been a complete music freak! When I was a kid I would play DJ for parties my parents were having. I took request and gave the guests details about the songs they were hearing. I always researched the artists that I listened to. I was show-prepping before I knew what it was! I was that kid that always called a radio station to request songs. I always voted on the smash it or trash it shows. Yeah... I was (and still am) a radio nerd. I knew I wanted to be in radio when I was a kid listening to our hometown morning guys John and Erik on WKBI in Saint Mary's, PA and thinking, "Those guys are having so much fun, and that's what they do for a living." Then after hearing Paulsen and Krenn (best morning show ever) on WDVE Pittsburg I knew that radio was what I wanted to do. Since then, I have been very fortunate to be able to do radio in some great markets! Now I am living the radio dream in Hawaii!
2) What makes Hawaii radio unique? How does this compare to other markets or stations you have worked at?
Our market is part of the most isolated island chain in the world so that makes it quite a bit different than anything I have ever seen on the mainland. You have your AC, Classic Rock and Classic Hits stations that are all very well programmed. Then there are stations here that are programmed with 100 percent local music. They play the kind of stuff that will never see national "charts." You sure wouldn't see that in San Diego! We have no corporate stations here. That makes for a lot of interesting programming. All of the operators on the island are doing good radio. For the size of the market, it is super competitive and as far from cookie cutter as radio can be.
3) What is it about your station that you feel really makes it cut through?
We spent years looking over music sales and local research before deciding on what to do. While the market is very diverse, it has been lacking a solid hit-driven contemporary station. That is what we are bringing. The Wave at 92FM is a solid hit driven very Mainstream Hot AC with a flavor of Island music from artists like Anuhea, The Green, Iration and more. We are still a work in progress. We are building a web site that will be a complete connection to today's music and pop culture with the Hawaii lifestyle. We are already connecting with our audience on Twitter, Facebook, and more. While we wait for the full site to be completed, you can click over to our splash page at www.hawaiiswave.com and listen live or link to Facebook. We have stellar voice talent on the station as well. Charlie Quinn from KYXY in San Diego and Jennifer Markham are both amazing voice talents and complete the sound of the Wave. We have begun our on-air presence with 9,200 songs in a row. Soon we will be on the hunt for a great breakfast show to mold it all together.
4) Who is the most amazing talent you've worked with?
I would without a doubt have to say Sam Bass at KYXY in San Diego. The man is an institution. While I worked with him he celebrated 30 years at the station. That is one of the most unheard of things in this business. After 30 years, Sam still brings in amazing ratings and continuously strives to do a better air-shift and to grow every day.
5) What was the biggest gaffe you've made on air? (dead air ... forget a mic was still on ... etc.)
Ha! I guess enough time has passed that it is safe to tell the story. I was doing nights on an Active Rock station. It was the "Wet Spot Wednesday" segment. We would have girls from the local strip-clubs on-air to give dating and sex advice. It was great radio until... We had a caller ask one of weekly ladies to describe her idea of a dream date. Without hesitation she replied "It would start with dinner at a fancy sushi restaurant, while getting drunk on red wine. Then we'd go home and fuck like animals." ... "And that's all the time we have for "Wet Spot Wednesday" this week, here's Disturbed." I was so nervous all day the next day. I just knew my PD was going to call me in and that I was going to get fired. But amazingly enough when I arrived for my nightly mishap of a radio show, I found out we received tons of love on the segment and zero complaints!
6) What's the best piece of advice anyone's ever given you?
A GM I worked for named Bob Hearion once told me "You will never truly be happy until you fulfill your potential. Love your job everyday, but be ready and willing to make a leap of faith if the right opportunity arises, to take a chance away from security to try something amazing." So far he has been right! I have moved across the country several times and now to an island, and I feel like my radio adventure is just starting!
7) What was most recent book you read?
"The Curse of Lono," by Hunter S. Thompson. He talks about his time in Hawaii in the early 80's. He started off covering the Honolulu Marathon and winds up here on the Big Island. Good stuff.
8) What do you do in your spare time?
Ha! This is small market radio! There isn't much spare time! When I do get to escape, you will find me hiking or swimming with the fishes. I love to snorkel! I can also certainly dig a nice beach day.
9) How do you feel terrestrial radio competes with the satellite radio, Pandora and Internet these days?
Something I didn't know until I arrived on island was that there is no satellite radio here. The island is too far off the grid for it to reach.
On the other hand, Pandora, Spotify, iTunes etc. We certainly do have access to a ton of music listening outlets. That is why it is up to us (the broadcasters) to keep radio relevant by adding and growing stellar personalities to relate to the audience and the format. Stay on point. Deliver your message and music better and more suiting to your demo than everywhere and everyone else and we will come out on top.
10) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
"Less is more." Say as much as you can in the least amount of words.
What is your favorite TV show?
Still "Lost". I never left the island.