10 Questions with ... Katie Barr
September 9, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
My first job in radio was as an Intern in 2001 for Wine Country Radio (specifically KSXY and KRSH). I worked in the promotions department, and assisted the office manager. I was thirsty to learn anything and everything associated with radio. While in college at San Francisco State University, I worked as a Promotions Assistant for the legendary KFRC (99.7), where I met some amazing people and got my "large market" experience. I was there from 2003 to 2005.
When I graduated from San Francisco State Danny Wright offered me a job in promotions at KSXY/Santa Rosa which put me back at Wine Country Radio in 2006. In 2007 I was asked by Nate Matthews, PD of our sister station KRSH, to take over as the Promotions Director, and assume midday DJ responsibilities.
In August of 2011 I was promoted to the PD chair at KRSH, which was a fun and challenging role that I was happy to grow into.
In 2013 after having the cutest daughter in the whole wide world and taking a short break from radio, I was invited to work with Danny Wright once again, and I jumped at the opportunity to take over middays and webmaster duties at KMHX (Mix 104.9)/Santa Rosa. It's been a fabulous adventure, and I look forward to my future with Sonoma Media Group. Yeah!
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
Music! I obsessively listened to the radio as a teenager so that I could be the first to hear the best new music. I was a speech and debate nerd as well. So I was no stranger to microphones and talking. When I took my high school career test, "Radio DJ" came up as a good path for me...and I followed that path!
2) Who do you consider your radio mentors?
Well, I listened to Lara Scott a lot when I was a teenager (now at KFSH/Los Angeles), so I'd have to throw her name in there. But personally, the people that stand out are Danny Wright, Nate Matthews, and Bill Bowker. I've known all of them since I was 17 years old. They are responsible for the opportunities that I've had in the business thus far. I've learned very different things from each of them!
3) What is it about your show that you feel really makes it cut through?
I don't pretend to be slick. I think our listeners are fully aware that I'm a strange silly lady. That cuts through!
4) Who is the most amazing talent you've worked with?
As a radio listener, I've always been a fan of Brian Griffith here in Santa Rosa. I think Brian has a huge wealth of knowledge to share, and I think he is extraordinarily talented in sharing that knowledge and making it relatable and fun over the air. He's also a fantastic Emcee and an all around cool guy! Yay Brian!
5) What makes the Santa Rosa market unique?
I think we're a very friendly market. Most of us have worked together and are friends. It feels like we support one another.
6) Tell us what music we would find on your MP3 player right now and what is it you enjoy about that particular selection?
My MP3 player is filled with more Jazz/Torch ladies than you can wave a stick at! I can't help but love the classic sounds of women like Billie Holiday, Blossom Dearie, Etta James, or Marlene Dietrich. They are innocent and playful, but also mournful, mysterious, and sexy. It's probably why I love artist like Adele, Amy Winehouse, Fiona Apple, Ingrid Michaelson, etc. You'll also find every White Stripes album there is!
7) What was the biggest gaffe you've made on air?
Oh, there have been so many! I think the biggest was leaving my mic on live when I was voice-tracking for a future shift. That was embarrassing, and my PD came running into the studio, "Did you know that's going over the air?!" Oops!
8) Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
I would love to have better production skills. Sure, I can do all the basics, and put together something decent in the studio. But I wish I knew ALL the tricks! I look at Production Directors in awe.
9) What's the best piece of advice anyone's ever given you?
The best piece of advice I ever received was from one of my old GMs. He told me that I should hold on to my passion for the industry and my varying interests within it. That's led me to explore lots of different roles within the business. I may not love them all, but at least I can say I've tried different things. Somehow I've maintained my passion!
10) What advice would you give people new to the business?
Check your ego at the door, and don't take yourself too seriously. That's actually advice I would give anyone, not just people new to the business!
What do you do in your spare time?
Lately I sit around with my husband, watching our nine-month old daughter. She's great entertainment! Usually, I like to go to see live music, ride my cruiser bicycle, try out new recipes, drink wine with friends, and in the rare quiet moments I really love to read.
What do you like to read?
Mostly fiction. I love period pieces, mysteries, historical fiction, and fantasy. I'd say my favorite author is Agatha Christie. I tried to name our daughter Agatha, but it was a no go with my husband!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
For most of my childhood I wanted to be a chef. But when I was really young, I wanted to be a performer. I used to run around our house with my feather boa on and my microphone in hand performing "concerts" for anyone who would listen.
What is your favorite TV show?
Of all time? Probably "Freaks & Geeks" or Pushing Daisies." What's on right now? "New Girl" or "Mad Men."
Do you have any good stalker stories? Misty requests? "Fatal Attractions?"
Once while I was at an event an adorable young woman came up to me and announced herself as my "stalker." She told me how much she loved my taste in music, and that I was her favorite radio DJ. I was flattered, and joked with her that she was the best stalker ever. We still chat sometimes on Facebook. I got lucky!