10 Questions with ... Checka Cee
January 19, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in New York City at Bad Boy records as an Intern in 2003. Then I worked as an Intern for Wendy Williams' show on WBLS, at the same time I Interned for WKTU (The Beat of New York). By 2005 I ended up getting hired as promotions assistant there at WKTU. In 2007 I work for Westwood-One producing traffic in the metro area and working my first on-air gig at Jamz 96.3 in Albany NY where I drove every weekend for a two hour ride to make $7.00 an hour on a four hour shift (hey it paid for my gas.) In 2008, I then moved to Columbus GA for my first full time on-air gig doing middays on Urban (Foxie 105) and nights on Hot AC (Mix 95.7) I spend two years there, and then I landed a gig in Atlanta on Top 40 station Wild 105.7 in 2010 for a few years. After they flipped to alternative, I switched over to Star 94 to work for the morning show.
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
When I was in college, I thought my major was going to be nursing because I knew I wanted to help people in someway. But a mentor at the college suggested I try the Radio and TV program on campus. I started my own radio show on campus and the rest is history.
2) Who do you consider your radio mentors?
My radio mentor has to be J.D. Redman who was my MD at the first radio station that gave me my first shot on the air, Jamz 96.3 in Albany, NY.
3) What makes the Atlanta market unique? How does this compare to other markets or stations you have worked at?
Atlanta has its own home feel that everyone adopts even if they're not from here. I started in NYC and it is comparable to Atlanta. It is super fast paced, so sometimes you loose the culture in the race. But Atlanta is a big market in its own right and keeps a strong identity.
4) What is it about your show that you feel really makes it cut through?
It's probably my Jersey accent that never goes away. Plus, I interact with listeners all the time. I talk to them about what they are doing on that specific day.
5) How are you using social media to market your radio station and your show?
I try to incorporate videos of what's going on in the studio while I'm on the air so listeners can get a piece of the station and myself all in one breath.
6) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
I wouldn't say it's an issue, but it's definitely a challenge, and that would be social media. Making your stations numbers grow on-air is one thing, but making them grow online is a whole other beast.
Now that we can connect directly with listeners online, I try and follow what they are doing and what their everyday looks like. Then I connect with them through the airwaves!
7) What can we be doing with our station web sites to better our stations as a whole?
Making the website easy on the eyes is the first most important. Giving viewers a search bar to find whatever they came to look for is the most basic. However, the site has to reflect the overall image of the station and what we represent.
8) What do you like best about working in the Hot/AC formats compared to other genres?
I personally like that we have older women listening who just tune in to keep their cool. The fact that we are an outlet for these hard working women who just need some musical therapy is gratifying.
9) What advice would you give people new to the business?
Get what you can out of the business. Be confident enough to make your own decisions, and never be intimidated enough where you can't bring an idea to the table!
10) What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
I've always been true to myself and my listeners! And persistent enough to leave my mark anywhere I go!
What do you do in your spare time?
I run, read, and I just try to be as lazy as possible! :)
Who is the most amazing talent you've worked with?
Wendy Williams! And still to this day I am a fan of her work!
What is the most rewarding promotion or activity your station has ever been involved with to benefit the community or a charity?
The biggest community event was the CHOA (Children's Healthcare of Atlanta) event where we helped to raise funds for these young children with illnesses and really owned every inch of it. We broadcast from the hospital and got to know the nurses, parents, children and their stories. There's never an event more successful!
Do you have any good stalker stories? Misty requests? "Fatal Attractions?"
When I worked in Columbus GA, I had a fan that really loved me so much, she would wait outside the station until I got off to try and talk to me. She'd send me jewelry and letters in the mail all the time. I know she meant well, but I always had four eyes looking behind me at night when I went home. :/