10 Questions with ... Julie Gates
May 9, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- The Gene & Julie Show
- KOSO/Modesto, CA (Hot AC)
- KPEK/Albuquerque, NM (Hot AC)
- KBFB/Dallas, TX (AC)
- KZLA/Los Angeles, CA (Country)
- KZQZ/San Francisco, CA (Top 40/Pop)
- WLTM/Atlanta, GA (AC)
- KIOI/San Francisco, CA (Hot AC)
- KVIL/Dallas, TX (Hot AC) - 2005-2013
- WRAL/Raleigh, NC (AC) - 2014-present
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
One year my parents gave me a Walkman for my birthday. I carried it with me everywhere and slept with it under my pillow. I got my hands on a tape recorder in the fifth grade and did re-enactments of the presidential debates. When I hit high school my dad jokingly said, "If only you spent as much time on your school work as you do memorizing song lyrics." Today we laugh and say I was preparing for a career in the radio business.
2) What's a benefit to being a married couple doing a morning show?
Living in a 24/7 news cycle, we can be exceptionally nimble because we are literally together all the time and can quickly respond to events. One example is the day Michael Jackson died. We knew our community wanted to mourn this incredible loss. We created a gigantic condolence card and arranged to do a live broadcast the following morning from Cowboys Stadium where the American Idol auditions were taking place. Not only were we all over social media and the lead story on all the local newscasts, but we became the lead story on the American Idol Dallas audition episode as well. And much to our surprise, when the final season of Idol started this year we were featured in their promo reel.
3) Please tell us about the thrill you had when you heard your show had won a Marconi Award?
We were stunned when we heard our name, and it felt like everything went into slow motion. Somehow we managed to get to the stage and who knows if we said anything intelligible. We snuck away to call my parents who were screaming their heads off from Seattle, and then we called our 11-year-old daughter Sophia who texted all her friends.
We absolutely love this business and are honored to be recognized. We look at that Marconi every day and use it as motivation to work harder, push ourselves more and get better at what we do.
4) How do you stay in tune with your audience?
Be a good listener. Social media is our greatest tool to see what our core demo is chatting about. Our daughter Sophia loves horseback riding and plays in the school band, so those are great opportunities to ask other families what is going on in their world. Gene is a gourmet cook and wine collector, so we're at restaurants asking servers and bartenders about what people are discussing. I am a busy working mom who is listening to parents in the carpool line and while volunteering as class Room Parent and Girl Scout Troop leader. Like all other moms, I'm trying to keep up with pop culture, and I have been known to fall asleep in the carpool line. More than once.
5) How do you incorporate the station's music into your show?
Recently, we chatted with our listeners about the line from Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself" when he said the meanest line of all "My momma don't like you, and she likes everyone." That lyric really cuts through and gave us an opportunity to talk with our listeners about the time our parents were right about the people we were dating. (Thankfully, my parents love Gene).
Another fun game we did was seeing who could sing higher than Adam Levine. His falsetto is ridiculous. Listeners tried to sing the first line of "Maps" in a falsetto higher than Adam. It was funny and nearly impossible to do. Our artists are an important part of our listener's experience and help connect all of us to the music and the radio station, while still having fun with pop culture.
6) Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
Improv ... I think it would be fun for our entire cast to take improv classes to sharpen our interaction and timing skills.
7) Tell us what music we would find on your phone or MP3 player right now and what is it you enjoy about that particular selection?
DNCE's "Cake by the Ocean" is really fun... JinJoo Lee's guitar is amazing. Coldplay's "Adventure of a Lifetime" makes me dance. And I always have Daft Punk loaded on my phone. I've been annoying everyone in my house by playing "Around the World" nonstop.
8) What is your favorite TV show?
Shark Tank ... my dad was an entrepreneur and Gene and I opened a restaurant together. We have more entrepreneurial ventures in us... including our website www.WorkingCoupleNetwork.com.
9) What do you do in your spare time?
I consume anything metaphysical (videos, podcasts, books), play piano, travel the globe, eat/breathe/live radio, I spend hours in used bookstores with our daughter Sophia, volunteer at her school and mentor college women.
10) What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
Know and respect your listeners. Respond to their comments and messages on social media. Personally answer the studio phone lines. Invite them into the studio for a tour when they are picking-up prizes. Recently, we started personally delivering prizes to our winner's homes and offices and their response has been overwhelmingly positive! They love it! Don't use derogatory words like "Prize Pigs." These are your biggest fans and customers. Respect.
What's your favorite radio commercial?
Home Depot: They use radio really well. Super cool V/O, great music bed, consistent messaging.
What is your favorite TV commercial?
Definitely NOT Puppy Baby Monkey.