10 Questions with ... Kendall Weaver
September 11, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I began in radio by taking the radio broadcast course at YV-Tech in Yakima, WA during high school ... a course I went back to teach 20+ years later!
I was on the air in Country, Pop and Oldies in Yakima from 1983 until 1996 in Central Washington, when Arrakis Systems in Colorado came calling. I did tech support for the Digilink automation systems for three years, while also doing a weekend show on the Jones Adult Hit Networks on 125 stations from Denver.
In 1999, I accepted a position with Broadcast Programming/Seattle, which was producing the Delilah show at that point. It was an amazing place to be, with consulting, music logs, music on disc or hard drives, and several syndicated shows including Lia.
I left there to come back to Yakima as PD/morning host at KRSE (AC) for the next five years very successfully, and then accepted the job as Instructor of Radio Broadcasting and Audio Production at YV-Tech and YVCC. Great job, great students ... but the money ran out and the state killed the program!
I passed up some moderate offers, for a position at RCS/Clear Channel in Nebraska, to familiarized myself with Nexgen! Then, missing being in programming, I went to Mankato, MN to do a morning show ... except the GM changed his mind, decided he couldn't afford me, and I never got on the air!
I've written a book about my life in radio called "The American DJ," which you can find at Amazon;
And a little humor book about Facebook addiction! (Download it free)
I also produce the cartoon called "Kendall The DJ" on Youtube.
And here's the demo reel/Aircheck:
Seriously, in modern radio, an air talent certainly needs to be an "entertainer," so I put out as much creative work as I can. Anyone can play the songs, so I try to be part of the show myself. Sounds simple, but many DJs are just doing the weather and naming songs, and that's just not enough anymore.
I've recently moved back to Seattle, and would like to land someplace warm with lots of golf courses. I consider myself skilled as an OM, PD, Promotions Dir. or air talent.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
I listen to others. It's the only way to be sure you're competitive as an air talent. I work to be sure I can provide more than what I normally hear on the air.
2) Some people get discouraged or enlightened with the business when they actually step out of it for a while. Tell us your observations from the outside.
Radio is in a dark place, but the truth is, I've always loved the industry, so I still plan to be in it, and to help keep it as strong as it can be.
3) What's the longest stretch you've had on the beach?
I've bounced around this last two years, which is unlike most of my career. But I like to be sure I can do every job in the building, and my skills set shows that.
4) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
There's a website called AllAccess. Really, it's by far the most utilized for radio openings, although there are just a ton of folks searching these days.
5) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I'd loved to either be a talent/PD at a great station, or Ops Manager, since I love juggling a lot of things at once. Unless Jessica Alba needs a towel guy full-time ... then I'm gone.
6) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied?
Ninety percent of the time, there's no response, good or bad. I salute the radio folks who are professional enough to send a quick e-mail saying thanks. It seems obvious, but many people simply act like the applicant doesn't exist. My resume and video-demo are a good example of my work, yet I don't think most people make it past the first few seconds, if they don't think I'm the "voice" they were hoping for. I'm not a "voice," I'm a personality.
7) Are you finding salaries/benefits lower than you ever thought, about the same, or have you seen some pleasant surprises?
It's shocking to me that stations seem to want a vast amount of experience and then suggest "mid-30s" as the pay level. I'm comfortable saying that I can make my station money, and that I feel I'm worth a decent wage.
8) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
Teaching radio broadcasting at a college level really gave me a chance to analyze the business, and I learned a LOT in three years of trying to teach other people about it!
9) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
Do what you love ... it's the only way to live. But also have a back up; there are not enough jobs in this industry for everyone who wants to be in it.
10) Where do you see yourself in five years? 10 years?
On the air, programming, applying what I've learned all of these years, working with great companies and talented people. I'll always be working to entertain an audience in some way. I'm only happy when I'm being creative.
Any books you can recommend to people who need something inspirational to read?
I can't recommend my own book (although I do, but it seems really self-serving. Sorry about that, but I don't have an agent.) Seriously though, I wrote it and interviewed celebrity radio folks with the idea of celebrating The American DJ. Hopefully I succeeded.