10 Questions with ... LA Lloyd
August 30, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I began professionally in 1984 after graduating from Western Carolina University. My radio career has landed me addresses in Myrtle Beach, SC, Asheville, NC, Los Angeles, CA, Norfolk-Virginia Beach, VA, Austin, TX and San Antonio, TX.
1) When did you start Rock 30 and what made you decide this was something you wanted to do?
I began the Rock 30 in 1999 when I was working with Capstar's Star System operations in Austin. At the time, I was voicetracking six different stations per day, including a weekend shift for KNCN/Corpus Christi that was a Rock 30 countdown. I had access to many artists coming through Austin for interviews. I asked the PD could I call it "LA Lloyd's Rock 30" and have segments with artists who had songs on the countdown. My boss at the time, Don Cristi, worked out a clock that could be run universal on our Rock stations within our network. I did one show that was airing on six of our stations. After leaving Star System, all stations asked could I continue the show by sending it out on CD ... which I did. On July 4th, 2000, I did my first "syndicated" show with Dial-Global New York as my rep.
2) Do you remember what artists were dominating the first few Rock 30 Charts?
Kid Rock was my first guest on July 4th, 2000. 3 Doors Down had just exploded with "Kryptonite" ... Creed was still going strong. Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Korn and Godsmack were all core artists on the Rock 30 and, of course, remained the top artists of the entire decade. Many bands had just begun that are still on the chart today, such as Seether, Papa Roach and Saliva. Josey Scott from Saliva is the top co-host, doing the Rock 30 11 times since 2000.
3) How much time do you spend prepping each show and what do you use as sources for your content?
The Rock 30 chart is compiled from the weekly spins of the affiliates that run the show. This makes it more inclusive for each station. In regards to prepping for the co-host interview, I always devote a minimum of one hour trying to get material and ask the questions they haven't heard a million times. YouTube is a valuable source of information because everyone is putting their interviews with bands there.
Many times, bands will give an answer that has nothing to do with the original question in these interviews. I have based many questions from info the band gives in these interviews. Later, the bands will ask me, "How did you know that about us?" My secret is out.
My producer, Holly Davidson, based in Dayton, OH, and I plot out the shows in advance to place the guest co-hosts around topical occurrences i.e. album release dates, tour kick-off, holidays, anniversaries, etc.
4) What was one of your best or most memorable interviews?
I get asked this question a lot from students when I speak at their classes. It actually pre-dates the beginning of the Rock 30 but he has co-hosted many times since the first interview. It is Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters. I was doing afternoons at KROX 101X in Austin. At this time, Dave had just started doing press for the release of the first Foo Fighters album. The local Capitol Records rep had not met him and she was nervous because of, well, he was in Nirvana. Her anxiety led to me getting a bit nervous and there was this tension built up from everyone. Dave walks through the studio, high-fives me, and we go on to have one of the most relaxed entertaining interviews I had done up to that time. Dave Grohl is by far the coolest of them all. He plays music because he loves to, not because he has to.
5) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
First job was at WKZQ in Myrtle Beach, SC. It was the station I listened to while visiting each summer when I was in high school. It was definitely a dream station to work for because all of the jocks sounded like they were having a party on the air every time they opened the mic. No matter if they were in the studio or broadcasting from a nightclub, there was pure energy coming out of my speakers. Some legendary jocks came from that station, including my good friend The Freakin' Deacon, who can still be heard on the air on the Grand Strand today.
My biggest influence before getting into radio was John Lisle who was the night jock at WQDR in Raleigh (Rock format then). Same scenario; I would just get lost in his theatre-of-the-mind persona. He was having fun being on the air and his audience was always guaranteed a great ride when they came along. Some 20 years later ... and currently, John and I both work at KISS San Antonio. It is an honor to work with this legendary personality where his morning show "Lisle and Hahn" is going strong for well over 20 years rocking San Antonio!
6) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it?
Oh yes, for sure. I love radio and everything about it. My favorite quote when asked about my career is, "I've gone from 45s to hard drives." You have to keep up with the changes of your industry no matter what you're doing. I truly look forward to being on the air ... daily on 99.5 KISS and each week hosting "LA Lloyd's Rock 30." I was at a seminar once where Rick Dees basically said how much he enjoyed getting up and doing his morning show every day. He went on to say when that passion ended; he would hang up the headphones. I pretty much have that exact same philosophy. Glad Rick is still on the air ... legend, period!
7) How do you feel terrestrial radio competes with the satellite radio and Internet these days?
As time moves forward we have seen satellite radio not being the profit monster it was projected to be. Satellite is a competitor but terrestrial radio collectively still reaches more listeners than any other medium. The real competitor is Wi-Fi in autos. It's not coming ... it's here!
8) Where do you see the industry and yourself five years from now?
I will have to continue where I left off in question 7. I see the auto industry moving quickly to get Internet radio into vehicles. Currently it is a little work to play Internet radio in your car ... either by plugging your smartphone into the aux port or using Bluetooth technology. When it becomes a battle of the presets with Internet radio and terrestrial radio ... that is when you are going to see the smart companies who are adapting now lead the way and the ones who waited will be left behind.
Cox Media Group, the company I work for, is constantly looking for ways to make their radio/TV/newspaper properties work together as the digital age becomes more prevalent to our consumers. Along with my duties hosting the Rock 30 and on-air at 99.5 KISS, I am PD for an Internet radio station for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper owned by Cox. Austin360 Radio (www.austin360radio.com) is geared to the thriving music scene in Austin working in conjunction with the entertainment division of the newspaper. The newspaper/radio bundle gives its advertisers a new means to reach additional customers. I hope to continue in this area by expanding new ideas to be competitive in an ever changing digital world.
9) What career path would you be following had it not been for this industry?
Well, I love great wine and trying different foods ... so maybe something in the culinary industry. Recently, I have become a fan of Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" on the Travel Channel. He gets to enjoy cuisine, wine and beer from all over the world and narrates the story. He is a personality who easily relates to what you need to do to be great on the radio.
10) What makes your station or market unique? How does this compare to other markets or stations you have worked at?
99.5 KISS is legendary and has managed to move forward with the current climate of Rock music and the radio industry. I think it is safe to say most of my radio peers, record promo folks and even bands would give this station the utmost respect it deserves. Virgil Thompson brought me on board in 2005 and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my career. The knowledge I have learned from the Cox Media Group has made me a better programmer with the focused strategy every station in the group lives by no matter what the format is.
What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
Gonna show my age a little here ... but the big CB radio boom when I was a kid is really what did it for me. I just found it astounding that people would reply or comment to something I said on the radio. Essentially, I learned from this early experience, you need to say something compelling and get your audience to interact with you. Today, it's the same thing, but is known as social networks.
What can we be doing with our station websites to better our stations as a whole?
The key is to constantly update the radio website. When stations use Facebook in addition to their homepage, make sure to make the posts with an interactive twist. For example, don't just post you have tickets to giveaway for a concert. Promote the tickets but also ask a question with your post like "What is the one song you hope (artist) performs when they come to town?"
How have music file sharing services, affected the way you program to your audience?
I do pay close attention to artists related to my format in regards to the amount of play/downloads they are getting. I use this the same way I track album sales that I have done for years.
Who would be your dream guest on the show?
Axl Rose because no one has had that brilliant interview ... yet. Still waiting for the chance, Axl.
What singer/performer/artist really inspires you and why?
Lady Gaga. I think she is the most talented artist/performer who has come around in a LONG time. You can scale back the hair, costumes and the flair and you still have a brilliant talent. I love the way she inspires all her fans to accept who they are and be proud of it!