10 Questions with ... Gabe Reynolds
November 13, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WWCT (Rock 106)/Peoria, IL 1995-1997
- Smooth Jazz 96.5/Cool FM 92.3/Channel 94.3/96.5 The Point/Rock 105.7/Rock 96.5 Peoria, IL 1997 - 2006 (lots of stations, same company)
- Production Dir. at the Broadcast House in Lincoln, NE 2006-2007
- 99.9 The Buzz/Peoria, IL 2007 - 2009
- Rock 106.1/Savannah, GA 2009 and counting
1) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
I picked radio because I always looked at it as a combination of two of my favorite things, music and theatre. The defining moment came in my high school math class, which I completely sucked at. My math teacher, Mr. Montgomery, had a poster on his wall that was titled "When Will I Ever Use This Stuff" and it was a big graph which listed different jobs and what type of math you would need for those jobs. Well, I found Radio DJ and then started scanning and according to the graph the only thing I needed to know was "Numerical Order." Of course, it was just a few years later when I learned that the graph was a filthy liar.
2) If you were just starting out in radio, knowing now what you didn't then, would you still do it?
In a heartbeat.
3) How long have you been at WFXH and what makes this station so unique?
It will be four years in March. It's tough to be unique in this business because chances are most ideas have already been done ten times over. I think what makes us stand out in the market is that we're local and out having fun, we're not scared to take a risk, and we're more than willing to make a fool of ourselves if and when it's necessary.
4) You are running the nationally syndicated Lex & Terry Morning Show. How is it working for you?
Lex & Terry have been on the station for over 10 years and they are such a huge part of who we are. At this point I can't imagine any other morning show on WFXH, it just wouldn't sound right.
5) You do afternoons on the station as Kotter. Why Kotter?
I was given the nickname by Derek Story many years ago at WWCT/ Peoria, IL when I took over as the morning show stunt boy. It comes from the TV show "Welcome Back Kotter." The lead character's name was Gabe Kotter, my first name is Gabe, so there you go. Never thought it would stick as long as it has but hey, it could have been a whole lot worse.
6) Let's talk about the music on Rock 106.1. Does the lifestyle of a community like Savannah influence the music you play on your station at all?
Yes, but Savannah is such a unique market with the military, SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design), Paula Deen, the historic district and then you throw in Hilton Head and South Carolina and it can be very easy to want to over program and try to be everything to everyone. For us it was about finding our niche and our audience and serving them. So while SCAD students and Paula Deen fans aren't going to be our P1s, the military on the other hand is a group we keep in mind while selecting songs and writing imaging.
7) What's your take on current music in the Active Rock format? Is it as good as six months ago, better, or about the same?
I think we're at a place with the music industry and/or the format where it's tough to say the music is better or worse now than it was six months ago, six weeks ago or whatever. At this point it kind of seems it is what it is. We'll always have core artists that will usually deliver solid stuff, there will always be songs that are just filler and there will always bands that are this close to breaking. Personally I think one of the most important things we can do as a format is to embrace the new bands that make sense and help them grow into core artist. Personally it makes me happy to see bands like The Black Keys, Volbeat and Rise Against getting more and more love from the format.
8) How does your station utilize social media as a marketing tool?
Currently our main focus is Facebook and Twitter. Sure we use Facebook to help promote station events and promotions, but more than anything we use Facebook to help promote the lifestyle of the station and interact with our listeners. You can get more listener interaction from posting a random picture on Facebook than you can at a two-hour remote at a car dealership. Twitter, on the other hand, has become more of a promotional output source, while still using it to interact when possible. We've also set up a separate Twitter and Facebook accounts to help promote our current Rock 106.1 Ninja Promotion.
9) How has WFXH navigated its station web site to better the station as a whole?
Like a lot of stations I don't think we've used our website to its full potential, but we're hoping to change that in 2013. We've got a plan to take the website into a different direction to better fit the lifestyle of our listeners and give them more of a reason to make it a daily destination.
10) What is Adventure Radio all about?
For me it's been about re-embracing what I've always loved about radio. Being local, having fun and becoming a part of the listeners' lives instead of just noise in the background.
Are you more a TV or movie guy and what are some of your favorites of each?
Always thought I was more of a movie guy, but lately it's been all about TV ... Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Dr. Who, Sons of Anarchy. As for movies you can't go wrong with Kevin Smith, Star Wars or anything Quentin Tarantino.
What do you like to do to relax when you're not fully in radio mode?
First and foremost, I try and spend as much time as I can with my wife and daughters. After that its theatre and improve.
You're stuck on a deserted island and you only have 5 CDs with you. What are they?
- Queen - Classic Queen
- Rush - Moving Pictures
- Apaches of Paris - Fireman's Daughter
- Stone Temple Pilots - Core
- Pulp Fiction Soundtrack