10 Questions with ... Kenny Wall
August 20, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I've programmed stations from Pennsylvania to Sydney, Australia. Most of my stations were in the south. WRAX-Birmingham, KMYZ-Tulsa, KDJE-Little Rock to name a few.
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
My first gig was in Morrilton, AR working at KVOM (Voice of Morrilton, VOM, get it?). Stan Willis was the Owner/GM and he taught me the basics of how to be a DJ and he taught me how to be a good boss, too. Another GM who helped shape my management style is Dale Daniels in Fayetteville, AR. The man is a genius. And one more: Chuck Browning, formerly of KMYZ. He came from the programming side and taught me a TON of good stuff.
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it"?
I listened to the radio non-stop as a kid. I loved music and thought it would be the coolest job in the world to be a radio DJ.
3) How long have you been at WBSX (97.9 X) and what makes this station so unique?
I've been at 979X for about a year-and-a-half. We're unique in the fact we straddle that line between Alternative and Active Rock. You'll hear everything from AWOLNATION to Aerosmith on 979x.
4) You have the dual role as PD and afternoon-show host ... how do you balance your time so both roles are effective?
Well, first off, I suck on the air. But when I'm not doing "PD ttuff," I'm researching and prepping to do the best shift I can. Cumulus provides us with great prepping tools and I use them religiously.
5) WBSX is a Cumulus station and I know about the weekly music calls with corporate. How much autonomy do you have in playing Rock that works for your market?
As far as the Rock stations go, we have a lot more autonomy than most people realize. I, along with Val Garris (Rock format captain), work together in determining what's best for the station. I suggest music to Val and more often than not, get to add what I want. He really helps with rotations, too. He sees a lot of research that I don't get to see and that comes in real handy.
6) What's your take on current Active Rock music? Is it as good as six months or a year ago, better, or about the same?
The Active Rock format is in pretty good shape with all the superstar acts coming out with new stuff. The resurgence of some of the '90s bands are definitely helping things out as well. Alice In Chains, Filter, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, etc. are really connecting.
7) You guys run the "Free Beer & How Wings" morning show. How is that working for the station?
They are KILLING it in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton! They do everything they can to help us localize the show by cutting liners, forecasts, etc. My morning show producer, Adam Sieminski, is amazing at putting everything together in the morning. It truly sounds local (but we don't hide the fact they are syndicated).
8) How much does WBSX use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to interact with its listeners?
We don't use Twitter that much, nut we are constantly "Facebooking." Social media is the new request line. You get to interact with the audience 24/7. When I'm at home surfing, if I see something cool, I'll post it to the station's Facebook page right then. So we're doing it in all hours.
9) What's the best promotion you ran during the recent Spring ratings period?
We sent two listeners to the opening day of the Mayhem Festival in California. Good to get somebody out to somewhere warm!
10) I know you're originally from Arkansas but now you live in Pennsylvania. Are you still a Razorback fan or are you now a Nittany Lions fan?
I'm still a HUGE Razorback fan. Northeast PA is more of a pro football area. You see a lot more Eagles/Steelers/Giants bumper stickers than Nittany Lions stuff.
What is your favorite lunch time fare...sushi or sandwich?
Sushi, hands down. However, I've found a really good Thai place where I get curry that makes my nose run!
You're stuck on a deserted island and you only have five CDs with you. What are they?
"Red Headed Stranger" by Willie Nelson, "Gold & Platinum" from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rick Springfield's Greatest Hits, Eagles' Greatest Hits Vol 1 & 2.