10 Questions with ... Chili Walker
April 28, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WKDY '93
- WKXP '94
- WXXK '95
- WCIZ '96
- WWBN '97
- WWDX '01
- WQBK '02
- WGLF '06
- WOTT '06
- WZOW '07
- WOLF '10
- WKLC - Current
Talk about alphabet soup - and I didn't even include all my part-time stuff!
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
I started at a little AM/FM combo WMBO, WPCX in Auburn, NY. Did a little of everything, from fill-ins to babysitting the interstate trucker network on the overnight. Learned a lot form Jim "Catman" Prell, Uncle Rickey, Mike Dwello and Mike Walsh ... this crew showed me how insane this biz really is ... and I liked it!
2) What led you to a career in radio? Was there a defining moment that made you realize "this is it?"
Actually, yes there was, and it was in college. I was at the local community college (Cayuga Comm. College) went there for TV, thought I wanted to do the stuff like camera man or switcher, someone asked me if I wanted to be on the College radio station, I love music, so I thought why not. That very first shift, I knew I found my calling. That was over 25 years ago!
3) How long have you been at WKLC (Rock 105) and what makes this station so unique?
I just passed my three-year anniversary this month, and this station is a true heritage. Over 35 years, same format, same owner ... and because of that, we have generations that have grown up with the station - we are no doubt the biggest Rock station in the state. We don't care what the world is doing, we focus on what is right for West Virginia and I tell you, I am damn proud to part of this legendary station!
4) You have Bob & Tom in Mornings for Rock 105. How long have they been on the station and how are they performing?
Bob & Tom have been on here for over 15 years, and Dominate! Nuff said!
5) You have the dual role as PD and afternoon host ... how do you balance your time so both roles are effective?
In radio these days, no one wears just one hat anymore. I'm lucky to have a great team, so I delegate what I need to, the rest ... well, just like any other good PD, you just get it done.
6) As a mainstream Rock station, what is your balance between new Rock and Classic Rock? Describe the music position of Rock 105.
With the 35-year heritage, we have to keep a good balance, our core is '80s and '90s with the strong '70s scattered throughout. Strong southern feel here in West Virginia! When it comes to the new stuff, we are very selective, not too heavy.
7) What's your take on current Active and Mainstream Rock music? Is it as good as six months or a year ago, better, or about the same? Elaborate.
There is some good stuff out there. Can't go wrong with Halestorm, Kid Rock, Avenged Sevenfold really has proven themselves to be worthy. Nickelback still is a hit machine even though it's not "cool" to like them -- we all play it and they still rock -- I will stand up and say that every day! Personally, I think the labels are try to force to much Heavy - Active on everyone ... my core doesn't care about that, and I need to watch out for my bottom line. We are one of the top-two stations in the Market P25-54 that is more important to me than anything!
8) Who are your three favorite artists or songs of this past year and why?
- Halestorm - Lzzy only seems to get better & stronger!
- Black Stone Cherry - gotta love the southern vibe
- Avenged Sevenfold - I was not a believer, but they have proven themselves to me with their live show, and the growth in their music!
9) How much does Rock 105 use social media like Facebook and Twitter to help enhance the WKLC experience with its listeners?
Social media has become as important as picking up the phone. It's a direct line to the listeners, we have continued to grow our online footprint and added a social media director in Bayley B (to help out us old farts who just don't want to learn anything new).
10) Finally, you were born and raised in Upstate NY, and are a diehard Boston Red Sox/New England Patriots fan. Why no love for the NY teams?
Lucky for me, I was living in Massachusetts when I developed a love of baseball and football ... I stayed loyal to my teams even when my family moved back to NY - you couldn't pay me to put on a Yankees cap - heck, typing it makes me cringe - GO SOX!
You're stuck on a deserted island and you only have five CDs with you. What are they?
This is always the toughest question, but today ... I will go with:
- Caroline's Spine - Monsoon
- Lisa Loeb - Tails
- Kiss - Destroyer
- Elvis Costello - Spike
- Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell