10 Questions with ... Danny Ryan
October 20, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- KQFC/Boise, ID - Morning stunt guy/producer, 1999-2002
- KZMG/Boise, ID - Weekends/fill nights/Street team, 1999-2002
- KQFC, KIZN, KKGL, KZNG/Boise, ID - Promotions/engineer, 1999-2002
- KATM/Modesto/Stockton, CA - Overnights, 2002-2003
- KHKK/Modesto-Stockton, CA - Mornings fill-in, 2002-2003
- KEGA/Salt Lake City, UT - Nights, 2003-2004
- KEGA/Salt Lake City, UT - Middays/Imaging Assistant, 2003-2004
- KRPQ/Santa Rosa, CA - Afternoons, 2004-2005
- KKCY Yuba City, CA - Mornings 2005-2006
- KYGO/Denver - Nights/overnights/weekends/afternoon fill-in, 2006-2009
- KMBQ/Wasilla/Palmer PD/Afternoons/Production Dir./Imaging Dir., 2009-2012
- KNIK & KMVN/Anchorage, AK PD, afternoons (KMVN) 2012-2014
- Alaska Integrated Media, VP/Programming/afternoons (KMVN) 2014 to present
1) What was your first job in radio? Early influences?
After knocking on doors for three days in a row, bugging everyone, LOL ... I landed my first job in Boise and right after I walked in the front door, I knew right away this is where I needed to be. I was hired as the promotion assistant, stunt morning talent, P/T air talent for KQFC, KIZN, KZNG and KKGL ... and the rest is history.
2) You've had quite a long and varied career so far in radio doing a myriad of job responsibilities. How has this prepared you for your current position as VP/Programming for a myriad of different formats?
Learning multiple positions in radio has made me better understand the product. I have watched and learned from some of the best in the business on how to manage staff, execute sales and promotions and the most important part -- deliver. Being a sponge and learning everything I could in other markets has taught me how creative and fun we can be with our products. It's a fun and exciting challenge.
3) How long have you been at KZND and what makes this station so unique?
I took over programming for KZND in April 2015. KZND is loud and very local. KZND has been part of the community since 1999. The station stands out with local imaging, a solid air staff, attitude, community involvement and a deep playlist. Our listeners, who we call our Pure Rock Heads, have been amazing through the years. Our numbers keep climbing with their loyalty. I have a great team to make KZND's performance top-notch! From my board ops, air talent, production to my imaging folks, these are the guys who truly make KZND shine!
Also when it comes to action, at a moment's notice I can have KZND on location, set up and on the air. For example, this past summer Alaska saw historic forest fires throughout the state, but one in particular was miles down the road. It was called the Sockeye Fire. KZND and our sister station KMVN were on the scene within hours with the Red Cross.
4) You have the dual role as VP/Programming for KZND and Rhythmic AC KMVN (Movin 105.7). How do you balance your time so both roles are effective?
I also program our Jazz & Blues station 877 KNIK (The Breeze). I have done hard labor jobs and have had corporate positions in other fields. Radio continues to be my Disneyland. The dual role is all about support from consultants to our in-house staff. These guys take a lot off my plate and I appreciate them every day.
5) A couple years ago, KZND made the transition from Alternative to Active Rock, but it still plays older Rock from the '80s in the mix. How would you describe the station musically?
Without giving away my programming secrets, let's just say our playlist ROCKS! It's everything you want to hear if you're a Pure Rock Head. We play the best Rock from the '80s, '90s and 2000s with the best new Rock as well ... kinda like a Jack format for Rock!
6) You work for a locally owned company (Alaska Integrated Media) in a market with iHeartMedia (Classic Rock KBFX) and Alpha Media (Active Rock KWHL) as competitors. What resources do you have to stay competitive in this environment?
I have everything the other guys have, if not more. I believe in building relationships and not just adding contacts. Working for AIM has allowed me to be creative and build from the foundation up without corporate interference. Radio is an entertainment art form. A former PD once told me, "Let the listener feel the station, not just hear it." This has stuck with me for years and it's something I believe in and execute daily.
7) 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?
I believe we are starting to hear more variety with this format. For a while, adds were slow and dry. Today in this format, you have the raw hit you in the face bands like Five Finger Death Punch and Disturbed to newcomers like Wilson. Then you have the rock storytellers who add that amazing mix to the sound and playlist such as Chris Cornell, The Arcs, Starset and Seether.
8) I would imagine Anchorage, Alaska is a whole different animal as opposed to the "lower 48?" What can you tell us about programming Rock radio in Alaska?
Programming in Alaska is very unique. The lower 48 has the big concerts and professional sports. Here in Alaska we have our traditional Dog Sled race called the Iditarod, our big snow machine race we call the Iron Dog and I can't forget the Burning Man of Alaska called Arctic Man. We also have America's most extreme ski race. These high-endurance races have history and local ties. We still get the big concerts, but the big events are the ones I mentioned. The bottom line is you have to bury your print in the local scene. Walk and talk the Alaska way of life. We have listeners who live in the bush who rely on our news, weather and traffic. Here in Alaska, you do not have the luxury of having that special route you can drive if traffic is backed up. You have to be on point with your reports to inform the listeners what's going on. We also have a special relationship with the Alaska State Troopers and the DOT. These guys give us accurate reports at a moment's notice.
9) Let's talk about social media and KZND. How much do you use Facebook and Twitter to interact with your station's listeners?
We utilize Facebook, Instagram and Twitter every day. It's another way to reach our listeners with humor to breaking news. Social media is a great way to market your stations and it's a fun alternative for contesting.
10) Finally, What do you like to do for fun when you're not in your "working at a radio station" mode?
I am all about adventure. I shoot wildlife and landscape photography for fun and I love anything outdoors from snowshoeing to mountaineering.