10 Questions with ... Chris Taylor
August 23, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I had a huge passion for radio at the age of 13. I started Christmas Day 1980 at a little AM station (WPRW) in Manassas, VA. I grew up and worked in D.C. at WBMW (B106 Top 40), WRQX (Q107 Top 40), WAVA (Top 40) and jock stops at Z104 in Virginia Beach and Q94/Richmond. My first programming job was WXLK (K92)/Roanoke. I went to work for Paxon in Tampa, then to Memphis to sign on KISS-FM. I also programmed WMC (FM100), KMXV and KSRC in Kansas City, then back to Memphis to become OM for WHBQ-FM.
1) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
This is a rare situation in today's radio world. I work for a local owner. When you pull into the parking lot, it looks and feels like a radio station. The owner, George Flinn, is a radio guy. He genuinely cares about the stations and the people who work for him. We take a very local approach to what we do. Our stations are live in every daypart except overnights.
2) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
The more hats, the better to cover up my bald spot. Today's radio world requires people to juggle more than just being a PD for one station. I enjoy having a hand in other areas. I've set up the remote tent and I've helped the engineers.
3) What is the most challenging part of the job?
Making sure we stay relevant to the audience day to day. Since the Top 40 audience is very active, they will find what's new. It's my job not to miss it. I take it and make it a part of the radio station.
4) What artist would we be surprised to find on your iPod?
I would say Dennis DeYoung ... but no one who knows me would be surprised at that. Maybe Juice Newton. Love Queen Of Hearts .... hey, don't judge!
5) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
Besides Juice Newton?... I have gotten into extreme couponing. I just got 11 boxes of Colgate for 50 cents. Anyone need soft soap? It's amazing to walk out of a store and get something 80% off or free.
6) Could you give us a little insight into your on-air staff?
I'm very lucky to have the best staff in the city. The morning show is Maney, Drex and Alexis. Maney has been with the station for a couple years in mornings and does a great job putting it together with his two partners. I just recently moved Drex (who is the promotions director and was afternoons) to mornings with Maney and former American Idol #11 runner-up from season 8, Alexis Grace. They have excellent chemistry. In middays, it's my Music Director and Memphis native Joe Mack, followed by Riley, who connects with her love of shopping and entertainment gossip. Our newest member is from The Monkey in Bioloxi. His name is Mason and he will take over nights.
7) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
I have been lucky through the years to work with some of the best talent out there. People like Don Geronimo, George McFly, Greg Thunder, Gary Spears, Chris Jagger, Alan Kabel and I'm sure others who didn't pay me to say their name ... but I have always been a big fan of Rick Dees. I grew up listening to him on cassette tapes and love that he's back on the air now. I think he did a great job making you feel like you were a part of the show. In the words of Rick ... "Ah ... you're GREAT!"
8) Looking back, which years hold the best musical memories for you and who were your favorite acts at that time?
I would say 1982/1983... I know I really just dated myself, but Top 40 then was "hot hits" with Styx, Men At Work, Duran Duran, Journey, MJ Thriller stuff, Lionel Richie, Dexy's Midnight Runners ... MTV had just launched as a video channel, and music was on fire. I was a baby DJ. It was a great time to be in radio. I saw the "Kilroy Was Here" tour at the Capitol Center in D.C. It was amazing.
9) What music do you listen to when you're not working?
I am a huge fan of Dennis DeYoung. The stuff he did solo and with Styx is what fills my iPod. He recently did a CD called "100 Years From Now," and it's the most Styx thing he's done in years. If you like the band, check it out. It rocks! Available now at my eBay store.
10) What is it about our industry that keeps you wanting to do it for a living?
The fear of holding a "will work for food" sign on the street corner! It's all I've done since I was 13, and I still love it today. I have never lost my passion for this business. It's exciting to see new technologies and their usage with our product. We are constantly evolving and looking for ways to build the bond and relationship with the audience. It's why I do what I do.
Which character on a current TV series most reflects your personality?
Most would say Monk ... I use a lot of hand sanitizer. If you have seen the show, welcome to my world. Okay, I'm not that bad ... hold, please ... I have to wipe off my keyboard.