10 Questions with ... Mike "Mike G" Gallagher
January 29, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in promotions at XTRA Sports 910 and 550 KFYI for Clear Channel in Phoenix in 2001. Then I got a shot as board op and mixer for KZZP in 2005 in the same cluster. I moved on to KMVA in 2006 as a board op and weekends on-air, then was promoted to MD/night jock in 2013 at KMVA, and I'm currently a mixer and head of production as well. I joined the nationally syndicated Hollywood Hamilton's Remix Top 30 countdown as a mixer in late 2012.
1) What led you to a career in radio?
It was kind of a combination of luck and my love of sports. I was in school at Arizona State University for a Business degree, I had just left a job with the Phoenix Suns and needed a new gig. My mother worked in sales at a TV station and told me about a promotions job she'd heard of over at Clear Channel for their Sports/Talk station XTRA 910, so I applied.
2) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
KMVA is completely unique in the fact that we are locally owned and operated. The owner, Jeff Trumper, is literally right down the hallway. The corporate model at Clear Channel had obvious advantages, but there were too many people making decisions about my job who I had never met.
3) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
Absolutely yes, but racking up experience in every facet of the radio industry is one of the only ways to build a resume that will make the final cut.
4) What is your favorite part of the job?
What's not to love? The best part is the passion people feel for our product. Music is so integral to the fabric of human existence. Sounds corny, but everyone reading this can remember the first album they ever owned, how they got it, and probably the lyrics too.
5) What's the coolest promotion you've EVER been involved with?
The Phoenix Suns against the Dallas Mavericks playoff event we did for KZZP. The station bought an old Ford Maverick and we placed in on the main plaza of the US Airways Center. Everyone who came out got to take a swing at it with a sledgehammer. I got one of the first swings...
6) What artist would we be surprised to find on your iPod?
My iPod features "Music Of The Night" from the Phantom Of The Opera, which sounds pretty weird sandwiched in between Eminem and Pink Floyd.
7) If you could add one full-time position to your budget right now, what would it be?
A social media director would be a position of importance for our station. I have a firm grasp on the platforms currently available, but would welcome someone who has ideas about strategies concerning reach and staying ahead of the curve on new platforms.
8) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why?
Jim Rome. The ultimate goal of a personality or radio program is to make your listeners feel a part of a community, that they are members of a "cool" social club. Jim Rome has created that in the "Jungle," and I have reached "clone" status for sure.
9) Looking back, which years hold the best musical memories for you and who were your favorite acts at that time?
I appreciate the early days of Napster and music sharing from 1999-2001. During that time there was such a discovery period finding music like Radiohead that I was not listening to before. The legality issues and ultimately getting artists compensated needed to happen for the system to be fair, but it opened the door for music to become digital and thus expand the consumer base.
10) What music do you listen to when you're not working?
I listen to everything, but my favorite band at the moment is The Black Keys. I'm a huge Beatles fan, Led Zeppelin, and let's throw in Dave Matthews Band.
Name the artist/act (living or dead) you'd love to meet and why?
The artist I'd love to meet would have to be Jam Master Jay. As a mixer myself, I'd bring about thirty notebooks and pick his brain for as long as I could. I think it's cool that my generation was able to see hip-hop grow from its infancy to where it is today, and he was certainly one of the pioneers.