10 Questions with ... Tyson Conrady
February 26, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WAWC-FM...1994-2000, Intern/part-time board op
- WGCS-FM... 2002, weekender
- WRSW-AM/FM, WLMB (Now WLEG)...Part-timer/board op/on-air
- WAWC-FM....2003-2004 andsSummers till 2006...Weekender/fill-In/O and O's right hand man.
- Vincennes University LMA WFML, WVUB-FM...2004-2007...Part-timer, college student, middays, then to nights
- The Original Company Stations (WZDM,WUZR,WAOV-AM, WBTO,WWBL, WQTY)...2004-2007...Part-timer/board op/on-air
- WINK-FM...Jan. 2008-May. 2008...Part-timer/remote/Studio Producer/Site Engineer
- WITT-FM... 2009-2010...Volunteer Director of Facilities and Production.
- WICR-FM/HD...2010-May 2013...College student/Engineering/on-air.
- WSVX-AM/FM...2011-Present...PD/MD/Engineer In Charge
1) So, you're the PD, the MD AND the engineer. That's a title combination that you don't see every day...
Yeah...small market radio calls you to wear many hats. I really enjoy it! I love all departments of broadcasting and love doing a little of everything every day.
2) Often, engineers want the station to sound "good," while programmers want the station to sound "loud." What's your preference?
Welcome to my life...lol....The programmer in me wants my station, yes, to be loud, and the engineer in me wants my station to sound better than anyone else. I feel you can stand out and sound good at the same time. The right balance is key, but at the end of the day when you're that guy in both areas, you still win! lol!
3) How would you describe your first radio gig?
Amazing, I was 9 years old, and made a phone call to the local radio station in Syracuse, Indiana. I asked the owner if they ever had an amateur day on the radio and the Owner/Operator of WAWC at the time, Bill Dixon, became my mentor and a life friend. He showed me the way into the field I love today. I recorded a daily kid's feature and got to go to remotes. I was paid in free food and station tee shirts! It lead to my first job at 14, running the board for Nina Blackwood's Absolutely 80's.
4) What led you to a career in radio?
The first time I ever hit the mic, I loved it! From being an intern at 9 to the PD/MD/ Engineer, I now I truly love the world of broadcasting and it is in my blood. I really have to say my mom led me to be in radio. She was the one who drove me to the station at my young age and had to deal with me talking about radio the most... it was like 24/7...sorry mom...I love you!
5) How would you describe the radio landscape in your market?
It's about providing the community with the best coverage of events and information and a mix of the other programming (the jocks, music) that makes them stay with us and not jump to the Indianapolis stations.
6) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
We will play a song that is good and can go up against a test song or ever the number one song on the chart. We will give air play to those who the Indy stations won't touch. We think here at Giant 96, that there are tons of great acts out there that don't get air play because they don't have the backing of a label and or the promotion that it takes to get to the big leagues of the music world. So maybe we might be that platform that launches the next Taylor, Justin, or Maroon 5. We just want to play great music!
7) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
Yes, I have just been a part-timer in the past. This is my first full-time gig. I'm just happy that Scott and Johnny gave me a chance to come on part-time and show them that I do know a little bit about radio. I'm so happy that I can finally get my feet wet as a programmer, the music caller, and an engineer. I have a passion for this business that I have had since I was 9. It took me 19 years to get here and I'm ready to see what the next 19 will bring!
8) What are you doing social media-wise?
We are hitting Facebook, Twitter, and our website hard. We post every day and trying to keep up is hard with our small staff. We also have an app that lets you listen anywhere. Social media is letting us talk to new listeners where our transmitter can't go.
9) "Local local local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
By being at all the festivals, the country fair, and our remotes, we try to stay visible. I find myself talking to people in our community who don't know we have a local radio station, and they just listen to the Indianapolis stations. That makes me want to work harder to push our brands, to let our community know where are here and we care about the place we live, work, and play in.
10) What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
I grew up on my local station of WAWC. The morning contests were fun, and I got to like radio. I loved listening to Ft. Wayne radio, the old WBTU, WMEE, and then after my start in radio, WBBM-AM. The tight ship they run on the air is amazing! Someday I want to work in Chicago.
What was your last non-industry job?
I worked in a supported living house where I had to take care of two guys. I learned a lot about being a parent, and how I missed radio so much...lol...that's why I went back to school to get my four year degree in Communications, Electronic Media, and Broadcast Engineering at the University of Indianapolis.