10 Questions with ... Matt Kelso
October 1, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in radio during college when I took a class with a professor and now good friend of mine, Bartel from KTU. He asked if anyone in class would be interested in a internship at WKTU. Weirdly, I was the only one to raise my hand. Once at KTU, I produced Wendy Wild in middays, then would stay in studio for the Hollywood Hamilton Show and produce Jagger at night. After KTU, I had a short stint at WPTY in Long Island board op'ing two hours. I drove for two-and-a-half hours to board-op for two hours. We call that "paying dues." LOL. Luckily I was given the opportunity to come down to B985 soon after and begin a weekend on-air shift. In December 2010, I was put in a position to succeed by our VPP, and the rest is history!
1) What led you to a career in radio?
Once I realized no one was swinging and missing my fastball anymore, I wanted to talk about sports on the radio. Once into college radio, I had the opportunity to intern at WKTU in New York and you don't turn that offer down. Since then, I haven't looked back, but still love to listen to Sports Talk radio.
2) How would you describe the radio landscape in your market?
This is easily one of the craziest and most competitive markets in the nation. Monmouth/Ocean is placed almost perfectly 50 miles to the south of NYC and 50 miles to the north of Philadelphia. So our "Big" market competition is very much within our market from both ends, not to mention our local competition. With so many different options for listeners we have to be very local and promotionally active to keep that local affinity with our brand.
3) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
Press Communications is a family-run business and truly makes you feel like every employee is family. It sounds that way on-air as well. We don't have shifts; we just pass the mic on to the next jock. That tight-knit family feel we have as a staff ... we hope that translates across on air and makes listeners feel as if we are just one of their friends talking to them in the car.
4) "Local local local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
Weird, I feel like you must have sat in one of our programming meetings. Local is SO important to us because the Jersey Shore has such a sense of pride in our local community, especially post Sandy. We broadcast every Friday in the summer from the Seaside Boardwalk and our promotions team does a great job of getting our brand out in front of our listeners every day.
5) What's the coolest promotion you've EVER been involved with?
This one is easy. The coolest thing I've ever been a part of was "B-Relief," a Sandy Relief concert we put on at the Pine Belt Arena in January. Pine Belt Arena was a shelter for some of those displaced by Superstorm Sandy and just a few months later we were in there raising money for all those people. Our company was gracious enough with the Jules L. Plangere Jr. Family Foundation to match dollar for dollar what was raised. We raised over $100,000 that night for our ongoing re-build of our home. I would love to thank Sammy Adams, Outasight, The Ready Set, Thomas Fiss, RCA Records and Warner Brothers for helping when we needed it the most.
6) What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
It's funny because when I was younger I actually listened to the "old" B98.5. Who would have thought years later I'd be working here?
7) What music do you listen to when you're not working?
Honestly, I listen to every genre of music. I'll listen to Country stations just to clear my mind of the Top 40 world, and then I'm a huge fan of EDM so that's probably your best bet if I'm not listening to Top 40.
8) What is it about our industry that keeps you wanting to do it for a living?
It's always fresh and always evolving. You could be doing this for 100 years and still have a new experience in this field every day. Music changes, technology changes, listeners change and it's become a race to see who can learn, evolve and adapt to the changes of the music and the culture first. Not to mention, your job is to play music for people. How bad do we really have it?
9) What advice you would give people new to the business?
That's easy: be humble, be consistent, and most importantly BE AVAILABLE. Say yes to everything, no matter what they ask of you. It may not be exactly what you want to do at this moment, but it will get you in the door and closer to your goals.
10) What would you like to do to save radio from its "dying-industry" image?
Radio has been called a "dying-industry" since the TV debuted, it can and will survive everything, including the iPod, Internet and satellite.
For someone vacationing in your market, what one thing would you say they "must see?"
The Boardwalks! Seaside, Belmar, Point Pleasant ... go see them all. Play the impossible to win games, eat the "We deep fry everything" foods. There is literally nothing you can't do here! That's why the Jersey Shore is the greatest place on earth!