10 Questions with ... Blair Guenther
September 23, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
My high school, Lafayette Jefferson, had a radio and television program that I was in for three years. I attended Purdue University and got a job at WBAA, an NPR member station. It's also the longest running station in Indiana. I started in the news department and then transitioned to a board operator job. My work there got me an internship at WAZY doing some high school football stuff. I was hired the next fall as a board op for sports and remotes and have worked from there. I'm on two stations now and have been on all three in our cluster. I'm also the co-host for our football tailgate show and am the acting Sports Director for all the Purdue sports we run.
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
I took a broadcast media class at my high school that included a try-out at the end of the class. I passed the try-out and couldn't pass up taking such a unique class. It included doing some filming and editing, but we also worked regular on-air shifts and read news during class time. We also ran the board during a few high school sporting events.
2) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
I started out as an intern and have gradually worked my way up. I'm on mornings on one station and nights on another. And I schedule the part-timers for the board op and sporting events. I'm also the main contact for most of the sporting coordinators so we can get them on the air and keep them happy. I've done a few remotes of my own and am co-host of our in house produced tailgate show for home Purdue football games.
3) What is your favorite part of the job?
I like working with different types of music. I've been lucky enough to work for an NPR station as well and I keep tapped into events going on around the world. I've also been able to work with a lot of people with a lot of radio experience, and I've gotten to pick their brains and learn a lot about the history of radio. However, the thing I enjoy the most is the history the stations I've been a part of. WBAA is the longest running station in Indiana, and WAZY is the longest running Top 40 station in the state. It's quite amazing to be a part of such lineage and history.
4) What artist would we be surprised to find on your iPod?
I'm not sure it would be so much about one particular artist, but just the collection of artists. I have Big Band, Marching Band, Jazz, Soul, Pop, Rock, Rap and Country. I'd like to think I have it all. I do have some of my own stuff on my iPod from my days in band.
5) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
I never thought I was going to be involved in radio. I took part in a great program in high school because it was different, unique and seemed really cool. In high school I wrote for the newspaper as well and went to Purdue with intentions of focusing more on the writing side of entertainment. However, I've been blessed with opportunities and some great teachers who have given me chances to continue to advance my career and have fun.
6) Who would be a "dream guest" to have on your show?
I'd really like to interview Seth MacFarlane. I very much enjoy his work, but it's more about the fact that I'm amazed at how talented he is. He can write, sing, act, do it all. Frankly, I'd just like to have a conversation with him. But I think it'd be amazing and inspirational to have him on-air. And of course, there'd be plenty of laughs for everyone.
7) Do you have a favorite hobby outside of radio?
I enjoy sports and video games. I'm the stereotypical guy who gets into games with his friends and shouts at the television every once in awhile. I like to play sports and talk sports, especially with my family. I have my own blog and podcast to do just that.
8) What music do you listen to when you're not working?
I listen to almost everything. Some of my favorite groups are Maroon 5, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Earth, Wind & Fire. However, I have anything from Eminem to Garth Brooks on my iPod. It really depends on what mood I'm in, or what activity I'm doing. I was also in band in middle school and high school. I love instrumental music as well.
9) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
I stay hungry. I don't mean to be a doormat that never says no, but when a chance arises for you to do something new or to step up for the team, go for it. Unfortunately, there are bad apples that spoil it for most people, but if you don't hold on to good people being rewarded for being just that, you'll get crushed.
10) What advice you would give people new to the business?
Definitely don't get discouraged. More often than not you have to work your way up from the bottom, but it is quite rewarding for each ladder rung you climb. Always be a sponge as well. There are plenty of people who have been in the business for quite awhile that can give you plenty of great advice to help you get where you want to go.
What ringtone do you have on your cell?
Disney's Powerline "Eye to Eye" from the Goofy Movie. One of my favorite Disney songs, and I love all Disney music.