10 Questions with ... Nicki G
October 21, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I was hired on at Wine Country Radio upon graduating from Sonoma State University in the Summer of 2011. I did one weekend shift on Y100.9, and was part of the promotions team for the cluster of five stations. I constantly made myself available because I knew this was the career for me. I jumped at any chance to do more work. Eventually I got a second weekend shift, and then after a lot more hard work got offered the midday slot on my birthday in April of 2013. It was the best birthday present I've ever gotten!
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
Well, my first gig is still my current gig. I never thought I'd stay in Sonoma County as long as I have. But here I am almost eight years later and the longer I live here, the more I love this place! We have such an amazing music scene, and some pretty awesome listeners. My coworkers are my second family. Yeaha, we might be a little dysfunctional at times, but we are a very tight-knit team. A lot of my coworkers have been here for decades, which is pretty unusual for radio. They've taught me so much and I could not be more thankful for their help and guidance.
2) What led you to a career in radio?
My radio journey started back in 2009 when I took an intro to radio class at Sonoma State University by mistake. Best mistake I ever made! I instantly fell in love, and realized that radio was something that had always excited me. I went on to get involved with my college's online radio station, KSUN, which I eventually became PD of my senior year. I caught the radio bug and was so excited to get an internship. I had the amazing opportunity to be Chris K's intern at the station I listened to growing up in my hometown of Sacramento, KDND 107.9 The End, in the Summer of 2010. The opportunity to be in studio with Chris K was such a crazy experience for me! I felt like I was hanging out with a famous guy. From there I decided to take on another internship at a cluster of local stations near my college. They hired me on as a part-timer and here I am three years later with a full time career.
3) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
Anyone that comes through the station thinks our building is awesome. We're in train cars. I'm not sure who put them here, but I'm glad they did. We also have a backyard where we throw summer concerts. I don't know many radio stations with a backyard!
4) What is it about our industry that keeps you wanting to do it for a living?
Definitely the feeling of waking up every day, excited to go to work. I know a lot of my peers have not found that job they love yet, and always tell me how much they want to have the passion I have. Once in awhile if I haven't had enough sleep (like the day after a late concert), it's a little hard to get up. But once I'm at work, I'm just so thankful to be there doing something I love. It doesn't even feel like work!
5) Who would be a "dream guest" to have on your show?
Hands down, Gwen Stefani. No Doubt is my favorite band of all time, and she is probably the only artist I would freak out in front of. She is such a bada$$! I have so many questions I could ask her.
6) What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is getting to have a dialogue with my listeners both on and off air. Whether it be what TV show they think I should watch, or what their favorite spot is to grab a cheeseburger in town; I want them to know their opinion matters to me. I'm here to listen to them just as much as they listen to me. When I'm out and about and someone stops me to talk about something I said on air a month ago, that really touches me too.
7) What advice would you give people new to the business?
In our industry, it's important to be a go-getter! Always make yourself available and always ask meaningful questions. I was ready and willing to do whatever it took to be a part of the radio world. Those who are hungry and passionate will make a name for themselves, and those who just want to be in radio for the "cool" aspect will be apparent. Also, finding a mentor who you can confide in is huge! I'm very lucky to have a few.
8) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
My favorite air personality is Chris K. Like I said earlier, I was fortunate enough to be his intern. I grew up listening to him since the very beginning of 107.9. He is so genuine both on and off air. When I'm listening to him, I feel like he's riding along in the car with me. That's the same experience I want for my listeners. Also, I have to mention St. John of 99.7. He's just so fierce!
9) What is the most challenging part of the job?
Being away from my family. I'm pretty lucky to not be that far away, but I'm far enough to where I can't see them as much as I'd like. My dream is to do radio in my hometown someday!
10) What music do you listen to when you're not working?
Oh, I'll listen to almost everything. I'm huge on new music. I like to listen to full albums of the artists we play to predict what their next single will be. I also like listening to 90s/2000s throwbacks. Those are always fun, especially since I have a throwback feature! And I'm digging Alternative lately. We got an Alternative station in our building last year that's pretty awesome. Shout out to 96X! There's only one genre I really try to stay away from, and that's Country.
What was your last non-industry job?
I worked at a brewery in Sacramento. It's called Hoppy Brewery. They had the best beer and food! If you're ever in Sac, I recommend checking them out. Hoppy definitely gave me an appreciation for craft beer. Mmmm!