10 Questions with ... Amanda Burd
June 2, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in radio in July 2012 at 88.1 KWVA in Eugene, the University of Oregon's campus station. I was the Marketing Dir. as well as a DJ for two-and-a-half years. In September 2012, I also started interning with the promotions director of Bicoastal Media in Eugene and was on-air three days a week with The Morning House Party on 104.7 KDUK. When I graduated from the U of O in June 2014, I was promoted to Promotions Dir. of our four local stations at Bicoastal, including KDUK. I also became the co-host of The Morning House Party. I now also host middays on 107.5 KISS FM in Medford, OR!
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
Overwhelming and exciting. There's something about college radio that is so raw and organic and passionate. All I wanted to do was share the music I loved with more people. I remember the first song I ever played on air (it was also the last song I played when I departed the station years later). I was terrified to speak on air for a while... Working at KWVA was definitely a test for me, to see if I could handle the pressure of being live on air.
2) What led you to a career in radio?
Going into college at U of O, I had no idea what I wanted to commit myself to, no idea what career to work toward. Then I met B-Dub (Bryan Washington of 98.7 The Bull) in Portland at a Taylor Swift concert. I ended up winning a meet and greet with her from B-Dub, it was a total dream come true (no shame, huge Taylor fan. I have a tattoo in her handwriting) I thought, man, this guy has the coolest job. Playing music, getting fans riled up for artists they love, being able to hook those fans up with experiences they wouldn't get anywhere else. That's when I realized radio was a marriage of everything I loved and wanted to do - music, connecting with people, telling stories, being a vital part of a brand.
3) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
In a sense. I've always had multiple roles at the stations I've been at. But now that I am starting to understand the business more and grow into my personality more, I feel like I have the same number of hats ... but the hats went from like, a normal baseball hat, to one of those crazy hats that has drinks attached and straws, and a spinner on top, and is rainbow colored. The hats can do so much more now.
4) What are you doing social media-wise?
Everything we can! Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram ... I need to get us on Periscope. That's next on my list. Snapchat is probably my favorite. Seeing what listeners send us is a real hoot.
5) "Local, local, local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
We talk about LOCAL news stories every single day. We play into the fact that everyone loves our college teams (GO DUCKS!) We get out there and interact with listeners (see my "coolest promotion I've been involved with recently" section). And of course we partner with many, many local organizations that support causes we believe in. Relay for Life, Children's Miracle Network, our local humane society, our local food bank ... just to name a few. Probably my favorite community outreach event we do every year is called Stuff the Bus. Our local bus line provides the bus and we broadcast live at different locations around town all weekend long, and our listeners literally stuff a bus with food for those in need. It's astounding to see the sheer volume of generosity people will provide if you simply ask your listeners to give back.
6) What is your favorite part of the job?
Interacting with our listeners ... finding out that someone REALLY IS listening to you. It can feel like you're in your own little world in that studio sometimes, but when we're broadcasting live or doing an event and someone comes up to me and says they listen every morning, or they bring up something we talked about on the show, that's incredible. Being part of someone's daily routine is an honor. I love to make people laugh, so having someone tell me that something I did or said had them cracking up is super gratifying. One time a lady called and said I made her laugh so hard she spilt her coffee on herself on the way to work. I felt bad ... but I also felt awesome.
7) What's the coolest promotion you've been involved with recently?
I came up with a promotion called One Direction Mom Noms. Moms had to submit a nomination of why their kid is the best and why they deserve to go see One D. We also had the mom tell us where their kid went to school or worked. We showed up and surprised the winners with the tickets. They had no idea their mom submitted them or that they were winning. The winners all FREAKED OUT, as expected. The moms got to brag about their kid, and have leverage for Mother's Day. And we got amazing on-air and video/social media content of the surprises. Win/win.
8) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
I'm 6 feet tall. I am seriously ... so tall. It always surprises people.
9) Who would be a "dream guest" to have on your show?
Nick Offerman (most well known as Ron Swanson on Parks and Rec). His laugh is the greatest sound I've ever heard in my life. I want to be the one to make that man laugh.
10) What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
That's what's really cool about my job ... KDUK was THE station to listen to in my small town. I grew up listening to Val Steele every single day on the morning show. Now I'm on the morning show and she's my boss. Life is pretty cool.
Which character on a current TV series most reflects your personality?
This series JUST ended, so I say it still counts. I am the Leslie Knope of our station. I am always overly excited, overly giddy, always wanting to tackle the next thing, always wanting to go bigger, and do more. (Do you think I like Parks and Rec too much? Oh well.)