10 Questions with ... Dustin "HaZe" Monroe
October 6, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I previously worked at these fine stations in these fine markets ... KDHT/Austin, KZCH/Wichita, WZNR/Virginia Beach, KSLZ/St. Louis, WXSS/Milwaukee, KYKY/St. Louis, WDZH/Detroit.
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
KJCK (The Big Kat 97.5), located outside of Manhattan, KS in a very peculiar house. I drove at least two hours to get there each weekend from Wichita, KS. It was a four-hour trip total. I think I made about $5.75 at the time and that didn't really even cover the gas to get there. I wanted that job so bad it was worth whatever it took to get there. And yes, I actually "jocked the discs," if you will. I remember forgetting to stack the CDs for the next jock that came in. That was the first and last time I ever did that.
2) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
NOW 96.3 is St. Louis. We all live in St. Louis and call St. Louis our home. We have one of the most mature yet fun Pop stations I've ever worked at. We work together as a team and communicate with one another. Communication is key and it's ironic how there is such a lack of communication in the radio biz. We play the hits, but we also have those certain records that either no one else is playing yet or not playing at all; that makes us who we are and sets us apart from the competition. I like to call it our "secret sauce."
3) What are you doing social media-wise?
I always try to post random pics and nonsense. By that I mean strange and unique content or pictures that grab your attention. I also try to involve up-and-coming artists that are getting airplay on the station. A simple mention will more than likely get a Tweet or RT and help your brand shine. Especially if you're actually giving their song spins.
4) What are your favorite show prep sources?
These are all legit sources and are pretty accurate.
5) Who handles your imaging, and what voices are you using?
The smooth and sultry sounds of Drew Patterson and his astounding beard handles the VO and imaging for NOW 96.3.
6) "Local local local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
LIVE jocks, supporting each other as a team at broadcasts. We're actually out on the streets at the pools, the movie theaters, in the parades and at the concerts where our listeners work and live their everyday lives. Also, coming up with local social media and web content. Making it local. People notice. Especially in a city like St. Louis.
7) What is your favorite part of the job?
Cracking the mic and the rush you get when doing so. I know it sounds cliche, but it's the reason I love doing what I do. If you ever lose that feeling you might as well hang up the cans. I enjoy the behind-the-scenes part of radio as well. Working with the labels and station staff. Building those relationships. We have the ability to communicate to the masses and entertain them on a daily basis and that itself makes it all worth it.
8) What artist would we be surprised to find on your iPod?
Mötley CrÜe & copious amounts of '80s/'90s butt rock. Rock on.
9) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
Billy The Kidd KHKS/Dallas. He's such a kind and genuine talent. I've followed this guy's career ever since I moved to Dallas to attend school way back when. He was working at KRBV WILD 100.3 at the time before crossing the street to KISS. I listened to his night show throughout the week and even showed up to his gigs a few times to learn the radio lifestyle and see what being in radio was all about. Disclaimer: Not a stalker. We've been radio pals for years now and he's still just as humble as the first time I met him. Even when I moved to his hometown of Detroit for my gig at AMP Radio, he gave me some great advice and pointers. It's been great seeing his success in the biz as well.
10) Who were your mentors? Who would you say has influenced your career the most?
Jay Michaels, currently the PD of KVIL/Dallas. Jay gave this kid from Kansas his first full-time gig in Austin at KDHT Hot 93.3 and also brought me in for afternoons at WZNR Virginia, Beach. If it wasn't for Jay there probably wouldn't be a "HaZe." We finally settled on that name after my previous on-air name "Monroe" wasn't "Street" enough for Hot 933 ... ha ha. He would hotline me, push me to my limits and drive me absolutely insane, but all of that helped me develop thick skin for this crazy radio business we all love. He's always been supportive of my brand and I would love to work with him again someday.
What's the best sweeper/liner you've ever heard?
"Picture Wichita as a BIG piece of toast and we're spreading JAMS alllll over it!"