10 Questions with ... Matt James
May 10, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
It all started with excellent internships at WLUP and with TRN in Chicago, then KFMW in Waterloo/Cedar Rapids, IA from 2008 -2011, and WZZL 2011 to 2012 in Paducah, KY, WKLC 2012 to 2015 in Charleston, WV and WRXX 2015 to current. In Centralia, IL.
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
It was overnights at Active Rock powerhouse KFMW, blasting 100,000 watts covering Cedar Rapids and Waterloo, IA. Overnights was rough on the body and mind, but it was a great heritage Rock station that really impacted the listeners and I was honored to be there.
2) What led you to a career in radio?
I wanted to have a cool show like Howard Stern and was influenced by listening to the great jocks throughout the years on KPNT and Z107.7 while growing up in the St. Louis area. I loved the concept that it never stops and never goes away. Once I starting studying Radio Broadcasting and Production at Columbia College of Chicago, I realized that it is a fun and interesting way to make a living.
3) How would you describe the radio landscape in your market?
We serve several small communities in the shadow of St. Louis. Local content is king and embracing the community is a must. Supplying the info people need online, on-air and making it exclusive to the area is how to win the game. The station is a part of several annual events that are huge in our area and we put out a big market product. There are several other stations in the area with a variety of different formats, but we connect on-air, online, and in the streets and at the end of the day, we strive to be the community's radio station by making listeners and clients happy.
4) "Local local local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
By knowing what the listeners care about and want to know. The goal is to have the community turn to you when something happens and to answer that call. There are some excellent syndicated shows, but that is where live and local has the advantage. Our listeners don't care what is happening in New York or L.A.
5) What is your favorite part of the job?
Hands down, being on-air. I need it in my life. It gives me a great feeling. Now that can go away when I listen back, of course ... LOL.
6) What artist would we be surprised to find on your personal playlist?
Maybe Simple Minds or Tears for Fears. I have an addiction to the '80s. Someone help!
7) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
I secretly want to be a detective.
8) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
Doug Tatum of KQRC in KC. He knows how to deliver. He always keeps me listening when I'm in the area. He does a great show. Also Rizzuto from the Rizzuto show. That is an excellent morning show. Of course I still listen to the King of all Media when I can.
9) Who would be a "dream guest" to have on your show?
Sacha Baron Cohen, Will Ferrell or Tina Fey
10) Who were your mentors? Who would you say has influenced your career the most?
Former PD Chili Walker is one. He is a great leader and knows how run a successful station. Also a very nice guy. Also, as I mentioned before, Doug Tatum. He showed me the ropes during my stay in Iowa. His show has me in stiches. Shane Hook, who I worked with in Kentucky, has one of the greatest promotional minds I have ever encountered. He taught me a lot. .
What was your last non-industry job?
I was a truck driver's assistant. I had to load and unload trucks. It's good honest work, but it made me try harder in school.