10 Questions with ... John Moug
May 24, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
People usually just call me "Moug"
I started on KLUC's street team in 2006, quickly moved into part-time on-air for a year, overnights full-time (yeah, that was a thing) for a year to nights for six years. I also served as Production Director for the station for a short time. I had a brief stop doing nights at WPOI/Tampa and a year in mornings at KWOF/Denver. I'm back at KLUC now handling afternoon drive and imaging, as well as imaging for our new sister station, KXQQ.
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
I was hired on the street team at 19, was 30 minutes late on my first day and thought to myself ... You've already screwed this up. So to make up for it, I stayed quiet and worked my ass off to prove myself on the street team, all while continuously bugging the crap out of Cat Thomas with airchecks I made on my laptop at home, which were (in my opinion) terrible! But eventually, it was enough to impress Cat and before you know it, I was lucky enough to have one hour on the air before running a countdown show and the Sunday morning PSAs!
2) What led you to a career in radio?
I was that awkward kid who was completely amazed by radio and the people that you heard on it. I'm pretty sure I was that dude who called the request line, and when they answered I didn't know what to say so I hung up. When I was in high school here in Vegas, me and some friends started an in-house radio program. I used it as an excuse to get real radio stations to let me have a tour. Everyone else used it so they could have spicy chicken sandwiches at both lunches. I was a big-time KLUC P1, but I looked at radio like it was an absurd career choice; like saying you wanted to be an astronaut or a movie star. One day in 2005, I sent Cat Thomas a MySpace message asking for his advice on how to get into radio, and he wrote me back! Basically he told me to start at the bottom and follow the path that successful people have taken and once I get some of my own success, I could create my own path, so I did!
3) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
KLUC is the best of the best. Sorry if that sounds "O'Doyle Rules"-ish (Billy Madison Reference), but it's true. I don't think there are many groups in radio that compare to our team ... In 2016 (and market #31) we have a station that is LIVE 24 hours a day. I've always been encouraged to take chances and to do a "SHOW." It's nice working in an environment with people who aren't terrified of PPM, and I think that's why our station stands out in this market like it does.
4) Are you wearing more "hats" than you have in the past?
Yes, and I like hats ... helps with early onset male pattern baldness (a lady friend told me hats are like make-up for men), and in this day in radio, you won't last long as a one-trick pony. Over the course of my career, I've always held a full-time on-air position, but also added other duties to it; I've been PSA Director, Imaging Director and Production Director. My official current title right now is afternoon drive and Imaging Director for the two stations, but I help out however I can. My idea is (if) the budget axe ever comes down, they'll go "yeah, but this guy can do a lot of crap, soooo..."
5) Who handles your imaging, and what voices are you using?
I do, and for KLUC we're using Scott Matthews, who has a unique sound, edgy style and can handle anything we throw at him. He can be the BIG VOICE GUY and he can be a little more laid back if we need him to. We also have reel world jingles, which have been on our station for about eight years, and are an amazing branding tool! I love it when people sing the jingles to us when we're out and about. It shows that jingles work. And they're not like cheesy old jingles, they're really fresh and we get monthly updates.
6) What's the coolest promotion you've EVER been involved with?
98.5 KLUC's Chet Buchanan and the Morning Zoo Toy drive is the greatest in radio, and it happens in a city that doesn't get as much positive attention as it deserves. If you're in radio and you haven't looked into this Toy drive, do it. It'll challenge you to think bigger than you ever have.
7) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
I'm a Stern guy till I die ... Baba Booey! Howard Stern can literally tell you a story about having to take a dump and make it the most fascinating thing you've heard all day.
8) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
I'm a BAMF on the Tuba. Seriously. I played it for 10 years and it paid for a good portion of my college experience at UNLV (even though I'm like a year short of graduating. Whoops). I once transcribed all the brass section parts for Big Tymers' "Still Fly" into written music, but always made sure to put some RESPECK on Birdman's name. I don't need him pullin' up me!
9) Who were your mentors? Who would you say has influenced your career the most?
KLUC PD/OM JB King has always pushed me to do my best and helped me improve myself over the years, and he's always had my back. Cat Thomas, Chet Buchanan, Spence, Jon Que ... Okay, now I'm just listing a bunch of KLUC people. JJ Kincaid, Frankie V, R DUB! and countless others have taken the time, especially early on, to listen to my airchecks and help me to get better.
10) What advice would you give people new to the business?
Not to be a cliché millennial! Our generation has developed this reputation as the "entitlement" generation. I've spoken to several people with interest in radio who say things like, "I don't think I could work in the middle of the night" or "yeah, but it doesn't pay that much..." or "I tried, but they didn't e-mail me back." People who want to be in radio (or want anything in life, really) will go out and get it. One of my favorite quotes came from a History teacher I had at UNLV who said, "Take part in your own existence." You really have to; no one else will ever invest in your life the way you will.
Which character on a current TV series most reflects your personality?
I once saw this question on an online dating site, to which my answer was, "I'm like a cross between Chandler Bing and Ted Mosby, with the body of Seth Rogen." Plenty of awkward-ness in that mash-up.