10 Questions with ... Valerie Kattz
August 23, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I've worked on air for over 23 years and have held the titles of on-air talent, Assistant Production Director, Promotions Director, Senior Account Executive, Social Media Manager and Marketing Manager.
I began my radio career in Brawley, CA in 1992, hosting the midday show, voicing commercials and working in the News Department. In 1993 I moved to Palm Springs, CA to work for RR Broadcasting.
In March 2014, I moved to Los Angeles to work with Cumulus.Los Angeles and the legendary 95.5 KLOS and 790 KABC.
In 2015, after my father passed, I decided to move back to the South to be closer to family. I started doing afternoons on Alpha Media USA's 96.7 The Bull on the Gulf Coast in the Biloxi/Gulfport market. In February 2016, The Bull switched formats and I moved to sister station 107.1 The Monkey, which is the area's #1 Hit Music Station.
My TV experience includes co-hosting the "Pet of the Week" segment on CBS local TV 2 in Palm Springs. I was also host of the popular Palm Springs TV show, "The Hot 5 Video Countdown" for two years, and I had a regular long-running segment on Patty Daly Caruso's TV show "Valley Views," hosting "The Star of the Week" segment, which featured local people who contributed in a positive way to the community, usually through community service. I currently showcase homeless pets on the weekly "Pet of the Week" segment on WLOX-TV 13. I also had a co-starring role in the independent film, "Sushi Anyone?" in 2013.
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
I started radio in 1992, doing overnights on Q96 (KSIQ) in Brawley, CA. I was so excited to do my show each night I would come in with full makeup and hair perfectly styled just to do a 12m-6a shift. Nowadays I just show up in my PJs, no makeup and hair that hasn't been brushed in days.
2) What led you to a career in radio?
When I was a little girl, I would talk my friends into "Playing Radio" with me, using my Fisher Price tape recorder. I would interview them and pretend I had a radio show. I would also drive all the local DJs crazy by chain calling them with requests. One of my happiest moments as a 12-year-old kid was when Vic St. John put me on the air requesting a song ... a Stryper song. Don't judge me ... it was the '80s.
3) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
1071 The Monkey is a Top 40 station. What makes it unique from other stations I've worked with is our managers have an incredible amount of trust in us and support for us. We are very much a personality-driven station. We're very involved in our community and we do our best to create content and events that our listeners will enjoy. Some of the bits we get away with on a daily basis are just ... well ... you just need to listen to see what we get away with!
4) What are you doing, social media-wise?
After my midday show I stick around and co-host a bit of the afternoon show with James Steele. James is an incredible talent and even after 24 years in the business I learn new things from him each day. James and I pride ourselves on being very active on social media. Our Monkey FB page has an impressive amount of "Likes" - over 435,000! We engage our listeners on social media through FB Live videos, blog posts and Snapchat. I feel radio and social media should be BFFs. When I started in radio you only had four hours to connect with your audience. These days we have 24/365 access to our listeners and opportunities to engage with them off air, anytime through social media.
5) What are your favorite showprep sources?
There's a wealth of topics on the Internet. Trending stories on FB live and Twitter are always helpful. I've always used social media to do play-by-play of my life. Sometimes I'll find a funny life story on my TimeHop that may have happened years ago and I'll recreate it as current.
6) "Local local local" has always been radio's mantra. How do you keep your station visible and involved in the community?
I get involved by volunteering for charities that are dear to my heart. I'm an animal lover so I volunteer with the Humane Society of South Mississippi. I feature adoptable animals on my radio show and I take them on our local TV station to feature them there as well. This week, James and I broadcast our shows from the local fire dept. collecting supplies and donations for Louisiana flood victims. We filled three big rigs full of supplies. To stay local you have to get involved in your community.
7) What is your favorite part of the job?
I love everything about it. What's not to love?
8) What's the coolest promotion you've ever been involved with?
My favorite radio moment ever was when we had listeners win tickets to a private meet-and-greet/Q&A with Duran Duran before their Coachella Fest concert in California. I was working in Palm Springs at the time. They are one of my all-time favorite bands. I've been obsessed with them since 6th grade. I got to do the interview with them and got hugs from them afterwards. I was in Fan Girl Heaven.
9) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
I'm actually very shy in "real life."
10) Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
Locally, I love Denver Crab and Riley on our sister station CPR Rocks. Outside of our market I love Melissa Maxx on 955 KLOS. For talk shows I love John Phillips and Jillian Barberie on KABC Los Angeles. I could go on and on ... lots of faves.
For someone vacationing in your market, what one thing would you say they "must see"?
My boyfriend's band at Beau Rivage Casino - Eight75 Club, Wed-Sat nights! They rock!
What ringtone do you have on your cell?
"I'm Super," Big Gay Al - South Park.