10 Questions with ... Dana Simonelli aka Danish
April 19, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- I started here as an intern in sales about three-and-a-half years ago. The stations at the time were Sassy KSYY 107.1 and Martini on the Rockies, KTNI 101.5
- I did a second internship in production and helped flip both of the stations to KONN 107.1 One FM and KTNI Martini on the Rocks 101.5.
- Then I did a third internship in marketing as a promo kid and was also hired on in production at the same time. That's when 101.5 flipped to Indie 101.5
- 101.5 flipped two more times and one FM changed to Hot 107.1 KDHT but kept the format.
- I stayed as Production Assistant to both stations. I lasted through tons of flips on both stations and two different owners. Through it all I continued to work my way up, and here I am. Zac Davis promoted me to MD on my 24th birthday!
1) How would you describe your first radio gig?
Amazing! The people I worked with knew I was the next radio generation, and they taught me so much. They saw the spark of passion in me and knew I wanted it really bad. They gave me a great foundation of knowledge that I have used to my advantage to climb to the position I am at today.
2) What led you to a career in radio?
Music ... I always knew I wanted to be in radio. When I was little I would tell all my friends I was going to be in radio. When I was I kid I would go and visit my grandpa in California during the summer. He owned his own vending company where he stocked tons of bars with their games and jukeboxes. When visiting him, one stop we always had to make was to his office. When we got there he would have to do work. To keep me busy he would give me a box and let me go over to the wall where all of the CDs were in boxes by alphabetical order and let me take whatever I wanted. When I was done filling the box he would ship the CDs to me. I would get boxes of 30 CDs and I loved it.
3) What makes your station unique? How would you compare it to other stations you've worked at?
I have not worked at any other stations, but something unique about our station is we have made radio in this market 100% better. Years ago we started playing new music sooner. Now as a result, all of the stations play new music sooner than they ever did before. And our station comes up with such great promotions that the other stations in the market copy what we do. (We have seen this happen at least four times in the last year-and-a-half.) We're making radio in Denver better than ever.
4) What is your favorite part of the job?
Something I have always loved to do is find the next "hit" or popular song before it's a "hit." I have record labels banging down the door to play me new songs. I still love to get a new CD, listen to it all the way through and pick my favorite songs and wait to see if they become the next big thing.
5) What is the most challenging part of the job?
Gaining respect; I am only 24 years old ... I look like I'm 16 ... and I'm a female. Sometimes it is a little frustrating.
6) What's the coolest promotion you've EVER been involved with?
Last year as an April Fools joke, HOT107.1 was "bought out" by Lady Gaga, and every two songs was a Gaga hit. We flipped the website, and produced sweepers and legal IDs to Lady 107.1 Gaga Radio. The jocks talked about Gaga buying the station and making us play her music ALL DAY LONG. We went all out. It was crazy! The reaction was unbelievable. Our Facebook was blowing up; the phones were ringing off the hook. Some people were in disbelief, but for the most part people loved it. It was really cool to see the reaction. That promotion took time on my part to schedule Gaga songs, sweepers and Legal IDs. It was time consuming, but it turned out amazing and we won a CBA for it.
7) What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
Shhhh ... I used to wear crazy pants when I was in high school. I wore blue fuzzy flames, purple and red fuzzy leopard print, electric blue p-leather, and purple plaid ... I love No Doubt and I loved the way Gwen Stefani dressed. I wanted to stand out just like her! P.S.: Zac doesn't even know this...
8) What was your favorite station to listen to when you were a kid?
I am a Colorado native and when I was a kid I listened to KS104.
9) Do you have a favorite hobby outside of radio?
I'm a gamer. I love to play Call of Duty on XBOX LIVE and whoop up on the guys and show them that a girl can go hard on a game, too!
10) What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
If you work hard, you will be rewarded!
What ringtone do you have on your cell?
I just changed it yesterday! Missy Elliott "Pass That Dutch."