10 Questions with ... Chris Ryan
May 17, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Over the past 12 years, I've been at:
- WMXZ/Fort Walton Beach, FL - MD/nights
- WNUQ/Albany, GA APD/mornings/Imaging Director
- KKCT/Bismarck, ND - PD/afternoons
I spent a good amount of time at each of those stations.
1. What got you into radio?
As a kid, I always loved listening to the radio. I grew up listening to FM 100 in Memphis and walked around with my tape recorder and mic recording myself pretending to be a dj. I could hit the post
on Michael Jackson's "Beat It" better than any other 12 year old that I knew! When my family moved to Orlando, I really got into Top 40 radio. I listened to XL 106.7 as a teen into my adulthood. I remember listening to Kid Cruz all the time (shoutout to Kid wherever you are!). He made radio sound so cool and that's what I wanted to do. After years of procrastination, I finally landed a part-time gig on the weekend while I was serving in the Air Force which eventually led to my first full-time job in radio.
2. As the new station in town, what's the biggest challenge for you as the PD?
We literally started from a "dark" signal, so starting off with ZERO listeners is pretty scary, yet exciting at the same time. We are still in the process of building our studios and installing equipment. While that has been stressful at times, it's been rewarding to hear feedback on the station from people I've talked to and met on the streets that we are bringing something new and fresh to Des Moines. Knowing that we have an exciting new product for the market that people are already reacting to, makes the challenges worth it.
3. Recently, what song are you surprised that turned out to be a much bigger hit than you thought?
Definitely "Forget You" by Cee Lo Green. I thought it was a here today, gone tomorrow "novelty" song. But it didn't really do well in call-out till a few months later. Now it's been a HUGE multi-format smash!
4. Des Moines hasn't exactly been synonymous with Hip Hop, let alone Rhythmic radio. Why now?
Why not? Before we launched the station, the market overall had a very adult-lean with 2 or 3 of the same formats and NO rhythmic station at all. We feel with HITS 1059, that we can bring something new and fresh to Des Moines and expose a lot of new music that is selling really well and that people are passionate about, but hasn't been getting airplay until now. We are not a hip-hop station, but play a lot of the current, popular hip-hop artists like Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lupe Fiasco, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Lil Wayne and the like...and mix it with the uptempo pop product from Enrique Iglesias, Usher, Katy Perry and Pitbull. We're providing a quality product that the younger audience in Des Moines really wants to hear on their favorite radio station. And another thing a lot of people don't realize is that there is a lot of local hip-hop artists and deejays with a huge following in the area.
5. I know you're still getting familiar with Des Moines but what have you seen in the town and the people of Des Moines that stands out?
There's a lot going on around here! We have the Iowa Cubs baseball team that drew 7,000 people last weekend, the Drake Relays which is held at Drake University, just held it's 102nd event a few weeks ago attracted thousands of people from the area, We have the Iowa Energy D-League basketball team, downtown Des Moines has something going on almost every weekend (in the summertime anyway). We have several concert venues in town and there are always big-name acts coming to town. We just gave away tickets to Wiz Khalifa's sold out show coming up, the Iowa State Fair, which is just down the road, is in a few months with Maroon 5, Train, Janet Jackson, Def Leppard..to name a few acts. Along with the entertainment, we have the most beautiful Capital building I've ever seen, too.
6. What's your favorite song on the station right now?
Tough question...it's hard to pick just one, but I'm gonna say Nicki Minaj "Super Bass". I think it's going to be one of her biggest hits and it's a song we can own for awhile. That's the perfect song to seperate us from the other stations in town.
7. Besides www.allaccess.com, what's probably the web site you visit most?
Definitely Facebook! I'm on it all day long interacting with the listeners and getting to know them. I think we've definitely stepped up to the plate to be the most socially-active station in the market.
8. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Work!! Literally, radio is a lifestyle for me and it's nice when you have a job that doesn't feel like work. But when I force myself to put down my phone and walk away from the computer, I love going to the movies, going for runs, checking out bands or playing volleyball
9. If you could be on any TV reality show or game show, which would you want to be on?
Wheel of Fortune...I'm so good on my couch. Hopefully, I'll get to do it for real one day.
10. Hypothetical question...If you were getting married in two months and you could have any group or singer perform at your reception, who would you choose?
Lifehouse for sure! Jason Wade is amazing singer, writes great songs and sings with such passion. Following the reception, I'd have Dev and the Cataracs bring the after-party.
Do you have any phobias?
Yes...I'm terrified of heights! Even watching a movie with someone looking down from the top of a building makes me nauseous. I'm not a fan of flying either...errr!