10 Questions with ... Kevin Cruise
January 24, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WVRV/St. Louis
- 2000 - present: KUUU where I started at middays, then added production director. I then moved to MD and afternoons around 2002 or so. I eventually became APD, and production manager for our two yearly shows (Cinco de Mayo and Summerjam). In December 2008, I was named PD. This winter, I added Interim PD duties at our Top 40 sister station, KUDD.
1. What's the most exciting thing about programming a radio station like KUUU?
I feel like the most exciting thing about programming KUUU is my tenure at the station. I've been here since the beginning and have been able to see the station grow into a powerhouse. We have been able to create a tradition of breaking new artists, and playing independent artists. It's great to be part of the growth of an artist's career. To be there in the beginning and see him/her grow into a worldwide phenomenon.
2. What's the biggest way that you see the PD position changing since you became a PD?
It's been said time and again, but time management. It's difficult to manage all of the responsibilities put upon a PD while trying to still find time to air-check talent, return phone calls and emails, listen to music, and handle administrative duties.
3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a kid I had many ambitions. I was highly involved in performing music and being around music my entire life. I always knew I would be in music, and am still hoping to find a position in A&R. My dreams were to always be the first to know the next hottest artist(s).
4. KUUU breaks Hip Hop records when very few Top 40/Rhythmic stations do. What keeps KUUU so strongly entrenched in its Hip Hop position?
We are lucky enough to be the only Rhythm station in Salt Lake City. This allows us the opportunity to break new artists and take chances where others might not have the same chance. There are stark differences between KUUU and our nearest competitor. Most of our playlist is 100% KUUU airplay in the market even though there are some records shared by our competitors. I like to stay up to date in what is trending in Hip Hop. As programmers, it's our responsibility to spot new trends and be on the cutting edge of what is new, hot, and next. Staying on top of that helps us reinforce our position as a leader in Hip Hop.
5. Have you managed to find the time and the snow to get out boarding yet?
It's finally starting to snow as I type this!! I promise once the rocks and trees are covered I will be out shreddin'. I'm spoiled as we have the Greatest Snow On Earth (it says so on our license plate) and won't take to my board unless we have good conditions. That doesn't mean I only ride on powder days. We just haven't had enough snow to even make it worth my time to ride. Hopefully we start getting the snow pack we're used to.
6. What's your favorite song on the station right now?
This is tough....can I make it a few favorites? Childish Gambino "Heartbeat" (the album is great!), Drake f. Rihanna "Take Care", Rihanna f. Jay Z "Talk That Talk" (or pretty much any song off Rihanna's album)....and I just put the T. Mills in mix-show. Love that kid! P.S. Complex, shut your mouth.
7. You've just recently taken on the Interim PD job at sister station, KUDD. Is it exciting to run a Top 40/Mainstream station?
It's....different. My biggest challenge is making sure I don't let KUDD sound like a Rhythmic leaning T40. I enjoy being challenged in my career and can become bored easily. This is a fun challenge where I really can dissect the music logs. It also helps me keep things fresh on the Rhythmic side so I'm not burned out on the music.
8. Please complete this sentence...Republic's Alisa Applegate would rather _______ than ______?
She'll beat the crap out of me if I said anything bad!!! This is a trick question....I heart Alisa. P.S. it's Ah-LEE-sah...not Ah-lis-Ah
9. If you could be on any TV reality show or game show, which would you want to be on?
I think I would want to be on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Them some classy ladies! Except Taylor's friend Dana bugs. However, I'd want to be on that show because those ladies are filthy rich. I'm wondering if any are in need of a houseboy, or I guess in my case, a houseman.
10. Do you think we'll hear more or less Hip Hop on Top 40/Rhythmic stations in 2012?
I'm liking the stuff that is coming. There was a trend in the last few years in Hip Hop of going dance or more mainstream. I hear listeners and even programmers say "Hip Hop is dead". I don't think that at all. I think Hip Hop has evolved over the years and has become a major influence in the culture of the USA. Look at how marketing campaigns are run for any product and it will have some type of Hip Hop feel. Hip Hop never died. There are a lot of good Hip Hop artists emerging and I'm not mad at this trend.
Do you have any phobias?
I'm afraid to answer as I don't want any of my frenemies to know my weaknesses.