10 Questions with ... CJ Miller
May 31, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I began as a board op on Movin 92.5 (KQMV) under Maynard Cohen. Within six months I got my first shot on air, prestigious Weekend Overnights. During my five year stint I worked my way into Saturday Afternoons, Sunday Nights, Friday Mixshow host, and Weeknight Fill In. I, also, had a three month stint as Nights for KLCK during their transition. In September of 2014, I moved here to Spokane for the APD/MD/Nights position at KEZE (Hot 96.9), but following Zachary "Mayhem" Wellsandt's departure in November, I took over Afternoons.
1. What got you into radio?
I was installing for a cable company. Working 12 hour days, doing work I hated, and feeling very isolated. My only solace was the four hours a day I would pop in my earphones and listen to "The Men's Room" on KISW. After a year of listening everyday I had a thought I'd never really had before. "This is a job?...and these guys get paid for this?!" Well, I figured if those four irresponsible jokers could do it, then why not me? I immediately began hunting for a college radio program, and even emailed their producer Ben to see if he knew one in the area. He pointed me in the direction of Green River Community College and the rest is history.
2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Probably a musician. I grew up with a mohawk and leather jacket mimicking my dad as he took me to tons of local punk rock shows. I've since been on stage a lot through my teenage years and early twenties. My new obsession is Stand Up which I've only dipped my toe into, so far. I guess, I've just always wanted to be an entertainer of some sort.
3. What excites you most about radio...programming or being on the air?
A mixture. There's something so satisfying about taking a promo idea from just that, an idea, to a fully formed promotion. I still enjoy that moment when I finish the on air imaging and can listen to it at my desk, in the studio, in my car, and appreciate learning new things every time I open Audition. But, there probably is nothing better than when you absolutely nail a break/segment. When it's funny, engaging, and you truly get a reaction from your audience.
4. Is Spokane more Boise than Seattle?
I've never been to Boise so I'm not fully equipped to answer the question. Spokane obviously shares some traits with Seattle based on proximity, but I think overall it's much different. It's far more conservative, less dark all the time, and feels almost like a small town that has really spread out. Big plus, though, is WAY LESS traffic and the city is light-years easier to navigate.
5. What would probably surprise most people about Spokane?
How cheap it is. That may sound like a dig, but especially compared to Seattle, the cost of living is so reasonable. Because of it I've been able to buy a house, plan vacations, my wife has been able to stay home and raise our son. Those are all things that would have been nearly impossible at my age on the other side of the mountains.
6. If you weren't in radio, what do you think you'd be doing professionally?
Oh God! I honestly don't know. Manual labor? I suppose I would have just graduated in the last few years with some four year degree with a major in "business" or some such. You know, the degrees they always tell you to get.
7. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Play hockey, hang out with my wife and son, watch the Seahawks and Canucks play, and sit by the campfire enjoying the night sky. Improving my new home; I may not love doing it, but the end result of upgrading something you plan on owning for so long is very satisfying.
8. If you could be on any TV reality show or game show, which would you want to be on?
"Last Comic Standing." I'd fail miserably right now, mainly from a lack of content and experience, but at least it'd force me to get on stage and work on material. "Whose Line?" or "@Midnight" would definitely be fun too.
9. Who were/are some of your radio mentors?
Maynard Cohen, Zachary Wellsandt, and Justin Barnes. I can confidently say I wouldn't be where I am today without the opportunities and advice these three have given me over the years. Can never thank them enough.
10. If you had to eat one type of meal everyday for a month, what would it be?
Tough choice, but I'd go Italian. So many different iterations of pasta! Just don't look at me after that month as I plan to be a carbo-loaded beached whale.