10 Questions with ... Kyle Meredith
August 1, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in field promotion when I was 17 for Hi-Frequency, then landed an intern position at WLRS (Modern Rock) in 2000. I gradually went through the ranks there and ended up MD/afternoon drive before I was 21. From there I did a stint on WDJX (Top 40) and WXMA (Hot AC). After the company was sold, I became an indie promoter for the next six years. I've been with WFPK for three years now, and host/producer of "The Weekly Feed" for two years.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
The way a lot of kids do. I was in a small rural town ... and it was the window to the world. I still have a lot of my homemade DJ tapes from when I was nine, taping over the jocks at WSTO for my own breaks.
2. How did your music director gig at 'FPK come about?
I had been working indie promo for a few years, and Stacy Owen -- PD at WFPK -- was on my call list (and I lived in Louisville). She needed some fill-ins and I had got the itch again ... and it was pretty natural from there. After a couple of years learning the station, they created the MD position and I was the lucky one to get it.
3. How would you describe the music on the station? Has it changed much since you took over?
We have changed -- and in some aspects, quite a bit. WFPK reflected the singer-songwriter style of Triple A that dominated the last decade, and we've since shifted with our growing audience to incorporate more rock and indie. Still, there is a strong core and base with Americana and AOR artists, so we're always conscious to incorporate those sounds into our currents.
It's a tight balance spanning nearly every popular genre, but it keeps it fun, interesting ... and the ratings and membership keep going up, so that's encouraging. Plus, I once heard Sting say something about growing up with a BBC that didn't differentiate between formats, but just played great songs regardless of who they were or what they sounded like. That stuck with me.
4. What do you like best about your job?
Beside the fact that I get paid to do this? Getting that phone call from a listener asking "What's the song you're playing right now?" If a song reaches someone strongly enough to make them make a phone call, then we've done our part of introducing them to great music.
5. What has been your biggest career highlight?
I get to interview my favorite musicians every week, and coming from the music geek that I've always been, that's a highlight every time. Also, seeing "The Weekly Feed" grow. We're two years in and 15 stations strong. How awesome is that!
6. In addition to your daily duties you also have a weekly syndicated show. Tell us about that.
Speaking of ... "The Weekly Feed" reflects the newest, biggest and most-discussed songs making waves across music blogs. We usually feature 12-15 new songs of whatever was buzzy, as well as a featured interview and music news. And the best news is that we give it to radio for free. So, any station reading this.... And you can always stream the entire show at theweeklyfeed.org
7. What new bands are you most excited about?
M83 and St Vincent both have a new record coming, and I can't wait for those, but as far as new and under-the-radar artists: Ponderosa made a heckuva great guitar record; Vandaveer is a lyrical genius on par with Josh Ritter; Tune-Yards, Eastern Conference Champions, Nurses, Burlap to Cashmere, Jason Isbell, Washed Out and YACHT.
8. You share the building with two other stations in your "group." How much do you interact/share with them?
I interact with the news team quite a lot. I see them as some type of sitcom on par with News Radio, so there is a lot of joking around. And we hit each other up for music or equipment and such. In fact -- and I'm not just saying this -- there is more camaraderie in this building than any other I've ever worked in.
9. What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
That there is no constant: Things change and the more nimble we are, the more open-minded we can be, the better chance we all have to succeed.
10. If you wanted to completely change careers today, what would you do?
Politics. That would be the only other field that I would find it impossible to get bored in.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Spare time ... seriously? I have a little boy, Tristan - almost four - and my spare time is spent with him. I like being daddy, and I like that his age allows me to be a kid, too.
Last non-industry job:
2002 -- I updated magazine racks for grocery stores and pharmacies. It was on my own time, with my own car, so it was pretty easy.
First record ever purchased:
My first 45 was Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" when I was around seven or eight. The first CD I bought with my own money was Green Day's "Dookie."
Garth Brooks' Ropin' the Wind tour was the first I remember seeing. I'm sure there were a few locals back in Leitchfield that I might have seen, but Garth was the one that made the impression. Until recently, I would have told you that it was still the best show I've ever seen, but then came last month's U2 show in Nashville!
Favorite band of all-time:
Pearl Jam, hands down. I own well over 500 CDs, tapes, vinyl and bootlegs.