10 Questions with ... Mariel Wade
October 24, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started off at WERS in the fall of 2009, my first semester at Emerson College, as an on-air DJ for the station's indie rock show, "The Left End" and hosted that show through the summer of 2011. In winter 2010, I was lucky enough to become WERS' Weekend PD, which meant I was in charge of all programming on the weekends. I became the Daytime Assistant PD in May of 2011, a position I held until receiving the Music Director job at the end of August 2011.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I've been very obsessive about music for quite some time and when I was younger, I didn't really know any other people who had the same thirst for music that I did, so I would look to physical things to satisfy this desire - radio, music magazines, the Internet. I would get the biggest thrill from both discovering something new to listen to and from hearing an artist I already loved on the radio or seeing them in a magazine. I always knew that I wanted to get involved in some aspect of the music industry, but I didn't know where.
One of the reasons I came to Emerson College was because I knew they had an amazing radio station and I desperately wanted to work at WERS. I was lucky enough to be hired as an on-air DJ my first semester and have continued at WERS ever since! It was some time in the last year or so that I started to see radio as less of a hobby and more as something I would love to do for the rest of my life.
2. Who are your mentors?
Jack Casey, WERS' GM, and D Simpson, WERS' OM, have both taught me so much about radio from technical skills, to business aspects and more. I really owe nearly all of my radio knowledge to them. Also, my Mom because she is one of the strongest women I know. She runs her own business and is an inspiration to me every day, plus she provides me with endless love and support and for that I am eternally grateful.
3. Before you became MD at WERS, you had another position at the station. Tell us about that.
Before being MD at WERS, I was the station's Assistant PD. This meant that I was in charge of scheduling all the DJs for their on-air shifts, updating the content that they read on-air and helping them out with any troubleshooting problems, among other things. I enjoyed this position, but I certainly do not miss waking up at 3a to a call saying the next DJ has not shown up for their shift!
4. What is your typical day like?
My typical day at WERS starts out with me generating and editing the playlist for the next day. These are printed at 4p so I try to get them done right when I arrive. Then I will respond to any e-mails that need following up. I then try and take a period of time to listen to new records that have arrived at the station. Some days I have an on-air shift, call hours to talk with people about their records and various meetings to attend.
5. For those that have never heard the station, how would you describe the sound?
I feel like WERS has something for everyone! Our "daytime" programming is a really unique and fun blend of indie rock, folk, new wave and more. You could hear anything from St. Vincent to Smashing Pumpkins to Peter Gabriel to Stevie Wonder. At nights we have reggae and hip-hop; then on the weekends you could hear a plethora of different styles of music -- show tunes, a capella, kids' music, electronic and more.
6. How are your music meetings conducted each week?
Each week I meet with a group of 8-10 others to decide which records we're going to add that week. I bring some records that I like and the members of the music staff do as well. As a group, we all listen to the records that each staffer thinks would fit well with the mix of music on the station and then all together as a group decide which records to add that week.
7. What new bands are you most excited about?
There are so many great new bands out there right now that sometimes I feel overwhelmed by how many new records there are that I want to listen to. Lately, my ears have really been loving Gauntlet Hair, Youth Lagoon, Wild Flag, Big Troubles and EMA.
8. What do you like best about your job?
The fact that I am surrounded by music all the time! Whether I'm working on playlists and trying to pick out a song that I feel will fit in nicely with the set, or if I'm listening to new records to decide what might get added into rotation, the fact that I am constantly engaged with music is just the best. It's been said before, but there really is such a thrill that one gets from hearing a song they love come on the radio ... and the fact that I'm responsible for giving that to people when they turn on WERS is the best feeling!
9. After you graduate, do you plan on staying in radio or broadcasting?
I would love to stay in radio once I graduate from school. I would also love to work for a record label -- perhaps in radio promotions!
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ...
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work and school?
I spend an awful lot of time listening to music, reading about music and making lists about music. I can't help it! Aside from that I love power walking, watching "The X-Files," reading mystery novels and spending time with friends and family.
Last non-industry job:
I worked at Emerson College's Equipment Distribution Center where I rented cameras, tripods, lighting kits and other equipment to film, video and journalism students
First record ever purchased:
I honestly can't remember. I think it was the first Britney Spears record.
R.E.M! Johnny Marr played with them during "Man on the Moon" in the encore. It was amazing!
Favorite band of all-time:
Sonic Youth (I'm very upset over the news of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon's separation.)