10 Questions with ... Kate Hayes
January 2, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Veteran programmer and air personality at stations in San Francisco and Los Angeles such as KSAN, KQPT (THE POINT), KLSX and more. A Marconi Award's top-five finalist for Small Market Personality of the Year for 2007 and 2008.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I asked for a tape recorder for Christmas when I was seven years old. No idea where that idea came from, but I loved it. Played with it all the time ... I still have it somewhere. Second year of high school, I was required to take public speaking. Loved it, too. The teacher liked my voice and talked me into going to tournament with the school forensics team. I was a competitor in the Radio Speaking category; took second place on my first try. That was it -- I was hooked. (I think the story of how I got into professional radio is more interesting ... Paul Christie, Robert W. Morgan, Lew Witz, Dick Biondi and other names figure in my first rites of passage ... ask me about THAT sometime!)
2. Tell us how your music meetings at The Coast are conducted.
Whenever Tom and I have a few minutes to sit down together, we talk about music that has caught our interest or come to our attention in some credible way. We talk music pretty much every day, but we ALWAYS get in a final run-through by week's end to get ready for the reports.
3. How would you describe the music on the station?
Quality music chosen and mixed for listeners who grew up with Album Rock. Tom calls it Triple A-O-R.
4. You worked in a variety of settings over the years ... how is it in a "family-run" operation?
A lot like my earliest days in underground radio, but with better equipment. There's an openness and camaraderie that is rare now, but was more common earlier in my career. There's no faceless corporation pulling the strings (or paying the bills!). Responsibility starts and ends with the people in this building, a staff of folks all pulling in the same direction. A programmer I knew years ago told me "a radio station is made-- or destroyed -- in the hallways." The more staff feels a part of it all, the more motivated they are to make great radio, to shine. Here, each of us can know anything about everything; very little secretiveness. We're all privy to the 'big picture' and as many details as we'd like and can be involved to any degree we choose.
5. What do you like best about your job?
I'm never bored. That's the same thing I've always liked best about working in radio.
6. What are some of your biggest challenges as an independent station? Biggest successes?
The economy of scale that is available in corporate or cluster settings is something that we can't rely on, so we are frequently doing more with less than other music stations might need to, but the fact is that we ARE doing more with less and we're doing it well and super-serving all our customers -- listeners, sponsors and community -- into the bargain. That feels pretty good. (So do all the broadcast awards and community citations on the walls!)
7. What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
One!? I can only pick one!? Okay: Prep. Being prepared is the greatest asset I can give myself, no matter what job I'm facing -- on-air or off. It is never wasted, always important and a necessary component for success at any effort. (And if I can pick two, then, of course, the evergreen: change is constant).
8. What is the best advice you would give to young programmers/promotion people?
Stay poised on the balls of your feet and ready to dance at all times. In other words, be alert and flexible. But never compromise your integrity. Ask questions, study, learn all you can. Burying your head in the sand won't win you anything. Keep your head up, your eyes and ears open. Plus, two things that are important over the long stretch: Bbe respectful and friendly; it will serve you well ... and always, always, do whatever you do completely, with enthusiasm and for the love of it.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ....
... coffee and music.
10. If you wanted to completely change careers today, what would you do?
I'd be an advocate for the environment.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Reading, films, dancing and yoga.
Last non-industry job:
Department store clerk in high school
First record ever purchased:
Beatles "I Want To Hold Your Hand" 7"
Cream or the Byrds, I'm not sure which was first: I was a kid and my older sister took me to all kinds of music.
Favorite band of all-time:
Anything with Robert Plant (...or the Beatles. Hard to choose)