10 Questions with ... David Safar
February 20, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
My first radio job was in the news room at KUMN/Albuquerque, archiving news stories for the station's website. I worked in college radio at KUOM (Radio K) as both the Music and Program Director. I spent a year on-air at KBEM (Jazz 88), and booked a small venue in Minneapolis for a few years.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
There was a two-year period in the '90s when Radio K and then Rev 105 came on the air in the Twin Cities. It was the first time I heard radio that spoke to me as a music fan.
2. Who are/were your mentors?
I learn something from my co-workers everyday. I have been lucky to have a lot of support through my career, so it would be hard to make a list.
3. How would you describe the music on the station?
The Current brings listeners the best authentic new music alongside the music that inspired it.
4. The Current has made great ratings strides - what would you attribute that to most?
It's a combination of hard work from our staff over the past three years -- DJs, marketing, producers, engineering -- plus support from the community, and the maturation of many of the newer independent artists at the core of our programming.
5. What stations do you like to keep track of?
Most of our peers in the non-comm world, suh as WXPN/Philadelphia, KEXP/Seattle, KCRW/Los Angeles, WFUV(The Alternate Side)/New York, WYEP/Pittsburgh, KUT/Austin, KKXT/Dallas and KCSN/Los Angeles. Plus a handful of other stations such as WXRT/Chicago, Y-Not, and BBC 1 & 6.
6. How are your music meetings conducted?
We meet once a week to make changes to the playlist and pick the adds. It's very collaborative.
7. What new bands are you most excited about?
The Twin Cities is full of talented musicians and many overlooked bands. A few have broken out over the past few months. Check out PoliÃ§a, Howler and Night Moves.
8. In what ways has your job changed over the past year?
The biggest change this year has been developing New Hot, The Current's new music program.
9. What is the biggest misconception about your station?
A lot of people make assumptions about what genres and styles of music get played on The Current. There isn't a formula for new music at The Current. In a single week we will add a mix of indie rock, bluegrass, hip-hop and retro-soul.
10. If you wanted to completely change careers today, what would you do?
Sometimes I miss promoting live music shows. There is something about putting on a sold-out show for an artist no one has heard. When I used to promote shows every weekend at the Dinkytowner in Minneapolis, it felt like a gamble. We took chances on booking shows knowing that we might not be able to fill the room.
Last non-industry job:
Survey interviewer at a non-profit social research company.
First record ever purchased:
Pearl Jam's 10 on cassette.
R.E.M. Monster Tour
Favorite band of all-time:
Something between Neil Young and KARP.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Everyday I'm shufflin'...