10 Questions with ... Josie O'Donnell
March 19, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
The progression at random companies went like this: Sales Assistant, Traffic Assistant, Promotions Assistant, Intern, and then I finally got to get behind the microphone as the crazy rock chick on the afternoon show on WIHN/Bloomington, IL. After five years of that, my partner and I got the morning show gig at WQLZ/ Springfield, IL with MWF. I was moved over to WLCE when it launched five years ago. I've been a Triple A girl ever since! I started as morning show co-host with random duties in '07 and worked my way up to PD in 2010.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
One of my first memories was when I was three or four. I was in the car with my dad listening to the radio (WWCT out of Peoria, IL) and Pink Floyd "Another Brick in the Wall" came on. I was blown away. That moment was when I decided that the coolest gig in the world would be to talk on the radio and introduce people to the awesomeness of music.
2. How would you describe the music on the station?
Alice is a Triple A that leans a little Alternative. We find what Springfield is missing and we play it.
3. What stations do you like to keep track of?
I wouldn't say I keep track of any station. Of course I keep tabs on many. KBCO and WXRT are the obvious ones. I also really dig KYSR for the Alternative vibe. But I try not to focus on any one station, because Alice isn't like any one station. We do our own thing. We do what's right for us and what's right for Springfield. That's what I think is so awesome about Triple A. There really are no rules.
4. How do you balance Alice in terms of sound with the other stations in the group?
Very carefully! We share a few artists with both WQLZ (Rock) and WNNS (AC) so it's all about the scheduling. If there's a song scheduled that we share, I make sure that the surrounding songs are distinctively Alice. As for new stuff, we jump on the songs early if we know they'll eventually go AC. Once it does, we back off. Some artists I get territorial over; others I let go easily. Communication is pretty key on those. We all stay aware of what the other stations are playing and try not to step on each other's toes.
5. Tell us about Midwest Family Broadcasting.
My whole "professional" career has been at MWF, so it's all I really know. But I am learning more about this company and how unique it is each and every day. I know it sounds cheesy, but there really is a family vibe. Everyone at the top, everyone in every market, everyone in every format ... They've all been nothing but amazing to me. I've been allowed so much freedom. I can take chances, I can go with my gut, I can ask questions, I can take the lead on things, I can even make mistakes! And then I figure out how to fix them with my colleagues. I couldn't really ask for a better place to learn how to do what I do.
6. What do you like best about your job?
To refer back to question 1: I get to talk on the radio and introduce people (including myself) to the awesomeness of music!
7. What station promotion are you most proud of and what made it successful?
This is probably going to sound like a cop-out, but I'm proud of every promotion. Even the smallest one takes a lot of work and communication to succeed. But the most satisfying are the ones that include clients, listeners and a charitable organization. Everyone wins.
8. Besides your own, what is your favorite radio format?
Active Rock (I'm half-metalhead) and Alternative are currently tied!
9. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I'm not even going to pretend like I have life figured out enough to predict that one.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ....
Last non-industry job:
A server at a steakhouse (and now I'm a vegetarian. Weird.) The birthday song will be forever implanted in my brain.
First record ever purchased:
I always stole and swapped tapes from my older sibling, so I'm not really sure what the first was. But I do know the first CD I ever got was Madonna "The Immaculate Collection."
Guess Who and Steppenwolf at the Oglesby Fair when I was six or seven.
Favorite band of all-time:
This question is impossible. Whenever I even attempt to answer it I feel like I'm cheating on all of my other favorite bands.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Hanging out with my family (both the human and furry kind), watching football, running, and reading (I'm a book nerd.)