10 Questions with ... Pete Bruinsma
July 30, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WCAL staff member and programmer - mid-'90s
- Citadel Broadcasting production intern - late-'90s
- Audio system sales and installation - early-'00s
- Citadel Broadcasting on site engineer, promotions - 90s-00s
- Citadel Broadcasting third baseman - mid-'00s
- GRTV concert producer, music video show host - '90s
- Music Revue Magazine, freelance writer - '00s
- New View Publications, music writer, photographer - '00s
- WYCE programmer - 1995-present
1. How did you become interested in radio?
Influenced by WTTS and WXRT growing up, I developed a taste for deeper cuts. I have long loved live music, and have taken an interest in local music scenes. When I moved to Michigan as a college freshman I decided to get involved with college radio, and it exceeded my expectations. They had me at "play whatever you'd like."
2. Who are your mentors?
My Music Directors at the college station were John Bush (currently editor at AllMusic.com) and Dave Slegers (Currently affiliated with WBGU in Ohio). Our staff was wonderful and motivated the programmers to play the most curious and interesting music. Many people along the way have influenced me in commercial and grassroots radio, and in other local media. Still, I have natural tendency and interest to communicate and learn from radio stations, programmers and bands from different regions and backgrounds.
3. How would you describe the music on the station?
WYCE is "Triple A with an edge." We focus on deep album cuts, diversity and creativity in each mix, and flair from each individual programmer. We also strongly support Michigan musicians.
4. How does music get added at WYCE?
Since we play a wide variety of genres including blues, jazz, world, roots, Americana, rock, college music, singer/songwriters etc, we do add a relatively large fascicle of music each week. Still, limits are self-imposed in each category to keep rotation manageable in size. Regional music is an exception; we add as it comes in without much restriction. Focus tracks are marked as suggestions but programmers may deviate at their whim.
5. What new bands are you most excited about?
May Erlewine; Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys; The Soil and the Sun; Potato Moon; Glowfriends; Joshua and Rachel Davis; Orpheum Bell; Red Tail Ring; The Crane Wives; Flashclash; Hana Malhas; Luke Winslow King; Blue Molly; The Go-Rounds; Chris Bathgate; Ian Gorman & Dave Bruzza; Appleseed Collective; Greensky Bluegrass; Ella Riot; Fiona Dickinson; Valentiger; The Concussions; The Fuzzrites; Lucas and Karisa Wilson; The Icicles; Brian VanderArk; The Wildfire; Boss Mustangs; Chain of Lakes; The Water Clocks; Ultraviolet Hippopotamus; Grupo Aye and Ghost Heart.
6. What type of features do you run on the station?
The Guest List: A community member takes over WYCE's airwaves with host Oliver.
Electric Poetry: Local poets are interviewed and perform
Legacy: The diverse roots of WYCE music are explored via phonograph record. Begins and ends with both sides of a regional vintage 45.
Acoustic Café: Hosted from Ann Arbor, MI by Rob Reinhardt
Local Resonance: Friday music show hosted by our GM that highlights tracks from local musical events. Interviews and live performances
British infusion: Rare cuts of British rock, blues, folk, soul, while exploring the early American music that inspired it.
Catalyst Radio: Talk show that interviews local nonprofits and covers regional social issues
7. What is your typical day like?
Our intern opens 30 or so packages from different promoters and logs them in while previewing music and listening for swear words. I organize, research and listen to music as I take phone calls and answer e-mails. I take time to solicit albums from local musicians, from other stations' playlists and radio charts we monitor, and from local event listings. Many albums are listened to simultaneously by myself and PD Matt Jarrells, and we communicate about significant musical moments. Usually there is an in-studio guest and we dial them in technically while getting them coffees. I handle occasional real estate calls in between, and listen to music while I drive around the city on my days off.
8. What is your biggest challenge at the station?
Management of resources, and getting through all of the music that comes in. Also, answering questions.
9. We hear a lot about the distressed economy in Michigan, how are things in Grand Rapids?
Grand Rapids seems to be doing very well despite stories that are published about our manufacturing-based economy. The vibe in Grand Rapids, which is the cultural centre of WYCE's broadcast range, feels positive, progressive and noticeably supportive of what we do at WYCE. Downtown and other entertainment districts seem to be thriving; local cuisine and local music are plentiful and increasing in quality. Local real estate seems to be in a rebound in 2012 as well, especially near downtown.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ...
... envisioning my life experiences through the eyes of vintage instant photography.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY DOING IN YOUR SPARE TIME AWAY FROM WORK?
My wife and I very much enjoy Michigan craft beer, cuisine and seeing live music. I'm a big fan of baseball and other sports, and I like staying active playing as well as watching. During most weeks I purchase, sell and manage real estate in West Michigan for myself and others. I own a brokerage that manages property, and I also hang a license on the wall of a local real estate firm. I love having a rehab project going on at all times. I most enjoy being able to work daily with a diverse group of people and situations.