10 Questions with ... Rosalie Howarth
August 6, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I began in community non-com at KAZU/Pacific Grove in the late '70s, then graduated to the local free-form underground FM progressive KLRB in Carmel. What an education, and all on LP! Dave Logan hired me for KFOG in 1983, and nowhere else ever looked better to me, so here I still be. Inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2011. Major imposter syndrome seeing my plaque on the wall with the likes of Dr. Don Rose, Tom Donahue, Bonnie Simmons, Don Bleu, Carter B. Smith, Dr. Dean Edell, Ben Fong-Torres!
1. How did you become interested in radio?
Walking down the railroad tracks by Cannery Row, transistor radio plastered to my ear, listening to my fave KMBY DJ Robert O'Sullivan playing the LONG version of "Like a Rolling Stone" (pretty hip for AM!)
2. Who were your mentors?
David Bean, Bill Goldsmith of radioparadise.com, "Genial" Johnny of KUSP, KFOG's beloved Dave Morey, John Bradley, the late Patricia Evans, Dave Benson and Dennis Constantine, my current PD.
3. You are approaching 29 years at KFOG -- how long have you been on the radio in the Bay Area?
In the San Francisco Bay Area, 29 years at KFOG ... and that's it. I'm that rare and lucky bird, a one-station gal. No one ever fired me, so far; I don't know why. I must be underpaid!
4. Your Acoustic Sunrise show on Sunday mornings is approaching 20 years - how has it evolved over time?
It's been invigorated by a whole new generation of acoustic-based bands and singer/songwriters: The Head and The Heart, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Great Lake Swimmers, the Dunwells, Belle Brigade, our own Michael Franti , the Avett Brothers and Mumford, of course, and I'm gonna throw Brandi Carlile, Mindy Smith and Patty Griffin in there, too ,though they go back ... and, of course, Jack Johnson opened it up. You can mix 'em with CSN, you can mix 'em with Simon & Garfunkel ... heck you can mix 'em with Donovan if you want!
5. When did you launch the Acoustic Sunset show?
Sunrise began under the direction of Greg Solk of Chicago fame, and Boulder's SBR. I was music director and it was just another special programming assignment ... until I fell head over heels in love. Sunset we added about 10 years ago in the Benson era ... I tend to remember things more by which of the seven Program Directors I've served under was at the helm!
6. How does that differ from the morning version?
Sometimes we "plug in," or get a little rowdier in the bridge. "Acoustic" is as much about a mood, a viewpoint, an approach, as it is about amplification, especially round sunset.
7. Tell us about the Live from the Archives series you curate.
We have 1,083 live recordings (I just re-counted) going back to 1992; some were on DAT tape (remember tape transport technology?) -- Dave Matthews, Norah Jones, Coldplay and Train before they were famous; traditional AAA greats like Jackson Browne, REM, the Pretenders, Tom Petty at the Fillmore, and modern majors like Keane, Death Cab, Florence and the Machine, and Snow Patrol. Robert Plant loved our Playspace so much he was telling limo drivers about our wonderful "Playpen!" We plan to digitize all the recordings; now THAT would be an intern project!
8. As Dir./Special Programming what others aspects of the station fall under your purview?
As in other industries, as corporate staffs shrink, we learn to diversify. I serve in a lot of unofficial capacities: public affairs, copywriting, music scheduling database management, intern supervisor, special project wrangler, librarian, liaison ... I absolutely love having varied duties that help the programming department moving forward, as well as being on the air.
9. What is the best advice you would give to young programmers?
Invest time in developing good communications-sharing office systems so the jocks get the same info that Promotions and Sales have. The air studio is the last line of defense against errors and confusion. Keep the jocks fully informed; don't gate-keep info. They are the most skilled at spinning content to best represent the station. And -- learn to sound completely natural when you voicetrack.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ....
...Peet's Coffee! My morning "gratitude walk" in the Gardens at Heather Farm across the street from my home in Walnut Creek..
Last non-industry job:
Head waitress in the local indie coffee house/cafe. Barista before there were baristas!
First record ever purchased:
Cream "Disraeli Gears"
Monterey Pop Festival. My life took a left turn right then!
Favorite band of all-time:
Early Steely Dan. Literate, ennui-laden, musically precise.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Hiking among trees and running water find when I can find it. Taking off on little three-day jaunts to places I've never been, just because. Did a recent whirlwind sightseeing tour of Portland and absolutely loved it!