10 Questions with ... Kim Czornij
August 13, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I was a Psych major in college and spent several years working as a motivational counselor in the nutrition/weight loss industry. Got a Masters in Counseling and spent five years working as a substance-abuse counselor in a 28-day inpatient rehabilitation hospital. Have spent the past four years in radio after landing a job at my dream station, 98.3 The Penguin! My passion and love for the station combined with a desire to get out of such a "heavy" job at the treatment center and some serendipity set the stage for such a dramatic transition.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I became interested in The Penguin. I had never considered a career in radio, although I'd been a lifelong music junkie. Had spent five years counseling in a substance abuse treatment hospital and started thinking it was time to have a little more fun. Never did I dream I'd end up on the air at THE best radio station I'd ever heard! People thought I'd worked for The Penguin long before I did because I was so fanatical about it. I just celebrated four years with The Penguin in June and couldn't be happier.
2. Who are your mentors?
I'm sure my list will get longer with more time in the business. Of course, Beau Gunn has been our PD (and now GM) in my time at the Penguin and I could not have a better teacher, partner and friend. Sean Coakley has been a pretty nice guide, too.
3. How would you describe the music on the station?
In a word, "ECLECTIC." We really cover a lot of territory on the musical map. We are a mix of Triple A, Americana and College radio. We play a good bit of Americana and bluegrass, some great classics, reggae, folk and jam bands, with some Motown, soul, lounge, world and whatever feels right sprinkled in.
4. How do you and Beau conduct your music meeting?
We meet weekly and listen to priority tracks together. We review chart activity and consider input generated from music calls as well.
5. What new bands are you most excited about?
Lukas Nelson & Promise of The Real, Tedeshi Trucks Band, Warren Haynes Band, Michael Kiwanuka, Alabama Shakes, Audra Mae & The Almighty Sound, First Aid Kit, Justin Jones and John Fullbright, just to name a few.
6. How are things going under the new ownership?
Things are going great. We are thrilled to be in the hands of owners who want to see us grow into the new era. We are now part of a company, Hometown Wilmington Media, that has an exciting, innovative media model centered on a digital news platform and a strong focus on local content and building community. It is a very positive, nurturing environment that fosters unity and professional development.
7. Tell us a bit about the Wilmington market.
It is a unique, passionate and hungry market. The fact that we are a beach/vacation town, with a university and an artsy downtown scene, creates a really nice combination of elements and demographics.
8. What do you like best about your job?
THE MUSIC!! (of course) and our relationship with the community. We have the great pleasure and honor of getting to pass amazing music on to our listeners. Music is as universal as love. We all know how powerful it is. Getting to be a channel through which it is shared is truly a privilege. And through that we have connected with and continue to connect to our listeners and community in a beautiful and special way.
9. Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
Nope, all good there. Ha! Seriously, I am continually working on being succinct on the air. I struggle with a "thoroughness chip" that makes me want to give our listeners ALL the scoop about the new artists and songs in the last set of music or the great new sandwich place that just started advertising with us. I have definitely improved over time but it takes consistent effort for me.
10. If you wanted to completely change careers today, what would you do?
I already did completely change careers and do what I LOVE!
Last non-industry job:
Substance abuse counselor
First record ever purchased:
That I remember ... The Guess Who and the Marshall Tucker Band
Neil Diamond as a kid with the folks; on my own ... Prince
Favorite band of all-time:
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Seeing live music, spending time with my dog, my friends and the beach!