10 Questions with ... Matt Reilly
March 11, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Graduated from TCU in 1998. Moved to Austin, worked for LBJ/S Broadcasting (now Emmis) in the promotions department, eventually working my way on to KGSR as weekend/overnight/fill-in guy. I was also a VJ on the now-defunct Austin Music Network, a local MTV for Austin. Followed my girlfriend to Philadelphia and lucked into a job at WXPN, where I served as AMD and host for four years. Austin ultimately had too much allure; moved back five years ago and served as AMD, talent booker and host for KUT. I am now the PD of KUTX, KUT's all-music service.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
Growing up in Houston, the radio was abysmal. Still, I was an avid listener and even at a young age I thought to myself "I want to do this, but better."
2. How have things been going now that you are full-time music?
The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We've also been able to relax a bit more because in the past we were always at the mercy of the news cycle. If the President wanted to make a speech, we would have to stop the music and go straight to news. So being a full-time music station allows us to let our hair down with the full knowledge that our sister station KUT will handle the news side of things.
3. What features have you kept and what features have you added to KUTX?
All of the programs that existed in December 2012 before our January 2013 launch are still there; we just built around them. Aside from the obvious music programming holes we had to fill like drive times, we've added the Old School Dance party on Friday afternoons hosted by John E. Dee (Texas Monthly's best DJ in Texas 1976!) and have brought back jazz programming with a Sunday morning show. Also, we have a new music show hosted by our MD Jeff McCord. Just about all of our music-related modules like Austin Music Minute, that existed before the launch, migrated over to KUTX as well.
4. Has the music mix changed at all?
Not particularly. We're just excited to have more real estate to play great music!
5. How closely are you tied into the Cactus Café these days?
Very. We run the Cactus, so we see this as an extension of the station and our content gathering capabilities. It's really great to be associated with an iconic listening room that is a part of the fabric of Texas music history.
6. Plans for this year's SXSW?
We'll be busier than ever! We're broadcasting live from the ballroom of the Four Seasons each morning with performances by Josh Ritter, Lianne La Havas, The Relatives, Robyn Hitchcock and a whole lot more. We're teaming up with WXPN, WFUV, The Current (KCMP) and KXT for the public radio day stage. This is going to be huge with Vampire Weekend, Iron & Wine, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Dawes and others playing sets from the convention center and we're all broadcasting live. If that weren't enough, we're the sponsor of the Austin Music Awards, will be helping host a day party at Hotel San Jose and will be involved in a tribute to Levon Helm. All in four days!
7. What new bands are you most excited about?
Garage rockers Broncho out of Oklahoma, and I think Alt-J is going to break out in a big way.
8. With the changes at KGSR, how much music overlap is there in the market now?
We're in an interesting position. We actually overlap with a bunch of stations in Austin because we're not beholden to any specific genre. In any given set of music, we're overlapping with any number of Country stations, Top 40, AOR, Alternative, and the crosstown Triple A. It's a pretty fun spot to be in.
9. What do you view as the most important issue facing Public Radio today?
Expanding the reach of public media. We need to reach out to audiences who aren't typical NPR/PBS consumers and start a dialogue with them; the more diverse your audience, the better your chances of reflecting your entire community. It's more truthful, if you will.
10. What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
Be on time.
Last non-industry job:
First Record Ever Purchased:
It was a cassette -- Boston's first album
Eric Clapton (Journeyman tour)
Favorite Band Of All-Time:
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Hanging out with my wife and 16-month-old daughter. Plus I like golfing, cooking, hanging out at the Texas coast or the mountains in Colorado.