10 Questions with ... Laura Lee
February 24, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Interned at WXRK/New York
- Overnights at KWOD/Sacramento
- Weekends/assistant morning show producer for KRXQ/Sacramento
- Morning show co-host at KRFR/Bakersfield (defunct)
- Middays at KRAB/Bakersfield
- Middays at WQBW/MIlwaukee (defunct) (pauses to take a breath)
- Morning show co-host at WXTB/Tampa
- Weekend/fill-in at WKLS/Atlanta
- .. currently PD/morning show host for WCOO and middays on WYBB
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I was attending college in NJ and snagged an internship at WXRK/New York. At first I saw it simply as an excuse to get into the city twice a week, but after spending time mainly in the programming department I really got in to how a radio station functions and what it takes to be successful.
2. Who are your mentors?
I've worked with a lot of talented people throughout the years, but a few who stand out are Paul Marshall, Danny Spanks and Mike Allen. Paul Marshall taught me to respect my listeners and audience. He told me to never talk down to my listeners and I've never forgotten that. I won't always agree with the listeners. but their opinion is just as valuable as mine. Danny Spanks taught me to respect programming. I was always slipping Green Day's "Jaded" in after "Brain Stew." He's such a funny, light-hearted guy, but when he heard me play "Jaded" he came into the studio, told me stone-faced not to do it again and walked out. Years later, now that I'm programming The Bridge, I understand what it takes to make a station's sound flow and understand why programmers don't want the sound messed with. Mike Allen taught me to respect what it takes to run a station. He wore just about every hat you can in the business. He left a big chair to fill. Seriously ... his chair is so big, salespeople can never tell if I'm even in my office. He's been a great mentor, thoug,h and still helps me out when I need it.
3. How would you describe the music on the station?
The Bridge is a Triple A with a lean towards Alternative. We're also a very local station with a "Homegrown" category. Charleston, SC has a very strong music scene.
4. Tell us how your music meetings are conducted
I share an office with Matthew Potter, who programs our sister station WYBB (98 Rock). We'll bounce songs off one another and discuss them. There really isn't a method to our madness. We'll grab whomever is in the hallway and get them to listen as well -- interns, promotions staff, firefighters who are at the station to inspect our extinguishers...
5. How much music overlap is there in the market?
You have some crossover. You'll hear certain artists on The Bridge and our sister station, 98 Rock, and occasionally even the Top 40 in town. Besides that, there are a lot of Country stations duking it out. A LOT.
6. What are some the station's key yearly promotions?
Spring Jam, which is a combination of local and national Triple A acts and then First Flush, which we have been involved with since the beginning. Each year we send a couple people to Bonnaroo. Uniquely Charleston, we have Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto annually. Spoleto is all about the arts and Piccolo Spoleto is the music side of the festival.
7. What is your biggest challenge at the station?
Time management. When I was hired, I worked mornings on our Active Rock station and that was it. Five years later I'm in at 5:30a to do mornings on The Bridge. After the morning show I walk down the hallway and track a midday shift on 98 Rock. The rest of my day is tracking a midday shift for an out-of-town station, meetings with our sales staff and clients, music calls, answering e-mails about potential Bridge morning show guests, doing logs, voicing spots for Mel, our production guru, and coming up with new Bridge promotions ... all the while listening to new music. Google Calendar is my new best friend.
8. Tell us a bit about the Charleston market.
For a medium market, Charleston has a LOT of stations. I believe The Bridge stands apart from the pack, though, because we are a very locally geared station. We're one of the only stations in town that has local jocks on all of the dayparts and we take full advantage of this. The Bridge morning show -- while music-intensive -- hardly a day goes by where you won't find a local business, charity or band on the air. We take pride in the fact that if it's happening in the Lowcountry, you'll hear about it on The Bridge.
9. Where do you see yourself in five years?
This is the ninth radio station (If you don't count voicetracked ones) that I've worked at in my 12 years of radio. I started out in California and station-hopped my way back to the East Coast. I enjoy Charleston, SC and don't see myself going anywhere for the foreseeable future ... Either that, or I end up in a van down by the river. I'm really hoping it's the first scenario though.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ....
... Blistex. I think I'm addicted to the stuff.
Last non-industry job:
I am the game host for our ECHL hockey team the South Carolina Stingrays
First record ever purchased:
If by record you mean tape, then To the Extreme by Vanilla Ice. I played a lot of Nintendo in the '80s, so all my money went towards games and not albums
Michael Jackson's Bad tour. My brother was a baby at the time, but yet he still managed to fall asleep even though we (my mom, uncle and I) were sitting in front of two very large, very loud Jackson super-fans.
Favorite band of all-time:
U2. I have just about every album, single, bootleg, 'zine, poster, T-shirt all the way through their POP album. I don't love them less today, but a mortgage can really mellow out an obsession.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
I had promised my Golden Retriever seven years ago that I'd get him a yard. My husband and I bought our first house in December, so I put an end to my World of Warcraft account and picked up some gardening tools. I love spending time in my back yard ... it's very relaxing. I also love to work out in the evenings. I'll go straight to the gym after work and take a taebo or yoga class. I find it really helps balance out my day.