10 Questions with ... Heather Anders
March 31, 2014
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I've always loved making mix tapes -- let me preface. As a second job I work at a music venue called The Orange Peel in downtown Asheville. I'm celebrating my 10th year there. During my 4th year I was sitting in the office before work and I turned to a colleague and randomly blurted, "I'm going to have a radio show within the month." And my co-worker said "There's no way." And the universe kind of invited its doors for me to work in radio ... within a month!
2. Who are your mentors?
Neal Sharpe (the current PD of 98.1 the River), Ken Carson, all of the on-air staff at Asheville Radio Group have something to offer. I have to mention Ethan Minton from WCLZ/Portland, ME. That guy has got it together. I hope to meet him someday.
3. How would you describe the music on the station?
We love diversity. I love being able to hear Boy & Bear, Sarah McLachlan and older Bruce Springsteen in the same set. In addition, we have a great local show called Homegrown every Sunday at 7p that features our local artists. I'm very proud of our local music scene -- from the buskers and the jam bands to the hip-hop and the indie rock. Our station, one way or another, taps into just about everything.
4. What new bands are you most excited about?
Some of these artists are not "new" per se, but I would say they've hit the mainstream within the past year or so: Boy & Bear, Bastille, Shovels & Rope, Lana del Rey, Miley Cyrus, Capital Cities, Chvrches, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Sarah Siskind, Odessa, Wild Child, Temples, Lake Street Dive, JD McPherson ... oh man, this list could get really long.
5. What do you like best about your job?
Every day I stop and say to myself, "I cannot believe I'm getting paid to listen to music ...," I was listening to music since I was in the womb. It is embedded into my soul, my makeup. And to have a career where it is such a major aspect of what I do, I am truly blessed. Truly.
6. With the challenged signal, what do you guys do to insure a presence in the market?
We are constantly getting creative about how to make sure that folks know about us and continue to listen. Promotions are so important - on-site presence at events, concerts and festivals are very important. Great ticket giveaways, social media and one-on-one attention are also in the mix: I'm sending e-mails to listeners every single day. Making that personal connection is extremely important. AND let's not forget our streaming 24-7 from our website 981theriver.com and our new River Mobile App!
7. Tell us a little about the Asheville market.
For a smaller market it's very competitive ... and every major format is represented. We have additional signals that penetrate our market from Greenville-Spartanburg as well.
8. What clubs do you tie into there?
The Orange Peel, The Grey Eagle, Isis Restaurant and Music Hall, Asheville Music Hall, The US Cellular Center and Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
9. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I really hope to be Program Manager of 98.1 the River. If not, perhaps I will be Program Manager of some amazing station in Portland, Oregon. :o)
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ...
Last non-industry job:
Currently working with adults with disabilities.
First record ever purchased:
Vinyl: Old and In the Way. Cassette: Madonna "Like A Prayer." CD: Bon Jovi "Slippery When Wet"
New Kids On the Block in Raleigh sometime in 1989 or 1990.
Favorite band of all-time:
This is really tough. Judy Garland is my all-time favorite artist. I would say favorite band is a toss up between Nickel Creek and The Smashing Pumpkins
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
I really do not have a lot of spare time because I work three jobs (by choice) but I love to squeeze in a video game from time to time. Currently South Park: The Stick of Truth. "Whatevah! I do what I want!"