10 Questions with ... Pepper Daniels
July 27, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started in radio in 1994, WLDS/WEAI as a news anchor and board op during college in Jacksonville, IL. Became PD/morning host at Country WJVO/Jacksonville in 1997. Moved west to PD/mornings at KKJG/San Luis Obispo, Ca in 2003 with American General Media. In 2008, became Dir./Programming for KKJG, KZOZ, KIQO and KKAL. Launched KKAL as "The Krush 92.5, the perfect blend" in 2009 as a wine country focused AAA/Americana style format.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
Puberty is the quick answer. I thought this high-paying career would support my acting career.
2. Tell us about your Triple A station in San Luis Obispo.
The Krush was developed at first to support our local wine industry. We're home to three wine regions, Northern Santa Barbara County (like in the movie Sideways), San Luis Obispo, and to our north, Paso Robles. The concept was to support this industry and my feeling was the music could be unique. We lost KOTR (a local Triple A) over 10 years ago so I thought Krush could fill that void.
3. Tell us a bit about the city/market.
Anchored in San Luis Obispo, our market is home to over 300 wineries, vineyards and tasting rooms. We are eight miles from the beach and the weather is nearly perfect. It just sucks to live here. You'd hate it.
4. What market reach does the station's signal have?
We reach from Northern Santa Barbara Country including Santa Maria, some parts of the Santa Ynez Valley north along the coast to about 30 minutes North of Paso Robles.
5. How would you describe the music on the station?
It has a very independent feel. The foundation is singer/songwriter. We feature upwards of 10-15 local artists who are very popular here. It also has a strong Americana lean.
6. How much music overlap is there in the market?
KYPG simulcasts their signal from Santa Cruz here, but their reach is limited. Other than that. we are breaking "Alternative" bands for the Alt station or if something breaks on the pop charts, chances are we've been ahead of that. There is very little duplication for what we play here.
7. What new artists are you most excited about?
The Revivalists are amazing. See them live.
8. How do you stay in tune with your audience?
We're very active with our audience in the marketplace. The station is very busy at winery events, festivals, etc. We openly solicit feedback on the air and get it.
9. What is your typical day like?
I do a bit of voicetracking still on this station and my Country station. I have a great staff that supports me. Mostly, I make rapid-fire decisions on everything from spots/traffic, promotions, music, and the day-to-day schedules of my staff.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ...
... hearing new music!
Last non-industry job:
Record Store, lucky that was 1999 or so. Radio has been good to me.
First record ever purchased:
As a kid, I remember Olivia Newton-John "Let's Get Physical." But I remember buying with my own money, Ghostbusters.
Cinderella (w/Faster Pussycat and the Bullet Boys) *wow
Favorite band of all-time:
Phish. There's Phish. And everyone else.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
I'm still from the Xbox generation so I don't mind wasting time doing that. But truth is, I don't consider going to a concert as work. So if I can catch a show, I'll be there.