10 Questions with ... Amber Elaine Hoback
November 2, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I moved to Sonoma County, CA while in graduate school for Intercultural Relations a little over six years ago. My first radio job was working part-time promotional events for all five stations at Wine Country Radio, then the reception desk while working my way up in responsibilities to be Promotions Director of KRSH, and now in programming.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
My interest in music has forever been fostered by my father. Singing along in the car to the radio was a daily activity. As soon as I moved to Sonoma County, I found The Krush 95.9 and could not believe such great radio existed! While I've loved radio my whole life, it was specifically the type of radio The Krush provided that really sparked my interest in regards to a career.
2. How long have you been at KRSH?
Shortly after I moved to Sonoma County six years ago, I began working part-time on the Promotions team at Wine Country Radio. So, about five-and-a-half years I've been at KRSH.
3. How would you describe the music on the station?
The Krush offers an eclectic assortment of music ranging from Bluegrass to Rockabilly, Blues to Americana, and singer-songwriters to local Punk. I hear people say, "Oh, I love all music," and the Krush caters well to those with varied music interests. The core of all the music we play revolves around honest lyrics and talented musicianship.
4. How are your music meetings conducted?
Every day at KRSH is a music meeting. A majority of our conversations (amongst the DJs) revolve around music ... "Did you hear this album yet?" We stop a lot in the hallways and just chat about new venues, recent concerts, etc. If a DJ plays a tune that's not on my radar, I get all excited to bust into the studio and ask, "What's that song?!" As Bill Frater noted to me once, if I just waited a few moments he would announce it. Though we do formally sit down once in a while and listen to new music together, we also conduct our monthly music panels, which is when we invite 12 listeners to the station house to get feedback on new music.
5. Tell us about some the station's annual benchmark promotions?
A great annual promotion is our $10,000 Oliver's Market giveaway. Over a couple of months in late spring, 100 KRSH listeners win $100 on-air to a local market that specializes in Sonoma County products. Then each of the 100 winners gets to choose a local non-profit to receive a matched donation of $100. Food is the ultimate universal common ground, and to be able to share food with listeners then to give $10,000 back into our local non-profits -- it's a win/win for everyone. KRSH also likes to have at least one flyaway music experience promotion each year. Last year we sent a listener on the Sandy Beaches Cruise (hosted by Delbert McClinton). And this year we are brainstorming about a Mississippi blues experience for listeners.
6. In what way does KRSH support community organizations?
Almost every major on-air promotion or concert event we host benefits a local non-profit. For over 15 years, KRSH has hosted Backyard Concerts, which are free concerts in the backyard of our station house. These concerts while free to our listeners raise funds for our benefitting non-profit (currently Sonoma Humane Society) through food and beverage sales. Also for the last 11 years, every December KRSH has a broadcast marathon to raise funds for a local children's non-profit. It's thrilling to watch as our listeners collectively raise tens of thousands of dollars in a mere six hours. Whenever we brainstorm about upcoming events or on-air promotions, we always try to find a way to tie in a local organization.
7. What is local live music scene like in Santa Rosa?
Vibrant for sure! The local scene has a lot of talent. KRSH has a daily segment called Sonoma Grown, which is when we feature a local artist. We encourage local artists to submit their music to us and many local bands have appeared in The Krush studio. With so much local talent, venues have live music almost every night of the week. And our larger venues host big acts all the time. It's a pleasure to live in a community with so many live music options.
8. Besides your own, what is your favorite radio format?
9. What is the one truth that has held constant throughout your career?
No one person can accomplish everything alone. It takes a team of people with their individual talents highlighted to produce a successful product, regardless of the industry.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ...
...a few quiet moments alone!
Last non-industry job:
Bartending at a golf club
First record ever purchased:
Janet Jackson (self-titled from 1982)
Favorite band of all-time:
Fiona Apple is my favorite singer/songwriter, but full band would have to be Led Zeppelin.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Dance! I've taken all varieties from ballet to tribal. Right now I'm in a Contemporary Hip-Hop class.