10 Questions with ... Carmel Holt
January 3, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I've done it all at WDST - sales, on-air and programming.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I was obsessed with listening to records, and my parents gave me a Radio Shack rack system, with a tuner, turntable and 8-track, when I was five to replace my Fisher Price. I discovered radio ... and was hooked. I was a Performing Music major in college ... and WDST was my station. When I graduated, I hung around Woodstock and wanted to find a job that was related to music. I met Nic Harcourt while working a crappy job at a local café, and asked him to let me know when/if a job opened up at WDST. He got me my first job, but I had no idea what I wanted to get out of working here. Now that I am MD and on-air, I can look back and see how everything led me here. I really feel lucky to do what I love!
2. Who are your mentors?
I feel lucky to have the opportunity to learn from so many people both within the station and our amazing Triple A community. Here we have a couple of really seasoned radio programming vets - our PD, Jimmy Buff and Greg Gattine, our morning show host and former PD. Plus, I learned a lot along the way from observing our former PD/MD, Nic Harcourt, and former Music Dir. Roger Menell, who I still call for input. And I always try to soak up as much as I can from other programmers in the format - Norm Winer, Bruce Warren, Jim McGuinn, Rita Houston ... the list goes on and on. They all teach me so much, directly and indirectly.
3. How would you describe the music on Radio Woodstock?
We're a pretty solidly Classic Rock leaning Triple A, but we play deep album tracks and stuff you'll never hear on Classic Rock radio. And we still play fantastic new music that isn't anywhere else on the dial in our market, which hopefully keeps the joy of music discovery alive for our listeners.
4. What do you like best about your job?
Being immersed in the world of music each and every day ... and sharing my passion for it with my community.
5. What has been your biggest career highlight?
So far, I'd say the highlight was becoming MD and midday host.
6. Tell us about the music meetings at WDST.
Jimmy and I listen to just about every song going for adds each week. I do my best to listen to more than just the songs we are considering, and if possible, preview the albums, so we can make solid decisions based on the potential shelf life of the album. We don't play a ton of currents, so we have to be very selective. If I feel very strongly about something, I'll make a case for it, but otherwise, I am presenting music in a pretty neutral way, conveying info that my promo peeps provide ... and he makes the final call on what we add that week.
7. What stations do you like to keep track of?
On the commercial side, WXRT/Chicago and KBCO/Denver, and on the noncomm side, WXPN/Philadelphia and WFUV/New York.
8. Most surprising record of the past 12 months?
There were a lot of great releases this year, but I think the one that truly snuck up on me and took my breath away was Laura Veirs' latest, "July Flame." A new direction I didn't expect with quietly simmering passion and depth, which tugged on my heartstrings, and massaged my ears. Gorgeous.
9. Tell us about the amazingly successful Pink October Radiothon you guys recently completed.
Phew - what an incredible weekend! We did three solid days, beginning on Friday at 9a, and finishing up Sunday evening at about 7p. I have never felt such camaraderie and cooperation at the radio station ... and from our listeners. The generosity and heartfelt participation was so moving. I hadn't felt that kind of hope since Obama won the election. Proved to me what is possible when we all work together. Over $50k raised in three days for breast cancer. Simply incredible, especially in times like these. Made me so proud to be a part of a community oriented radio station, and reminded me of why radio is still so relevant.
10. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without:
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
I love to cook, spend time with people I love, take walks, do yoga, have little adventures, see live music and if possible, find time for creative projects. There's too much to do, and never enough time!
Last non-industry job:
Freelance graphic design
First record ever purchased:
I don't remember the first album I actually bought, but my first records were all Beatles, handed down from my sister.
Favorite band of all-time:
That's impossible to answer.