10 Questions with ... Margot Smith
January 10, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WODJ/Rand Rapids, WGRD/Grand Rapids, KXNA/Fayetteville, AK and WZGC. There were stops in between, but those are my career biggies.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
WKRP in Cincinnati (As a kid I wanted to be Andy Travis ... without pants quite as tight, however) and my college radio station WOUX furthered my interest. I remember meeting Laurie DeYoung when I was in about 7th grade. She was then a DJ on WLAV in Grand Rapids, I think. She was very encouraging about me getting into radio.
2. Who were/are your mentors?
I don't have a mentor per se, but there a lot of people that have been extraordinarily supportive and encouraging: My parents, Dick Kernen at Specs Howard, Michael Kay, Dickie Shannon, Lorna Ozmon, Val Garris, Leslie Fram, Paul Kriegler, Mike Wheeler, Scott Jameson ... There are a lot of people I didn't list, too. I couldn't have this career without pretty much everyone I ever worked for and with. I've learned something from everyone.
3. How long have you been in the Atlanta market?
Almost eight years
4. How would you describe the music mix on the station?
We're not a "true" Triple A -- we look to our market first, then the charts. We check all charts -- Triple A, Americana, variations of AC, Alternative, etc. ... and discuss anything we think will work on Dave-FM.
5. Describe the weekly music meeting between you and PD Scott Jameson.
Because we're conservative in the amount of our additions, we tend to meet every couple weeks. I bring in a list of songs to discuss and voila! ... music meeting. Scott and I get along musically pretty well. He hears things I might miss and vice versa.
6. What do you like best about your job?
The music first and always. I also like my music history show called "Dave After Tomorrow." I have free reign to cover any topic using any music.
7. What has been your biggest career highlight?
Hmmm... Over 20 some years there have been a lot of things. The first time I cracked a mic professionally will always be my biggest thrill. I will say this, too: The interviews that go along with being a DJ are something I wouldn't trade. Not all have been gems, but I don't know anywhere else that I would have the opportunity to host so many fascinating and creative people.
8. Besides your own, what is your favorite radio format? Tell us about Dave Roots!
Ahh, you're already assuming Americana would be my answer! (I kid) -- I do love Americana. As I get older I appreciate story telling in a way I didn't -- and couldn't when I was younger. Dave Roots has been a way to explore that; I'm very fortunate that I've been given it to shape and program as a side channel for us. I also like Oldies (not Classic Hits) I love doo-wop, garage rock, pop and early '70s-studio-band stuff. Unless I'm at home, I can only hear those on an Oldies format.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ...
10. If you wanted to completely change careers today, what would you do?
I would be an historian.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time away from work?
Away from work? What's that? (Heh...) I do like just hanging out with my husband and my dogs. I love to read about social and cultural history. I also want to set up my B/W darkroom again. I could lose myself for hours doing that.
Last non-industry job:
In a camera store
First record ever purchased:
Tom Petty's "Damn the Torpedoes." (When I was eight, we moved into the house I grew up in and in the attic there was a treasure trove of albums from the previous occupants -- including The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Woodstock ... all sorts of albums, so I already had a good head start.)
Eddie Money (1983, I think)
Favorite band of all-time:
My favorite singer is Sam Cooke and my favorite band of all time is The Replacements.