Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I was traveling in the Citadel corporate jet with then VP/Programming Scott Mahalick and a couple of bean counters from Wilks Broadcasting and John Davidson the PD of The Hawk in Binghamton. We were flying from Binghamton to Charleston, SC – It’s August 1999 – I was flying high in a corporate jet – Did I mention that? – I was taking part in a marketing model meeting in Charleston. We had just purchased Cat Country there. So I’m chatting away with Scott and John is taking highlighters and marking songs in Billboard Airplay Monitor. So The Prime Minister asks the M or R question. How did you guys get into radio, was through music interests or radio/programming interests?
I went on my usual rampage, I grew up in San Diego and heard the great KGB and KCBQ Top 40 battle of the early-70's, The rock battle later between KPRI and KGB and loved listening to KHJ and KFRC when traveling with my parents to Los Angeles and San Francisco. Charlie Van Dyke was the PD of KGB and he use to give me all of the Drake station surveys and internal play lists. I was more intrigued about how the songs got played instead of the music and songs themselves. I guess that was the deciding moment. I was never a musician or a follower of music trends and I never worked in a record store. I loved radio, the concept of jingles, promos, jock breaks and format clocks. In 1973 I met Austin Keyes and with a handful of rag tag radio wanna-be's, we swarmed UCSD campus station KSDT. There it was about music, music aficionados. We made it about formats and presentation and even the production of cool promos. Oh lord, the long haired freaky people hated us.
Through my Country career most of the fellow programmers and air talent were laced in music. There was this mecca called Nashville they all wanted to hang in. I never did. I was a programmer not a music guy - I was way more R and P - then M. The one thing I do like about the state of radio these days - It's focused on programming and operating the products not, mired in the music world. As always we welcome your thoughts - Posting has been fixed so everyone can post with out a log in or a Google account. Have a great Thursday M or P's.
I want to welcome Austin Keyes of Austin Keyes Voiceover as our new associate editor. I eventually will get a job and will need some help keeping FTC going. He has been a life long friend and I applaud his instincts and prowess.


  1. I done read your articles. I think too many fancy pants sound effects and hollywood voices
    make a C&W station sound like a bunch of Nancy
    boys. Up here at K-DIRT, we're pretty much top
    of the heap with everyone living, breathing, and holding down a job. Ty Calhoun

  2. Chuck: some great points.

    Speaking of KSDT: I recall doing an entire show at KSDT playing hits & talking over intros, the dj next up looked like he was going to be sick as he held his nose & cued up his Fairport Convention album.

    A lot of people who gravitate towards radio really want to be in the music business. At one point at an Active Rock station I think I was only one not in a band. I have known some people who went from the radio business into the record business and were very successful.

    For me it was radio, not the record business. However It helps if you have a measured passion for music. My friend Steve Craig worked in ultra tight, musically contrived CHR formats for Jerry Clifton and those type formats for years.

    Yet he always had a passion for punk & alternative rock. Finally at 99X Atlanta he got to use that knowledge and passion to become one of the best Alternative Radio personalities (he's now at WRXP NY)in the country.

    Kevin Barrett

  3. I suppose the best radio personalities are probably those who love radio, though the radio geek stuff needs to be strictly backstage, hidden from the audience.

    In some music genres, where the groove is "us against the popular culture", I would guess the radio personality has to come across as a music aficionado. He/She can be a radio geek, just not on the air.