1.) Larry when did you know the offspring was going to follow in your footsteps in Country radio?
Well, as a child, Kris (by the way, I still call her “Chrissy”) seemed to enjoy listening to radio and singing along with the Country songs, so before she was even a teen I took her with me to KNIX a few times and put her in the control room with W. Steven Martin, our morning show “celebrity”, and he put her to work filing records (you know, vinyl) and “carts” and doing some work for him.
She got to see and hear one of the top
2.) Kris - How was it to work for Dad?
Working with my dad was good and bad! There was this persona that I got certain jobs because of my dad and anyone who thought this obviously didn’t know my dad. I had to work twice as hard to move up in my career because I was his daughter. Until probably a few years ago I was constantly critiqued by my dad. Especially when I first started in my career.
I was living at home (very young and in college) and he wouldn’t hire me for a P/T job on air at KNIX. I gave his PD, George King, an air check and he hired me without telling dad. I believe he told my dad to listen to a new P/T that was training at on Sat. and let him know what he thought. The minute my dad heard me I was hot-lined.
The time I worked at KNIX for 2-3 years I was hot-lined quiet often just to make sure I didn’t forget something and then when I got home (I still lived with my parents) I would have a 2-3 page evaluation waiting for me weekly. My dad would air check me while stopping the tape every 5 seconds to tell me whether it was good or bad. At the time I hated it, but it was great because he taught me so much. Now when he comes and visits me (every market I’ve worked in) I have an air check session with him, if he hasn’t already done it by listening online.
I always wished I had worked with my dad as a full time on air personality at KNIX…that was my goal one day…but it wasn’t meant to be.
3.) Larry - You have got to be proud of her accomplishments?
Absolutely! Her dedication to Country music and Country radio and the opportunities she has had to work with some very talented people in this industry had been very special. She’s had a great passion for Country radio even as a child and of course, still does today.
4.) You always had a big smile on you're face , when we talked about him.
To know where both of my parents came from, which was absolutely nothing, and see what they did with their lives is just incredible.
My dad had a passion for radio and Country music. He followed his dream. He was very lucky because he found my mom who helped him follow his dream and stay home to raise my brothers and I plus be there for my dad.
I grew up in this business and as a young child I remember my dad loving his job…it didn’t seem like a job. I used to always want to be with my dad at station events, concerts and loved hearing his stories of Buck, Merle, and Roger Miller to name a few the good ol’ days in country music. At the same time the way my dad treated people, the way he did business and the way he and my mom took great care of my brothers and I was just incredible! I’m very proud of my dad!! For a kid that grew up very country on a farm with only a high school education, to leave home with nothing at the age of 15 and do what he did (with my mom’s help) is awesome!! He never compromised his morals either!
5.) Larry - It has to be hard for you to see what's happened to the capacity of KNIX, when you handed the keys over she had big ratings.
"Yes, we were very fortunate to have been at KNIX when it was run by the Owens’ family! Michael Owens, our VP/GM, was the main reason for our success as he encouraged us to focus on the listeners. Whenever decisions were made we always asked ourselves if our listeners would agree with us. That’s missing at a lot of radio corporations today and that’s not just my opinion, but that’s what many, many industry people are telling me regularly.
Fortunately, we see that ‘live and local’ methodology still being a huge success at the Owens’
6.) Kris - Congrats on the new baby - soon?
I could only hope this child shows up soon actually I believe this baby will be here VERY soon….keep listening!