Local DJs Share Their Stories on ‘World Radio Day’
Today is a very important day. It is February 13th, which is not only Valentine's Day Eve, but the day that the United Nations radio was established back in 1946. In honor of that huge milestone, today is also known as 'World Radio Day.' According to the official website,
"The objectives of the Day will be to raise greater awareness among the public and the media of the importance of radio; to encourage decision makers to establish and provide access to information through radio; as well as to enhance networking and international cooperation among broadcasters."
We here at Townsquare Media obviously know the importance and the impact of radio, otherwise we would probably be doing something totally different with our lives. I don't have any idea what that something is, but let's hope I never have to find out!
When I tell people that I work in radio, the number one question I'm asked (aside from "can I have free concert tickets?") is how I got my start in the business. When I graduated high school in 2009, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Instead of taking a year or two off to figure it out, I decided that I would attend a local university and just take general classes until I made up my mind. I took morning classes so I could work afternoons and evenings, so I would drive 45 minutes to school during morning rush hour. The only thing that got me through those long commutes was radio. I would listen to two Detroit morning shows every single day, and I always thought to myself, "what a cool job. I wish I could do that." After my first year of college was complete and my school was pressuring me to make a choice, I decided to drop out and attend the Specs Howard School of Media Arts. Why couldn't I do morning radio? I've got a big mouth! 8 years later, and here I am in Iowa doing what I love every single day.
Here are some other stories from our other Cedar Rapids DJs here at Townsquare Media:
"My first experience in the world of radio came my senior year of high school. My parents made me go out for individual speech contest. I was a shy introvert and they thought that speech contest would help me come out of my shell. I was terrified. I looked at the categories for speech contest and chose the only one that didn't force me to speak in front of a crowd of people. Radio News and Broadcasting. It turned out, I was pretty good. I made the All-State Iowa speech team and a judge at districts heard my voice and offered me a job at a local radio station. Three years later I was an intern here at KHAK. That's how my radio journey began back in 1993." - Brain (KHAK)
"I was actually a client of KRNA before I started working here. I was a concert promoter and most of my shows were presented by this station. I worked with program director Gregg "the Shark" Scharnau on the marketing for each concert. He and I became very close friends. He knew I had a background in television, and one day he asked if I'd like to host a show on Saturday nights. That was about ten years ago. The rest is history!" - Jaymz Larson (KRNA)
"During my middle and high school years, I listened to the St. Louis Cardinals (announcers Jack Buck and Mike Shannon) on the radio religiously. I wanted to be the next play-by-play guy, following in Buck's footsteps. When I listened to him, I saw the field. He was that good. I didn't really do anything toward broadcasting, though, until high school. Our speech teacher told me I had a good voice and that I should get involved. After a little persuasion, I did Radio News Broadcasting and other speech contests followed. Then it was on to broadcasting school and my first part-time job at a station. I worked at a small country station in Rock Island, Illinois and moved on from there. I've never regretted my choice. I've been very blessed." - Bob James (KHAK)
"I've always loved country music. I remember being in the backseat of my mom's car when I was little singing 'Little Bitty' by Alan Jackson. Fast forward to when I got through my first two years of college and it was time to pick a direction for my career. I was shy when I was little, so I try to push myself and get out of my comfort zone. There's nothing better than broadcast to do that for ya! I originally thought I wanted to be a news reporter. After interning for different news stations in sports and with a morning team, I realized the aspects of the industry I enjoyed the most was all of the fun stuff. I knew when I chose a career path, it would have to be something that I enjoyed every day. Country music + broadcasting= radio. I found a job here in Cedar Rapids, and it's been amazing ever since!" - Danielle (KHAK)
"I was about 6 years old and I already loved music, and then I heard Casey Kasem counting down the hits! When I realized you could do this as a job, I was intrigued. In high school, I did a job shadow at a local radio station. I found out there was a little more to it than I thought, but it was all worth it and after that one day, I was hooked. I went to Kirkwood's broadcasting program and...here I am! I love radio and entertaining and informing you all in Eastern Iowa." - Eric Stone (KDAT)