KFJB Radio Host
In 1989, I graduated from Drake with a degree in radio/television. What to do now? Luckily fate stepped in and the overnight DJ at KIOA decided to move to another radio station. I was offered the overnight air shift on KIOA in Des Moines at the tender age of 22 for a whopping $11,000 a year! I was thrilled! Not a lot of money, I realize, but I had made it in my mind.
The overnight shift is tough. This was back in the day before the "Do Not Call List". Companies were constantly calling and waking me up. Most people were working, I was sleeping. Once, I accidentally ordered a set of encyclopedias while in a half slumber.
By 1993, I needed to find a different air shift on a different radio station. I moved on to KCCQ in Ames doing afternoons until 1995. Then, I moved to KRTI in Newton doing mornings from 1995-1998. Then, back to Ames at a new station in Ames called KLRX. This was a great fit for me. I was teamed with a great morning show and a great format. It was a classic rock format. Strangely enough in 2001, I was once again asked to come back to Newton and be the morning guy at KRTI(Energy FM).
You may have guessed from my moving around so much, that radio is nomadic business. It is! That's why so many DJs are divorced or on a their second marriage or third.
After a couple more years at KRTI it was time to find another station. This time it was KBIZ in Ottumwa. When I got there in 2003 it was an oldies format. YES! I was once again playing the Guess Who, The Beatles and Buddy Holly. About 6 months into my stint at KBIZ the station changed formats to talk radio. I totally new challenge. No music, just me talking and doing interviews. I'd never attempted to do anything like that before. While I was disappointed it prepared me for my next radio station, KFJB in Marshalltown.
I arrived at KFJB in 2004 and immediately began doing the exact same thing I was doing in Ottumwa, talk radio. I quickly realized that I couldn't be a controversial host or a host that talked about politics. It just wasn't me. I decided to focus on local, local, local with another helping of local. There are so many talk show hosts out there that are way better at talking about pop culture and politics than me. I decided that KFJB needed to have local guests, local government and people discussing fun stuff going on in and around Marshalltown.
There was twist to the all this localism, however. This format allowed me to interview some of my favorite rock and roll artist. I have been able to interview on my morning show: Bobby Vee; Dean Torrence (of Jan & Dean); Burton Cummings (of The Guess Who); Peter Cetera of Chicago; Randy Meisner of the Eagles and many more. I've been lucky enough that while this format doesn't play their music, they still have a great story and that lends itself to talk radio.
In 2017, I found out I would be inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of fame as a DJ! I couldn't believe it! Was I old enough to qualify? I was! In 2017 I began my 30 year on the radio in Iowa. All I needed was 25 years to qualify. Still, I wondered, why me? There are plenty of DJs who have been in radio for 25 years. On September 3, 2017 I was the 20th (and youngest) Disc Jockey inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.