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QRD #37 - Radio Special - April 2008
about this issue
Radio MD Interviews with:
Hunter King at WESU
Andrea-Jane Cornell at CKUT
Geary Kaczorowski at WUMD
Max Martin at WUOG
Keri Fico at WUSB
Justin Lanoue at CFUV
Thurston Hunger at KFJC
Steve Marlow at CFBX
Joe Kendrick at WNCW
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Radio Music Director interview with Geary Kaczorowski of WUMD 
April 2008

Geary's been working at WUMD for years.  A great guy at a great station.

QRD – Why did you want the position of music director & why do you think you got it over all the other applicants? 

Geary – I wanted to be able to keep up on what was coming out.  I got the position because I was the only one that applied for it. 

QRD – What do you think the job of a good music director is? 

Geary – To determine what would be best for the station & keep the integrity of our mission to be an alternative source of music for our listening area. 

QRD – What did you initially think you could accomplish as music director that having obtained the position became obviously impossible? 

Geary – Because of financial constraints I have not been able to represent the station to the degree I would have liked to. 

QRD – How much do you let your personal taste in music effect your station’s music? 

Geary – I try not to let my personal taste effect the station.  I’m constantly telling myself to keep an open mind regarding music. 

QRD – How have streaming online radio stations affected the purpose & competition for your station? 

Geary – We stream which has helped us tremendously to reach a much wider & broader audience. 

QRD – What are some things bands/labels can do to get on the fast track into rotation & to eliminate themselves from getting into rotation? 

Geary – Concise band & music information makes a big difference.  & whether any tracks are FCC safe or not.  Labels or bands that send just a CD & no info obviously don’t help themselves because the lack of information doesn’t help people make a decision about them, mostly because DJs are too lazy to preview anything or they’re incurious if there isn’t information about the band. 

QRD – Do you read the charts of other stations & if so how do they affect your charts? 

Geary – I don’t read charts of other stations.

QRD – Do you solicit labels for servicing or just generally stick with who finds you? 

Geary – Occasionally we’ll solicit, but mostly it’s who sends us stuff. 

QRD – Do you like to deal directly with labels or do you prefer to deal with some sort of radio promotional team about what is going into the station library & rotation? 

Geary – I prefer to deal with neither.  You hear too much hype & idle chatter from them. 

QRD – What’s the longest time you feel comfortable keeping a record in rotation? 

Geary – Eight weeks. 

QRD – Do you listen to & review the majority of records you receive yourself? 

Geary – Yes, I do.

QRD – How much control do you let individual DJs have over what they play & how do they deal with requests?

Geary – Our DJs have complete control over their shows.  We don’t tell them what to play at all.

QRD – What’s the importance of specialty shows at your station? 

Geary – Very important.  They bring in a huge audience. 

QRD – How is your station involved in the local music scene? 

Geary – Occasionally we’re more involved depending on the money situation at the station. 

QRD – With your experience in radio, are you jaded or hopeful for the music industry? 

Geary – I have been in the music industry since the late 70’s so I’m completely jaded about it. 

QRD – If your position is temporary, what do you plan to do with your interest in music in the future? 

Geary – My position is not temporary.

QRD – What are the best & worst parts of your job? 

Geary – Worst part: dealing with the childish nature & irresponsibleness of the DJs.  Best part: the music. 

QRD – I imagine a lot of the younger generation of DJs pretty much exclusively use MP3s over CDs (much less vinyl).  How do you feel about the situation? 

Geary – I’m all for it.  But I still love spinning vinyl.  Our station has a very extensive vinyl & CD collection. 

QRD – Do you try to get your entire catalog digitally encoded on a hard drive for radio play?  If so, at what compression rate do you feel is appropriate?

Geary – We’re working on digitizing everything.  I think we’re doing it at 192. 

QRD – How do you feel about automation for overnight or unfilled DJ slots?  What program do you use for automation & how does it decide what to play? 

Geary – We use automation for all open slots.  Our automation programmer has done a great job with placing very interesting songs into the rotation.  It’s set at random with IDs, PSAs & promos slotted in at the appropriate moments.  I think we’re using I-Tunes for our automation.

QRD – I know that some labels & promotional teams are pushing towards digital download links over physical copies.  How do you feel about this? 

Geary – Right now it’s still a bit inconvenient, but we are moving towards accepting all digital downloads. 

QRD – When I worked in radio, there was a big problem with theft at the station.  Since so many people these days just use MP3 players, do they just steal the music rather than the physical disc & do you feel as a DJ they have a right to personally access any music from the station library at any time? 

Geary – I’m all for DJs accessing all the music from the station.  I have no problem with DJs ripping CDs for their own use.  We used to have a theft problem, but for the past couple years it has abated.  We were able to jettison lots of our deadwood DJs, the ones that stole & were useless. 

QRD – Anything else? 

Geary – Not that I can think of. 

Official WUMD Website