From DougMorris.net, some anniversary musings as we celebrate the 6th birthday of Rock 104’s RockTrax. The show launched exactly six years ago today…
With Rock 104’s 7th anniversary and my 6th year at the Rock to coincide with the occasion, a few of you had asked me what’s the difference between working at Rock 104 and working at “the old station” (“lovingly” referred to as…umm…nevermind, I didn’t put a “parental guidance suggested” label on this). As a number of you know, I wasn’t on the air with Rock 104 when the station launched in ’95. Honestly, I can give you a laundry list of differences.
But, I think the major difference between us, our colleagues at B95 and KZ94.3 and some other stations in the area is our group of stations is owned and operated locally. The folks who run and work at our stations are a lot like you. We live here, we work here, we buy groceries here, and we raise families here. And it’s because of that we have a better idea of what our listeners like and dislike than the competition.
Local ownership is something I could *not* associate with “the old place”. If you had a complaint about something you heard on “the old station” (and about a certain former colleague of mine — who shall remain nameless — but if you think about it, you’ll know who I’m talking about) and wanted to speak to the “general manager”, you’d have to make a call to either Virginia or Pennsylvania. The gentleman who had the title of GM at the time was in one of those states. To be fair, more often than not, if the complaint was a programming matter, your call was directed to the program director, who *was* in house.
I’m not saying all four of my years at “the old station” were awful. There were a few good years. Toward the end of my tenure there, it was obvious it was time to move on. You’d think the same way when the show you’ve hosted is the station’s only saving grace in an otherwise disaster of a ratings period when a new rock station signs on — and the way your employer expresses gratitude is by slashing your hours in half.
I certainly don’t mean to open old wounds here. Many of those who worked with me at “the old place” have gone on to bigger and better things. Thankfully, some from “the old place” have joined me at Rock 104, B95 and KZ94.3.
Unfortunately, one former colleague from the old station is no longer with us — Kim Myrick. When I think of my move to Rock 104, it’s hard not to think of Kim. While word leaked out in my final two weeks at “the old station” where exactly I was going, many labeled me a traitor. But not Kim. She wished me all the luck in the world.
We would remain in contact off and on. But, an auto accident ended Kim’s life too soon.
Be it TV, the newspaper or radio, if you worked in this market anytime within the last 10 years, more than likely, you knew Kim. And you knew her for her creativity and her smile that could light up a room.