Industry Pro: Frank Edwards

FRANK EDWARDS
PD Clear Channel
KRYS/Corpus Christi

Previous Stations & Positions:
KTAI / Texas A&M-Kingsville (college radio station)
KNGV / Kingsville (Friday football board op / Sunday morning board op)
KOUL / Corpus Christi (started as weekend guy, then night guy, then APD/MD and
afternoons)
KKCN / San Angelo (Program Director / Afternoons)
KRYS / Corpus Christi (started as night guy/promotions, then PD/mornings, now
PD/Afternoon guy)
KKTX / Corpus Christi (added duties as PD of our News/Talk station in 2007)

Years in the biz:  12

Marital Status:  Yep…Christina and I have been hitched for 8 ½ yrs

Kids?  1 daughter, Leighann who is 3

What is your favorite thing about Corpus?  I’m 20 minutes from fishing and 90 minutes from hunting. It’s also the home and HQ of the world-famous Whataburger and of some of the best Mexican food and seafood in the world. This is home.

What are the unique challenges of programming in the Corpus Christi market?   I think we face the same challenges that other stations face. We have 2 other country stations in the market. We also have a very small staff. The challenge is making sure that we are doing the best we can. I can’t change the amount of marketing money we get or our budget, but we can work together and work smarter to accomplish our goals.

How did the radio bug bite you?   My mom showed me my birth announcement a while back and there was a microphone and a pair of headphones on the cover. I have wanted to do what I’m doing my whole life, but I really got interested in high school. When I was a senior, Bill Cody (now at WSM, then at KKYX/San Antonio) came to speak at a Soil & Water Conservation Association banquet in my hometown. I cornered him for about 45 minutes after it was over to talk about radio and that was the night I really knew what I wanted to do.

Are you currently utilizing, or planning to utilize: podcasts, video, texting or other digital technology in your programming and promotions? If so, in what way?   Nah…it’s a passing fad. I don’t think any of it will catch on. Seriously, I podcast just about every artist interview I do. We also started a NASCAR podcast last year, and people actually listen to it. All of us have some kind of recorder to get either video or audio. It is an essential part of what we do now.

What is the most critical problem radio faces today?   We need to train the next generation of broadcasters. I spoke to a college class a few months ago, and I asked the class of 25 how many of them listened to radio, and 4 raised their hand. The rest had MP3 players, satellite radio, or they recorded their own music. Sad thing was it was a radio broadcasting class. There are aspiring broadcasters out there today, but no place for them to ‘cut their teeth.’ I think I was a part of the last generation that could work overnight on the weekends. That opportunity just doesn’t exist anymore. We have to utilize internships, and recruit and train talent.

What can record labels and artists do to better serve you and your station?   Come take me to lunch. Actually, I’m very thankful for all of the support from our friends at the labels. They have a tough job, and I respect what they do.

Who has had the most influence on you in your career thus far?  Why?   My current GM, John Richards. He’s a former country PD, and he’s a great teacher. I’ve learned more in the last couple of years from him than I have in all of my previous years. And he was also kind enough to let me add the PD duties at our news/talk station about a year ago, which has really forced me to learn to manage my time and to delegate.

What are your favorite magazines, web sites, and blogs?
Magazines: Texas Trophy Hunters, Backpacker, Readers Digest
Web sites:
K99Country.com, Drudge Report, Yahoo! Buzz
Blogs: Mike Severson’s blog of course, The 9513 is good, penaddiction.blogspot.com

How do you discover new music?   Play MPE emails that we get, listening to full CD’s when they come in, occasionally returning a record rep’s call, and requests from listeners.

Do you ever play local or regional country acts? If so, do you have a success story?   Yes. We do a feature called the ‘Texas Spotlight’ every day a 6pm and play a song from a Texas artist. We also do a 2-hour show on Saturday nights called ‘The Texas State Line’ featuring Texas, regional, and local artists. Last year, the host of the show left us, and I didn’t want to host it each week. Now we get a bunch of Texas artists through here and I turn the show over to one of them each week to guest host…we’ve had artists like Kevin Fowler and Cory Morrow host, as well as up and coming artists and it works out really well.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the music business?
Can’t speak to music business, but if radio is your calling:
1. Go to college and get a degree
2. Major in something besides communication (business is a good one)
3. Work at a college radio station
4. Be prepared to work hard
5. If you don’t like coffee, then fine something similar you like

How important is it for a station to be local for their specific market?   It is THE most important thing. That’s what can set you apart.

What are you looking forward to most?  2 upcoming seasons: Football and Deer.

What do you like to do when you “unplug”?   I got a Wii for Father’s Day and that seems to dominate my time of late. I also discovered this thing last year called a ‘gym’ and that was good, because Jerry Springer was about to come knock a wall out of my house so they could get me out of here.

Is “Texas Music” still popular as ever? Do you notice any trend to a different type of sound or has it remained steady?   It is popular and will continue to be as long as there are college kids that drink beer and listen to music. It has more of a ‘rock’ sound to it now, and there seems to be WAY more artists than there was a few years ago. I do wish there was more originality as far as the names of the bands…I’m tired of the bands being named after the lead singer. That was great for Randy Rogers to do, but it seems like every Texas CD I get is from a band named after the lead singer. If we could stop THAT, and stop real estate agents from going to Glamour Shots for their pictures, the world would be a better place.

Which Texas based artists are you most excited about?   Jack Ingram and Robert Earl Keen are two of my favorite singers of all time. I think Wade Bowen is going to be the next big star out of Texas. There’s also a guy from Decatur named King Cone who is one of the most talented artists I’ve seen. There really is a lot of great music being made, and as a fan, I love it. I just wish I was 21 and had the energy to go to more shows when they’re in town.

I know you would never want to leave Texas, but what are other favorite locations of yours?
Yeah, I’m not sure if I’ll ever leave Nueces County anymore with the price of gas. My favorite 2 places to go are my grandma’s ranch just up the road from here, and Big Bend National Park. I love Colorado and New Mexico, and I really want to visit Wyoming. I’ve never been to Las Vegas, so I hope to do that this year. I’ve been pretty much everywhere else, and there is no place like Texas. Like Gary P. Nunn says “….we’ve got the prettiest women and the friendliest people you’ve ever seen.”

Thanks Frank!

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2 Responses to Industry Pro: Frank Edwards

  1. Pingback: Eyes and Hands Declared Most Prominent Body Parts In Country Music | The 9513

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