Thursday, July 30, 2009

KUT's Assistant MD Talks about His Path to Radio

An American-Statesman article today profiles University of Texas public radio station KUT's Assistant Music Director Matt Reilly, talking to him about his new gig hosting the night-time music show. As the article explains, there's been controversy about this schedule change at the station, as his show is displacing some popular specialty shows by DJ veterans at KUT.

According to the piece, Matt has worked in both commercial and non-commercial radio. Most recently he was at WXPN, University of Pennsylvania's public radio station and of that experience he states that:

"...he learned a new view of public radio's possibilities. 'Those guys foster a lot of interactive-ness.

They would host costume parties, half of the building was a live music venue and bar. And the listeners could not have been nicer.' But Philly has winter and sleet and, after four years, it was time to come back home.

'I knew I didn't want to go back into commercial radio,' Reilly says. 'It's the lack of job security. You can wake up and the whole station is gone.'...

When he got here [to KUT] in 2008, he started filling in. Now he's the assistant music director with a new show at night and plenty of controversy.

'It's been great,' Reilly says. 'It's sort of terrifying when you've been told what to play for years to suddenly go to place where they're like, "You have freedom!" and you're like "Really? That doesn't make any sense"'

Freedom to play a variety of music. Indeed. That's the joy of non-commercial radio. But his comment also makes me wonder how much freedom DJs at public radio stations really have compared with non-public radio affiliated college stations. I bet there are playlist guidelines as there's too much money riding on keeping the listeners donating to these big budget stations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

KUT plays 4 "required" tracks an hour.