Career Capsule: I joke that I got my start in radio at The King’s Academy in West Palm Beach Florida. As the Student Body President, I had to give the morning announcements. I even recruited a sidekick, my friend Darien Wilson, to do them with me. It was a lot like a little radio show!
I strategically chose Wheaton College not just for its reputation for a great education, but because they had a radio station that broadcast to the community where I could gain hands-on experience. As a bonus, I met my husband Glenn while travelling with “Wheaton in the Holy Lands”!
I developed a career in Public Relations and Marketing while keeping one foot in the door of radio through part-time jobs. I finally got my first full-time gig when Kevin Avery hired me at WAY-FM in West Palm Beach to be Promotions Director and Morning Show Co-Host.
After 2 and a half years together as a show there, we got the offer from Allen Power to sign on a brand new station in Atlanta. My husband moved his company so I could take the job! My hero. I served as Promotions Director and Morning Show Host for 7 years. After all those 12-14 hour days, plus events, I was ready to focus solely on the show. Atlanta is a phenomenal place to live and we have the best listeners in the world! I’m so touched by their kindness, sense of humor and love for Jesus.
- Taylor, Tell us what’s new at WFSH… news, changes, & with YOU… etc?
What’s new? We’re STILL HERE! Lol! Seriously, if you had told me on my first day at 104.7 The Fish on October 16th, 2000 that I’d still be here 16 years later, I don’t think I would have believed you. “Kevin & Taylor in the Morning” is officially the longest running radio station in Atlanta! In an industry as volatile as radio, that’s something I’m grateful for every day.
We did on of our favorite promotions in our 16 years here at The Fish a few months ago. It was called “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. We gave away riding in a Ferrari to opening Day of the Atlanta Braves final season at Turner Field before they move to their new stadium. We re-created scenes from the movie, got on the jumbotron thanks to our Producer Griffin working his magic, etc. It was epic!
- What is your typical day like regarding getting ready to go on the air?
I spend my time on two things: 1) looking for things going on in the world that will make our target listener laugh, feel joyful, be intrigued or learn from. 2) Living my life and paying attention to the world around me and what would resonate and connect with our listeners. Sometimes just calling one of my 4 sisters on my way home from work gives me the best show bits!
- What is the best programming advice you’ve been given? The worst?
The best radio advice I’ve been given is to be authentic. I believe listeners can smell you being fake as well as a dog smells bacon cooking 10 miles away. When you’re being true to yourself, people feel comfortable listening because they know you’re comfortable in your own skin.
The second best advice I received – be positive and lighthearted. It’s so easy to be grumpy and complain. Anyone can do that. But to take our heartaches and the challenges we face in the world and approach it in a thoughtful, lighthearted way – that often makes your point so much better than getting angry.
The worst? I once had a programmer ask me, “Who cries more on the show, you or Kevin?” It was as if they thought they could tap into that and “re-create” it on the air. Truthfully, both of us have cried on the air at certain points in our 18 years together. It’s rare, but when it happens, it comes from true emotion and authenticity. It’s never something you would want to purposefully conjure up on the air.
- Some say more Christian stations in a market the better, do you agree with that, why or why not?
Hmm.. we’ll, as a for-profit radio station, we’re driven by revenue and ratings so “the more the merrier” could definitely water those vital things down. I’m a firm believer in healthy competition to keep us sharp and on our toes. We feel that competition from every single radio station in the market, not just the other choices our listeners have to get Christian music.
- What is the ONE thing you must have every day to do your show?
A positive attitude! No matter what’s going on in your personal life, you have to focus on the positive so you have something to offer your listeners.
- Where will future Christian radio air talent come from?
I think future Christian radio air talent may come from a lot of surprising sources. Improv groups, comedy acts, etc. Just like the creativity and entertainment value keeps going up in other areas of the media like late-night television, radio is continuing to evolve and grow. We’re competing against our listener picking up their cell to call mom or a friend, watching a crazy cat video on their phone, and their endless options for getting the music they want. Radio will need to offer high-definition personalities, entertainment value, fun, creativity and positivity to keep our listeners. Of course, I’d love to see a graduate of my alma matter, Wheaton College replace me!
- What is the most memorable moment you’ve had on the morning show at WFSH?
You expect me to remember? I’ve been getting up at 3:20am for 18 years! Ha! Seriously, there are so many incredible memories. Raising money for Food for the Poor to help share the love of Christ living in dire poverty is definitely a highlight.
I’ve been so touched over the years when the listeners rally around us when something tough is happening like when my nephew Aaron had a brain tumor, or when I lost my precious 9-year-old Scottish Terrier Jackson after a long battle with cancer.
Two of my favorite fun moments were when I asked Montell Jordan to cluck his famous, “This is How We Do It” like a chicken and he DID! He’s such a good sport. One time, with hands shaking, I showed Mark Hall from Casting Crowns some parody songs I had written based on Casting Crowns songs and not only did he run with it – he wrote even BETTER lyrics. It was hilarious!
- Who are your radio heroes and influences? and why?
I grew up listening to Kevin Kitchens on WRMF in West Palm Beach but the woman I credit with inspiring me to get into radio is Audrey Altman at WRMB in Boynton Beach. My parents would put her on in the kitchen and she impressed me with her joy, fun, confidence and positivity. She’s still on the air there and ironically my husband Glenn, an attorney and fee-only Certified Financial Planner, is often a guest on her morning show.
Kevin Avery gave me my first shot full-time in this biz and I’m truly grateful. He taught me so much about having fun and being playful on the air. Creativity just oozes out of him. I love hosting the show with someone with a background in Programming. His PD brain is always asking the right questions and analyzing the data in an effort to make our show better.
One of my favorite radio shows of all time is “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” on NPR. Yes, you can call me a nerd now. But it’s just to cleverly and creatively done – so entertaining! I can’t imagine having a team of writers making me sound smart every morning. LOL!
I enjoy spying on the likes of Fitz on the Wolf in Seattle and Bobby Bones. I admire the way they utilize an entire team to create a fun, positive show and also the way they’ve built an entire brand around their shows with parody songs, having a band, writing books, etc.