The driven 28 year old from Oaklawn, IL, Eleni Kametas, first became interested in radio when she was trying to figure out which college to attend. At the first sight of Valparaiso University’s radio station she knew she had to be apart of it. Because of her love for music, she knew she had to be apart of the industry in some capacity. Now she manages Parkland College’s alternative radio station 88.7WPCD!
1.When first starting in radio did you ever think you would be managing your own station?
I never thought I would. I was the music director for my college station but I never thought my duties would go beyond that. After college I worked in sales and marketing for Radio Disney and with music and college students at mtvU (MTV’s college channel until I was offered, now I have the opportunity to teach college students about radio, which is an opportunity I could not pass up.
2.What does being a radio station manager entail?
I am responsible for the daily operations of the station, therefore I have a part in almost everything including music directing, programming content, supervising staff and training dj’s. I’m also the contact for all the record labels and promotional companies and help to organize our promotions and events within the community.
3.What is your favorite part about this job?
[Laughs] I get paid to do what I loved doing in college. I get to share my passion for radio and new music with others. There is nothing better than having a conversation with a student about a musician we both love and then getting that onto the radio and watch as other people start to love it too. College radio is about creating what is going to eventually become a major part of the music industry.
4.What is your least favorite part about this job?
Not being able to get more new music out there as there. Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in a day.
5.Radio has been not as popular lately. Is there anything you do to make sure your station stays afloat?
One of our goals is that we want people who wouldn’t normally listen to the radio (and would go straight to their iPod) to start listening to 88.7 WPCD. We offer fresh new music from emerging artists. [They] think that everything they want to hear is on their iPod, but I think we have something to offer to everyone.
6.One of the most common asked questions for people in the radio industry is, “So do you get to pick the music?” How much, if any, input do you have for what the station plays?
We get anywhere from 10-20 albums and digital albums a week. We (several) of us at the station will listen to all of that music, choose what we believe the listeners will like most, and then program it for airplay. We will end up knowing everything about that album; the intros to the endings, to what went behind the making of that album, and everything in-between, unlike commercial stations that play music already chosen for them by other corporations.
7.Do you have any advice for people who want to do what you do?
This has to be your passion. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to live your passion. It’s a really cutthroat industry so you have to be willing to sacrifice other things, but if you love it, it won’t really feel like you’re sacrificing.