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Q and A with Kevin Geddings

by Mark Peres

April 4,2005

You launched Radio AM 1060, ‘The Conversation Station,’ on January 1st of this year. What led you to launch the station?

I have long had a dream of directing a radio station that could participate in the life of the community I live in. Of course, the station is not taxpayer-supported, so we have to program content that is entertaining and community-minded. Ultimately, I have to put out a product that folks want to listen to and that advertisers want to support. The jury is still out.

Tell us about the station and format. How is it positioned in the marketplace?

The station is a "positive" talk station. We stay away from airing extremist commentators. We have tried to put folks on the air who focus on the issues that face folks every day -- relationship issues, personal finance matters, personal growth. If you watch the local TV news, read the newspaper and maybe like watching Oprah and 60 Minutes, you'll probably like listening to AM 1060.

You talk everyday to a broad base of Charlotteans. What is your sense of civic engagement in the city?

I've lived in New York City, Washington, DC and Columbia, SC for considerable periods of time and Charlotte is the best overall community I have ever lived in because almost everyone who lives here loves this place. As a result, everyone is willing to engage, especially if they're asked, in making the city a better place to live.

What are the principal concerns about Charlotte that citizens raise?

On our morning show, we hear about public schools mostly. I know from 10,000 feet up in the air, we have one of the best urban school systems in America, but parents are frustrated by school overcrowding, large classroom sizes, overwhelmed teachers and a CMS bureaucracy that seems to be slow to respond. Traffic is also an ongoing frustration and a sense that the lack of construction today on Independence Blvd and I-485 in the Southeast means traffic nightmares in the next 5-7 years.

Where do you think media is going in Charlotte? How would you like to see media evolve?

Unfortunately, our media is becoming more generic as we grow larger. As the same limited number of radio and TV stations attempt to serve a 14-county media market that exceeds 1.4 million persons, broadcast stations are becoming more "generic" in an effort to reach the greatest number of bodies. Charlotte radio stations are almost all owned by large corporations, often not based here, so content decision-makers have no feel for the uniqueness of this place. Radio is dullest in huge markets like New York City and Houston, yet we are heading in that direction.

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