By The Hampton Herald Staff
The Hampton Herald Newspaper staff had the opportunity to interview Mr. Greg Carpenter, the co-host for the morning show and the Program Director for 101.9 Lite FM.
Do you have a favorite guest that you have had on your show?
My favorite guest was American Idol judge Lionel Richie, he was super nice and he had a great personality. I also interviewed Johnny.O, the county executive.
What inspired you to work in radio?
I had always wanted to do it. When I was in 5th grade, I listened to a radio station called B 104 and my grandparents were also on the radio so I decided to do that.
What kinds of equipment do you use?
There’s old equipment that are called CDs. Before CDs there was vinyl. There were little vinyls called 45s and big vinyls called LPs. We used a lot of tape as well. Now, everything is digital. Everything is on the computer. All the music, commercials, and jingles are all on the computer.
What music do you play on the show?
We play pop music all the way from the 80’s to now.
Do you choose what you play?
I have two jobs at the station. I am the morning show host, and I am also the program director. I find out what people like and what people don’t like. I am lucky in the fact that I get to pick the songs that we play. Most Djs don’t get to do that.
What is the best thing about hosting a radio show?
You get to do a lot of cool and different things everyday. I enjoy that I don’t have to sit behind a computer all day.
What other jobs have you had?
I used to work at Valley View farms–a nursery, which is a place that sells plants, and a Christmas shop– in college. After college I started working at WCAO, which is a country station. It was an AM station. There’s two types of radio stations, AM & FM, and AM there is a lot of talk and voice and FM is where the music is.
How many people work at the station?
We have people on air, we have a sales team, and we have a programming team. At my station alone, there’s only four people on air, 5 if you include traffic. We have three radio stations in our company, Mix 106.5, 101.9, and 105.7 The Fan. I do some work on the Fan also. If we count everyone in the building, we probably have 75 or 80 people.
What is your typical work day like?
I wake up at 4:15 in the morning. I get to the radio station at about 5:20 and we go on air at 6. We do our show until 9. After 9, I do all the programming for the station until about 2:30. I figure out promotions. For example, we do a lot of Disney vacations. The reason we go is to paint the picture of what it’s like at Disney when our listeners win the contest. We describe all of these things to the listeners.
When you have to interview someone, do you choose?
We don’t really pick and choose, most of the time they come to us. One time we had Adam Jones call us over to do work at his charity. Let’s say there’s a new movie and Tom Cruise is in it. They want to promote it, so they call us.
Has public speaking ever scared you?
It is actually more scary for me to present to like 1 or 2 people than 500 people. It was much scarier for me to present in school than on the air.
What did you study in college?
Mass communications. I studied that at Towson university. Most schools now call it electronic media. Mass communications was too generic. If you guys are interested in radio or television, look for schools with electronic media programs.
Why did you choose 101.9?
I used to work at Mix 106.5 and they are the same company as 101.9. They were doing a whole bunch of changes and they asked if I would like to do mornings and I said “sure.” I was already in the building. Before that, I applied to Mix 106.5. When you apply, you have a resume, which is a summary of your experience, and they also wanted a tape. The tape (which is a flashdrive) had my show on it. It was an example of how I sounded. They liked what they heard, so they hired me.
What kinds of skills do you need to have to be a host?
You have to have good speaking skills. You have to know how to tell stories. Good communication skills are the most important. You also have to know different types of computers. There’s also radio software that you have to know. In addition to communication skills, you have to know recording audio software to do proper editing.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in working in radio?
Say yes to everything. Try your hardest and meet as many people as you can. If you want to be on air, but a station doesn’t have an on-air position but they ask if you want to be a promotions assistant, the answer is yes because you want to get in the building. My biggest advice is meet people and do everything you can to get noticed.
What is the most challenging thing about hosting a show?
Probably when things get real, it gets so much harder when we have real news to talk about. Like when things get serious, we need to make sure that we can be as accurate as possible. For example, if there is an accident on the beltway, we need to make sure that we tell our listeners what exactly is happening and how to get around it. Another big challenge is making sure the ratings stay the same and keeping them from stooping down.
What kinds of questions do you ask people?
We usually have fun with them. Everyone’s there to promote something. Before we get to that, we like to have fun with them. We ask fun questions first and then we get into the information portion.
What other types of jobs are there in the station?
There are On-Air people, Sales people, promotions people who make sure we are promoting the movies and shows correctly. We also have engineers who work with FCC who keep us on the air. So every job is really important to keep the station up and running.
How do you prepare each day?
There’s two things I do. I pay attention to life. Anything related to the listener. Anything happening in showbiz. We try our hardest from a pop-culture perspective to talk about it. We pay attention to our own lives so we can tell our listeners.
What was your favorite place to visit while working?
The Disney cruises. There is so much to do. It is like a 5-star hotel cruise ship. It has amazing restaurants and so much to do. It pulls into a port with white sand and crystal blue water when the ship finally docks.
What was your favorite memory?
My favorite memory is when we can meet with artists backstage after concerts. It is so cool talking to the artists about the show and why they chose the songs that they performed.
What happens if you get sick?
There’s replacements. I weirdly haven’t been sick for a long time, knock on wood. The last time I called in sick was probably in 2010. I had COVID in 2020, but with COVID, I actually did my show from home. We have the technology that we set up a little computer at home and can beam right into the station. But, I like going in and me and Gina Crash together. When you’re separated it’s not as fun and you can’t react to each other.
Do you get along well with your Co-host?
Yes, me and Gina get along super well. That is really important for a radio show because it is really hard to seem genuine when you don’t like your Co-host.
Who is your favorite co-worker?
My favorite co-worker is probably Gina. She’s crazy, which is actually a complement. She has the ability to come up with a one-liner immediately. If you say something, she can react to it right away and it’s always funny.
What would you rate your job?
It’s pretty good–9.5 out of 10. Now, the reason it’s not a 10 is because I have to wake up early. Our show would sound so much better if it started at 10. I’ve been really lucky. I sort of get to do a hobby.
How much longer do you think you’ll do it?
I will do it as long as they let me. I will do it as long as I am. For me, it’s a hobby so I don’t have this idea that I’m retiring at 62. If they want me there, I’ll be there. I’ll work forever.