SanDiegoRadio Spotlight - December 2015

By Joe Nelson

The December 2015 Spotlight features Jeff Hamby, or simply 'Hamby' on FM 94/9

What is your current position? On-Air Personality, nights 7pm - Midnight on FM 94/9 (KBZT)

How are things with you right now? Life, work….. 
Life is good! Really good. I've got an amazing girlfriend and family and friends that support me. The struggle is still there, but life is good and work inspires me to create more. My biggest complaint is that I have too many ideas and not enough ability to make them happen as fast as I want.

Do you have anything you’d like to talk about? Such as stories from radio? 
My first ride with radio was 2000 - 2009. When I got laid off I thought, "well, that was fun, but now what?" I really thought I was done with radio as a platform, because there were too many talented people available and not enough positions for all. Amazingly branching out and doing other things for a few years, built up my network, finished my degree, and all of that brought me back to radio. I guess radio wasn't quite done with me, and vice versa.

San Diego… What is your favorite place to visit?
Great thing about San Diego is how much it has to offer. Maybe one day my favorite place is standing in my parents backyard in Mira Mesa during the sunsets and seeing the hot air balloons on the horizon. Another day it could be the Gaslamp Quarter during Comic-Con International. There is just so much to offer and do in this town.

Is your job still as exciting like it was day one? 
More so! That's not really fair since when I joined 949 I was brought on to do Weekends and Fill-ins, but after a month was promoted to take over the night show. Since then we've revamped our nightly #whatyou8 countdown and introduced the #1010GrudgeMatch pitting new music against each other head to head with listeners casting votes for the winner. And as I said earlier I still have a ton of ideas we have been working on slowly since I came on board with more still to come. It's great!

Where is your favorite place to go out and eat?
I live in North Park and it's nice to say I can walk in any direction and find an amazing place to eat. But...I love Denny's for breakfast. Guilty pleasure has always been Denny's. I love In N Out. Really excited by Lucha Libre Taco opening in North Park, and my go to taco shop is Saguaro's in North Park.

What are some facts about you that maybe no one knows, but could be interesting?
I'm a pretty open book. I was the only male cheerleader my Junior year in High School, and the mascot my Senior year at Mira Mesa High School. I've been hired as Santa a few times. I once threw $20 back at LL Cool J over an argument about Roller Ball. I was once featured on the billboard campaign for the rock station wearing boxers and two models in bikini's.

How do you view radio now, compared to the past, then looking to the future? 
To me Radio is and always has been an amazing part of the community. Social Media is allowing us to break down barriers and access like never before. People will always need/want taste makers. Radio has always been an amazing source for people to find "what's cool". And Radio has always been a great way of people "voting" for their favorite songs and then hearing back to what the collective "pop" culture is. Looking to the future I think one of the things Radio can do is become more "on demand". That is hosting features and shows that people can then access highlights to "on demand". Be that podcast, YouTube videos, or a mix of both, and all of the above. It still matters.

How vital is the connection between an on-air personality and the listener? 
It's extremely vital. I used to think that popularity was important, without understanding why it was that I personally was popular. I started live streaming a few years ago on Twitch. Twitch is a platform that allows you to stream video of you playing video games, host a live chat room, and answer questions from viewers in real time. Like watching a cooking show, but talking to the chef/personality through a chat room. It's so raw in that the viewer/listener are literally sponsoring you financially out of a desire to continue seeing you do this and be able to interact with them. The interaction between the broadcaster and the listener has literally become my lifeblood reason for being on the radio. Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more I can react to listeners feedback and requests in real time by then referencing that personal experience on the radio. Or through YouTube videos I make with Greg Raneiri from KSON. We make videos of us taste testing products from stores, and we've had awesome feedback from listeners/viewers who have then donated products they wanted to see us then try. That kind of feedback which lends support to new content, is amazing. It's empowering. How else can we incorporate the community?

What is your favorite movie? Changes all the time but right now "Big Trouble in Little China"

With Social Media being so prevalent, tell me the advantages of using FB, Instagram, Twitter to connect with your listeners The advantage is making personal connections. When you can personalize content it makes a big difference. And with social media it allows us to be taste makers that people care about. The more genuine and honest you are about your passions and interests the more people "tune in".

What is your favorite radio moment? Meeting and taking a picture with Lionel Richie in my first year in radio. It gave me a connection with my mom. Growing up she used to listen to Lionel around the house. I knew and loved his music. And I told him thank you because now my mom will finally be able to connect with and understand what I "do".

How long have you been in radio? Off and on for 15 years.

Is there anything in particular you like about the San Diego market vs other markets you’ve worked in? I've always worked in the San Diego market. I love the San Diego market because it always seems to defy expectations. It always finds new ways to surprise me.

How about any you may dislike? It's a very transient town. Sometimes the best voices don't/can't/won't stay here.

What is the most interesting job you’ve ever had?
Radio and the entertainment industry in general.

What broadcasters do you look up to? Dave Rickards, Shotgun Tom Kelly, Chris Hardwick

If you could go back in time and work during any era of radio for a few days - which would you choose? 
I love the nostalgia of this question. Because experiencing like Wolfman Jack in his prime, or being there during the 50's when rules were still being made to control the access to power? Experiencing Motown or the Beatles for the first time. Hearing Frank Sinatra on his NBC shows. There is so much amazing history to explore, but I honestly loved the era I came up in.

Is there anything else you’d like to share? Thanks for having me. Radio is just as important now as it ever has been. And with YouTube, Vine, Instagram, Twitter and more creating "Stars" out of creators, Radio is even more important. We just have to continue to adapt to new ideas and embrace new media. It all feeds back into each other. Radio is the glue for the whole community.

Hamby! Thanks for your time!


Anonymous said…
"I live in North Park and it's nice to say I can walk in any direction and find an amazing place to eat."

No shi* Sherlock, you've got a weight issue dude

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