I never had a goal to get into radio, it just happened. But 34-years old is not a great time to start a radio career. Married with two children doesn’t help either. I dabbled at first—did a little on air work. I can recall the day I said; “I think maybe I could actually do this for a living.” I had years of training, starting with being a smart ass in school. I find humor in a lot of different things. I love to tell stories, and I’ve been told I’m a good storyteller. Like comedian Ron White said, “I have the right to remain silent, just not the ability.” Radio is fun, but it’s a job too. I’ve made many friends (and some foes).
When you do comedy, you’re bound to make some people mad. Like I said, “…the right to remain silent...” My philosophy is “If you don’t like what we do, then don’t listen.” Besides working on the air, I’m responsible for station promotions and I enjoy that. The Million-Penny Drive, Redneck Truck Contest, Gum Car, those are some of our recent promotions, not to mention our upcoming Independence from Hair Day. No matter what we do, there are critics. Newsman Robert Lowery and I laugh at those who believe, because they’ve listened to radio, they should tell us what we need to do, or do better. If that’s you, keep your phone calls and e-mails coming. They give us a good laugh.
Rob and I think many of the same things are funny. Sometimes, the best part of our show goes on when the microphones are off. If they would magically turn on…. It would be our last show. People often ask, “Can you say whatever you want on the radio?” My answer is sure, ONCE.
Besides working on the air and developing promotions, I write all the imaging for the station. Those are the identifications that play between the songs. The voice is that of my friend Bob. I write what he says. Those little phrases reflect my personality and Bob brings them to life. He lives in Los Angeles, but he’s married to a woman from Ellensburg, thanks to me. I was the matchmaker.
I married my high school sweetheart in 1973 and we’re still married…to each other. Our two kids, Ben and Amber, are now grown up. Neither decided to follow in their father’s footsteps, though you do here Amber’s voice on our station imaging. Ben and his wife have three daughters, Veronica, Cadence, and Caprice. Being a grandfather is probably one of the few things I like more than being on the radio. My wife and I plan on moving closer to the granddaughters when we retire.
Until then, Rob and I will be here weekday mornings from 6:00 to 9:00 a.m.
When I was in grade school, I used to listen to a transistor radio at night, when I was supposed to be asleep. I'd search for sports broadcasts from far away places. I'd listen to the legendary Chick Hearn call Los Angeles Lakers games, and Bill King describe San Francisco Warrior games. I didn't realize it then, but I was hooked on radio.
Several years later, a close friend got a cassette tape recorder as a present. We started playing around with it and, for some reason, I started interviewing him. I was Hearn, he was Lakers' great Jerry West, one of his idols.
I went to a lot of Sonics games and have never gotten over the team's move to Oklahoma City. However, when I went to the games, I, inevitably, was drawn to watching the announcer, Bob Blackburn. When in high school, I actually met him after a game and got his autograph, while everybody else was after the players' autographs. He was very kind to a kid who was, undoubtedly, bothering him when he wanted to just go home. But, though I never had the chance to thank him, I think that moment planted the seed of what I wanted to do.
I graduated high school, not having a clue where I wanted to go to college, or what to do with my life. Three community college stops later, it came to me. I became the first play-by-play announcer ever at Green River Community College in Auburn. Anyone listening then probably thought I had made the wrong choice. Later, at Washington State University, I was initially among the also-rans in a stable of tremendous broadcasters. But persistence paid off and I honed my play-by-play skills, along with knowledge of how to cover the news.
On one of my first job interview, I was told my voice was too high. I didn't get the job, but I also don't hear that much anymore. As is typical in this business, you end up being something of a vagabond early in your career. I've worked in Seattle, Spokane, Wenatchee, Yakima, and here at KXLE. Doing the play-by-play for CWU is a dream realized. Working with Steve in the morning is just the icing on the cake.
Sometimes the travel, late nights, and early mornings can be tough, but I wouldn't have it any other way. In addition, I'm the Director of Content Development at CWU. Many people don't know that I also work for Central. I can't image three jobs that I would enjoy more.
I'm married to someone I was introduce to way back during my community college tour. Patiently, she's seen my career evolve from the very beginning. We also have three kids and four grandkids, all of whom have seen many Wildcat athletic events—and will see even more in the future. Go Cats! We also have four dogs, two Corgis and two Rottweilers. They don't get to go to the games.
Whether you hear me with Steve in the morning, on the Wildcat broadcasts on KXLE AM, or (hopefully) both), thanks for listening.
Jeff became an instant country music fan at the age of 16, when a friend played him a Waylon Jennings album. "Prior to that, I assumed that country was about people who lived a lifestyle completely foreign to me -- that we had nothing in common. Was I ever wrong! Country is about real people with real feelings and experiences similar to what mine were growing up. Now that I'm an adult with my own family, it's truer than ever".
When Jeff began working in country music radio and had the opportunity to meet and speak with country stars first hand, he was even more pleasantly surprised by how relatable and friendly they are when not on stage performing. "Plus, I can actually understand the words when they sing. Rock and pop fans can't always say the same. Which may be just as well!"
Rick has always been a morning person so this job is perfect for him. In fact, he credits it with keeping his marriage together for 26 years. His wife says if he was at the breakfast table everyday she’d been out of there long ago. His daughters will second that. The boy does like to talk! He started waking people up on the radio years ago when he realized that he didn’t have to sweat. And now ‘Morgan in the Morning’ enjoys misbehaving with his listeners on a daily basis. “The free coffee and internet ain’t bad either”, he says.
Amber is Steve Scellick's daughter, and the face of the female voice doing ID's on KXLE. Along with Bob (who lives in our basement) she introduces the Daily Laugh, Common Thread as well as other things.
Tad has been captivated by radio since receiving his first portable for Christmas as a child. He says it's the first (and still the best) mobile communications device. He's fastened radios to his bicycle handlebars, strung antennas through trees, and broken more radios than most people will ever own. Tad began broadcasting while still a teen at a country station in South Dakota. He's gone on to play all kinds of music at stations across the nation, but he always comes home to Country music. It's his job to make all of the show just as entertaining as the music he plays. Tad's been known to spend too much money on cars and not enough on haircuts. He enjoys looking after the family farmland each summer. Tad is single but hasn't yet given up. He lives with his border collie Grady and just about every gadget he can find. He usually has two or three radios all playing at once, and he's still looking for the best way to attach one to his handlebars.
Penny grew up being utterly and completely enamored of radio BUT decided to go into nursing upon graduating from high school. The thought of going into radio never even remotely crossed her mind: She grew up never hearing a woman on the air, ever, in any capacity. In nursing school at Colorado State University/Pueblo she heard the new morning person at KILO FM and it was…a woman. And lo, the world suddenly had one less nurse and one more radio person. Penny's parents never quite got over that. Penny's first ever radio job was at a country station in Pueblo as the worst overnight jock in the universe. She has gratefully spent the majority of her almost-30 years in radio working with country music, which possesses the nicest artists and BEST listeners!
John loves everything about his life, except beets and his neighbor’s barking dogs. A long time radio and TV guy, spends his nights on the air and his summer days driving an old ’64 Ford Falcon convertible. And, if Irish eyes are smiling, John’s are laughing their eye brows off. When he is not having fun on the radio, John plays the snare drum in an Irish pipe band. You haven’t lived until you’ve seen him in a kilt.