Happy 20th Radio Anniversary to Me!

I realized recently that this year is 20 years since I began my career in radio. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.

I grew up LOVING radio. I actually grew up in a very sheltered environment, incredibly religious. I wasn’t allowed to listen to “secular” music. I wasn’t allowed to go to movies. On top of that, most of my childhood was spent in an incredibly small town without cable. You read that right. We had two channels: CBS and PBS. That’s what happens when you’re in the country.

So I didn’t have much exposure to the outside world in the pre-Internet days.

Radio was a window to a huge world. In the ’80s, there were girl rockers on the radio. There were gender-fluid artists. There was Madonna and Prince, and let’s not even get to the moment New Kids on the Block entered my life.

The DJs were the tour guides and Kasey Kasem gave the Sunday service. Music became my own religion.

I got my first job in radio at the age of 21. I had never dreamed of working in radio. I had an internship my senior year of high school at the local television station but, after having my son, I buckled down and majored in Computer Science.

I was working in programming at a software company in Dallas when Kidd Kraddick stole my imagination. Have you ever been lucky enough to hear a radio show where the content was SO good that, even though you made it to your destination, you stay in your car to listen? That was Kidd Kraddick to me.

When I got back to college a new radio station had come into the market and I called in to compliment them on all the geeky radio stuff like promos, trails, jingles, etc. They asked if I’d ever thought about working in radio. I came in for a meeting where we just talked about pop culture and within a week I had a part-time job. A year later, I had a full-time air shift and continued my college classes around them.

Since then, I’ve worked in New Orleans, Seattle, Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, Grand Rapids Michigan, Boston, and all over England and, thanks to voice work, Ibiza, Miami, Sweden, and Tokyo. It’s a very long way from the radio in the back room of a farmhouse in Texas.

I worked in all different types of radio: news, documentaries, pop, country, oldies, classic rock, but the underlying value is the same. I want to connect people with each other, with the community, and with music. I understand the effect that radio can have because it had such an effect on me.

I take my time on-air seriously. Yes, it’s fun! I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t having fun. I’m up hours before working on stories and audio for the show. There’s not a moment in the day when I’m not thinking, “Would that work for the show? Would our audience like that?”

A long time ago, one of my mentors taught me that you should always give the audience a little bit more than what they expect. I hope I’m doing that now. And I hope I’m doing that 20 years from now.

About Rebecca Romo

Rebecca Romo hosts Feel Good Mornings weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 99.9 The Q. Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Cape to be with her husband a second generation Cape Codder.

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