Several weeks ago, we posted a blog about ZHT Morning Zoo crew. Here are profiles of DJs in other popular morning shows, and we are giving you the non-editted, FULL version!
Who: Jimmy Chunga
Where you can hear him: Mornings on The End 101.9 FM
The End came to an end in 2010, when the station changed to a DJ-free format with its new name Gen X radio, playing only music from the 1990s.
Parent company Citadel Broadcasting let most of its staff go, including Jimmy Chunga, who had put on the station’s morning show for the past 14 years. Now, after Gen X failed, alternative rock station The End is back, and so is Chunga.
His show was rebooted in July 2011, and he is now a living symbol of the importance of a disc jockey. Salt Lake magazine caught up with Chunga to ask what it’s like to be back, how the show has changed and get his tips on how to make a Chunga burger.
How did the The End come to an end in 2010?
“They came up with this brilliant idea that people from the Gen X generation wanted a radio station called Gen X, which was a terrible idea and insulting to the people who fall into that generation. I was lucky in the sense that I never heard it. I didn’t hear one note of music on that radio station.”
How did you get your old gig back?
“I went from Los Angeles to Vegas to Boston, and occasionally I’d get calls from people in the Salt Lake market. I heard through a couple friends that The End was coming back. It was back by December 2010, and it was just a matter of time before I came back.”
Now that you’re back, has the show changed?
“Being cancelled got me out of the bubble and let me see the world. It may sound cheesy, but the world is crying. The last thing people need is someone yelling at them on the radio. So, the show now is very light-hearted and focused on lifestyle-based comedy. People are in their cars, away from their families, going to some dead-end job they hate, so they’ve got a buddy in the car and that puts them in a good mood.”
Is it working?
“Our ratings are exploding. Advertisers are coming back, and people are having a good time with it. For a long time radio shows, not just my show, were negative and dark—really snarky and cynical.”
What’s your life like outside the studio?
“I have one hobby, and that’s just being a dad. I’ve got a cool car and like to DJ in clubs, but all of that comes after being a dad. Just playing video games with my 15-year-old son is how I like to spend my time.”
Spill your secret. How do you make a Chunga burger?
You got your lower bun, right? That’s the big thing. You got an all-beef patty. You got a Kraft single. You got your upper bun. Let the meat do the work. Lettuce and tomato and all that crap… naah, that’s dumb. And I live by this. I’ll live to be 100 because of my Chunga burgers.”
You can listen to Chunga and his co-host Tysen Webb mornings on 101.9 FM
Morning Show Extra: Chunga’s real name is Brett Smith. Radio From Hell’s Bill Allred came up with his on-air name when both worked for X96.
Radio From Hell
Who: Kerry Jackson, Bill Allred and Gina Barberi
Where you can hear them: Weekdays 6 to 10 a.m. on X96.3 FM
Bill Allred got into radio by accident. He was at work in an Ogden bar when a guy came in and said he just quit his job at local station KJQ. Allred knew station owner Tom Greenleigh, asked him for a job and was hired as an over-night board operator.
Greenleigh saw potential in Allred and paired him with Kerry Jackson, who had previously worked for Spanish Fork station KHQN playing gospel shows. Their first show, The Fun Pigs, aired June 9, 1986.
The show was retitled Radio From Hell, and six years later, KJQ staff founded a new station with an alternative rock format, X96. Gina Barberi, daughter of legendary radio host Tom Barberi, has been on the show the past 15 years and joined the team after leaving X96 competition Q99.
Now, the show has a legion of dedicated fans who tune to hear the hosts’ observations on life in Utah, catch up on news stories about stupid people doing stupid things—a.k.a. “boners”— and to call in with list of “things that must go.”
Program Director Rickie Steadman started out as an unpaid intern, and now he’s a regular on-air contributor. “I’m grateful to Kerry, Bill and Gina for all that they’ve taught me about radio,” Steadman says. “The show’s better than the rest and has been going longer.”
Morning Show Extra: This January, the show will cover the Sundance Film Festival and host its own Radio From Hell Film Festival. Visit x96.com for more info.
The Morning Moo Crew
Who: Shotgun Jackson and Carly Cash
Where you can hear them: Mornings on KBULL 93.3 FM
The Morning Moo Crew has only existed for about a year, and hosts Shotgun Jackson and Carly Cash’s brother-sister-type relationship is already apparent on the air.
So, we were only a little surprised Cash forgave her co-host when he tricked her into eating a mixture of salsa, mustard and dog food on air. “Forgiven, yes. Forgotten, never. I’m still waiting for her payback,” Jackson says.
In 1992, Jackson started his career as an intern at former rock station Q99 and later worked for Hot 94.9, U92, Fever 107.9 and B98.7. He’s been with KBULL for the past eight years. Cash is new to the station but has worked in country radio for six years.
Recently, the two hosted the show live from Disneyland, and they’ve had the likes of Carrie Underwood and Tim McGraw as guests. But the best reasons to tune in, Jackson says, are the free cash, free trips and a whole lot of fun.
When not on the air, Jackson and Cash love to spend time with family, after spending about 10 hours at that station each day.
Morning Show Extra: This January, the Moo Crew will send Sundance reporter Skippy Jessop to mingle with the stars. Check kbull93.com for his pics and videos.
Todd & Erin Collard
Where you can hear them: Mornings on B98.7
A former stand-up comedian, Todd was hired by KISN 97 in 1986 and, in 1994, Erin became the third host on Todd's show with co-host Scott Fisher. Three years later, Todd and Erin fell in love and were married. They moved to top 40 station B98.7 in 2001.
SLC's radio sweethearts gave us their top 10 love songs.
9. Better Than Anything - Diana Krall (see Deep Cuts)