A Closer Look at One of Our Own: RadioContraband Contributing Editor Carl Sundberg

10653867_10205472487469370_6760122392057418347_n“Never let the bastards win. Believe in yourself and know that you can make your life into anything you want it to be. Be vigilant, be smart, be courageous and fight for everything that matters to you. You will be surprised at the results.” – Carl Sundberg

It was the New Year of 2016 and Carl Sundberg was a little lost. He had lost his job as Program Director and Digital Content Director of 101.5 KFLY in Eugene, OR, a top rated powerhouse rock station, the summer before when the parent group Bicoastal Media flipped the format and let go of the entire staff. It was a devastating blow at the time, as Sundberg had been working there for over a decade. He had been out of work for half a year by the time the new year came and went.

Down on his luck, his unemployment dried up, he was living on the little savings that he had stored up for a time just like this and after months of applying for jobs and hundreds of rejections later, he was beginning to get worried. Flipping burgers was surely on his horizon. (more…)


The Pure Gonzo Life of Ryan Castle, APD/MD of KISW in Seattle

rcc“I got drunk with Jim Root from Slipknot in the kitchen of a 70’s and 80’s dance club in Iowa.” – Ryan Castle

By Carl C. Sundberg

When Ryan Castle first heard “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses on 99.9 KISW, the Rock of Seattle, he knew what he wanted to do.

He was 10.

But as a kid growing up in Everett, WA, just north of Seattle, it seemed an improbable reality that one day, many jobs and many years later, Ryan Castle would be the Assistant Program Director/Music Director and host of his own Midday show, on that very same station, playing rock n’ roll for a whole new generation of headbangers. No, he was just another kid with a radio. A listener. Like many of us at that age, he would call in to the top 40 station in Seattle, KPLZ, during their “Smash or Trash” feature at night with “Mark in the Dark”. Regular kid stuff. (more…)


Getting “Creepy” With Pete McNair, APD of Rock 102 KFMA in Tucson

Creepy Pete“I feel like radio in general has been playing scared, not playing to win. Radio can be competitive if we allow talented people do talented things.” – “Creepy” Pete McNair

By Carl C. Sundberg

Born and raised in Wisconsin where he grew up milking cows and bailing hay, “Creepy” Pete McNair’s relationship with radio started like many of them do – in a car with his dad. A man of few words, Pete’s dad used the radio in the car to fill the silence on any given trip. Talk shows. A Brewer’s game. Paul Harvey. It was the play-by-play guy or the soothing delivery of a story from Paul that he remembers most. As a kid it was boring to Pete. But looking back, it’s all fond memories and probably why he ended up interested and loving radio so much.

While his love for radio started as a kid, it wasn’t until 2001 that McNair got his first taste of radio volunteering for KXCI 91.3 in Tucson, AZ. “Growing up a music lover and someone that didn’t have a great scholastic career I found radio through the community college in Tucson, AZ and discovered a passion,” recalls McNair. “Radio supplied me with a desire to learn, an outlet for creativity and allowed to still be the class clown. It has seemed to work for me so far.” (more…)


Steve Huber’s Long, Crazy Ride From The Farm to 98 Rock In Baltimore

Steve Huber“What a long, crazy ride up the ladder. Wouldn’t change a thing.” -Steve Huber

By Carl C. Sundberg

Steve Huber is the Assistant Program Director and Music Director of one of the most notorious rock radio stations on the east coast, WIYY, 98 Rock in Baltimore, MD. He hosts “Attack of the 90’s” on Sunday mornings and schedules and seeks out music for a new rock show “Tune Farm”. His ascent through the ranks at the station Huber grew up listening to his whole life is testament to his hard work and determination, having worked in the radio world for 16 years and counting now.

He started as an intern for 98 Rock in May of 1998, which blossomed into a Promotions Assistant within a year. Two years after his internship he was Assistant Promotions Director. In May of 2009, he became the Music Director and in March 2015 he acquired the fabled Assistant Program Director title in addition to his role as MD. (more…)


“Addicted To Radio” with Anthony “Roach” Proffitt

Anthony Roach Proffitt 99XMy name is Anthony Proffit …..and I am a “Radio Addict”. When I was 13 years old, I won my first radio contest with Mason Dixon on Q105 in Tampa with “Mason Dixon” . My mom cursed up a storm in the background because I ran into the house with my soccer cleats on after practice, trampling mud in the house. I quickly dialed the phone (of course it was the old rotating dial ones—-with the 50 ft. extension chord). I knew the “Phrase that Pays- Q105 Means Music and Money” and the last Christmas song played “Grandma Got Ran Over By a Reindeer!”Cha Ching…$100 bucks for me! I was HOOKED! (more…)


Music Front And Center with Gabby Canella

CoreyTaylor_MusicChoiceBTS_070615_03Music has always been a passion of mine, but I never expected to make a career out of it. Growing up, I listened to a lot of heavy metal and hard rock and was a huge fan of the legendary college radio station, 89.5 FM WSOU out of Seton Hall University. I decided to go to Seton Hall partially because of WSOU and had it not been for this station, my life would have turned out totally different.

I became involved with WSOU my freshman year purely as a hobby; I was deadset on majoring in English. After joining the staff and weaving my way up the ranks, I realized that I could actually make a career around the music I loved so much. I changed majors fast (thank god— I probably saved myself from having to write so many extra papers) and haven’t looked back since. During my four years at WSOU, I served as Music Director and a DJ among other roles. (more…)


Talking Radio with Scot Fox

face shotAccording to my ‘late’ Grandmother, I started imitating radio jocks when I was about 4 years old riding in the back seat of the car. I have no recollection of doing that but, as far back as I can remember, I told everyone I wanted to be on the radio. While I was in High School, I worked at the local skating rink and would always get on the mic and imitate the New Orleans radio announcers (Weerd Wayne, Pal Al, Jack Da Whack, Terry Young)

So, after High School and a very promising career in Auto Parts Retail Management (kidding), I decided to go for my dream in radio. I was living in New Orleans and picked up the phone book (remember those?) and called every radio station in the book until someone called me back. It was Terry Hickman at WTIX and he offered me a job board-opping the overnight shift for 5 bucks an hour. We had satellite jocks but the music had to be played locally. It was awesome! After I got comfortable there, I would take the satellite jock off the air, use his name (Shotgun Mark Kelly…sorry dude), and I’d do the breaks live LOL I was horrible but never got caught thankfully.

So, from that first job at WTIX, I just worked my way up through the ranks. (more…)


Going Bananas with Blando

BlandoI was about 3 years into a Biology degree when I realized it really wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. Around that same time, a buddy mentioned he was applying for a job at ECU’s radio station to put on his resume. I said “ECU has a radio station?” Sounded fun so I signed up as well and got a job on the morning shift. 7a – 9a on Tuesdays and Thursdays were my first taste of programming. I thought I was Alan Freed blowing minds and changing lives with my 5,000 watt signal and picked over, half empty file cabinet full of singles to pull from. The next semester I did an internship with WXNR (New Rock 99X at that time) and fell in love. 2 years later, I got a phone call that the whole fulltime staff was let go in the same day and they needed me to help cover events. It sucked to see my friends go but even they said it was my shot and to take it. 9 years later and I’m still here at WXNR (now 99.5 The X) and through ups, downs, and sideways I still love what I do.  I mean hell, on any given day I could be talking to some rock icon or getting to hear a new song from a favorite band before anyone else or exposing some kid wearing a band t-shirt to his/her new favorite band for the first time. As my girlfriend reminds me, my worst day at work is better than most people’s best. True story. (more…)


Right Place at The Right Time with Johnny Thrash

thrashI’m the ultimate example of being in the right place at the right time. I didn’t start in radio until November 2008, when I got a job here at KBZS as a board op, after answering an ad that I had heard on the station. After a couple of months, they put me on weekends and on March 1, 2009, I started tracking Middays full-time.

I worked as a shipping manager at the time, so I would come in and track my next day’s show, do barter, etc. after work. I stayed busy as hell, but no matter what, I appreciated the opportunity I had been given and gladly accepted any assignment from the PD or OM…even when it was to board op a Gospel show on our AM station every Sunday morning at 7. Needless to say, I suffered through a lot of hangovers behind that board but it all paid off when the PD who hired me moved on and I was offered the position. I took over as PD and moved to afternoons on March 1, 2010 and have been here since. (more…)


Shots with Frank Pain

frank painWhile I had a couple of different radio internships in various cities, my time in radio has been spent (20+ years) at KEYJ in Abilene. I started off on overnights and after a few drunken years on that shift was moved to nights. After an extremely brief stint on nights, I was moved to mornings…where I’ve been since. I’ve been PD/Brand Manager for the past decade.

1. Gotta start with ‘What are your three most Rock & Roll moments?’ (more…)