Just gimme the mic
KRAI disc jockey Tosha Lynn always knew she’d end up behind a microphone.
“From the time I was a kid, I always wanted to be in radio or a musician,” she said. “I never could sing, but I at least wanted to be close to it.”
A Florida native, Lynn has traveled and tried out several jobs since high school. She went to cosmetology school, worked at an art institute and tried her voice at jockeying.
“One of my dreams was to live in a South American country,” she said.
So that’s what she did. She spent three years teaching English as a second language and traveling with a band in Ecuador. Being around musicians, her childhood ambitions crept into the back of her mind.
“I started to really miss radio,” Lynn said.
She moved back to America and in with her mom, who had returned to her home state of Ohio.
Then she had to make some decisions.
“Do I want to be a teacher for the rest of my life or go back to my first love?”
In 2000, she decided she wanted her voice to be heard, and she went to the Ohio Center for Broadcasting in Cleveland for one year.
Meanwhile, she was interning at Mix 102.7 WCPZ in Sandusky, a Clear Channel station. She lived in Sandusky and commuted four hours round trip to Cleveland every day. She barely had time to sleep because of the long hours she put into school and the station.
When she graduated, the station hired her on, and she ended up working there for 4 1/2 years.
Then she heard of the opportunity at 93.7/102.3 KRAI-FM here in Craig, and she couldn’t pass it up.
With just a one-week span between jobs, Lynn loaded up her car in June and drove to Colorado.
“I always wanted to be in Colorado because I’m addicted to the mountains,” she said. “There are certain sceneries (here) that remind me of my life in South America.”
She said she likes the privacy here and minimal traffic.
“I think life is too short to be stressed all the time,” Lynn said. “You couldn’t pay me to go to a big city anymore.”
But some of the big city advancements have made it to Northwest Colorado. During Lynn’s years in radio, she’s seen many changes in the technology stations use.
“The great thing about radio now is it’s all computerized,” she said.
“It’s detailed, but it’s simplified.”
And her job isn’t exactly what many listeners perceive it to be.
She comes to the station in Centennial Mall in the mornings to get ready for her weekday show from noon to 7 p.m.
She prerecords the spots that play between songs and works on news stories for the day. While music is playing from the studio, she’s running around the office getting things ready for later in the show.
“We’re live. We’re here, but we don’t sit and wait between each song to talk,” Lynn said. “You’re not just a jock, you do everything.
“I actually think it’s more exciting. If I sat here on my a**, I’d be bored.”
But she definitely doesn’t get bored working at a station that plays “hot adult contemporary” music — the kind of music that she would be listening to anyway.
And when it comes to choosing which songs to play, Lynn said a lot of research is put into what’s up-and-coming in the music world. Station owner Frank Hanel does the lineup of songs since the recent termination of program director Joshua Fleming.
With the loss of Fleming, the station is seeing some changes. Employees are being shuffled around to fill positions, and Hanel recently hired Tim Martin, assistant news director, to take on some responsibilities.
Outside of work, Lynn likes to play with her Scottish terrier, Cody Bear, and border collie, Kalei. But she said she’s dedicated to her job and playing popular music her listeners will like.
“The great thing about radio is that no day is ever the same,” she said
“I just love it.”
Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031 or email@example.com.
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