Overflowing from a cramped Humanities classroom, many Cal State Fullerton students gathered to hear popular Los Angeles morning radio show personalities Kevin Ryder and Lisa May as part of CSUF’s Comm Week.
“The first shift I was so nervous I almost wet myself,” Ryder said describing his first on-air radio show experience as a young college student.
Ryder, a member of “The Kevin and Bean” show on Los Angeles’s 106.7 KROQ, came with May to speak about their experiences as morning show personalities to CSUF students.
“We thought we would [come and] help out,” said May, who does traffic and is a sidekick to the Kevin and Bean team. Ryder added they wanted to come out together and give students a chance to hear what getting into the radio field is like.
“It’s really a lot of work,” Ryder said. “We learned what to do, we didn’t know what we were doing when we started.”
Christa Sanchez, a junior advertising major, said she had a big part in bringing the personalities to campus.
“I went to a Santa Anita race track and I talked to [May] and she was interested,” Sanchez, a Comm Task Force member said. She said she convinced them to come down and provide advice to students.
Speaking about personal experiences in the radio business, the pair described the process of making it in radio today.
“A lot of beginning jobs are terrible. A lot of people you work with are asses,” Ryder said. “We were really lucky to get [our] break.”
Kevin has been on KROQ for 15 years with co-host Bean, who was unable to attend because he lives in Washington. Bean co-hosts the show from his Washington home, while Ryder and May broadcast live from L.A.
May, a CSUF alumni, graduated in 1982 with a business degree, and said she got one of her breaks by a fluke incident.
“Someone was late to work and they needed someone to cover for them. So I jumped on it,” May said, referring to how she got her first job in broadcast. “Don’t ever go on vacation [because] someone will take your job.”
Cracking jokes and laughing with students, Ryder and May were able to share personal experiences with a touch of humor.
“You can’t take yourself too seriously.” Ryder said, adding, “People hated us for the first two years.”
Ryder said the show eventually grew on listeners, mentioning that today competition is getting smaller because of bigger conglomerates taking over.
“Clear Channel is the devil,” he said. “There are like three or four companies that buy these [smaller radio stations] but they don’t even work with DJs anymore.”
The duo even made fun of rival radio morning show host Ryan Seacrest on 102.7 KIIS FM, who they described as being “all hype and no context.”
They also talked about the realities of entering the industry.
“One thing to know is that you might not get the break that [Ryder] did,” May said. A lot of stations [today] do voice-tracks.”
Junior Claudia Amezcua , a Radio/TV/Film major, said she attended the hour-long event because she is a huge fan of the show.
“I grew up listening to them. Every morning I think; where do [they] come up with this stuff,” she said laughing. “It’s just interesting, you don’t realize how much goes into [a morning show].”
The misconception of how easy working in the radio business is was something Ryder and May wanted to clarify.
“To fill as much time as we do is really difficult, and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying,” Ryder said, explaining how more goes into a show then people realize. “We are on the air for five hours in the morning and do two to five hours of research.”
Ryder said the major downside to doing the show is the early morning hours, but May added that a lot of coffee helps.
After the speech, the pair participated in a meet-and-greet with CSUF students and fans at MJ's Café.
“This is the best job in the world,” Ryder said. “I would never want to do anything else.