Darrell Wayne Opens the Airwaves for New and Old Artists
Based in Lake Tahoe, Ca lies KTHO Radio, “Local Talk, Classic Rock,” the motto of the station, owned and run by veteran Disk Jockey and Producer Darrell Wayne, or as he is most widely know, “The Insane Darrell Wayne.” Darrell is no stranger to radio and says he is excited to implement ideas and approaches gleaned from his past experiences into this KTHO format.
Darrell, who owns KTHO, one of the three radio stations in the Lake Tahoe area, has transformed it into an outlet for classic rock musicians to share their new music and have it exposed to the audience of today. Darrell has prior experience in radio working for (at least what was) Los Angeles’ premiere alternative rock station, KROQ. He began as a transmitter engineer and finished his 6 year stint as the stations Operations Manager. Darrell was well prepared to take on the challenge of implementing new and progressive ideas. He states, “If you ever worked in radio, you’ve sat at a table and talked about if you had a station what would you do differently and how would you make it better.”
Fast forward from his KROQ days to the present and KTHO. Darrell has created a format for this station embracing the classic artists that have graced the stations from years past and are still creating amazing music today. He explains that he’s providing a platform for these artists to play not only their classic, but their current songs. He opened up his station both broadcasting on air and over the internet (www.kthoradio.com) although he does embrace the classic rock, the station also plays a huge playlist of current artists as well. He states they have over 4500 songs in rotation and add new songs daily.
KTHO is also known for community awareness. Darrell spoke to me about how the he wanted to make KTHO a go to station for tourists and locals alike. The station promotes all the local events and on the sites webpage it has a community calendar to let people know so they can plan ahead. The site also features a gallery, advertising space, and information on what the station is currently playing (should you love the song but don’t know the name!)
Darrell is excited for the audience to experience the station, and says that being on the internet and social media sites is a great way to gain feed back from his audience and help keep the interaction of audience and DJ’s as prominent as it was when he was working at KROQ. Darrell states that he really does hold a fondness to the past formats when DJ’s and audiences interacted more and the audience had more feedback. He prides himself in recreating that atmosphere in KTHO. The website has a forum for feedback, meet the staff, contact the station and information on playlists and options to request songs. Having felt a sense of success Darrell is ready to expand his station to a larger audience and bringing the programs to further surrounding cities such as San Francisco.
Darrell has gained the nick name “the nicest man in radio” and after speaking with him I can only agree. He speaks with heartfelt conviction and belief that artists should have a forum for sharing music and no artist should be boxed-in based on when his or her music peaks or the generation that favors them. He is excited to bring this programming to California and can’t wait for more people to hear it. The concept of expanding playlists and creating a conversion of eras can only provide audiences with a more well rounded education of music and could quite possibly open up opportunities for past and present artists to collaborate in the future.