The Wheels Staff
Most people think that to put on a radio show all you basically need is:
- The Host
- Someone to operate the mixing board
Many radio shows, of course, do operate in that fashion. But I'm proud to say that "Wheels" is far more of a group effort. Here's how we put the show together, each of 52 weeks a year - and I haven't missed a show since we started in March of 1993.
First off, I subscribe to close to two dozen news wire services. On the average day, I download and print 80 to 100 national and international news stories directly relating to the automotive industry, government regulations that affect automobile owners, and car companies' or related industries' press releases. Other services I subscribe to allow me to find the history or background on the original news story's typically limited information.
Additionally, I made and cultivated many friends and acquaintances in the
two decades I spent in the industry; they help develop the story, or give me
the inside information, often before it goes to press.
Then again I have personal friends who work for news magazines, such as Car & Driver (to which I was once a contributing writer), Business Week, of which
I am a contributing writer, and the Detroit News.
During the week we broadcast the primary stories as the Automotive Update on
570 KLIF at 11:48 a.m., in the "Automotive Update" segment. On Fridays I
start discarding stories that I think will have little impact on my
audience. From there I write the outline of the show, "Second Hand News" and "The Backside of American History."
Come Saturday morning, the staff helps polish the final show. Don, Lance and I meet at 7 a.m. and go over the "flow" - how we want the show to go that day. Karen comes in later to cover what issues we might want to have callers air. Then, as soon as we can shoo off the hosts of the preceding show, we're ready to go on the air. We all fervently hope that, after all this work, "Wheels" is entertaining, fun and informative.
Producer: Don Grantham
Don and I have been friends since 1979. We met while I was working for Bill
McDavid. Together we've been in bands, produced records and basically,
especially during the '80s, stayed out too late. Today Don helps make the
final decisions on which stories we'll air, writes and voices the show's
opening, and then acts as the coordinator between myself, Lance, and Karen
during the broadcast.
Sound Engineer: Lance Anderson
Lance is the one responsible for the show's "seamless" broadcast sound. Lance runs the board during the broadcast, mixing everything from commercials to live calls and remote broadcasts.
Screener: Karen Bruyere
Karen, alone among the team members, actually comes from a broadcasting family. Her father Clarence was one of WFAA's audio engineers for decades. Karen decides which callers will keep the show's flow going in the desired direction.
Announcer: Jeff Ward
I was producing an album for Grantham back in 1987 when Jeff and I met; he was our piano player, and he was way good. So Jeff and I worked together again, on a few other musical projects. I have to give Jeff Ward credit for first showing me the myriad things computers can do; in fact, that's how I get the pieces to create the show. When "Wheels" debuted on KGBS 1190 AM in March of 1993, the first person I approached to enhance the show's overall format and sound quality was Jeff Ward. Today Jeff is best known as the "last true radio announcer" in Dallas/Fort Worth. He often gets as much e-mail as I do, damn it.
That's the crew; without Don, Lance, Karen and Jeff, "Wheels" wouldn't be the top-rated show it is today. I'm lucky - and thankful - to have collected people of their quality.