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Name: Steve Gregory

Meet Me Name: Steve Gregory

Unique ID: SM883JM1

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Thank you Steve Gregory for taking the time to interview for Streaming World Magazine, I hope that people get to know you outside (which they do) of Radio.

Who is Steve Gregory and what makes you the person you are today?

I am someone who enjoys telling stories, experiencing new things, and someone who LOVES food! Obviously, I am the person I am because of family, friends, teachers and many others who have crossed my path. But, on the ground floor, I feel like I got my sense of humor from my Dad and my stubbornness from my work ethic and integrity come from them both.

I know you from KFI 640 Los Angeles radio station, what kind of qualifications do you need, or does one need to get into the radio industry?

The qualifications have changed over the years. And, it depends on what kind of radio you want to do. There was a time that you had to have a journalism/communications degree in order to be a reporter - that's not the case now. You just have to have the desire to work hard, the skills to tell a story with audio and paint a word picture. Being a host is difficult on terrestrial radio. Positions are not as plentiful and in order to 'stick out' you better have a specific talent, focus, impressive background or....contacts. As for other formats, being a 'DJ' or music show host is a matter of music knowledge, great on-air timing, great storytelling, outward personality and...great contacts. Now, the whole landscape has changed with internet radio, streaming and podcasting. I think it's cool that anyone can host their own show and let people decide who they want to listen to. I'm lucky to work with such talented people.

I really enjoy your report on the Academy Awards every year. Can you describe one of your favorite moments at the show?

It would be the time I met some of my personal heroes - Oscar-winning composers Hans Zimmer and James Horner. I went to college to be a band director and I am a classically trained percussionist. I dropped music to do radio full-time. I would also have to say the times I was invited to attend Motion Picture Academy events, as a guest, and being seated near George Clooney, Ron Howard, Brad Pitt and others. I like that the Academy trusted me enough to put me in the same room and share a meal with some movie legends.

What is your favorite moment of news reporting and why?

It is anytime I hear from a listener. It makes me realize I made an impact on that person's life, even for a moment.

What was your most difficult challenge of being a news reporter, and why?

Well, let's see...there was the time I dodged gunfire in Ferguson, Missouri (while live on the air with Tim Conway, Jr.); the time I was pushed to the ground by body guards with the Nation of Islam; the time my colleague and I were approached by a man with a machete during our coverage of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, LA; the time I threw myself to the ground to avoid being shot by police who had opened fire on a stolen car suspect (I was in the path of gunfire); the time I was shot at along the US/Mexico border while interviewing an activist; oh, the time I was in was almost burned to death in my newstruck during a wildfire...or, anytime there's no bathroom at a scene.....I don't know, there were/are so many challenges.

What are your hobbies, what do you like to do for fun?

Travel, eating great food, road trips, long lunches/dinners with good friends


Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Not sure. I am California's only working journalist who happens to be certified by the state as a law enforcement instructor, and I'm the country's first journalist to be internationally certified to teach law enforcement in the areas of media relations and crisis communications. I'm an adjunct instructor at the LAPD Academy and the USC School of Public, given that I went to school to teach...I'll probably be teaching or lecturing, or both. I also enjoy speaking to journalism classes.

Do you have any tips for someone trying to get into radio?

Get honest feedback from someone in the business. Let your ego help give your performance some confidence and edge but don't allow it to interfere with constructive criticism. Don't be discouraged from rejection. After-all, if you think you have what it takes and can't seem to catch a break... do a podcast and bypass the system all together. If you're any good and have something of interest to say people will find you. And, very possibly, a program director, too.
Is there anything else that I might have missed in this interview that you would like to mention?
I would only add that I don't take my position lightly. I have witnessed history, been to places no one has ever been allowed to enter, and I've met world-famous people. I have the power to enlighten, educate and inform - I also have the power to ruin a person's reputation, and even have them investigated. None of these I take for granted. I am blessed to be given these opportunities. I hope people realize I use my 'radio powers' for good.

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