Peg Pollard: “So I pounded them with knowledge about the music.”
“‘Rock ’n’ Roll” Peg Pollard got into radio to marry Bob Seger. She was in the sixth grade, she heard Live Bullet, and Pollard fell in love with the Detroit rocker.
“I decided my route to capturing Seger was to become a rock jock.”
She worked community-college radio gigs in high school, went to broadcast school, and polished her act at WIOT in Toledo and WIQB in Ann Arbor — where the three-hour roundtrip inspired her to leave the Midwest.
“The extreme driving during a harsh winter gave me plenty of desire to move to a warm climate.”
Pollard arrived in San Diego in March 1985 and landed the afternoon slot at KIOZ, otherwise known as Rock 102.1, San Diego’s first hard-rock outlet, where she worked from 1989 to 1994.
“I presently identify as just another Carlsbad retiree,” she says.
YOU WERE THE AFTERNOON DRIVE JOCK, BUT YOU ALSO HELD MANY TITLES AT ROCK 102.1
“I was given the dual titles of assistant program director and music director, which was pretty nifty, considering I had recently kicked a hole in the wall outside the studio.”
IN 1996 ROCK 102.1 BECAME ROCK 105.3, IN A WEIRD NAME SWAP FOLLOWING YOUR DEPARTURE, AND 102.1 BECAME THE SECOND COMING OF KPRI
“I’m glad the station changed names after I was fired, because [Rock]102.1 was my era. I didn’t want my name to be associated with it after I left.”
“I guess my biggest disappointment in the station after I left was the role of the other female jocks on KIOZ. None of them could open their mouth without talking about blow jobs or their bra size.”
A SIGN OF THE TIMES? AS KGB FM’S MID-DAY HOST, I FOLLOWED SUE DELANEY, AND I RECALL THAT SHE WAS A BIT OF A TEASE ON AIR
“Sue Delaney’s overt sexuality was precisely the hurdle I faced during my time in San Diego radio. In my opinion, she made these hurdles a lot higher in this city.”
AS A ROCK 102.1 LISTENER, I THOUGHT YOU CAME OFF MORE LIKE A FAN THAN A DEEJAY
“Our program director said I was in touch with the listeners because I was one of them. I was at every concert that came through town, and I was representative of the demographic. Hard rock is presumed to be male-dominated, but my ratings proved otherwise. Chicks love hard rock, and that’s that.”
YOU ONCE TOLD ME YOU WERE ROCK ’N’ ROLL PEG LONG BEFORE THE ROCK RADIO JOB. HOW’D YOU GET THAT NAME?
“I ordered personalized [license] plates. I couldn’t get Rocker Peg, so I wound up with ‘RnRPeg.’ I had those plates for over a year, and when a coworker started calling me that on air, everyone else did, too. It stuck.”
MUSIC RESEARCH WAS MANDATORY AT KGB. WE DIDN’T PLAY UNTESTED RECORDS, EXCEPT MAYBE ON THE HOMEGROWN HOUR. HOW ABOUT KIOZ?
“We never did music research or testing, which is such a load of bullshit. Once you go there, it’s a fast decline into the lowest common denominator.”
MAYBE ROCK 102.1 LISTENERS WERE SMARTER
“I always believed that the one commonality of all of our listeners was a love of rock and roll. So I pounded them with knowledge about the music.”
MEANING, YOU DIDN’T BRIBE ROCK 102.1 LISTENERS WITH FAKE HOPE AND CASH PRIZES?
“The ‘loyalty through integrity route’ is supremely more profitable. And that’s not what Clear Channel [a media conglomerate that owns a number of radio stations] is all about. You get what they serve up. And, of course, it’s garbage because now it’s all about loophole-legal payola.”
I THOUGHT PAYOLA WAS VERBOTEN
“It costs a small fortune just to release a single to radio these days. It’s not promotion they’re paying for but the privilege of any airplay at all. You think independent labels and bands have a chance in hell of being played in this atmosphere?”
IS THIS WHY NEW MUSIC RARELY MAKES IT ONTO TERRESTRIAL RADIO?
“Clear Channel took away everything good about radio. I would never be able to expose listeners to quality new music if I were still in this industry.”
DID YOU PICK YOUR OWN RECORDS? OR WERE YOUR PLAY LISTS MADE BY COMPUTERS OR CONSULTANTS?
“Oy, that old myth? I guess jocks in the very early ’70s chose the music they played, but I got into professional radio in 1982 and by then no jock in any market was choosing their own music.”
ARE YOU SAYING ROCK 102.1 PLAY LISTS WERE MACHINE-GENERATED?
“The idea that play lists are predetermined by a computer is misleading.”
MISLEADING IN WHAT WAY?
“We had computer scheduling that was programmed to maximize the flow of music — from old to new, from unfamiliar to standard — and it was my job to hand-edit every hour’s music to be sure of maximum effect.”
HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT GOING BACK ON AIR?
“Geez, this is going to sound cocky as hell, but, man, I went out on a high note. I feel forever grateful to have a good legacy. Why mess with that?” ■