Jo McMullen

Jo.jpg1.   When did you get involved with 88.1 FM?

 Involved is an interesting word choice. Yes, this is a long-term relationship. I recall winning a Kirby Puckett poster in 1986 while I was in high school. KVSC was the sole station that presented the first ever Kirby Puckett Day. KVSC is smart that way. As a student I started in 1988 or so, writing news copy and splicing and editing reel-to-reel recordings for the news director. I became the Station Manager in August of 1992 a year after graduating from SCSU.
2.  What show(s) do you currently host on KVSC and what programs have you hosted in the past?
I currently host the Newswatch program on Thursdays from 12-1pm, a show I’ve hosted as long as I can remember. I am quite blue due the fact that I had to give up my bi-weekly or somewhat regular music show due to more management duties in August of 2009. I severely miss hosting a music show. But, I was a regular Progressive Rock host in the academic year and morning show host in the summers. I shall return.
3. Please list some of the artists and musicians you consider to be a must play on your show(s)?
Tough one—as my taste has aged a bit, but I definitely bring it back to the late 80’s and early 90’s when I can (indie rock wise), but my favs include: Jolie Holland, Paul Westerberg, Neko Case, TV on the Radio, Wilco/Golden Smog, Le Tigre, Camera Obscura, The Avett Brothers, Elliot Smith, Lucinda Williams, Mountain Goats, Brother Ali, Andrew Bird, Fugazi, Youssou n’dour, Greg Brown, Neil Young, Richard Thompson, Frank Black, Cloud Cult, Regina Carter, Laurie Anderson, Prince, Emmylou Harris, fun., Aztec Camera, this can go on forever…
4. Why are you involved with independent community radio at 88.1 FM?
It’s a familial thing. KVSC is a family to so many. Current students and volunteers will find a welcome home. Alumni recall the refuge KVSC represented for them. Our listeners hopefully find a special connection with their favorite host or genre of music—or that annual trivia shindig in February. Certainly, I thrive in an environment that supports independent voices, independent ideas and free expression. I cannot think of any other job that more suits my beliefs of supporting students, faculty and the community in a tangible and equitable way.
5. What is in your personal CD player, iPod, or mp3 right now (BE HONEST)?
Hmmm, this ranges from Chet Atkins to Kids Bop for the pre-schooled in my life. My spouse will kick it up more than I, perhaps because I’m surrounded by music and what not 45+ hours a week. The Avett Brothers keep finding their way into my car’s CD player—then Lisa Loeb’s Camps Songs for Kids.
6. Please disclose the most embarrassing music moment or concert you’ve attended or album you’ve bought (perhaps even shameful)?
I’m very selective in purchases…embarrassing music moment. Aha! KVSC sponsored a concert with folk singer John Gorka. I was a student at the time and organized the pre-concert cocktail gathering. I did not make it to the show (read between the lines)—but found a large group of KV’ers later that night at the Red Carpet Night Club. I loudly shouted, “How was the concert”… in front of John Gorka who was hanging out with the group. Insert foot in mouth. One of my many fantastic memories with Kevin “Captain Science” Ridley, Al Neff, Sunny Ice, Kyle Smith and Nature.
7. What are your hobbies and interests?
I used to read a lot more and miss it immensely; I love live music and camping, when combined in the right setting-awesome. Traveling is high on the list—husband is top travel partner. Boat partner on a lake (I support fishing with my presence but do not have the patience to sink a line).
8. When you are not at work or KVSC, where can you most likely be found?
Isolating myself with my spouse and daughter. My job is often very social—my personal life is often very quiet by choice. My folks have a cabin in Wisconsin, that’s a fun summer retreat and filled with life-long memories with cousins and extended family.
9. If it were the end of the world and you could only take five things with you, what would they be (BE HONEST)?
1. Daughter, husband and cat. Cat’s an awesome mouser—that may come in handy in purgatory.
2. A viola. I played from 5-9th grade, thank goodness for school music programs. I actually had the honor to play in front of Shinichi Suziki at the Nothrup Auditorium as a 6th grader with hundreds of other kids.
3. My unabridged Merriam Webster dictionary—a hefty 8 pounder that Santa brought me years ago.
4. 10 pallets of Little Debbie Nutty Bars. I haven’t had one in years—but I reckon they’ll last forever and we can entertain ourselves trying to eat them without breaking the wafers (peel back the layers). This takes skillz.
5. KVSC’s former music director Max Brown. He’s a certified climber (PCIA-Professional Climbing Instruction Association)…so any trees bearing fruit or nuts would be his domain…as well as babysitting my child, building a canoe and entertaining my spouse when he tires of me.
10. What do you think is the future of radio?
Come take my Introduction to Radio Class at St. Cloud State University—you’ll get four months of opinions. KVSC of course, exemplifies localism, human connections and diversity of choice—much of what is lacking in terrestrial radio and the Interweb.

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