By Anna Gonzales |Staff Writer|
Donatelli is a senior at CSUSB who transferred from Norco College, majoring in Communications with a concentration in Mass Communications.
Donatelli got his start at Coyote Radio by volunteering to read a sports recap during a student’s radio show.
Penny Drake-Green, professor of Coyote Radio, approached Donatelli and offered him his own on-air show. He gladly obliged.
Shortly after enrolling in Comm 243B, he co-hosted a morning sports show, addressing current sports news, interviews with CSUSB coaches, and players from professional sports teams, such as the Anaheim Ducks.
After Donatelli sent a hopeful Tweet to K-FROG morning radio show host Scott Ward, he was invited to the station and given a tour.
Donatelli was interviewed for a position and was hired just a few weeks later.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Donatelli to ask him about his journey through radio.
Donatelli aspires to work in TV, hosting award shows and a late night show like Jimmy Kimmel or Jimmy Fallon. Long live The Don.
Q: What sparked your interest for radio?
A: Wow. Originally, I was into journalism and writing newspapers at my community college and then when I was transferring here, I kind of noticed that newspapers were becoming obsolete. I was looking at a whole bunch of things that communication majors can do and I thought of radio. I’ve always loved listening to baseball games and I’ve always wanted to be like a play-by-play guy. So I thought, why not give radio a shot?
Q: Does the decline of radio worry you at all?
A: No, not so much. It is almost on the same route, but you look at the invention of the iPod, Pandora Internet radio, and other music apps and radio is still there. [Radio] is going to be in cars forever.
Q: How did Coyote radio help you with your start at K-FROG?
A: Coyote Radio is the total reason why I am at the FROG. Without them, I would not be there. Lacey Kendall and Penny Drake-Green are two of [my] biggest influences. I’ve got a lot to owe to them and the whole Coyote Radio program. They provided me with real world experience and expertise that has helped me make a smooth transition into my position.
Q: What does your job at K-FROG entail?
A: At K-FROG I am on the air speaking as a DJ on Monday mornings from 12-5 a.m. I am also a board operator which entails controlling the music and commercials that you hear. I also make sure that all of the sound levels are good, and I take calls from listeners.
Q: What is your favorite part about working in radio?
A: Being on air is definitely fun, because I can listen back later and think, wow that is me on the radio?! I’ll hear from my parents or my friends that morning, stating that they heard me on the radio and I think its surreal. [Radio] doesn’t feel like a job to me. Here [at K-FROG], I work with the most supportive team that I could have ever asked for. Everyone is so nice and so helpful and the communication is great.
Q: What are some of the challenges/rewards of working in radio?
A: I think a challenge is when you become a figure on the radio and are heard by a ton of people, they may want to give you their feedback and some of the time, it might not be the nicest. One of the most rewarding things is that you feel more self-worth . . . I feel more accomplished because I know that this is what I’ve been working towards for quite some time.
Q: Is there any advice that you would give to students who want to venture into radio?
A: Coyote Radio would be a great place to get their start. Also, if you work really, really hard and you are kind to people amazing things can happen. Straight up, those are the words that I live by and that’s what I’ve learned for so long. Give people the time of day and don’t be a jerk. Smile, look presentable and network. If you want something really bad you have to work for it and make it your top priority. This goes for radio, or any other profession.