Local Radio DJ Strays from the Norm

By: Lexie Humphrey

Katie Romney, a loquacious disk jockey from Cottonwood Heights, Utah, has tapped into Washington D. C’s number one “top 40” radio station and is there to stay.

At five AM on the dot, Tuesday through Friday, Romney reports to the iHeartRadio building located in the heart of West Valley, Utah. There she works as one of three hosts on The Kane Show. A show that talks about the hottest topics, celebrity gossip, and highlights new music artists. The Kane Show can be found on Hot 99.5 a station which is owned by iHeartRadio and is broadcasted in Washington D.C, New Jersey, and other parts of Virginia.

Romney has been involved in the radio business for eleven years. Ten of which working as substitute host for the local and iconic show, The Morning Zoo, on 97.1 ZHT. Thus being the start of Romney’s fascination for the business. “I fell in love with the fact that we were good friends simply talking about what’s hot now and hundreds of people wanted to tune in and listen.”

Having found her passion, Romney has worked on The Kane Show for little over a year and describes it as a “…whole different ball game,” due to its unique approach for host set-up. The Kane Show involves three different DJ’s all of whom live in three different states. One in Miami, one in Washington D.C, and one in Salt Lake City. According to Romney Hot 99.5 is not the first nor last station to have this kind of set-up.

“…with the technology we have, it’s easy [to] chat and connect with someone miles away. Listeners think we are all in the same room all the time, and it totally sounds that way…it’s just a matter of getting the hang of it.”

Getting the hang of it is right. Romney recalls her first week working on the show left no room for error. “At five in the morning nobody’s ears are fully awake…during my first day on the show I think I said ‘wait what’ about a hundred times, and [as] a radio DJ that’s a huge no-no.” However, Romney has since quickly caught on and has also embraced the other obstacles that occur while on-air.

With each DJ stationed in a different state, the trio has gotten creative with their communication strategies.

“You can’t give hand signals or eyebrow gestures to one another, it’s just you, the microphone, and a couple of ornery techies near you…you lose that face to face interaction.”

The only time the three DJ’s communicate off-air is via Instant Messaging during the show and privately through their microphones during a song break. This calls for some sharp listening and some quick thinking.

As mentioned earlier, The Kane Show reviews an array of present-day hot topics. When asked how she prepares for each show, Romney chuckled and replied, “I haven’t prepped since I got out of college…There is such thing as over prep, trust me, it comes out dry and unnatural.”

This is true. When tuning into the show you can hear the natural flow of the conversation. A vast amount of the topics addressed, stem from random tangents brought on by Romney or the other hosts.

Romney brings a very delightful and colorful vibe to the show, along with her contagious giggle and witty comments. She tends to help guide the flow of the show to ensure that listeners remain engaged. When asked what it takes to be an effective and intriguing DJ, Romney responded that you need to be outgoing, always up to date, and able to take criticism well. She also went on to say that one cannot be someone their not while working in the radio field. “You’re pretty much on one giant phone call that last for hours, pretty hard to fake who you are for that long.”

Anyone can tune in on just about any radio station across the nation. With the help of iHeartRadio, which happens to be the owner of both Hot 99.5 and 97.1 ZHT, it’s easy to tune in to The Kane Show and hear Katie Romney in her natural habit.