Several years ago I was getting constant videos and segments from a radio show at WJMH. Kyle Santillian was on a hustle to do greater things. I ran the segments because it was almost unheard of for black jocks to promote themselves and as an industry news trade it made my job very difficult but I understood the resistance. Many urban radio people, including PDs (still), feel it’s better to maintain a low profile to maintain a more neutral stance with their respective corporations. I also understand the corporation’s need to protect its branding. Nevertheless, Santillian found a way to slip through the cracks and do what he needed to do. The industry took note including industry vet Derrick Brown who took a chance by bringing the vet to a major market to do the morning show after a previous morning show at GCI failed. Before that WGCI had been running syndicated shows.
Kyle Santillian was born in Philadelphia and raised in Franklinville, New Jersey, a small rural town about 30 minutes from downtown Philly. He started his radio career in 1999 as an intern at WJMH (102 Jamz) in Greensboro, NC. while he was a Junior at Winston-Salem State University. He was then promoted from intern to promotions assistant. Promotions assistant to part-time on air. Part-time on-air to full-time nights in 2001. He hosted nights for two years. Then he hosted Mornings from 2003 to 2014….amazingly all at the same station. After that, his 15 year run at Jamz, ended and he was unemployed for about six months then he landed at WGCI doing mornings in Chicago.
RADIO FACTS: I remember before the WGCI gig your online hustle was hard. You were obviously determined. How did you motivate yourself?
KYLE SANTILLIAN: I was just motivated by not wanting to be a failure. Not wanting to be a person who lost their job and was never working in radio again. I was using the only outlet I had at the time, the internet.
Did/Do you have any mentors?