Programming Volunteer Spotlight: DON MERRILL
Don Merrill is a relatively new volunteer here at KBOO, and has been on the air mostly as a news reporter. However, he’s also taken it upon himself to do a web only show called “The Talk”, where he interviews some of the more famous people who request air time on KBOO, as well as community advocates, authors, and anyone he feels like talking to! I appreciate his willingness to jump into the studio with anyone, and his ability to create interesting and insightful audio. Here is an interview I did with Don in October, 2012.
*Hi, people. My name is Don Merrill and I do interviews.
What brought you to KBOO?
*I came to KBOO because I have always liked community based anything.
And from a very early age, microphones and TV cameras have fascinated me. I spent years in military and civilian broadcasting around the country and the world. And I also did a lot of audio and video freelancing in between. Throw some newspaper work in there and a stint as a public affairs officer for a federal agency, and I got to the point where I was looking to return to something that was more fun than farce. So far, it's been a good fit.
Why did you decide to focus on interviews?
*I learned very early in my career that it isn't the complicated questions that get people talking, but the simple ones, like what do you care about, what scares you, what would you die for, who do you love? And the answers sometimes sound similar but they are never the same. Sometimes the answers people give me renew my faith in humanity.
Tell us about the interviewing process...
*The interview process is this; ask questions the audience wishes they could ask and hope for answers the audience never expected to hear.
What is your favorite part of doing these interviews?
*Meeting new people and listening to them share their passion by telling their story.
Who was your favorite interview so far?
*So far, my favorite interview was Dwight Yoakam. I'm not a country music fan, but I like it a little more now because Dwight and me went to the same high school and we both got excited about Friday night football from the 70s. Sometimes a person can bring you to something a personal taste might not.
Future plans for your show?
*I want to be the go to place for good, meaty conversations. I'm not interested in helping people hock books or sell thigh cream or tell their story if there's no real blood, sweat or tears in the telling. And I'll talk to anybody but I won't talk to fakers. I want to hear how somebody screwed up and grew from it because I screw up and I need to grow and they can help me.
What would you like listeners to know about KBOO that you think isn't
*This rag tag bunch of volunteers (think old school Battlestar Galactica) and this little radio station that could busts collective ass for the community every day. But that's not a cliché' and they're not a clique. You can join us and bust yours for the community too.