Debunking A Big Myth About Radio


It’s been said many times that young adults exiting college do not want to join the ranks of radio. Over the past 6 months we’ve found that statement to be false. Not only are they getting into radio, they are just as passionate about radio as someone that’s been in the industry for decades. Take Tanner Chambers (pictured here) for example…

Tanner Chambers is the morning show co-host for Amaturo Media in Santa Rosa, CA. In addition to running the board and his on-air duties, Tanner also produces video content for the show so the content can be repurposed on Facebook and Instagram. He is also a stand-up comedian.


Tanner Chambers is only 23 years old and has been in commercial radio for four years.

Radio Ink: Why did you choose radio as a career?
Tanner Chambers: I have always had an interest in the entertainment industry, specifically radio. Radio connects in a powerful way that is unique compared to other platforms. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I fell in love with radio because of Bender (formerly of KISS FM). Bender was able to connect to our community through humor, memorable benchmarks, and community service. I didn’t realize radio was a tangible profession until I joined my college radio station (KCWU). From there I experimented, found my voice, and started maturing my on-air personality and adapting it for commercial radio.

Radio Ink: Who mentored you, and how did they help you succeed?
Tanner Chambers: I am incredibly fortunate to be represented by one of the radio industry’s finest agents, Paul Anderson of Workhouse Media, who has guided and educated me on the business and ethics of radio. Paul and I have been working together since I was nineteen — he has guided me through the years, and continues to help me become more marketable. Additionally, Fitz of Fitz in the Morning (KNUC) gave me an incredible opportunity to work alongside him in Seattle. Beginning as an intern and working my way into a full-time position, my experience was invaluable.

Radio Ink: What do you hear about radio from people you associate with who are your age?
Tanner Chambers: I hear both positive and negative reviews. Many people my age enjoy the convenience. Even though we have the world at our fingertips, terrestrial radio is the easiest option. Millennials and Gen Z’ers complain that radio has become predictable, noting contests, segments, imaging, and other on-air products are very similar. People my age want to be entertained in a unique fashion that feels new and uncharted.

Radio Ink: How do you counter the argument that radio is a dying medium?
Tanner Chambers: Recently, I had an eye-opening experience. This year, Sonoma County experienced another critical wildfire. The Kincade Fire forced power shut-offs resulting in loss of Internet and cellular connections. The only source of information for many in Sonoma County was radio. I would argue that commercial radio is the last reliable source of mass communication. This may not be the case in every market, but it shows how paramount our medium is.

Radio Ink: What is the number one challenge you face every day, and how are you overcoming it?
Tanner Chambers: Being on top of trends while keeping my demo in mind. I’m twenty-three years old performing for a thirty-five and female demographic. My goal is to bring families together in the car and give them all, both parents and children, something they can relate to and talk together about. I think of Amber’s and my show as a way to connect with kids and their parents. Sometimes I cater more towards parents and vice versa. My number one challenge is finding a balance between the two.

Radio Ink: Tell us what your biggest/most proud moment has been so far.
Tanner Chambers: One of my proudest moments was moving from Seattle to start my own morning show with Amber Henderson. In my career, I have been fortunate enough to be a part of morning show ensembles, but getting to host a morning show? That is a lifelong dream! I am so thankful for Dan Weir, Froggy 92.9’s Program Director, who reached out to me about this opportunity. I am also very thankful for Jim Murphy (VP Programming & Operations), Michael O’Shea (General Manager), Lawrence Amaturo (owner), and the rest of the staff at Amaturo Sonoma Media Group for believing in Amber and I.

Tanner Chambers and Amber Henderson

Radio Ink: What advice do you have for managers and executives in radio that could help them recruit more young and talented people?
Tanner Chambers: Give them an opportunity! I have been very fortunate in my career to have been surrounded by people willing to give me a chance. I have been behind a microphone since I was 18-years-old and was able to find my voice and perspective quickly because I was trusted to do so.

Radio Ink: What would you like to see the radio industry be better at?
Tanner Chambers: I would love to see the radio industry embrace the digital era. I have heard countless people in the industry claim that music streaming and podcasting is irrelevant to our industry. These platforms are extremely relevant — they are our direct competitors. We, as an industry, need to adapt to the digital era, embrace it, learn from it, and craft our platform to be an idiosyncratic entity.

The current issue of Radio Ink Magazine features 27 of radio’s 30 and under superstars. To read about them all subscribe to Radio Ink magazine HERE.



  1. The young person is making $30,000 a year in a top market; and once the allure of “working in radio” wears off they will be gone. Tanner maybe an exception to the rule; but odds are he isn’t making a ton cash and won’t leave that small market. Radio is going to die; it will always be around; but it will fade as the younger generation takes to spotify and podcasts.

  2. Good for Tanner on living the dream.
    There are, however, more Tanners out here who are being systematically crushed, abused and exploited.
    Meanwhile, I am disappointed that Andy would drag out the ol’ “can do” admonition like it was something of intrinsic value, when, in practice, it is just another piece of tinsel to distract the truly miserable.
    Corporate Radio doesn’t give a whit for the Tanners of the world. They are more than willing to work the young men and women ’till they drop from a combination of exhaustion and exasperation.
    On that, we can make book.

  3. Thank goodness for people with positive, “can-do” attitudes; who, while facing the realities of our industry head on, persevere to provide the experience that makes radio the personally, prioritized media choice, as a champion of its publics.

    That said, the criteria are simple. Whether we execute on air, online, onsite, live or on demand, consider any initiative via the following criteria:

    Apart from all the wonderful things you do in your community, what can you do to create a more profitable, continuous, self-amplifying, and self-sustaining, community-focused experience, doing so for the concurrent benefit of your market’s constituents (not just your audiences), your advertisers and your companies?

  4. Running a board and hitting the POST button on Facebook “debunks” radio’s big myth? Stop. It’s great that people like Tanner are excited about going to work, but once again the industry should get focused on a younger generation as an audience, rather than employees. Radio properties have some of the worst performing social posts as it relates to demo’s under 34. Their content us safe. Predictable. Easily replicated, and usually created by some tired DJ who’s just trying to get their quota of 15 posts per week done, so they can go home.
    Want to debunk a BIG MYTH in radio? Stop hiring people who only say the name of songs or worry about the temperature outside. The day after every concert you can bet the local DJ’s are going to say it was “Amazing”, “Unreal”, “Crazy Awesome”…. same old stuff from the same old people are just going to put young people like Tanner on a road to try and fit in and be more vanilla than the guy down the road at the next station.
    Debunking a myth takes some serious grit and a massive shift from something that was widely believed. I’d say the tease definitely over-performed the payoff.

    • Dude, you gotta start somewhere. This guy is 23 years old. You want a 23 year old running Entercom? How do you know what he says on the air? As for getting the younger generation to listen, it begins by hiring people of that generation on the air. Millennials don’t want to hear their parents or older on the radio.

      • Did you even read the interview? “My goal is to bring families together in the car and give them all, both parents and children, something they can relate to and talk together about.”

        So, you have a 23 year old trying to mediate content around parents and kids. Even Tanner knows the audience is light years older than him.

        • How is that different from what anyone else on the radio does? “Mediate content?” What a load of crap. All he’s saying is he isn’t a shock jock. Nothing wrong about that. He works at the country station, so yes, his listeners are probably older than him.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here