I Didn’t Get Fired

wrtilogo“I haven’t heard you on the air for a while. Did they fire you?” she asked. “It’s worse than that,” I said. “They promoted me.” Day One of my new job as Director of Content at WRTI is in the books; I officially started my new job yesterday.

Director of Content is a funny title. I was hoping for Director of Intent but I never did get that Masters in Mind-reading. Content, for a radio station, means responsibility over all programming (for us, classical and jazz), over everything on the website and social media, and over audio production. I’ve been telling my friends that, basically, whatever they don’t like about WRTI, from now on, is my fault.

They’d been talking about a Director of Content position for a couple of years; I just didn’t know they had me in mind for it. I had, I thought, been getting somewhat better in the afternoon on-air classical shift as I filled in since late Spring of 2015, and so I applied for that position when they announced to fill it permanently. I didn’t get it. They hired the consummate professional and wonderfully nice guy Kevin Gordon, who has already been a terrific addition to our staff.

No, I didn’t get that. I got this!, and already I’m having fun, enjoying looking under the hood of this great radio station, WRTI, and seeing how we can make it better than ever.


12 thoughts on “I Didn’t Get Fired

  1. richnbar

    Hi Kile, So happy to hear that you are adjusting in your new position with WRTI. Must say however, your missed because as nice as his voice is, Mr. Gordon just doesn’t do it for us. I like to hear the biography that you and Greg give us when you play your pieces. I find at the 4 o’clock hour his pieces get lengthy and the lack of history to these artists is missing. We of course dont enjoy a long interruption between music but adding something to the narrative is enlightening.

    Anyway, since you are getting the blame for all that goes wrong with programing, my other issue is probably in the spoken word. Some hosts lack the articulation and rhythm to be understood. Primarily Jazz in the evening.

    So all that being said, I and all of us wish you the best of luck, if it be WRTI or elsewhere in your classical pursuits.

    Sincerely, Barbara M. St.Denis

    1. Kile Smith Post author

      Thanks, Barbara, for your feedback. It’s nice to be missed! But I’ll be filling in on air here & there, too. For the most part, the classical hosts do not choose the music they play. We’re always looking to find the best mix of music, whether it be long/short, newer/older, orchestral/chamber/etc., and that’s a big part of my responsibility now. That mix of talking is constantly being tweaked, too: how long to talk, and what to say. Sometimes, because of required spots, there’s not much wiggle room. But it’s all up for grabs, and I appreciate hearing from you! Feel free to continue to do so, and at the station I can be reached at kile@wrti.org. Thanks!

  2. Betty Steckman

    Congratulations and all that, Kile, but I do miss you in the afternoons. Nothing against Kevin Gordon, he’s excellent. But I liked your easy, conversational style. So now you’re Lord High Everything Else. (Personally, I always wanted to be Vice President–vice can be so much fun.) Hope you thrive at WRTI!

    1. Kile Smith Post author

      Thanks, Betty, and Kevin is excellent, yes! We’re fortunate to have him aboard. We all have different styles, from Gregg, Jack, and Kevin, to Debra Lew Harder, who’s getting more & more air time, to Rolf & Mark on Saturdays, and also among our wonderful jazz hosts, to me, and I’ll be subbing here & there. It’s a great mix, I think, and I’m having fun already working with this terrific staff. We all love the music, and we love knowing that our listeners love it as much as we do. Thanks so much!

  3. jasper


    Best wishes to you as the WRTI Director of Content.

    Previously, has not Jack Moore been the WRTI classical program director? Did this involve his selecting all classical pieces for all on-air hosts? Or did each host have autonomy in this regard? Will you now be responsible for choosing all classical compositions?


    1. Kile Smith Post author

      Hi Jasper,
      It’s a good question because the titles can get a little confusing! Some stations have “Program Directors” but we do not. Jack is the Classical “Music Director” and Maureen Malloy is the Jazz “Music Director”; they were & still are. They have responsibility for choosing all music for broadcast, but now I’m supervising all that instead of Dave Conant, who as General Manager has many other responsibilities. In addition to setting programming directions and looking at every aspect of the broadcast day (so, basically I’m taking on “Program Director” responsibilities), I’ll also oversee web content and audio production. Some jazz hosts choose their own music under Maureen’s supervision, but classical hosts generally do not. Timings, scheduling ahead, and working with other broadcast elements can get fairly complicated, so it’s generally best to separate out the classical repertoire choosing. Hosts have enough juggling to do on-air as it is, as, oh boy, I’ve learned! Thanks,

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