Annis crankin' out the tunes in California
Radio personality Matt Annis, 29, went from working at local radio station WKBI to recently being named the assistant program director and music director on CBS Radio in San Diego. The St. Marys Area High School Class of 2000 graduate currently resides in La Jolla, Calif. He is the son of Ted and Sharon Annis, the grandson of Frank Skok and brother to Todd and Shay Annis. He has a son, Noah Annis, and is engaged to Natasha Dorfhuber. Now known as "Matt Stone" on the radio, Annis oversees the day-to-day operations of KSCF-FM in San Diego, where he was hired three months ago. "Radio can be a magical world. I do my best to make sure that our listeners feel the magic every day. I love it," Annis said. "CBS is a fantastic company to work for and I look forward to being with them for a long time."As part of his daily duties, Annis coaches on-air talent; selects and schedules music to be played on the station each day; organizes all events, including hosts' schedules; meets with record labels; oversees concert events; and hosts meet-and-greets with bands."I develop cool promotions that create experiences our listeners can't buy, and one of the cooler parts is getting to check out new music before anyone else," he added.Annis described KSCF as a modern adult contemporary station playing music by such artists as Katy Perry, Green Day, Lady Gaga, Weezer, Mumford and Sons, Foster the People and many more."I love all of it," Annis said. "To be in such an amazing industry and to live in America's finest city, what's not to love? But to narrow it down to what is the best part...I would have to say the way it feels to bring listeners into a world they could never be a part of without us. When you introduce a huge fan to Adam from Maroon 5, the look on that listener's face makes each day worth it!"Throughout his radio career, Annis has worked at stations across the country. Among those was a three-year stint in Santa Barbara, Calif., where he ran KRUZ. "Santa Barbara is a great city to live and work in," Annis said. "While working there, I hosted the morning show and a new music show with George Pendergast from the band Dishwalla - they were big with Counting Blue Cars. The new music show was syndicated in a few cities across the country and had great guests in the studio with us each week. We would have everyone from up-and-comers like Dominic Balli, Rebelution, Iration and Josh Damigo to more established artists like Shawn Mullins, Jason Mraz, David Gray, Colbie Calliat and tons more."According to Annis, dealing with high-profile on-air hosts and music stars is one of the biggest challenges in his work. He added that it is also tough to be original in a world where it takes a dedicated effort to keep people entertained."There is tons of competition for us out there, from Pandora to satellite radio, to all of the other stations on the FM/AM dial and online. We need to come up with new things to get our listeners coming back to us each and every day," Annis said. He explained that he has always been in love with music, having had it in his life since he was an infant. He recollected how his father would play oldies stations in the car, which he said he still prefers. "I would always unknowingly be the DJ for my parents’ parties because I wanted to share new music with everyone," he added.Annis credits long-time friend Terry Long for getting him started in the business. At the time, Long was working part-time at WKBI, which sparked Annis' interest. Long arranged an interview for Annis with John Salter, former WKBI station manager and current owner of Salter Communications in St. Marys. At first, Annis was assigned odd jobs around the station, including painting and cutting grass. Eventually he earned a spot on-air, hosting the Sunday Morning Polka Party. Annis remained at WKBI from 1998 to 2000."I was hooked into radio from then on. So I guess, to sum it up, you could say it was Terry and some polka that got me going!" he said.From then, on Annis' love of all kinds of music and the industry has kept him going. As for the future, Annis said he hopes to remain working for CBS for quite a while. Eventually, he and his fiance plan to move further west to settle down in Hawaii, he wants to continue to work in radio. Annis added that it has become difficult to get started in the radio industry due to computers eliminating many jobs which were often assigned to entry-level employees in the past. 'The best way to get started is in a small town like St. Marys! I feel like I would never have been able to get the opportunity in this industry if I didn't start in a small town and work my way up," he said. "John Salter taking a chance on a young kid that lived a few blocks down the street was the doorway to a great career for me."Annis said he wouldn't trade growing up in St. Marys for anything. "It was cool to walk down the street and know almost every person you run into," Annis recollected. "I miss Vito's hot dogs and hoagies! I hope they are still around."Outside of the radio station, Annis said being a dad is his number-one priority. He and his fiance are avid hikers and enjoy attending concerts. Jeeping in the desert has become a newfound love for the pair as well.