Our December feature is Gail Fallen, morning radio host for 1310 KFKA. Gail is an award-winning radio vet who provides her audience with the day’s latest news, sports, traffic, weather, and commentary. Although KFKA has a Northern Colorado focus, Gail talks local, state, and national politics. A Pittsburgh, PA, native, she attended West Virginia University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Provide a brief explanation of your job title along with a description of your duties.
I host and produce “Mornings with Gail” on 1310 KFKA, heard (and streamed at 1310kfka.com) weekdays from 6 to 9 a.m. Post show, I’m keeping up with the day’s local and national news, searching out and booking guests from across the state and around the world, and prepping for the next day’s show. One thing about hosting a morning radio show? It’s never boring!
What stories, trends or issues are currently on your radar?
Obviously, the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19 (from a public health, societal, psychological, educational, and economic standpoint) are—and have been—top of mind for most of 2020. Statewide, I’m keeping a watchful eye on the next assault on TABOR, the ongoing oil and gas wars, and the impact of the state’s COVID-19 mandates as we walk the tightrope between slowing the spread and keeping our small businesses (and our economy) afloat.
What do you look for when you are researching what to cover on your morning show?
Compelling, relevant, timely content . . . what my instincts and experience (and just interacting with others) tell me is top of mind on any given day. Since I do a magazine type of morning show, I’m fortunate to have considerable flexibility in the topics I cover. Politics and stories with a Northern Colorado focus always play into the mix, but so do the quirky, fun, offbeat stories that make us all laugh . . . or just shake our heads in disbelief. Radio is one of the most intimate mediums on the planet. It’s an interesting mix of information and entertainment—a community of friends—a place to agree, disagree, or just agree to disagree! As Forrest Gump would say, it’s kind of a like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get. And that’s what makes every day so different and so much fun!
How has COVID-19 impacted your work?
I’ve been broadcasting from home since March. Interestingly enough, it’s only enriched the quality of my professional relationships with my colleagues, my guests, and my “morning family” . . . my listeners. We’ve all grown closer through this shared, albeit distanced, experience. There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has brought out both the best (and sadly, in some cases, the less than ideal) in people across the board. That’s why I also enjoy doing the uplifting, positive stories of those who have done so much for so many during these chaotic times.
Please describe the most thrilling story you have done.
That’s a tough one, because I’m just so grateful for the opportunity to explore so many issues, so many stories that matter, over a nearly 15-year (and counting!) radio career.
What story are you most proud of?
By pure coincidence, I did a story on tornado survival tips just prior to the Windsor tornado of May 2008. The day after the tornado hit, I heard from a listener who shared his story on-air, saying that several of those tips had saved his life. That’s a moment in time I’ll never forget.
What tips do you have for PR professionals who need to pitch a story to you?
Before getting into radio, I spent a good part of my career working in public and media relations in business, industry, and academia. So I know how challenging a PR professional’s job is! Particularly now, when there is just so much “noise”! I’m looking for timely, relevant stories that are good “talkers” . . . and the offer of a dynamic guest interview is always a bonus. Make your pitch one I can’t (or wouldn’t want to) pass up!
What do you enjoy most about being a radio host in Colorado?
I love exploring the issues that matter to us all in a state I absolutely adore. I told my parents when I was all of 12 or 13 (and we’d come to Colorado to ski on actual snow instead of that crusty Northeast boilerplate) that I’d live here one day. And a little over 10 years later, I made that dream come true. Being in radio is literally a license to learn, so I get to interview and interact with a heck of a lot of people far smarter than I . . . many of them in our own backyard. And I so value those connections!
What are some of your hobbies?
I enjoy wake surfing, golf, scuba diving, spending time with my husband, Keith, and our family and friends (including our “pier” group at Horsetooth Reservoir who make summers so much fun!). And Rudy, our Shih Tzu puppy, is such a blessing and a joy in our lives, though he never met a shoe he was loathe to chew!