Erika Goforth, also known as Rey Rey, is a broadcast journalist for 98.5 Kiss FM. Rey Rey hosts an afternoon show for the station, but before and records commercials for the station.
What made you want to get into broadcast journalism?
OK so to be honest with you, in the fourth grade my teacher moved me everywhere, and wherever she moved me, I was talking to whoever that was, and she told my parents that I was a great student, I was an A student, but I talked a lot. So, my mom and dad were like, ‘Why do you keep talking’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t know, I just like to talk to people,’ and that got me in the fifth grade of thinking that broadcast journalism was the way to go. So, I kinda made that my platform for the rest for my school career, and I decided to go to MTSU, six hours away from home, did broadcast journalism, they had a great program, and I got down there and it just reinforced that first semester that I made the right call. I think if you have a bubbly personality, if you like to talk to people, if you’re good at talking in public, that’s a trait most people don’t have believe it or not, and I realized, “Hey, I’m pretty good at this.’ I just kinda stuck with that, and did some TV work for a little while, interned at Channel 5 under Hope Heinz and sports for a semester, and somehow in between there I got a job here in Cookeville. My parents moved to Cookeville my sophomore year of college. So, I spent a little bit of time here, I didn’t have roots here like I did in Murfreesboro, but I spent the summer here and my dad nicely pretty much said, ‘You’re gonna get a summer job. You’re not gonna sit at home all summer,’ and they had a job opening here, and I took it. I started overnights on Magic 98.5, which is now 98.5 Kiss FM. I honestly wasn’t that good in my opinion. They helped me, they told me I was better than I think I really was, because I didn’t have much radio experience. Anything I did in college was mostly television, and believe it or not it’s different, different paths, delivery style and all that is different. So, I wasn’t really good, but for some reason they kept me around, and I progressively got better in radio, and I figured out that I liked radio better than TV. TV is a little bit more not uppity, but radio is definitely more laid back than TV, and that’s kinda my personality. I’m outgoing, I’m bubbly, I like to consider myself a laid back type of person, and I figured out why working in both industries that radio was definitely more like that. So, I kinda just tooked what I learned in college and said, ‘If I can do this in video form then I can do the same thing just the audio part.’ So, I pretty much taught myself how to edit audio, how to produce commercials and in the meantime I would do air check meetings all the time with my boss who would say, ‘OK this sounded pretty good on the air, OK this not so much, let’s kinda work on this.’ We would do weekly meetings and then it just got to the point where I didn’t need those meetings anymore. That was about a year and a half into the thing. So, it was definitely a process, and then I ended up on, there was an opportunity that our sister station, the Country Giant, needed a night person, the 7 p.m. to midnight hours. That was when my boss was like, ‘I think you’re ready for something more than overnights.’ That was terrifying to me, because overnights you can think not many people are listening because everybody is asleep, but in regards a lot of people listen at night because a lot of people work third shift around here, but when I went to Giant that was a little terrifying because I’m like, ‘Now people are really gonna hear me.’ I did that for probably six or seven months and then a opportunity to do middays on Kiss come around, and I decided I kinda like top 40 music a little more than country music, and I made the jump back to Kiss, and I’ve been there now since 2012 or 2013. So, I’ve been doing middays for five or six years now, so that’s kinda how I got into it. I talk a lot, and it just kinda fit my personality. So now, I get paid to talk pretty much, so it works out.
What type of routine do you have before you get to the studio and while you’re there?
My aired shift is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day so most people are like, ‘Man you guys have it so easy, you just have to talk all day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that’s not that long,’ but really, I’m here 8 o’clock every morning. So what happens is, I also do all of our production work. Any commercials you hear on air, I produce those. So, whether a client comes in, or they just send us a copy, I have to produce all those. Usually, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. I’m working on commercials, and then I start my show at 10 a.m. and I do my show 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and then after that I’m finishing up whatever production I haven’t finished yet. Normally I’m here 8 a.m. to 4 p.m./5 p.m. anyways. So, most people think radio people are just here during their shift. That’s not necessarily the case. We’re here all the time. That’s pretty much my schedule. Do commercials in the morning, do your show during the day and then in the afternoon finish up any commercials that you may be using for the next day.
Your actual name is Erika Goforth, so where did Rey Rey come from?
Rey is my middle name. I’m actually named after my papi. I’m third generation Rey. My papi was Rey, my dad is Michael Rey and I’m Erika Rey. So really, my real name is Erika, but I chose not to go by Erika on the air because you have enough people already trying to think they know you and try to get in your business, so that’s why I decided not to go by my actual first name. The funny part is nobody in this building calls me Erika or most people that know me in general don’t call me Erika. My family are the only people that actually call me Erika. Everybody else calls me Rey. Now, where did Rey Rey come from? I’m not really sure how we decided that two Reys were better than one. Somebody said it, and it was like, ‘Yeah that kinda has a clip to it.’ So we just kinda went with it. So yeah, my real name is actually Erika, not Rey Rey. Clearly my name is not Rey Rey, who would have two names of the same?
Is it fun working for 98.5 Kiss FM?
It’s fun because every day is different. If you’re looking for a job that you get to have fun, get to interact with the public, want something different every day, this is the kinda job for you. If you’re outgoing, have an outgoing personality, you like to get involved with the community in ways that you can better that community, this would be a job for you. We’re always partnering with Habitat for Humanity, whether it’s cooking on the square, the women’s build for a home they’re actually building, we like to partner with them. We partner with City Scape on Fall Fun Fest and just different things like that throughout the year. So, if you really want to make a little bit of an impact in your community and you like to meet people and you like to do different events, the only kicker is you’re going to work nights. You’re going to work weekends, you’re gonna work holidays, that’s just part of it. Radio doesn’t stop. It’s 24 hours a day. Some people don’t see that as a positive. It’s not every weekend, but you have to work some weekends, but I love it. You get to meet people, you get to interact with people that listen to you, you appreciate when you get to meet your listeners and they are like, ‘Hey, thanks for getting me through the work day, I heard this, you were talking about this.’ It makes you feel good when people interact with you when you’ve made a positive impact in their life or you brightened up their day by one silly break you did on air.