You may know him as “PK” on 88.7FM, but before that he was playing Oakland University’s only new rock alternative.
Kukawinski hosted “Static Noise” with David McDonald – a half talk/half music show that frequently had local bands sit in, or national acts call in.
“Some of my favorite memories from the station would be the time that I spent with the other jocks and management. Anyone can sit in the booth and attempt to do a show, but if you don’t have any chemistry between the people you work with, it’s always going to make things a little more difficult. I had an amazing co-host in Dave, and got to work for some great people while I was there: Andrew Grieve, Luke “Diamond” Phillips, Matt Pocket, Phil Berard, Kyle Bauer, Christine Stover, Gene Fogel, etc. Those are the things I remember most,” Kukawinski said.
Since graduation in April 2011, Kukawinski spent a good amount of time searching for a job in the field. He worked part-time programming Indie stations for AOL Radio towards the end of 2011. In January of 2013, he was brought on to the 89X team as a programming assistant and on-air personality, which he has been doing ever since.
“If I could give any advice, it would be to make as many connections as possible. You never know who you’ll run into in this industry, and some of my friends during my time at WXOU are now in positions where I am in contact with them frequently. It’s a terrible thing to burn bridges between anyone that’s looking to work their way into the same industry. Anyone will tell you that it’s almost like being part of a giant family; Don’t be the black sheep of that family because you refuse to have tough skin. You’re going to hear “no” a lot, and you’re going to have to work hard to get what you want. The difference between being hired and being unemployed could all boil down to the right reference. This is very much a business of “who you know” as opposed to “what you know.”
“WXOU was a great stepping stone in my career. A lot of people are looking for a step into the music industry, and I think that college radio is a great place to begin. Learn the basic, work with people who are in the same boat as you, make those early connections, and have fun! Without the experience I gained at OU, I don’t think that I would have been in a position to be in the running for my job when I applied. It’s a great place to start and I highly encourage anyone interested in music, radio, promotions, etc. to get involved. The string of alumni who have moved on to do big things in radio speaks for itself. Learn from these people and use that knowledge to climb up the ladder step by step.”
Catch PK on 89X weekends midnight to 8am or on the Homeboy Show Sundays at 10pm.