Today FUV's Art of the DJ series travels to Pittsburgh, PA, where Cindy Howes has been hosting WYEP's Morning Mix since 2007. How does she keep up with new music given the early wake-up call? Where does local music fit into her show? What video currently has her obsessed? Find out in Cindy's conversation with Rita Houston below.
Meet Cindy Howes:
Cindy Howes decided to be a DJ after receiving a radio for her 12th birthday. She got her start at her high school radio station and went on to work at one of the biggest college radio stations in the country, WERS at Emerson College in Boston. After working at several different kinds of stations (commercial Triple A, AM News, non-commercial folk and NPR News), Howes was hired as the Morning Mix host at WYEP in Pittsburgh, PA where she has entertained loyal listeners since 2007. She also created and hosts WYEP’s Sunday Morning Coffeehouse which premiered in 2010.
Howes’ innovative approach to radio has introduced several new segments to the station including The Daily Feedback (an interactive social media and on-air poll that invites listeners to suggest songs based on a daily topic), The 9:13 Buzz (a weekly segment welcoming local music writers to share new music picks and comments on-air) and Pairings (weekly feature with a local chef that challenges Cindy to find a song to fit a specific meal).
In addition to her popular morning show, Howes acts as an advocate for local music at WYEP. Booking all local music events and screening all incoming Pittsburgh releases, she prides herself in being an accessible bridge between Western PA’s flourishing music scene and Pittsburgh Public Radio. In 2008, under her direction, WYEP hosted the first annual Holiday Hootenanny, a showcase of local musicians performing holiday songs. The event has since grown to become one of the hottest holiday tickets in town and a solid fundraiser for WYEP’s education program.