Beyond The Mic: Meet Our Network Indiana Affiliate Relations Manager

March 11th, 2020

Media is obviously a people-business.  Personalities on-air, on-line and in social media create content that attracts audiences.

But many more people are involved in our daily operations than just the voices you hear, the faces you see or the authors you read.  Without these behind-the-scenes roles, sponsorship fulfillment to our audiences wouldn’t happen.

Today, Radio Indiana introduces you to our Network Indiana Affiliate Relations Manage, Kyle Knezevich.

  • If you had to explain what your day-to-day job entailed, how would you do so?

My day to day job as the affiliate relations manager for Network INdiana entails organizing and constantly updating our network affiliates, communicating with our affiliates about their respective station/stations, communicate with our engineer/programming/traffic/sales department to ensure everything runs smoothly, find solutions for affiliates, interact with our news room/programming department about upcoming features and specials, talk with show hosts and inform affiliates about everything we have going on with Network INdiana.  Now that March is here, it’s time for me to get back on the road to visit affiliates!

  • What prior work experience and/or current skill set helps you the most now in this role?

I am the former Producer for Wank and O’Brien on Hank FM and longtime Producer for Dan Dakich on The Fan as well as weekend show host/co-host.  Being a producer for a decade and even on air for probably half that time has taught me a lot about communicating, organizing, coming up with new ideas, constantly evolving and preparation.  Those are 5 key factors that go into radio.  However, I think you can use those for all careers and everyday life as well. 

Being the affiliate relations manager, communicating with the affiliates is key to running a successful network.  You want to ensure affiliates are confident in our products and that they feel important.  Our job is to inform the listener/communities and our affiliates are what make that happen.   

  • What is the most memorable experience you have had during your radio career?

I really can’t narrow down to one moment.  We had so many monstrous programs on The Dan Dakich Show.  So many that were about more than sports.  Countless incredible guests/moments on the DD Show.  It was pretty cool when Coach Mike Krzyzewski said to DD on the air, what is your producer, is he Polish, forget Dakich, I’m here because of Knezevich.  Obviously, a complete joke.  But still pretty cool to hear Coach K even mention my name.  I remember when Dan made a bet with me that I couldn’t get Ron Artest on the show.  I won the bet nonetheless!  Coach Brad Stevens on National Championship game day.  Coach Tom Crean after being let go at IU.  The Chicken Runs at Midnight.  Coach Roy Williams on game day vs Duke.  Coach Jay Wright after the National Championship win.  The time I got to sit down at Broad Ripple Martial Arts face-to-face and interview Mike Tyson was pretty special. Coach Crean after the Wat Shot win over Kentucky, Coach Matt Painter on his way to the Sweet 16, even Alexander Rossi on Memorial Day after winning the 500. 

For my new career, we hosted a couple lunch and learns last summer for affiliates and I also had a chance to travel to visit some affiliates across the state.  I don’t know if there was just one moment but being able to put a face with a name, learn about people, talk about the radio business, their community and even visit some towns around the state that I wouldn’t normally have a reason to have been some highlights of my new career here at Emmis Communications.  This really isn’t a highlight but it certainly isn’t a lowlight.  I’m really enjoying my new job in affiliate relations because I am learning a whole new side of radio.  I was in promotions, a producer and on-air for 12 years.  Working in the state radio network field is truly a great challenge and something that is beneficial in this business.

  • About your own media interests & tastes… When you’re not working, what kind of radio programming or podcasts do you like to listen to?

Shameless plug here, I’m still part-time on the radio side.  So outside of my normal job, I have continued my podcast on as well as Apple and Stitcher Podcasts called Gloves Off with Producer Kyle.  I’ll interview world champion fighters, musicians, local athletes and even human interest stories.  I try to cover it all.  You can also catch me on Country 97.1 Hank FM on Saturday from 6pm-9pm and Sundays from 7pm-midnight.  This still gives me just a small taste of the programming side which I was a part of for 12 years before taking my new career path with Network INdiana.  I’m very critical of myself so I’ll listen to my own interviews/air-checks, not necessarily because I want to, but because I’ll critique myself every time and figure out how to get better. 

Outside of these side gigs, I’ll always check out interviews from The Dan Dakich Show/The Fan radio personalities and even Network INdiana’s Pete the Planner because you can never learn too much or be too prepared about your finances.  Outside of the Emmis roof, I really enjoy listening to podcasts of Howard Stern interviews, Joe Rogan Experience, The Pat McAfee Show, Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, Hotboxin with Mike Tyson, Pardon My Take and GaryVee Audio Experience. 

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