Even when Todd Nuke’em was away from X96, he still found his way back on air. He spent some time working at Cutrubus Volkswagen with his friend Dan Roberts. “He put me on their commercials that ran on X96,” Nuke’em said.
“Dan was like ‘say, hey it’s Todd Nuke’em. Unemployment sucks, so I’ve started to sell cars. You can come see me and buy a Volkswagen’ and those commercials played on X96. I think that got people’s attention, because it was of me saying ‘hey I’m not there anymore.’”
Nuke’em couldn’t have been more excited the day he returned to the studio. “I was so happy,” he said. “I missed it. You can’t be a part of something for 21 years and just leave. It would have been one thing if I had planned my exit, but it came out of the blue and I didn’t expect it. I never would have dreamt that would happen, so it was shocking. Then coming back was just so natural. Listeners and co-workers made it great. I appreciate people more than I ever did. Not that I didn’t before but thank you, thank you everyone.”
Although, Nuke’em was full of joy when he was brought back to his beloved X96, he had his hands full. “There were all sorts of changes with the way things were done and the music that was being played, because I wasn’t programming it.”
Todd knew that something had to give.
“I felt like the listeners had been ignored. We got right back to the business of listening to what people tell us. I feel like we’re getting things back on track.”
Most of the changes simply comprised of returning cancelled programming and improving it. Nuke’em said the listeners told them they loved Deep X Cuts and shuffle weekends, so he brought those back. The station has also been working on improving the Big Ass Show, and now the Nightmare Before X-Mas.
“It changed a bit when I left, and now we’re back,” Nuke’em said. “Not that we’re doing things completely the old way because things have evolved since then.”
There have also been a few changes in staff, recently. “Right now I feel like we’re doing a pretty good job giving the listeners what they want, and having fun,” Nuke’em said. “Jon Smith is our new guy. He has been here a few months. Marci -we love Marci- she was doing middays, but she left. Her family moved to Seattle so she left and we had an opening, so we brought in Jon Smith. I’ve known Jon forever. He’s a great, great guy -completely hilarious. I think he relates well with our listeners and people seem to like him. He’s goofy. He makes me laugh. So we got him. I feel like things are back on track for the most part.”
Nuke’em said that throughout all his years working for X96, the one major change he has encountered has to do with the mechanics of how things are operated. “With technology I can do a lot of work from home. So it is a lot more flexible. I use to be here all damn day, but now I can do a lot of stuff at home. I take a lot of music calls on my cell phone. So it has made my life a lot more flexible.”
As much as technology has improved the quality of life for radio DJs, it has come at a price. “People can get music everywhere…” Nuke’em said. “That’s cool because you want it on demand and you can get it whenever you want it, but I think the one thing radio has an advantage on is that we’re local. We do more than just spit songs at you. I think we have a good mix of old and new, and we have the personalities. We have people like Jon Smith, the people from Radio from Hell, me, Richie, and Corey O’Brien. People can do something entertaining or obnoxious, and it’s a good package. We know what we’re doing, and we know what’s going on in Salt Lake. We talk about it, we bring it to you, and we play good music between. I think that’s our advantage.”