After 17 years on the air, Mike Rogers’ voice — broadcaster-esque but with a permanent hint of amusement — is immediately recognizable to KRLD 1080AM listeners. Since 2004, the Lake Highlands resident has anchored the morning show, and daily, he enthusiastically delves into the quirky news you won’t catch anywhere else on the dial.
How did you get into broadcasting?
Well it goes way back to the Harding administration … no, I joke. I was a sports junkie. I wanted to be a play-by-play guy but I ended up focused in the news. I grew up in Dallas and moved to Denver during high school and college. I took my first radio job in Denver, but pretty soon I got tired of scraping ice off my windshield, so I moved to Dallas and my first job here was at Magic 102.9. I was there for four years, and then I got a job as a hard news and then features reporter — now that I think of it, that was 17 years ago yesterday.
They didn’t give you a cake or something?
No, I have to wait until 20, or something that ends in a zero, for that.
how did “the Other Side of the News” come about?
Rick Ericson, who hired me, sat me down and popped in a tape of some guy from another city doing these not-too-serious but informative pieces, and left the room. I listened. When Ericson returned he pointed at the tape recorder and said, “That’s what we want you to do.” I thought it sounded like fun, but I wanted to call it “Mike in Your Face”. I thought “The Other Side of the News” sounded corny. But the producers then found my title too abrasive, I guess. We went with “The Other Side of the News”.
You talk everything from Bikini lawnmowing to professional whistling. where do you get the ideas?
All over the place — the internet, listeners calling me, co-workers give me ideas … and you have to remember, when I started, there was no internet. That has helped the show evolve not only insofar as story ideas, but also with sounds and music that I use in the pieces. In radio, it’s not like television or print where you get images to help convey the story. Sound is all you have. I have banks of sound effects, drops and music on my computer.
Why do you like Lake Highlands?
I spent a lot of my childhood around here because my grandparents lived on Kirkhaven, and I grew up nearby in East Dallas. We just love the area — the trees and landscape is just not something you find in the suburbs. We like going to eat at Tony’s, Highlands Café, Mi Cocina, the Lake Highlands Donut Shop — my daughter loves the donut.
Tell us more about your family.
There’s my wife [Martha] and two daughters — my daughter Juliet will be going to the Lake Highlands Freshman Center next year, and my oldest, Maggie, is graduating from Lake Highlands High School this weekend and then going to OU.
any hobbies outside of radio?
I have been the pitcher for the KRLD softball team for 15 years. We are horrible. And my whole family belongs to the Highest Point Club, a club in which members go — by car, hike, train or however — to the highest point in all 50 states. So far, we have been to the highest point in 30 states. Maggie got elevation sickness on the way down from Mount Albert in Denver, and we had to be flown off the mountainside. I was just glad it was on the way down — I would’ve been upset if we hadn’t made it to the top!
Listen to Mike Rogers’ “The Other Side of the News” podcast on krld.com.