by kathy loy | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

With the elections over and done with for another four years, many of us are ready to talk about something other than politics. Luckily, we have a radio personality in the community who is well-versed in other subjects. Chris Merrill, a new Carmel Valley resident, has his own radio program six days a week – and he’s ready to talk.

Like many people who move to this area, Chris, his wife Lulu, and his kids were looking for good schools, and a safe neighborhood. Chris also says weather was a factor in their decision to live in Carmel Valley. “It seems silly to say that we are particular about the weather when moving to San Diego; the best weather in the country. However, I’m a delicate flower and can’t be too warm. We wanted to be within five miles of the coast,” explained Chris.

Early in his career, radio was a “contingency plan” if acting didn’t pan out. Chris started out as a theater major in college, and minored in Communications. When money and motivation ran out, he started as a radio board operator for high school basketball games, which led to gigs hosting a morning show and progressed to radio shows in various states across the country. Now, happily settled in San Diego since August, Chris is lighting things up with his show at KOGO.

“We have a distinct advantage over most other talk shows as we don’t rely on politics as content,” said Chris. “If it’s a hot item of the day, like an election, a political figure says something way off the wall or a VP commits another foot-in-mouth gaffe, we’ll certainly discuss it. When we do, though, we won’t be committing a character assassination or making excuses based on a party preference. We’ll be entertaining.”

Chris says the best news to talk about is what he hears people discussing around town – at the gas station, coffee shop or barber shop. “Success comes by recognizing that the audience is important and the host is at their mercy,” said Chris. “That said, I dig and find what people are interested in.” Chris admits that his job is never boring. “The excitement comes from knowing that I have a challenge every day to maintain and build upon a reputation for my family, my friends and my station,” he explains. “That’s the pressure of the job, and I’m addicted.”