HITS Daily Double

By Karen Glauber

As Women’s History Month nears its conclusion, I’ve been thinking about the women whose success, talent, leadership and generosity have been a beacon of inspiration throughout my life. My childhood idols were Gloria Steinem, Golda Meir, Billie Jean King and Patti Smith, who has been my self-designated “Higher Power” during my sobriety (which will be 30 years, as of 4/1). Once music emerged as my overwhelming passion (thank you, Patti and Todd Rundgren), my dream was to be either my favorite DJ, Meg Griffin (whom I still idolize, and am grateful to call a friend), or the late-great A&R genius Karin Berg, who not only introduced me to Alex Chilton in 1984 but was always generous with her time and stories, even though we worked at competing labels. 

My former A&M Records coworker Nancy Jeffries is a huge influence/guiding light, as are/were Rosemary Carroll, Barbara Skydel, Marsha Vlasic, Gail Colson Judy McGrath, Kate Bush, Lia Vollack, Michele Anthony, Jody Gerson, Michelle Jubelirer, Gillian Bar, Carole Kinzel, Solange, PJ Harvey, Gaby Skolnek, Amy Morgan, Jacqueline Saturn and many others. I’ve wondered, “What would (insert above name) do?” countless times during my career. During my tenure at a label, I’d wonder what my boss would do, and then do the exact opposite.

This week, there was a luncheon honoring iHeart’s Lisa Worden, whom I’ve known since her days at RCA Records and EMI (somewhere, there’s a 1992 photo of Lisa and me in baby-doll dresses, flanking Tasmin Archer). Lisa segued from radio promotion to radio programming, just as Amber Miller—who’s also spent time on both sides of the conversation—now rules the programming roost at WRFF Philly. Columbia’s Lisa Sonkin and Virgin’s Marisa DiFrisco had successful radio careers before making the leap to the label side, while some of us (namely, me) programmed their college-radio station for four years and are confident that they are qualified to be the PD at KROQ.

Listening to the Senate confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson for SCOTUS is a glaring reminder of how far we HAVEN’T come. Julian was in the car with me as I was screaming at the insulting and invasive questions (seriously, how dare they?) we were hearing, not to mention the pervasive mansplaining. Fuck those fucking fucks. I wanted the kid to hear it, since this is the world they will inherit.

Are we (women) better off in the workplace than we were when I was coming up? Despite the post-#MeToo promotion of women to positions of authority, my gut still tells me that this was primarily done by men for the optics. Forgive my cynicism, but we women all know that the true mentoring is being done among each other. The rest of it is just talk and bravado. Since I’ve chosen to devote my career to the questionable pursuit of airplay for alternative artists, I want to acknowledge some of the women I’m proud to share the Modern Rock trenches with, including (off the top of my head) the aforementioned Lisa Sonkin and Marisa DiFrisco, Darice Lee, Amanda Dobbins, Christine Chiappetta, Amy Kaplan, my beloved Bri Aab, Julie Muncy, Risa Matsuki, Carlyn Kessler, Jen Daunt, Karen Moran-Thomas, Michelle Feghali, Tami Morrissey and Tracy, Bee Bop and Patti from Amplify, who are in the throes of setting up this year’s The Gathering. I haven’t been back to Cleveland since I left Oberlin College at the end of 1983 (way to go, Ohio), but I think a return to the “Mistake on the Lake” is in order this summer. The attendance should be massive, since enough time has elapsed for us to actually miss each other.

My two favorite new songs this week are Beabadoobee’s “Talk” (excited to see her at Coachella) and Daisy the Great’s “Cry in the Mirror,” which Jenna was first to add at WSUN and WXXJ… I want to reiterate that Arcade Fire is the most important band Alternative radio will ever have the privilege to play. The shows last week in NYC reconfirmed this fact. On Saturday night, I finally met Brad Steiner, who will be moving to NYC from New Orleans to work with Mike Kaplan at Audacy. I have a new best friend.

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