"Rockin' Rob" Boshard of KODJ ("Oldies 94.1") is one of the most popular DJs in Utah. He's also well-known in Idaho, doing voice work on three radio stations there and another in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market.
But, if he'd listened to critics early in his career, he wouldn't be in radio today.
Boshard said he was often told, "You don't have the voice for radio."
Disappointed but not defeated, he began trying to imitate Kidd Kraddock, another disc jockey with a not-so-distinctive-voice, by being more passionate and energetic. It worked. His radio career now spans 21 years. (Kraddock has also been successful with a syndicated morning show from Irving, Texas.)
Boshard is kooky and zany, and he loves to scream on the radio. Listeners never doubt his enthusiasm. He's also proof DJs don't have to be risque or off-color to succeed.
Born and raised in Provo, Boshard attended Timpview High School. As a teenager he became interested in radio, so he borrowed his father's amplifier and began practicing in the basement.
"I about blew my parents's roof off," he said.
When his local church offered a DJ $300 to do a dance, he thought he could do it.
"I did the job for $25 and everyone liked it," Boshard said.
His first on-air radio job was as an intern for the old "K96" in Provo with the "Fisher and Gentry" show. At first he worked because of his love of music. Then it became a way to finance his college education. Today, it's because of a love of the business and interaction with listeners.
Boshard, who is married with four children, worked for KOVO in Provo from 1982-83 and then did a short stint in Honolulu at "I-94." He then did the 6-10 p.m. shift at KISN from 1986-93. Then came KODJ in 1994, with a one-year stint at Simmons Media group in 1996.
Today he has two bachelor's degrees, one in mass communications from Brigham Young University and another from the University of Utah in psychology. He's on the air at KODJ weekdays from 2-7 p.m. He also fills in for "Dickie and Angel" in the morning, if they're on vacation.
He grabs about 5 percent of the adult (ages 25-54) audience each day, but among listeners ages 35-64 his show's been rated as high as 7.7 percent. That's just behind KSL, KSFI and KRSP for that demographic.
Boshard also does shows for other Clear Channel oldies radio stations Pocatello's "Kool 94.9," Twin Falls' "Kool 96.5" and Boise's "Kool 104.3." He also sends a remote show to Minneapolis-St. Paul on "Kool 108."
"I record them," Boshard said . "I can network into their computers. . . . It sounds perfect. Essentially, I e-mail my voice into their computers."
Program directors in the four stations advise him on local events and issues in the markets. Listeners can e-mail him their comments, too.
While it's nice to have such a wide and distant audience, Boshard said, there is a downside to voice-tracking for the DJ. "It has spoiled the fun of radio," he said. "You don't really interact with listeners. . . . You're just laying your voice down and doing it in a very sterile environment." In addition to the five hours he spends on his live show in Utah, it takes him four to five hours to record the other four shows.
E-MAIL: [email protected]