On the air

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by Kit Murray

murrayki@mnstate.edu

Taylor Peterson, aka Pike, is known best in the Fargo-Moorhead area for his role as Big 98.7’s morning show host. The MSUM advertising alumnus started working in radio even before his senior year of high school. Soon after, he started as a night show host, and just before Peterson turned 21, he became a full-time employee at Big 98.7, landing the position he holds today.

“Four hours of the day, we’re just talking,” Peterson said. “It’s fun and different every day. We’re always doing crazy stuff. Sometimes, it’s ridiculous, but at the same time, it’s better than a job that’s really monotonous.”

Each day’s tasks vary, but a typical workday for Pike starts at 4:30 a.m. He gets ready to go on air by setting up audio and editing pieces to be played during the show. At 5:30 a.m., the show Pike describes as “chaos” kicks off with Jesse and Amanda on air with him. The three personalities discuss the latest trends, including a “Hollywood Lowdown,” riffing off each other’s commentary alongside the latest pop songs.

When the show’s finished, Peterson has more work to do — meetings, editing and posting podcasts. But some days, the hosts have downtime when they can just “hang out” in the office together.

“(We) usually get a round of basketball in on the mini hoop in the office here.” Peterson said.

Rare incidents at work have had Peterson being tased for fun and even Rosie O’Donnell calling in and inviting the hosts to fly to New York City and be guests on “The View.”

Peterson has always had an interest in radio. When he was younger, he would make sports commentary on a tape recorder as a means of getting practice. Grateful for the full-time experience he was given at an early age, he credits much of his knowledge to MSUM.

“There’s so many things that I learned (at MSUM) that I wouldn’t have learned here,” Peterson said.

He feels his time at the university sharpened his skills in design, advertising and mass communications in general.

Peterson started out as an education major, but after student teaching, he realized it wasn’t right for him.

Though radio is his focus, in his free time, Peterson plays guitar in the band Low Standards with his brother and old college friends. They play cover songs from bands they grew up listening to in the ‘90s and 2000s like Blink 182 and the Beastie Boys.

“We pretty regularly play shows,” Peterson said. “That’s a fun, kind of part-time gig that I get to do on the weekends and pretend I’m a rock star.”

Unsure what his future holds, Peterson’s content where he’s at, in what he considers his dream job.

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