From MHS To KISS-FM -- Perseverance Pays Off
For years, when Eric Gauvin listened to Courtney and KISS in the morning, he never seriously imagined that he would one day be in the studio with the well-known DJ, bantering with her and her long time co-host and executive producer, Walmart Jeff.
But that’s just when Gauvin finds himself these days, although on air he goes by simply Gavin.
“It was a surreal moment,” said Gauvin -- er, Gavin -- of the day he joined the morning show on the Hartford-based show, which is at 95.7 FM. “It was like a dream come true.”
Gavin grew up in Manchester, attending Bowers and Illing, and graduating from MHS in 2001. His mother, Anna, is a secretary at Bennet Academy.
He’s been yucking it up on air since May 2014, and his emergence as a radio personality is a testament mostly to patience and perseverance.
Gavin was a percussionist in the Illing band for three years but that was about the extent of his time in the spotlight as a student. At MHS, he kept busy mostly with track and a little basketball, as well as a part-time job at Highland Park Market.
He took a broadcast journalism class, though, and enjoyed doing some “behind the scenes stuff” in the TV studio.
Gavin next went to MCC, and then ECSU -- where he majored in communications, in part because of his fond memories of his TV experience at MHS
In his last college semester, he needed an internship. He couldn’t find one in TV, though, so settled for a gig with a radio station -- KISS.
That was almost 10 years ago and Gavin never left. After graduation, he got a part time job in the KISS promotions department, which eventually became a fulltime job. It wasn’t glamorous -- trekking to grocery stores and nightclubs, setting up signs and handing out bumper stickers -- but he became friends with some of the ‘jocks’ and eventually got a chance to go on air.
“It would be from, like, midnight to 2 a.m., when not many people were listening,” he said.
But last year, when a slot opened up on the morning show, Gavin decided to make a “demo” tape and apply. He was one of about 300 applicants, but right from the beginning the chemistry among the three was right.
“Gavin brings a softer side to the show and really resonates with our female audience,",” said Courtney, who has been anchoring the morning show since 1995. “ I could tell he would be a great fit on our team.”
Added Walmart Jeff, who joined the show in 2002: "He's a real positive guy. The world needs more people like him. I'm glad he's part of the morning show."
Gavin said he gets up each day at 4 a.m. and is at the studio at 5, for pre-show prep with his partners.
They are on the air from 6-10 a.m., and he spends the rest of his work day making sales calls or in meetings with radio staff or clients. He also handles the station’s social media accounts and contributes to his blog on the KISS website.
Gavin said he considers himself to be fortunate and is enjoying his job a great deal -- even though a career of this sort was never part of any grand plan.
So where is it leading? Where will he be in five or 10 years? He’s too satisfied right now to be concerned about that.
“I’m not sure what the next step is,” he said, “but everyday I'm learning, growing, and I'm excited to see what the future holds.”