What did you want to be when you were 5? And really…what kid actually gets to be the astronaut, rockstar, explorer, or radio host?!? Whitney Allen, that’s who! Her parents bought her a red transistor radio (that she slept with under her pillow every night) and adopted her first cat, Thomasina (who slept with her every night.) That’s when she knew, it was radio or animals. Since she was better at talking than biology, she knew she was going to be on the radio. So at the age of 5, she set out to make it BIG.
Before her first radio gig, Whitney heard a DJ who sounded like a woman that wanted to steal your boyfriend. If Whitney was going to be a DJ, that was not the sound she was going for. KATA in Eureka, California was the first station to give her a shot on the air. There, Whitney spent 2 years in place of that exact girl that wanted to “steal your boyfriend.” When she had enough of the northern California rain, Whitney headed south to San Diego. Warming up not just in the sun, but on CHR’s two hottest stations, nostalgia, AC and her first foray into country. Then the call came in…
Pirate Radio in Los Angeles. No two better things could have happened at the same time in Whitney’s life: a ground-breaking station being led by Scott Shannon, in her hometown of Los Angeles where she always dreamed of making it BIG. Then KIIS-FM in Los Angeles came along. For 3 years she hosted nights, middays, filled in and even co-hosted some mornings with the legendary Rick Dees. Still…there were bigger plans to come.
Blair Garner who worked at KIIS with Whitney, left to start his syndicated show “After Midnite.” He asked Whitney to join him, so she became the host of “After Midnite Weekends with Whitney Allen” for 8 years, on over 200 country stations.
Staying in her hometown, Whitney became the afternoon drive host at KZLA…but she was already bitten by the syndicated bug. So with only weekends free, “The Big Time Saturday Night” was born. As the business goes, KZLA flipped formats. Instead of dwelling on the past “The Big Time with Whitney Allen” was launched, and now, 6 years later, Monday through Friday on 150 stations.
Now, 6 nights a week, on The Big Time and The Big Time Saturday Night, Whitney hangs out and occasionally…ok, often, harasses listeners and artists. She gives credit to the chaotic (and usually drunk) team behind her, because The Big Time is too BIG for one person to handle. It really takes listeners, artists, music and a dream team to make Whitney’s dream come true.
When she’s not on the radio, or backstage at the biggest country concerts, Whitney loves the outdoors, redecorating, napping, and Mexico. Her furry kids, Paloma, Mattie and Flue (the dogs), and her too many cats keep her busy. Luckily, even without a degree in veterinary medicine, with the power of radio, she still gets to help animals through different charities. And, in keeping her promise to never sound like the girl that wants to steal your boyfriend, she’s got a man of her own.
Born in Las Vegas and raised in Los Angeles, Jackie grew up with a love of blackjack and sunshine. Never one to sit still, in school she was either in trouble for talking or trying to beat the boys during recess. Not much has changed; on weekends Jackie plays in a basketball, kickball and a softball league. Still, nothing has made her happier than work. Since she has absolutely NO musical talent, she plays talented people’s music on the radio.
Starting her radio career at 19, Jackie has been involved in the country music community for over 13 years. On air or behind the scenes, Jackie has worked with some of the greatest talent in country radio. Bossing them around…er…working for them, has prepared her for anything. Which is good because in her spare time she likes to jump out of planes, drive real fast, try any sport that looks somewhat dangerous and basically scare her mother on a regular basis (in the last few years alone she’s broken 3 bones!). If you ever do find her sitting still, it’s in a casino or watching reruns of Friends… Could she BE any more cool??? <---said like Chandler Bing.
Mike McNamee was cursed with a last name no one pronounces correctly. Wanting to run away from his family tribe, he dreamed of becoming a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Once he was old enough to realize the Turtles weren’t real (16), he decided to become an actor. After receiving a BA in Performing Arts from Minnesota State, he packed his little two door Cavalier with everything he owned and ventured out to sunny California. Not knowing anyone or anything in Los Angeles, his plight to become the next BIG actor began! After a few VERY questionable infomercials, Mike was ready for something new… Something less uncomfortable! Somewhere he could work outside! A place where he could tell his folks back home: “Look ma! I got a real job!”
Mike couldn’t find that so he joined radio, but he never looked back! Learning everything he could and helping out in any way possible, Mike quickly rose from phone screener to On-Air/Producer/Webmaster.
Mike currently enjoys watching the Minnesota Vikings on days he feels manly and Star Trek on days he feels nerdy. He still owns the Cavalier and will keep driving it till the day it dies (just like Dierks’ Big White!). He’s finally come to terms with his last name… but he’s still stuck on the Turtle thing. Maybe someday he’ll grow up, but for now he’s proud to work in Radio.
Dana is probably the most sane of the group. Born and raised in Southern California, she thinks anything below 70 degrees is too cold. She has been blessed (or cursed) with the gift of gab. Her first detention, Saturday school, and note sent home to the parentals were all due to talking. So, when it came time to decide what Dana wanted to do the rest of her life the answer was easy, radio! She got a part-time job immediately after high school at CBS Radio in Riverside on the street team. She grew within the company into a full-time role, while obtaining her BA in Communications from Cal Baptist University. Dana met Jackie and Mike at Stagecoach Music Festival, where Dana and Jackie became instant friends. She forgot about Mike until Jackie recruited her to The Big Time, ending her 9 year run at local radio. Now, Dana is loving The Big Time life style! Outside of work, she likes spending time with her Springer Spaniel Oakley, going to concerts and people watching, and reminding everyone she’s painfully single. Seriously, if you know a guy, let her know.