Photo by Anthony Mair
Their Story: Three years ago, when former KLUC 98.5-FM DJ and current program director Cat Thomas mentioned starting an AM station run by kids for kids to fill the void of family-friendly radio options, his children, Robbie and Jillian, set out to prove they deserved to be two of the station’s personalities. They conducted their own research, brainstormed questions and performed a mock interview to show their capabilities, ultimately scoring unpaid jobs as radio personalities on KYDZ 1140-AM/100.5 HD-2, a station that plays pop songs by young artists. The siblings often interview celebrities and headliners in Las Vegas, including Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Nick Cannon and Big Time Rush. “We ask questions about what they’ve done, what they plan to do and their childhood,” says Robbie, who once queried Cannon about how a kid should approach his first crush. “All the stuff that shows what kind of people they are.” You can check out their interviews at KYDZ.Radio.com.
Schools: Jillian is in fifth grade at Goolsby Elementary School, Robbie is in sixth grade at Fertitta Middle School
Extras: Robbie and Jillian became heavily involved in giving back to the community through fundraising events at their schools, including the NF Walk and Light the Night for Cancer. Jillian decorates lunch bags and collects pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House, and Robbie collects donations for the Three Square food bank. Additionally, every two months they sift through their clothes and toys and donate to Safe Nest and other charity houses. The siblings are so committed to fundraising that they asked their father how they could incorporate charity work into their radio jobs, then began donating and helping collect toys for the annual KLUC toy drive.
What they’ll be doing in 10 years: “I want to be an actor, and if that doesn’t work out, a professional soccer player or a musical artist,” Robbie says. “I’m always going to have a connection to radio because of who I am, so I will always want to do that.” Jillian shares similar aspirations: “I want to be an actress, [and] if that doesn’t work out, a criminal profiler or a judge. I also want to do radio as a hobby.”
What they’re saying about them: “They are the most professional radio personalities that I’ve heard in a long time, for their age group,” says Susan Joseph, CEO of Justice Entertainment Group, who has worked with the siblings. “They have a sense of the right questions to ask that are interesting, bright and non-offensive. They just have a tremendous ability to understand people for kids their age. They prepare, and they sound great on the radio.”