A Cal Poly journalism alumnus who found success in the music industry returned to campus on Monday, Oct. 17 to give students advice on making the most of their time here.
“Flohr’d” is how RCA Records felt about Bruce Flohr, a former KCPR DJ and journalism alumnus, when they offered him a paid position while he was still a senior at Cal Poly.
“This could be the dawn of a new golden era for radio happening right now,” Flohr said while giving a talk to students on Monday. “KCPR could become the soundtrack to Cal Poly.”
When Flohr came to Cal Poly as an undergraduate in 1984, it was specifically to be a part of the radio station. He immediately began working with KCPR to better the quality of the college radio broadcast. Taking pride in professionalism, Flohr took what worked from the top southern and northern California radio stations at the time and blended them for a perfect Central Coast mix.
As Flohr’s work gained popularity, Boo Boo Records began selling more specific records based on what DJs were playing on KCPR. Flohr worked with the shop to promote new songs and artists, and was eventually recognized by RCA Records.
Flohr chose to stay in San Luis Obispo to finish school before launching his career in the music industry right out of college.
“My biggest regret was that I didn’t build a network while I was here at Cal Poly,” Flohr said to the room full of students. “I already knew what I wanted to do, so I just wanted to graduate and start my career.”
Flohr later became a talent scout, discovering bands like Foo Fighters and Dave Mathews Band. He then joined ATO Records and Red Light Management. Flohr also started his own company, GreenLight, which helps companies use music to sell their products.
His main piece of wisdom to students was to avoid starting a career before graduating.
“Anything you can do to improve KCPR makes a difference,” Flohr said. “The more noise you make coming out of San Luis Obispo, the hotter of a property you are.”
Creating a network of people from Cal Poly is key, Flohr told the room. He encouraged students to keep in touch with the friends they make in school, no matter what line of work they pursue. Flohr also mentioned that students’ parents and their friends outside of school are other great assets to be used in networking.
Flohr said that this network can help students get jobs after graduation, as well as internships during their time at Cal Poly. He also pointed out that when you get an internship or job, it is up to you to make the most out of your experience.
According to Flohr, it’s important to ask questions, be proactive and get involved. Be prepared for interviews and do your research beforehand. Always have questions in return for your employer about the company.
“Every person is a story,” Flohr said. “Make that personal connection with who you’re talking to and your story will be remembered.”
Flohr also placed a lot of emphasis on developing more than one skill set. In this ever-changing media business, employees must adapt in order to succeed. This also gives students the opportunity to try out different things to find what they really want to dedicate their life to.
“KCPR taught me to wear a lot of different hats,” Flohr said. “Be good at a lot of things, and great at some, and you will do well.”
In five years, Flohr said he sees KCPR as the voice and beacon for culture not only at Cal Poly, but for all of San Luis Obispo.
“Quality is starting to become important again,” Flohr said. “The consumer has always been very smart, they just weren’t given