The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Steve Hansen
The Staff of The News 

Our People: Radio in her blood


Last updated 7/16/2022 at 1:15pm

Courtesy photo

Terri Chavez, below, and Duane Chase work together at KTQM Radio in Clovis.

Even if Clovis area residents don't wake up to Terri Chavez's cheery voice on KTQM Radio's morning show, they know her from her involvement in events like Aug. 19's Battle of the Bands and the Boo in the Zoo trick-or treating event at the Hillcrest Park Zoo, and through her other job as food and beverage coordinator for the Curry County Events Center.

Chavez has been a part of KTQM Radio for 12 years, but only recently has become the "lead voice" on KTQM's morning drive-time program that combines energetic hit music from the past five decades, news, weather, interviews and "fun stuff" like "fun-liners" that help keep the morning mood light.

Besides presiding over the morning show, Chavez also serves as KTQM's operations manager, responsible for scheduling, producing and coordinating everything that gets heard on KTQM, she said.

Chavez has also found time in her busy schedule to raise two sons, Casey and Christopher, both U.S. Army veterans, and a daughter Courtney to adulthood, entertain grandchildren and keep up with her own parents Mack and Betty McPherson, all who live in the Clovis area.

Chavez found some time on Thursday to speak to The News. Here are our questions and her responses.

Q: What got you into radio?

A: I had been working in mental health for many years, and I was worn out and needed a complete head-change. Radio was the last thing I ever thought I would be doing. I saw an ad from KTQM that they needed help. I knew I could never live with myself if I didn't give it a try, so I went to talk to them. After hearing my voice and picking up on my personality, (Station Manager) Bob Coker hired me.

Later he told me, "Radio is in your blood, kid."

I started out with the Midday Café show, where I took song requests, and ended up working on the morning show with Grant McGee (who is now managing editor of The News.)

When Grant left, I became the first female "lead voice" at the radio station.

Q: You are also the operations manager. How do you juggle that with the morning show?

A: It's not that hard. I have fun with the morning show, then I put on my business hat and work with scheduling, getting advertising in, eliminating "dead air," and even recording ads, which is fun because I also choose the music and the sound effects.

I feel like the operations job is one I get paid to do, but I enjoy both jobs.

Q: What is your favorite part of the job?

A: The morning show. I get to be creative and do these fun things, like the "fun-liners." Anything goes. That's a blast. I know a lot of my listeners and it's great knowing they're listening to me. Sometimes, I'll be talking and I'll visualize somebody driving in Farwell that I'm talking to. Unless you've done this, you would not understand.

I like guests and giveaways. I got to tell one guy he won a trip to Las Vegas and got to meet (singing star) Katy Perry with all air fare, hotels and food paid for. I made his month.

I also make sure we do some things at the same time every day, like birthdays at 7:45 a.m. A lot of people set their clocks by that. Some say if they aren't on the road to their jobs when birthdays come on, they're going to be late for work. I don't take anything for granted.

That's the fun part of the day, then I trade hats and go to work as the program manager.

Q: What are some of your other involvements in the community?

A: I'm very proud of Boo in the Zoo. It takes all hands on deck to get it planned. We're in year six. We've raised $10,000 to $12,000 a year and it all goes to the Hillcrest Zoo. Last year, they set up the tables and gave out 8,000 to 10,000 pieces of candy to the trick-or-treaters. It keeps growing and the number of kiddos that come to the zoo keeps getting bigger.

It's a KTQM exclusive event. We recruit business donors as "Boo-sters." We start planning next month to be ready for Hallowe'en.

I'm involved with planning the Battle of the Bands scheduled for Aug. 19 with the Curry County Fair.

It's going to be big. We've heard from bands in Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma. The prizes are $3,000 for first place, $1,500 for second and $800 for third.

I am a huge Clovis Wildcats booster. I graduated from Clovis High School, and so did my three children did. I bleed purple. I cry when sad things happen and laugh when good things happen.

Everyone who knows me knows I am a big Oklahoma University Sooners fan, too. I didn't go to school there, but I have a lot of family in Oklahoma. I have a room full of Sooners stuff. It's in my blood.


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