When Bruce Flohr was a high school student in Southern California, he had dreams of one day becoming a radio personality. He worked in radio stations as a teenager and knew that would play a role in deciding where to pursue his higher education.
When it came time to start touring college campuses, Cal Poly was on the list, but Flohr only ended up staying in one building for the duration of his visit.
“I can honestly say I went to Cal Poly specifically for KCPR,” Flohr said.
When Flohr stepped into KCPR’s station on the third floor of Building 26, there was a student on-air named Beverly Gagliano. Watching Gagliano on the mic left him in awe.
He would later accept Cal Poly, become a DJ and, in a few years, become Programming Director.
“We were in the heyday of college radio and we treated KCPR as a business,” Flohr said.
At the time, business was booming for college radio stations, especially with groups like R.E.M. and The Replacements gaining popularity and giving the realm of alternative music a bigger name. KCPR’s college radio presence began to have a noticeably positive impact on record sales.
Record companies, musicians and even booking companies began to pay more attention to San Luis Obispo. Flohr was the liaison between KCPR and the record companies, which gave him opportunities to grow relationships in the industry.
RCA Records was one of those relationships and would eventually turn into Flohr’s first job after his time at Cal Poly
“RCA Records offered me a job to be their head of alternative promotion, which meant I was going to call all the other college radio stations and other radio stations like KROQ and Live 105 to get RCA’s alternative records on the air,” Flohr said.
Flohr would go on to be the artists and repertoire (A&R) representative for RCA Records, which would result in him discovering the Dave Matthews Band and eventually working with and signing the Foo Fighters.
In 2002, Flohr moved from RCA Records to Dave Matthews Band’s management company, Red Light Management, and remains there working with artists today.
There is a complex relationship that can occur when one’s passion gets to become part of a life-long career like it has for Flohr. There is a risk of becoming jaded when love turns into work, but Flohr said the results of his work have kept him away from that mindset.
“I get to ideally make people’s dreams come true through their music,” he said. “I look at music as the emotional thread from my artist to a fan, the way I stay relevant and excited about my job is I remain a fan of music.”
Flohr remains a fan of KCPR and a proud alumnus. He accredits the radio station for being an instrumental part of his success today and the success that others have found after working for KCPR.
“I’m one of many and that’s something we should all be proud of … I find that people who come out of KCPR are way more likely to have success at a radio station than someone who hasn’t,” Flohr said.