Rahny Taylor Has Returned to MKE to Brighten Your Morning
Popular radio station 97-3 NOW has announced that a familiar voice will be soon be returning to Milwaukee’s airwaves. Rahny Taylor, longtime host of the “Wes, Rahny and Alley” morning show on KISS-FM, will be returning to his native Milwaukee from his three-year stint at contemporary Christian music station K-LOVE & Air 1 to host a new solo morning show.
We caught up with Taylor and 97-3 NOW program director Brett Andrews to talk about the new show, Rahny’s stint in California and why he’s so ecstatic to be back home.
You’re coming back to Milwaukee from California right in time for winter. What made you want to do that?
Rahny: People are ripping on me so much for that! I want to be here for Packers season. I’m tired of trying to find places to watch Packer games.
Weather-wise, yeah I’ll have to get some warm clothes, but I’m happy to be back home. I lived in Milwaukee for ten years, and leaving this town was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Coming back is one of the most exciting things I’ve done in my life.
This is a great town. If you’ve ever lived outside of Milwaukee you realize how special it is. We’re a really big family. We fight like families. We treat each other like family. I love this city.
What were you doing out in California?
Rahny: I left KISS, and I went to work for K-LOVE, which is a Christian network. I went from Justin Timberlake to Christian music, and I think Justin Timberlake is still doing his thing. It’s funny because when I first got to K-LOVE they were telling me that there was this new artist who just got into Christian radio, and his name was Danny Gokey. I was like, “Yeah, I’m pretty familiar with that guy.”
What can you tell me about the new show?
Brett: It’s interesting because we’re going from what he used to do on KISS-FM, a three-person morning show, to a solo show. The way I like to describe our vision for the show is that it’s just someone to keep you company in the morning as you’re driving to work.
Driving to work is stressful. There’s traffic. You’re trying to get there on time. You’re going through what you need to get done that day in your head. I think that people are looking for an easy-going, positive feel. We’re not going to do some of the more stereotypical morning show bits. I mean we’ll talk about entertainment news or a tie-up on I-43, but it’s going to be very forward moving, with lots of music. People love to hear about Rahny’s life and what he’s doing. That’s what it’s going to be about.
Rahny: Working in this city gives me the opportunity to be a local. For the last three years I’ve been nationwide. I was doing an afternoon show that was heard from California to Florida. Now I’ll be able to just talk about Milwaukee stuff and talk to people from my city about what’s on their minds.
What ideas are you bringing back after being on such a large platform out there?
Rahny: Coming from a different format, there are certain things that are the same across the board. The most important thing is my understanding that we have an opportunity to give people an escape. I’m not here to be negative, or remind you about your problems. If I can make you laugh, that’s great. If I can inform you, in a lighthearted way, of what you need to know for the day, that’s awesome.
Are you approaching it any differently?
Rahny: I think that there’s a different level of appreciation after being gone for three years. I love Milwaukee, and I have a stronger appreciation for how special we are. But like I told you, I want to have a good time. I know that sounds silly, but I want to give people a place to escape and have a nice break in the morning.
Brett: You’re never going to leave your car feeling anxious with this show. So many people think that there’s a formula to morning shows- that you have to do this or that. I don’t think that’s the case.
I think that people just want someone to keep them company while they get organized and set up for the day.
Rahny: This is what I’m excited about. People wake up and think, “What did I miss? What’s changed in the world since I was last a part of it?” It’s a chance to laugh with people when they’re waking up.
Speaking of change, what do you think has changed about Milwaukee since you’ve left?
Rahny: Not the zoo interchange (laughs). I’m back from California and I’m thinking traffic is worse here! That’s crazy! I would drive around in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and it’s literally harder to get around on 894 here. There are some of the same orange cones still around that I saw in 2013.
How do you feel about now competing with your former co-hosts?
Rahny: Yeah, the people that I’m known for doing my morning show with will now all be heard on different signals. It’ll be weird, but at the same time I’m excited, because I love this town, and any time we can all get to compete as friends the listener wins.
We’ll all up each other’s game in the end. Alley and Wes were like my brother and sister, so it’s enjoyable to have a little sibling rivalry.