You might say Erica Roth’s radio career has come full circle.
The Biola graduate whose voice can be heard on commercials as well as in program announcing for overnight programs on KKLA is doing so at the same station where she unwittingly began a broadcast career at the tender age of four.
Erica’s father was a sales rep at KKLA at the time and needed a young voice for a commercial spot. He drafted the help of his young daughter. Though her Dad has since left KKLA, Erica passes people in the station’s hallways that still remember her as the little girl who used to come visit Dad at work.
Erica began searching for internships in television and radio while finishing her junior year at Biola. Having spent the previous two years reporting/anchoring, and producing Biola's television webcast "Eagle Vision," she saw herself as more of a television person.
But when her Mother showed her an ad that Salem Communications — parent company to KKLA — was looking for an intern, Erica decided to jump on it. Toward the tail end of that internship, Erica met the KFSH’s Lara Scott — a radio personality also known in Los Angeles radio for having been the midday host at Star 98.7 for many years. They got acquainted when when Erica was asked to assist Lara in taking phone calls for listeners who wanted to sponsor a World Vision child.
Although Erica had completed her 3-unit internship, Lara offered to teach her about the "industry “one on one” in the Fish Studio every Friday for the next six weeks. After the mentorship was up, Lara took Erica in to the program director of Salem Communications and told him, "She's all ready to be hired now!"
While still a senior at Biola, Erica was hired as a fill-in producer for The Frank Pastore Show, as well as a part-time promotions worker for several station events. Shortly before graduation, she began to pursue her ambitions to be on the air.
Erica recalls the advice she got the first time she went to see her Program director to tell him that she was interested in being on air: “You’ll need to start in a smaller market such as Oregon or anywhere in small town USA,” he told her.
Erica was undaunted and sent him a news demo she had recorded during her internship, politely asking him for feedback. She was thrilled when he admitted to being surprised by how professional it was. But she was still not offered a position on air. Erica continued to persevere, though — making frequent appointments to his office asking him to let her “crack the mic.”
After graduation, she was hired as a Board Op engineer, a technical position that she explains simply as “keeping the station on the air.” While learning the technical side of radio, she was persistent in asking her program director for air time. While working at KKLA, Erica also helped produce a nationally syndicated radio show called “The Big Time with Whitney Allen” where she had the privilege of being backstage for “Stagecoach,” one of country music’s biggest festivals.
While working in that building, Erica was also considered for a position working as a national host for a top 40 radio format called “Hot Ac” and even trained for that position. When this career opportunity didn’t work out, God opened another door.
Erica’s program director at Salem agreed to give her a shot at voice. While continuing her Board Op duties, and remaining flexible (she recently worked as a fill-in host at KKLA for three months) she is steadily working as voice-over talent for commercials on three of Salem’s Los Angeles stations. Erica has received excellent feedback from managers and co-workers on her voice-over work and has plans to create a home studio to start her own voice-over business.
Erica finds it ironic but very exciting that her voice-over career is blossoming at the same place she started recording as a four year old more than twenty years earlier.