Although she began her professional radio career in talk radio (at WNSI/Tampa and then WMCA/New York) learning the basics, she was soon seduced by rock and roll radio. She left WMCA to cross the street to WPLJ, where she produced “Jim Kerr & The Morning Crew.”
Nicole left NY and moved to Los Angeles where she was a member of Phil Hendrie’s morning show at KLSX. From there, she went to KNX-FM to co-host mornings before becoming the Director of Marketing & Promotions after the station changed to an oldies format.
In 1990, Nicole had been watching two newcomers to LA Radio, Mark & Brian, who were doing innovative radio, and stalked them until they hired her. For the next four years, Nicole was the producer and the “chick” on the Mark & Brian Show, and their ratings topped the morning numbers in LA!
But a new format was on the rise, called Triple A– Adult Album Alternative! A format that actually played the music Nicole loved. So she flew to Boulder, CO to meet with Dennis Constantine, THE Triple A radio consultant, who said her timing was perfect, as they were launching a station in Los Angeles.
Nicole helped launch the now-legendary KSCA fm101.9 in 1994 first hosting middays, then moving to mornings, and eventually rising to Music Director. The station was the last of Golden West Broadcasters’ stations, the group owned by Gene Autry. When the Autrys decided to sell a few years later, the station went Spanish.
Nicole briefly worked at the trade publication, The Album Network, then moved to San Diego to co-host the Brand X Morning Show. In 1999, Clear Channel decided to launch another Triple A radio station in LA, and Nicole was hired as the afternoon drive personality and Music Director, and was later promoted to Program Director, at Channel 103.1.
Nicole was ahead of the curve back then. The station had to be sold when Clear Channel merged with AM/FM, so she helmed the move from over the air to online only as the first station to ever do so. Read her account of the history making move here.
But history keeps repeating itself, and due to consolidation, Clear Channel had to divest the station which… went Spanish!
Nicole decided to leave LA… heading briefly for Taos, NM, and then to Boston where she spent a year programming WXRV- “The River“.
She moved back down to South Florida for family reasons and launched Legacy Video Productions. But she spent so much time listening to South Florida’s Air America affiliate that she finally contacted the station and suggested they hire her!
They finally did! WINZ/Miami hired Nicole Sandler in July of 2007 to produce The Jim DeFede Show. A year later, Nicole Sandler was promoted to the host’s chair. Unfortunately, the station dropped the show after a year, and soon after changed to an all-sports format.
Upon leaving WINZ, Nicole Sandler launched her blog and podcast at www.RadioOrNot.com, and began guest hosting on the Air America network. The fill-in stints turned into a nightly late night show, which lasted for the final year of AAR’s existence.
When the network went under (on January 21, 2010 – the same day as the horrific Citizens United Supreme Court ruling), Nicole moved the show online to Radio or Not, where she continues today.
Nicole can also regularly be heard guest hosting the nationally syndicated Randi Rhodes Show, for which she is truly grateful!