10 Questions with ... Scott Laudani
August 14, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
First job was at WCAP in Lowell, MA. Then went to WNBP in Newburyport, MA. Rock career started at WHEB/ Portsmouth, NH, My first programming gig was launching Classic Rocker WSHK/ Dover NH. Moved to Northampton, MA to launch Active Rock WLZX, later WHJY/Providence, WPLR /New Haven, and recently coming to rest in PA at Rock WEZX, Alternative WFUZ, and Sports WEJL.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
I was that kid growing up that use to put the radio under my pillow and listen every night. I wasn't listening to music, it was CBS' Mystery Theatre with E.G. Marshall; I loved getting the crap scarred out of me every night. It was at that point I really started to appreciate the production value of great radio theatre. When I became old enough to appreciate music I couldn't stop listening to WBCN in Boston. To this day the WBCN of the late-'70s is the best sounding radio station I have ever heard. May it R.I.P.
2. What led you to Shamrock Communications Wilkes Barre-Scranton?
The Shamrock GM Sean O'Mealy was familiar with my work when he programmed Triple A (WRSI) in Northampton back in 2000. I programmed the two rock stations WLZX and WAQY in the market and he like the sound of the stations and my development of the new LZX morning show "Quinn & Cantara" as well. Sean called me up and asked me to come to Scranton to see if I would be a good fit for the Shamrock Scranton cluster.
3. What may surprise people about radio landscape in your market?
There is a great deal of radio heritage here. It is also a tough geographical area for FM. It is a beautiful area with mountains and valleys, but the terrain makes it tough on radio signals. I've never been in a market with so many transponder frequencies. Legal ID's here are a mouth full.
4. What part of your job do you like best? Least?
I joke that "I hate people," but I really do enjoy the interaction with the staff. I have worked with tremendous people throughout my entire career. Once I put on the PD stripes many years ago I came to realize how much I enjoy working with talent. From the creation of new shows, to working with well established heritage shows, it is always a great challenge and very rewarding. Sometimes I'm a coach, some days I'm a therapist, some days I'm like a nun with a big ruler. I enjoy having to be the voice of reason, a conduit to keep ideas flowing, creativity fertilized and talent stimulated and motivated.
What I dislike the most is a meeting after a meeting...unless there is meat.
5. What is most important to you when championing new music for WFUZ?
Alternative is by far the most exciting format out there. It is delivering fresh and exciting music across a variety of different spectrums. It is feeding Triple A, Top 40, and Rock. Perhaps soon well be hearing the Gotye "banjo mix" for the crossover to Country. I am looking long-term, paying homage to those bands that are the cornerstone of the format, while seeking to develop bands that will continue to add a fresh new dynamic sound that is delivering new life and adventure to the format.
6. Tell us about the big stage you have for bands to perform?
This is the most unique radio property I have ever worked in. Just down the hall from my office is a theatre built in the '50s. During my interview I saw a sign above four wooden doors that read 'Shamrock Radio Theatre.' When I took a look inside I couldn't believe what I saw. A beautiful theatre with a big stage and seating for 200. I knew at that moment I wanted the job.
Scranton and Wilkes-Barre is two hours from Philly and NYC, but because of the lack of that great 500 seat music venue bands bypass the area completely. The development of our theatre is changing that. Since my arrival four months ago we have put on free acoustic shows with Imagine Dragons, Foxy Shazam, Switchfoot, The Dirty Heads, Everclear, and Civil Twilight. The sound is incredible and experience for listeners and the bands are intimate and unique. Every band has loved playing it.
7. What else makes the station unique?
The Radio Theatre makes this property like no other in the country. We also have one of the most successful daily newspapers in the Scranton Times-Tribune on the four floors below us. Any morning show would kill for that kind of resource at their fingertips.
8. How are you using Social Media?
We use it to inform listeners about what's going on at the station and to sign up for our theater performances. Plans are in the works to devote a lot more attention to social media.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ___________?
Spending quality time with my Fiancée Janine and our dog Bruce.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I have a tendency of ticking people off in high places.
What are your hobbies?
Riding the back roads of the Northeast, watching baseball, hanging with family, friends and four legged animals, shooting video, recording audio, and discovering the unexpected.
Last non-industry job?
A soda jerk at a fountain/corner store
First record ever purchased?
Edwin Star - War on 45
Foghat at the Boston Garden in the mid-'70s.
Favorite band of all-time?
J. Geils Band...one of the greatest live bands ever.