10 Questions with ... Woody Fife
December 2, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
WNRQ/Pittsburgh, WPST/Trenton, KNRK/Portland, KPNT/St. Louis, K-Rock/NYC, WKQX/Chicago, and Live 105/San Francisco, and ALT 987/Los Angeles.
1. Welcome back to the West Coast! What led to The Woody Show getting back together for mornings on Alt 98.7 earlier this year?
Good question. I left a perfectly great gig at The Point in St. Louis just to get this team of people back together. Alt wanted a content driven morning show and there must have been nobody else available, because they called me. Lots of phone calls, flights and lies later.....here we are.
2. How would you describe The Woody Show?
There's no way to NOT sound cliché about it, so I'll just say it. We're like social media, YouTube, family guy, and tosh.o all rolled into one. I'm not interested in re-inventing the wheel, my idea is to share things with the listeners that we find interesting/funny...(which most shows do) but in a real, raw, unfiltered way (which most shows don't). I don't worry about feelings, as long as it's honest. I don't like phony opinions for the sake of "drama" or people who are just trying to be edgy because "I just tell it like it is." Our positioning statement for the show is "Insensitivity Training for a Politically Correct World." Not only does that simply say what we're about...it serves as a disclaimer of sorts for those people who like to look for reasons to be upset about something. It says, "Go away. Adults are talking here."
3. How has your morning show changed with you, Ravey, Greg, and Menace now back together in Los Angeles?
I feel the show itself hasn't really changed, it's more "picked up where we left off" in San Francisco. The biggest change is that we're short one person who was on the show with us there... Tony Mott, who we miss dearly, and would love for him to be back in the mix. Oh....and Greg has since come out of the closet. +1 for diversity.
4. Why has The Woody Show been a successful morning show team?
For the reasons I already mentioned. Most shows are pandering to their audience, ripping and reading off show prep services and still doing prank phone calls... that's not us. Lots of people (for many reasons) are simply scared to be real and really put themselves out there. When's the last time you got uncomfortable sharing something on the air? How REAL are you? That's what I want from everyone involved in this show.
5. What part of the morning show do you love the most and why?
The chemistry between the four of us. The rest of the job is something you can learn, but a natural chemistry born out of 10+ year friendships is better than any "arranged marriage" morning show situation. I feel it gives us an advantage in these early stages of building the show and to concentrate on getting to know the listeners instead of each other.
6. Tell us about The Woody Show Spread The Word Campaign?
The muckity mucks wanted to do another direct mail "song of the day" kinda marketing campaign, which to me seemed like an incredible waste of money for our show. We have so many people who are already out there telling people about the show, organically, that I thought it would be cool to reward them for doing it. Help us, we'll help you. Word of mouth from people you already know is the best advertising, right? So we asked the people who already listen and love us to help get the word out to as many people as possible about The Woody Show, and those who did the best job we would throw some cash at.
7. How did The Woody Show first come to fruition and how much time do you, Ravey, Greg, and Menace spend together away from the station?
Ravey and I have been friends since I was a teenager. We worked together at a radio station over 20 years ago, and have been friends ever since. Greg came into the mix when I got to Live 105. He was the local board-op/traffic/news/producer for the Howard Stern Show. We hit it off with him immediately, and hired him as our producer. Menace was a board-op for another station in the building, but loved the show and would bring me ideas for bits... plus he was great at video editing and on the cutting edge of social media. His first project with the show got us TENS OF MILLIONS of views on YouTube, which led to exposure on Letterman. As far as how much time we spend together, it's a lot. Probably more than what is healthy, but less than actually living together like they would in a cheesy sit-com.
8. Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
As far as "shows" go? I like Opie and Jim Norton, and of course Howard on Sirius XM. Preston and Steve at WMMR in Philly.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
Lack of sleep. I wouldn't know what it's like to feel rested at this point.
10. What do you like best about living in L.A.?
To be determined. I like L.A., but I didn't move here just to be in L.A. The job is what got me here, and will probably be what leads me to NOT be here at some point. L.A. itself is great though. The weather is as advertised. The sushi is the best at Kiwami in Studio City. I got to go to a taping of Big Bang Theory, .which was cool. There's a beach... um... In-N-Out.
Give us some dirt on All Access Top 40 Editor Dave Hoeffel from your time with him at WPST/Trenton?
I never worked with Dave. I came AFTER his lording of WPST... however, when I was a little kid falling in love with radio I would call the DJs at PST and ask all kinds of questions about how it all worked. One of those calls was when Dave was on the air, and he invited me down for a station tour. It was on that tour that he gave me a copy that week's American Top 40 with Shadow Stevens on CD. Dave was a God at that moment. I'll never forget it.
What are your hobbies?
I wouldn't really call it a hobby, but I'm a massive Pittsburgh Steelers fan and I REFUSE to miss a single game. I should probably find a hobby though now that you mention it. As a guy with no hobbies, you don't realize what a boring loser you are until you get asked that question. Thanks.
Last non-industry job?
I was a cashier at a grocery store in New Jersey. It sucked.
First record ever purchased?
Def Leppard, Hysteria, on CD. I had music before that, but that was the first thing I ever bought with my own money. I had to have it.
Rolling Stones at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. It happened by accident. I was an intern at B-94 working the event, and some random-listener walked up and handed me an extra he had. And since I had to be there when the show let out to hand out bumper stickers for a Top 40 station to a bunch of classic rock fans I figured....why not? It was awesome!
Favorite band of all-time?
Don't have one. I'm more of a song by song guy. I like songs that sound BIG on the radio. Dumb answer, I know. But it's true.