10 Questions with ... Mike Elliott
July 21, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Rock star wannabe with lousy grades in college and a decent voice learned to talk: 15 seconds at a time, dub commercials from reel to cart. Worked all night, and then worked early in the morning. Now I have to wear sensible shoes and long pants to work, and have meetings.
Previously at WDFX/Detroit, WVIC/Lansing, WYSS/Sault Ste. Marie, WWHT/Columbus, WSNY/Columbus, and WTVN/Columbus.
1. How did you become interested in radio?
Listening to my parents Beatles and Beach Boys albums, I was always playing DJ and recording fake commercials on cassette. I was probably 14 or 15 when WABX in Detroit changed formats in the early '80s. They were one of the last free-form prog/rock stations in the country and flipped to some easy listening crap. I called them on the request line to ask what was up. The guy was very nice and took time to explain it to me, I was fascinated. Pissed, but fascinated, and hooked.
2. What do you love the most about your job?
When listeners stop you to say they love the station. Never gets old.
3. How would you describe yourself as a programmer?
I'm a fan of my stations, and I think you have to think like a fan or listener to be a good programmer. I try to balance the art and science, forcing myself to spend more time on the science. I love writing, imaging, and creating cool promotions. I'm not a guy dying to check M Scores on Monday morning, (but I do).
4. How has The X in Columbus changed since switching signals last year from 106.7 to 105.7 The X?
That first version was 100% Premium Choice with only one locally voiced daypart. Version 2.0 is being programmed by humans living in Columbus.
5. What makes The X brand unique?
At this point we're less than a year old, so we're still developing and shaping the brand, but we're aiming for a reliable, fun music experience. We're not trying to be cooler or hipper than anyone; we're all about being reflective of our listener's lives. We're accessible, smart, relevant, and fun.
6. How does iHeartMedia help The X standout in Columbus up against a 25-year heritage Alternative station?
These are two very different radio stations and there is room for both to exist and reach an audience in Columbus. From a content perspective, iHM's ability to deliver World Premiere new music from the format's superstars, create world class events, and offer live performances from the biggest bands simply can't be duplicated, not to mention our accessibility and portability.
7. Tell us about the 105.7 The X on-air lineup?
We're music focused in mornings and we just made some moves to add Tamo Sein (XL102, Radio1045) to morning drive, our only out-of-market personality. She's funny, engaging, and very appealing. Market veteran Daveman handles music and middays, I do PM-drive and we also just added Mase Brazelle for nights. Mase moved here from Myrtle Beach (why???), where he did afternoons on WKZQ. Talk about someone who lives the lifestyle...Mase is well liked within the industry and is a great extra set of eyes and ears for me. And hair, he has cool hair.
8. What do you like best about living in Columbus?
After the amazing food and craft beer options (seriously one of the best and most underrated food cities in the country), I admire the pride people from Central Ohio have in their community, folks here love to talk and brag about Columbus, and rightfully so. Shh, don't tell too many people though.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without _________?
Making sure my phone is above 30% charged. I get twitchy.
10. What would surprise people most about you?
I dumped the banjo in favor of an electric guitar in back in 2008.
What are your hobbies?
Cooking, playing guitars, live music, Detroit sports.
Last non-industry job?
It's been 25 years, but I was a damn good landscaper. Remember, new sod goes in green side up.
First record ever purchased?
STYX "Grand Illusion" on vinyl, still have it.
The Romantics, Fox Theater in Detroit. My mom drove.
Favorite band of all-time?
Impossible to answer.