10 Questions with ... Corey Mann
April 15, 2013
1. Give me a brief history/synopsis....where you were born & raised, schools, & current family
Born and raised in a small town in southwestern Lower Michigan called St. Joseph, Michigan. I graduated high school in 1987, moved to South Bend, Indiana in the fall of 1991. I'm married to Debbie (19 years) and have 2 children, (Chloe is 15, Caleb is 6.)
2. What was it that made you "catch the bug" for radio? When did you realize that it was what you wanted to do for a living?
I have always loved music, and loved listening to the radio. I could catch all the great Chicago stations because it was just across the lake. I grew up listening to Larry Lujack on WLS, Kevin Matthews on WLUP, and then locally - a guy named Jim Gifford was doing a morning show locally on WIRX. I randomly called him one day and asked if I could come see what it was like. He agreed, I sat in with him one morning, and before the shift was done...I had a weekend overnight shift that nobody wanted to work at age 18.
3. What's the most successful on-air bit/break you've ever been part of?
I was doing mornings on U93 when I turned 30. Some of my co-workers knew of my friendship with Muhammad Ali, he lived near South Bend. While on the air, Muhammad and his wife Lonnie rolled up with cupcakes, and a cd that he recorded back in the 60's of all his famous rants. He sat down in our guest chair, we played a few of the rants, he then said in a very soft voice "I haven't been on the radio or spoken to media in 15 years....you better make this good." For an hour, we talked about all the big fights, we would name current fighters and he would tell us how he would beat them. It was magical. We ended up doing a local movie premiere for "ALI" with him, he was open to everything we lined up. Very memorable.
4. With the advent of "instant everything".....what do you do to show prep? How do you prepare?
Everything is show prep. When you have been doing it for a while, you know how your mind works. Small note pads, voice mails, talking notes in my iphone, constantly reading, watching, etc.
5. What would you categorize as your greatest personal challenge in radio? What are you doing to overcome that?
Technology constantly changes and sometimes management can be more 'reactive' and less 'proactive." I pick my battles and wish lists.
6. Most successful station promotion ever?
The "Big Black Box" back in the 90's. The station purchased a giant sized black box with our logo all over it. Then they rented a construction truck to hoist this box in the air and it hang over the busiest street in our area so people could see it. It was very theatre of the mind, and the winner had to guess what was in the box. (Visually, it looked like it could fit an SUV and more.) There were about 50 individual prizes in the box, and the promotion went on for a while. Somebody ending up guessing all the items, and then the big reveal attracted all kinds of media attention, (it was like we were opening some secret vault.) I specifically remember people all over town asking us about the box, what was in it, all kinds of questions. It was a great visual, and a little bit of controversy because we didn't ask the city if we could hang something that high, (apparently there was a height cut off for billboards and such.)
7. How do you combat the iPod/satellite/online option listeners have today? What are the steps to compete?
Be as local as possible. Relate to the audience. Play great songs, and keep pushing forward.
8. Radio 101....in 101 words or less, how would you guide/instruct/advise a radio programmer/air talent who wants to get better at their craft?
Listen to the best! We have instant access to many who have gone before us. Go find that audio and listen and figure out why they were so great at their craft. Surround yourself with people who know what they are talking about. Never stop being a student.
9. Most embarrassing moment on air?
I've misspoken a handful of times and I would rather not put those in print as a lifelong reminder.
10. You've got one last live break on air....and then the radio will go silent. What do you say, and why?
I would thank God for allowing me a chance to speak, I would thank Jim Gifford for giving me a chance at a young age to try out radio, and I would lastly thank my wife for her support. I wouldn't say anything to my children because they don't listen anyway.....so....