10 Questions with ... Eric Michaels
March 24, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I was born and raised in Terre Haute and grew up listening to WTHI. I started at WTHI as an intern in the summer of 2001; I spent the next 4 years running the board for more football games and Nascar races than I can count. March of 2005 I finally got my shot on air and hosted the night show until February 2007 when I moved to afternoons and have been there every since, I earned my PD stripes in January 2012.
1) What exciting stuff do you have planned for 2013 at WTHI?
2013 is going to be a very exciting year. We will continue to provide the Wabash Valley with great country music, the most prizes and will bring the best concerts to town. We'll continue to show why we've been the market leader for 30+ years.
2) You were born and raised in Terre Haute! What was it like growing up in the Wabash Valley?
Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley is a great community and I'm thankful I get to work in my hometown near my family and close friends! Living in the Midwest you get to be exposed to so many fun things rather its college basketball, the many fall festivals, the Indy 500 among other things, there is always something to experience that is just a short drive away! Some of the most genuine people call the Wabash Valley home and when we get out to some of the small towns it is great meet the people that call those towns home.
3) Like everyone else in Indiana, did you love basketball growing up?
Is the sky blue? I believe there are two seasons in Indiana, summer and College Basketball! To me there are two teams, The Hoosiers and the Sycamores! I grew up bleeding Cream & Crimson and rooting for the Hoosiers then I graduated from Indiana State University and the Sycamores have been making Terre Haute proud the last few years!
4) What made you want to get into the communications world?
I remember freshman year in high school walking by the school 'radio station' looking in the window and thinking, man that looks cool! This 'radio station' only broadcasted on the schools intercom system but I could sit there after school for hours 'on the air' even knowing that no one was listening. I spent more time in that room during those 4 years than any other classroom in the building!
5) How did you get your first radio job?
As senior year was coming to an end I remember deciding between mowing lawns that summer to save up some money for college or trying to obtain an internship at a local radio station. I sent emails to the different stations in town, but the only reply I got was from Barry Kent at WTHI. The next thing I knew I spent a summer interning in our promotions department then was hired as a part-time board op and the journey was on from there.
6) What kind of music did you listen to growing up?
I remember going through phases of life, listening to all kinds of music. However, I always came back to country as I believe it's the genre that is most relatable to everyday life.
7) What's it like, programming a radio station in the town that you grew up in?
I think people in this business a lot of times have two goals, either to make it to New York City or to go home. I've been lucky enough to spend my entire career in my hometown. Growing up listening to WTHI, never in my wildest dreams did I see my career turning out like it has, but it's honestly a dream come true.
8) Aside from Terre Haute, what city would you love to work and live one day?
Being a country music fan first and foremost, I think it would be an absolute blast to work and live in Nashville!
9) With all of the competition, social media, etc., how does WTHI cut through the noise?
I believe that we have the best staff in the market. We're lucky enough to still have a live body in studio not only in morning & afternoon drive but in middays & evenings too, no other station in the market can say that. Our listeners have developed relationships over the years with our personalities and allow us to be a part of their lives. Social Media has only increased our relationships with our listeners if it's online/social media contests or just simple conversations, our listeners respond!
10) There's a LOT of great Country songs out there-what are some favorites?
This is always a tough question for me, with so many good songs out there I have a hard time putting the 'favorite' tag on any of them. But, the songs that I crank up the speakers in the studio for include: Jake Owen 'Barefoot Blue Jean night' Toby Keith 'Hope on the Rocks' Jason Aldean 'The Only Way I Know' and pretty much anything by George Strait!
1) Why do you hate Soap Operas and why does your bio open with a line from one?
You won't get me to admit that I've ever watched a soap opera. However, when I was younger my mom, who is a school teacher, religiously taped Days of Our Lives and would watch it after school and maybe I lost control of the TV from time to time!
2) How many times have you seen the movie "Hoosiers?"
Believe it or not, not that many times. I said earlier I'm a big college basketball fan but I've never been into sports movies that much. It's a great movie and definitely a classic, but I don't think I've seen it since watching it in class way back when!
3) I know that you watch a few 'reality shows.' Which one would you like to appear on and why?
A guilty pleasure you may say I have is watching some trash TV. I'm convinced I've seen every episode of Pawn Stars, Hardcore Pawn, Lizard Lick Towing, American Chopper & Storage Wars. Everyone says they are staged so I'd love to have a cameo on all of them just to find out! But, shhhh, don't tell anyone!