10 Questions with ... Elizabeth "Eli" Tretter
January 9, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
One day, I saw an ad for a low-paying receptionist gig at Classic Rock WSHK (105.3 The Shark)/Dover NH. It was perfect hours for me since my daughter was just starting pre-school at the time. I answered the phone, recorded commercials, and did back up traffic. Then one day in 2005, Mr. Jonathan Smith asked me if I wanted to come in at 6am with the boys on the morning show and have a little fun? I said me? He said, "Absolutely! Let's get your warped sarcastic sense of humor out there!" And so it began... my LOVE of radio!
After that gig ended I made my way over to Clear Channel/Exeter-Portsmouth, NH in 2008 for Promotions Director duties and as part of the on-air staff for Hot AC WERZ (107.1), Rock WHEB (100.3), Classic Rock WQSO (96.7 The Wave), Top 40 WSKX (Kiss 95.3), Active Rock WGIR (Rock 101), and WGIR -A (610). My first shift was on WQSO (96.7 The Wave) ...it was Classic Rock and I LOVED it! After the flip to News/Talk, I became their on-air "sub" for all stations. So when they went on vacation, you got me! I finally landed here at WERZ (107.1) WERZ doing middays and I love it! It's the perfect fit for me! I have learned so much and had such awesome opportunities over the past four years here at Clear Channel/New Hampshire! And I can't wait for what's ahead!
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
Believe it or not, I started in a different kind of radio....as a 911 dispatcher. I have always been comfortable behind the mic. I was a receptionist at a station for a year or two, and my weird sarcastic sense of humor was eventually appreciated by the right guy. I ended up filling in for the morning show when one member was out! I fell in love the very first time.
2) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
The loss of localization. I feel that if you are in the radio business, it's your responsibility to give back to the listeners in your community. With small staffs getting smaller, it is getting harder meet all the commitments the community would like our help with. But when you have the right crew... you can get anything done!
3) What do you like best about working in the Hot AC format compared to other genres?
I like that I am smack dab in the middle of the demographic of Hot AC! It's easy for me to keep up with the music because this is my music. It's easy to keep up with what the demographic is doing in their everyday life such as family, sports, shopping and more. It's all me! I love Rock and Country as well, but most of my friends, neighbors and listeners are very similar to me; they're a Mom, they play or coach sports, they shop, spend time with their friends and family, and they give back to the community. That's why Hot AC is a fit for me!
4) How do you stay in tune with your audience?
I hang out with my friends, and I use our social media sites to see what our listeners are into. I try to volunteer and get out into the community as much as I can, and as much as WE can as a station.
5) How do you prep yourself for your radio shift?
Read, Read, Read! I'm online reading entertainment news, watching the morning news, checking in with the local news papers etc. I also watch the popular shows on TV and I give a lot of updates on shows like "Dancing With The Stars," or "American Idol" when in season (ha! ha! ha! that sounds like deer hunting?) And of course, the new Wednesday line up, The Middle, Modern Family, etc!
6) What was the biggest gaffe you've made on air? (dead air ... forget a mic was still on ... etc.)
Sneezing. But that happens to a lot of radio peeps. I did fall off my chair in the middle of a break, my drink and liner book went flying. I laughed so hard that all I could say was my call letters and roll into a song!
7) What type of features do you run on the station?
I love the workday challenge. It's a daily trivia contest with a great prize! (Concert tickets, Gift cards and more). We have worked with the troops from the US Marine Corps "Toys for Tots" campaign stationed overseas. I like to read emails and letters that they send to us on air. The listeners love it and it keeps those who are serving fresh in our minds!
8) Tell us what music we would find on your MP3 player right now and what is it you enjoy about that particular selection?
Train and Maroon 5. I'm a HUGE FAN for these two bands! This music is great to drive to! And I love to ski to 3 Doors Down, so you'll find that on there too along with a little Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl," Deep Blue Something's "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and yes... The Proclaimers "I Would Walk 5000 Miles".. why? Just 'cause!
9) Who is the most amazing talent you've worked with?
Well I haven't "Worked" with him...but Tom Bergeron got his start here on our sister station 100.3 WHEB. He comes by the station a few times a year to hang out on the air with the morning show. He is one of the most down to earth genuine people I have ever met (in our business or not). To have that amount of success and talent... AND he still has two feet on the ground! When I grow up... I want to be like him!
10) What has been your station's biggest accomplishment?
Raising thousands of dollars and a huge collection thousands of toys for the US Marine Corps "Toys for Tots Drive!" Its an amazing event!
What is the most rewarding promotion or activity your station has ever been involved with to benefit the community or a charity?
"Lend a Helping Can" and "Stuff a Bus." Our Rock stations raised $70,000+ to help New Hampshire's homeless and needy. I again bring up the "Stuff a Bus" event, as that is how we get the word out about the US Marine Corp's "Toys for Tots" program. We've collected thousands of toys and we have raise tens of thousands of dollars for the cause.
Please describe the best promotion you've ever been part of?
"Mouth Make-Over" - We asked listeners to submit photos of their neglected smiles. Some had REALLY REALLY bad teeth! It was hard to look at those teeth!
We then narrowed it down to finalists and the listeners voted. It TRULY changed someone's life!