10 Questions with ... Dylan
March 31, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
It all started in January 1994 at the old Classic Rock WXRK 92.3 K-ROCK. They actually allowed this snot-nosed 18 year-old kid do an internship for high school credit!
Witnessing how things worked at the home of Howard Stern was mind-blowing. There were hours that I got credit for, but many more that I didn't. I wanted to be there all the time!
After graduation, I made a fake tape, which got rejected by nearly 100 stations, and I landed weekends/fill-in on WPDH Poughkeepsie, NY in August 1994.
After a few months there (along with some awful non-radio jobs to pay rent), I learned to drive, bought the world's worst used car, and spent a couple of years at WBHT (then Hot 97) Wilkes-Barre-Scranton, PA with the amazing Kid Kelly. This was followed by a few months at crosstown WKRZ and WRRV Middletown, PA. I can't keep track of all the silly air names I used (or maybe I just don't want to).
Would you believe they actually let me stumble through news reads at WARM in Scranton while I was board-op for Phillies games? They did. I'm glad nobody has THOSE tapes!
105.1 The Buzz launched back home in New York City at the end of 1996, and I was all over it. Weekends there quickly turned into a lot of fill-in, and it wasn't long before I moved back to New York City and rented a mouse-infested apartment smaller than your average taxi.
Then Big 105 happened, and I was full-time overnights. They let me go in August of 1998, and I was on 92.3 K-Rock within 30 days. Best firing ever! Seven glorious years and three months rocking New York City on Howard's flagship, there's nothing like it. You may remember Dead Air Dave... that was my name, and yes, I'm the guy who hit the button on Howard his last four years on terrestrial radio. But that's a whole other story.
In 2006, I had the absolute pleasure of working with Scott Shannon as his fill-in producer on the True Oldies Channel. I've always been a fan, but little did I know how much I'd learn from that experience. They don't call him SUPERSHAN for nothing!
WWFS (Fresh 102.7) New York launched in 2007, and I got on board part-time. About a year later, I took over afternoon drive.
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
As a teenager, I'd hide in my half-room listening to Yankee games on WABC. Watching them was rare, as we didn't have cable. I can't remember exactly when, but when I flipped over to FM, my mind was blown! I wanted to do that! Nothing else mattered.
2) Who do you consider your radio mentors?
I've had the good fortune of working with the best in the biz. Listen to Howard Stern interview anyone, and you will become a better interviewer. He's a genius!
Kid Kelly smoked NYC nights like no other! I'd call up begging to intro a song on the "High Five at 9." (I need to dig up those tapes). Like many of us radio nerds, I wasn't recording the songs. I was rolling tape on the jocks.
Andre Gardner was the APD/MD at K-Rock when I was an intern. He was there in other capacities when I returned as a jock. I can't tell you how much I've learned from Andre over the years. He rocks Philly afternoons on WMGK!
Anyone who's had Steve Kingston as their PD will tell you the same thing. You become a FAR better talent.
3) What makes the New York or market unique? How does this audience compare to other markets or stations you have worked at?
The population and reach is obviously incredible, but it all comes down to the basics. You're talking to one person. You're making that same connection happen, regardless of where you are.
Having done A LOT of overnights in the past, what's completely unique is that there's always a huge audience. Opening the mic on K-Rock at 4am and ranting about something over a Metallica intro, without even giving the phone number, and watching the lines light up? Amazing!
4) What is it about your afternoon drive show that really makes it cut through?
CBS VP/PD/Warlock Jim Ryan has evolved Fresh to a position nobody could have possibly imagined when the station launched. We play new music FIRST in New York City, contesting is constant, and his attention to detail in the flow of the music is essential.
Fresh is the best programmed Hot AC I have ever heard. And I'm not just saying that because I'm here! Even our positioning statement, "Fresh Music...Better Variety" is unique. We don't need to say a whole bunch of nonsense to tell people what we do.
I roll in and do the best possible job I can, every day. It's about focus, energy, and keeping current on all things entertainment.
Relating to New Yorkers is natural to me, as this is my home. I smell the same garbage on the subway.
Also, while I love technology, I do ALL THE SEGUES. I don't miss lugging around CDs and CARTS, but I'll be damned if I allow a machine to do something I can do far better.
5) How are you using social media to market your radio station and your show?
I'm on Instagram! @NEWYORKDYLAN
Blogs and artist interviews are Tweeted, Facebooked, and of course online at www.fresh1027.com.
6) What is the biggest change that you'd like to see happen in the business?
I'd like to see more opportunity for strong local talent, and fewer syndicated shows to save money.
7) Please describe the best promotion you've ever been part of?
"K-Rock's Dysfunctional Family Picnic." Every year, we had the biggest bands. What a thrill it was getting on stage in front of 20,000 people at Jones Beach, and doing ridiculous announcements that Howard would hilariously play on his show the following Monday, while goofing on us to no end!
8) What advice would you give people new to the business?
The industry has changed so much. I find it very difficult to find new talent prepared to face the challenge. I've "mentored" a few people. Some are doing very well. Others stopped listening and/or simply gave up. If you don't have the passion and drive to do this, it ain't happening.
9) Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
I LOVE interviewing artists, and there's always room to improve when conducting an interview with a total stranger. It's kind of like a first date. You have to listen carefully, don't let a follow-up question slip by, and make them feel as relaxed as possible.
10) What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
Even when you think it's over, NEVER give up.
What's the best piece of advice anyone's ever given you? The worst?
Best: "Think before you put it in writing."
Worst: "You're doing it wrong. Here, do it the way I think you should do it."