10 Questions with ... Mike Morin
April 7, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- WGRY/Grayling, MI 1971 (On Air)
- WEXL/Detroit 1971-73 (Nights)
- WNRS/Ann Arbor 1973-74 MD
- WCWA/Toledo 1975-79 (Afternoons)
- WOHO/Toledo 1979-83 MD
- WJOK/Washington, DC 1983 - Afternoons (All comedy station)
- WPIX/New York - 1983-84 - (Morning Drive)
- WZOU/Boston - 1984-85 - (Morning Drive)
- WCGY/Boston - 1986-94 - (Morning Drive)
- WZID/Manchester, NH - 1994-2000
- WHOB/Nashua, NH - 2000-2002 (Morning Drive)
- WZID/Manchester, NH - 2002-2014 - (Morning Drive) 2002-2014)
*I also hosted a TV bowling show for 9 years in Boston, and I was a TV Weather Man at WTOL/Toledo, OH
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
When I was in the fifth grade, I listened to Fred Wolf's morning show on WXYZ/Detroit.
2) Who do you consider your radio mentors?
Rich Lamb, (then at WEXL/Detroit and now at WCBS/New York) and Jim Sylvester, WGRY Grayling, MI who gave me my first job.
3) In 2013 you wrote your radio memoir called "Fifty Shades of Radio...True Stories of a Morning Radio Guy Being Wired, Tired and Fired." Can you please give us a brief summary and tell us about your experience in writing this book?
This book is all about the crazy stuff I've done or have had done to me. Writing this book was a satisfying experience. A local publisher approached me about the project.
I recommend that everyone write their own story. You'll realize how much you've actually accomplished. I made a list of about 30 things I wanted to cover, plus I dug out newspaper clippings and air checks to help refresh my memory. The last part of the book is a collection of 100 of my 350 favorite humor columns I've written for the Nashua Telegraph Newspaper over a 10 year period.
4) What has been your station's biggest accomplishment?
Our annual "Christmas is for Kids Radiothon" is an on-going source of pride and a big money fundraiser for underserved local families. We are good neighbors and this is a big reason WZID is still the market leader.
5) How do you stay in tune with your audience?
I am out often raising money, hosting events, and immersing myself in the community. I love the eye-to-eye contact with my audience.
6) What is the biggest change that you'd like to see happen in the business?
Sorry bean counters, but out-of-market voice tracking is phony and it costs jobs. It sucks the soul out of the most personal medium on the planet. Wasn't radio better when it was live and local 24/7?
7) Who is the most amazing talent you've worked with?
Brad Krantz now WBT/Charlotte, NC; Rich Lamb now WCBS/New York; and retired Toledo radio icon Bob Kelly.
8) What are your thoughts on the new season of American Idol?
We've put IDOL back on our show's radar as we have a local singer on the show for the first time ever (Alex Preston) so we're collectively cheering him on. My on-air partners disagree with me, but I think the show still needs Simon.
9) What advice would you give to people new to the business?
Learn the meaning of discretion, avoid gossip, and if you're the hardest worker at your station you will always find work.
Reputation is everything. Protect it like it was your child. Diversify your talents to create extra income streams. Local personalities are in a great position to find these opportunities. This is partly why I can leave a great radio job at the age of 63, and I'm leaving on my terms.
10) What do you feel are your biggest personal accomplishments?
Living my fifth grade dream until I decided it was time to walk away, and being awarded the "Will Rogers Humanitarian Award" in 2013 by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
What do you do in your spare time?
I'm an amateur cook. I won a "Macaroni & Cheese Bake-Off" and took first prize for my "Chocolate Infiniti Cookies" at a local fair. I bake artisan breads.
My writing has also appeared in national magazines like The Boston Globe and the book "Chicken Soup for the Soul." I also teach seminars to new authors on how to use media for free publicity.
What was the biggest gaffe you've made on air?
I had the "F" bomb dropped three times. Once by a local comic on my last day at WCGY/Boston, another time by Nils Lofgren of the E Street Band, and once by me. Not a complaint or PD spanking for any of those times.
What is your favorite TV show?
Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sopranos, and Pawn Stars.
What was the best stunt you ever pulled?
In 2000 at WHOB (now Frank FM in New Hampshire) I announced that a Tall Ship was sailing up the Merrimack River north of Boston. People thought it would be impossible due to all the rapids and bridges. One lady complained and the station "suspended" me for a day. A local newspaper gave the stunt front page above-the-fold headline.
Protesting listeners held a Boston Tea Party-type protest of my suspension by dumping 500 tea bags in our parking lot. I took my "day off" and drove to Foxwoods Casino where I made $200 playing blackjack.
Do you have any good stalker stories? Misty requests? "Fatal Attractions?"
Yes! When I was 25, a 70-year old woman in Toledo (WCWA) sent me money, coats, and a mood ring. Then she sent a naked picture of her 70-year old "stuff." I think she's since been inducted in the "Cougar Hall of Fame" in Akron.
What is the one truth that has held constant in your career?
It's about the listeners, not you. AND don't burn bridges! I worked at WOHO/Toledo for Lew Dickey Sr. back when his teen sons were cutting the station lawn and raking leaves. Today they run Cumulus. I was nice to them but they still never call.