10 Questions with ... Jeff Elliott
April 4, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- KNX-FM- Los Angeles - Nights - late 80s (I don't remember much from the 80s. but I'm pretty sure I worked there.)
- KDMX (Mix 102.9)/Dallas, TX - Mornings
- KVIL (103.7)/Dallas, TX - Middays and Morning Show Fill-In.
- WIRK/West Palm Beach, FL - Mornings
- WSB-FM/Atlanta, GA - Mornings
- WINK-FM Ft. Myers, FL - Mornings
1) What Got You Interested In Radio?
A girl! I was a traveling musician (drummer) and she politely told me if I didn't quit traveling, she wouldn't be there next time I got off the road.
2) Who do you consider your radio mentors?
I'm dating myself but ... Gary Owens. When I first started in Radio I had an internship at KPRZ in Los Angeles. My job was to help Gary with his morning show. We got along and he would put me on the air from time to time. We worked together for about a year and a half. He helped get me my first real job at KGGI in Riverside.
3) What makes the Ft. Myers market unique? How does this compare to other markets or stations you have worked at?
When I left Atlanta, my wife made a strong play to get back to Florida. Rick Shockley, WINK-FM PD, is an old friend and Ft. Myers Broadcasting was re-launching WINK. It just felt like a good fit so here we are. It is a family business and without a doubt the most "chill" place I've ever worked.
4) What is it about your show that you feel really makes it cut through?
My dashing good looks! Actually, I really love what I do. Like any career I've had times when I didn't like where I was working, but that had more to do with the people in the building than anything else. But, I always come back to how much I enjoy being on the air.
5) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
That's a great question? People have been telling us for the last 30 years that we're going out of business, but here we are still making it work.
A lot of my PD friends always talk about how tough it is to find young talent. I think that is a legitimate concern. The big radio folks have made radio look very un-sexy to the Millennials.
6) What is the most rewarding promotion or activity your station has ever been involved with to benefit the community or a charity?
I've been lucky over the years to have raised millions of dollars for Children's Miracle Network. I hate that PPM is killing everyone's desire to raise money for charities.
7) What do you like best about working in the Hot/AC formats compared to other genres?
I'm a music guy so the format works for me. I've spent the last 20 plus years in the format and I really enjoy the people that I meet when we're out of the studio. I hear people say the format is passive, I disagree. Do promotions that matter to a 37 year old female and they'll show up!
8) How do you prep yourself for your radio shift?
Scotch! Ok, real answer. If you're any good at your show you're always prepping! Work hard, but when the mic is off, HAVE A LIFE! There is so much wonder in the world, and its right in front of you. Open your eyes and take it in.
9) Who is the most amazing talent you've worked with?
I've been lucky to work with some awesome people. Gary Owens, Rick Dees, Rita Wilde from KLOS. Rita doesn't know it but she's the reason I got into radio. I used to call her show. One night we were talking and she said, "You have a great voice, have you ever thought about radio?" She helped understand how to get started. Thanks Rita!
10) What advice would you give people new to the business?
Wear as many hats as possible until you find a couple you look good in. And have a good attitude! Don't be a self entitled whiner. I get you never kept score at any of your games, and your walls are littered with participation ribbons but this is the real world! Tie your own shoes.
And be patient. There's a reason we don't control our own destiny, we are by nature impatient and if we were in control we'd never learn anything. Patience is a great teacher.
Who is your best friend in the business?
A few guys I've known for years. Larry Moon who's at KS 95, John O Connell the PD at the Shark in Miami ... there's a bunch.
What was the biggest gaffe you've made on air?
When I was in Dallas, at Mix 102.9 I made the mistake of asking my producer when we were going to "... get some Fu^&*ng breakfast in this studio?" For the next ten minutes he answered the phone, "yea, he knows the mic was on."
What's the closest you ever came to getting arrested for an on-air stunt? Or did you actually get arrested?
Not me man! I had producers for that!
Do you have any good stalker stories? Misty requests? "Fatal Attractions?"
For years I've had this woman calling me who thinks I'm her Father. I think she's a bit of a drinker.
Of all the skills you have gained through the years, is there an area you'd like to improve?
Sleep. I do mornings. I'd like to get better at sleeping
Please describe the worst promotion you've ever been part of?
We gave away a new boat that was tricked out. We had 102 people lined up with keys; first one to start the boat wins. First person in line put the key in the boat and it starts.
As a joke, our promotions director grabs the mic as says to the second person in line, "Let's see if your key works as well?" Their key worked too. We had to give away two boats.
What was the most successful low budget promotion idea your station ever did?
We sold a quarter (25 cents) on E-Bay. We talked about on the air and ended up getting like $10 or $11 dollars for it.
What's the best piece of advice anyone's ever given you? The worst?
When my daughter was born my buddy told me, "Enjoy it! It goes by in a hurry." Damn was he right!
The worst was from my dad, "When are you going to quit playing radio and get a real job." Thirty years later I'm still playing!