10 Questions with ... Tim Montemayor
May 10, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Spent the early part of my career producing radio and TV before hosting news talk and sports in markets like Sacramento, St. Louis, Los Angeles, and nationally with Sporting News Radio. Currently working with Sports Radio 95.7 in San Francisco on a temporary basis hosting morning drive.
1. You've just started on a temporary basis with the new FM sports station in San Francisco -- how did that come about?
I am a big believer in relationships, in my personal and professional life. I knew one of the people involved in putting Sports Radio 95.7 together, one thing led to another, and I was asked to host mornings on the station for the launch.Â
2. This is a return to Northern California for you, having worked at KHTK in Sacramento. Â How are the fans and callers there different, if at all, from those in the other markets in which you've worked, L.A., Chicago, St. Louis, and nationally? Â What works best with them, in terms of topics and style? Â What teams and sports dominate the conversation in the Bay Area?Â
I have deep roots in Northern California, I have family and friends in the region, the time I spent in Sacramento shaped me in to the host I am today. Bay Area fans are passionate and knowledgeable, they take ownership in their teams and fight hard, win or lose, to defend those teams. If I had to compare, I would say SF Giants fans are VERY similar to St. Louis Cardinals fans; both are smart about their teams, know every player, and can tell you about the talent throughout the organization. There is little doubt that the Bay Area is a great sports market, the NFL and MLB dominate the conversation, with the Giants leading the way, especially during the season. The Niners and Raiders are a close second, but it is pretty clear the Giants carry the region.
3. How would you say your radio style has changed since you started as an on-air host? Â What have you learned?
When I was younger, just starting out, I did not understand that relationships are at the center of success in the radio business. I was so young, I had no problem telling you that I knew everything, and if you did not like it, you could take a walk. If I could go back, I would have treated people better; I would have built relationships and valued people from day 1. Humility and desire can take you a long way, but if you lack one or the other, it can be difficult to succeed, if you have both, you can become an unstoppable force. It took me a while to figure that out.Â
I now know that I do not know everything. The great thing about doing personality-driven radio is that you have to work on your craft every single day, with every topic you bring to the show. You have to understand the impact PPM has on your success, and how to leverage theÂ technologyÂ to your advantage. For me, the PPM represents an opportunity to grow as a host, to learn more, to become well rounded, to do a better job for my employer... really, it is a great tool that I feel makes me a better host, I am happy to wrap my arms around it!Â
4. If you hadn't gone into radio, what would you be doing today?
No doubt I would be a lawyer. DENNY CRANE AIN'T GOT NOTHIN' ON ME!
5. You grew up in the Chicago area; is it hard to put your sports loyalties behind while working in a different market? Â Can you still be a Cubs fan while talking Giants and A's? Â (The Raiders, of course, pose no problem....)
When you grow up in Chicago it is in your blood, and being a Cubs fan is a calling... BUT, when you cover a team on a daily basis you can't help but become immersed in what that team is doing, and trust me, if I can cover the Cardinals winning the World Series in '06, I think I can cover the Giants!
6. Who are your mentors, inspirations, and/or heroes in the business?
Growing up in Chicago, listening to Steve Dahl, Kevin Matthews, Larry Lujack, and Tommy Edwards as a kid made me fall in love with radio! I have worked around some of the best talent in the business, on and off the air, so I have many, but the people who have made the biggest impact on me are: Jim Rome -- I was a producer on his TV show and he showed me how to prepare a show and a staff for the grind; Al Brady Law -- my PD at KTRS in St. Louis, who was the single most intense person I have ever been around but whom I respect so much because he dared me to change my style, then, when I did, he challenged me to be the best host I could be, and taught me how to get there (sadly, I have not spoken to him since the KTRS debacle); John Hadley at KTRS -- saved my life several times; Matt Nahigian -- just gets it, does not get the credit for being the people person he is, probably should have fired me but chose to talk me through my youth; Ed Krampf -- gave me my first shot in L.A. for no reason other than to give a young guy a shot; Craig Larson -- put a ton of time and effort into my development on the national stage and I appreciated him more than I showed; and the management team at Entercom SF -- they've sharpened my PPM abilities in the short time we have worked together. But if I were to choose one person who's voice I hear in my head on a regular basis, like daily, it would be Drew Hayes, who I worked with briefly as a producer at The Score in Chicago. I hear Drew telling me "don't get caught up in anything but doing the job, just do the job, that's all that matters". I need to take that advice every day!
7. Of what are you most proud?
That I chased my dream; Being on the radio is all I ever wanted to do and I have done that.Â
8. What would you say is the most memorable moment of your career thus far?
It will be when I am hosting a major daypart in Chicago. I have been places, and done some great things, but I have not hosted drive-time radio in Chicago and it has got to happen... but so far, I would say it was the first time I cracked a mic at WKRS in Waukegan,Â Illinois... scared to death!Â
9. We asked you this years ago, but let's see if it's changed: Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ______________.
...Rockstar Recovery and my Blackberry!
10. How have you incorporated social media in what you do? Â How important are Twitter and Facebook to doing your job, or for your life in general?
I love to tweet (@themontyshow) and Facebook (The Monty Show) every day. It has given me the ability to interact with listeners 24/7, which allows me to build the brand of the show and the radio station, and market directly to those listeners where they live, on their mobile phones, on their iPads and tablets... I am able to service my listeners outside of my time slot. I can tell them where I am eating, where I am watching the game and how I feel about the game. I have Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and LinkedIn on my Blackberry, I am never without that device, so I am never without social media. I found out about Osama Bin Laden being dead because I had my Twitter feed open at the airport and was watching CNN on a strangers iPad through a link from @cnn on twitter. That story is the case study for how we as a society consume news these days, and I love it!