10 Questions with ... Pat Campbell
May 17, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Former math teacher, aerospace worker, caller turned host. I've been a host for 18 years as of November. I got my start in Erie, PA and have made various stops along the dial. Prior to landing in Tulsa, I spent 4 years in Orlando with 540WFLA (WFLF). In Orlando I got a lot of exposure with Fox News and MSNBC.
1. Since we last talked, a lot has happened with you, most notably moving from Orlando to mornings at KFAQ Tulsa, where you've comfortably settled in. What was the transition to Tulsa like for you? What do you like best about Tulsa?
The transition was smooth; I've never connected with a market and listeners this quickly. I finally feel at home. The thing I like most about Tulsa is the people: they're real and genuine. I can't say enough about their hospitality. This is the first place I've lived where I've actually known all of my neighbors.
2. Another thing that's happened in recent years is the rise of the tea party. At this stage, a year or two into it, do you see the tea party movement sustaining itself through, say, the next election? Is it here to stay?
The tea party is alive and well in Oklahoma, although it has morphed with other groups like the 912Project, really exerting itself on the State level and having a real impact. We were able to get our Republican Governor to reluctantly say no to $54 million in Obamacare money, a huge victory, and KFAQ played a big role, along with the tea party. Oklahoma is a populist state, and people are pissed. They want change and are determined to get it. This movement shows no signs of letting up anytime soon, although it may manifest itself under some other name down the road.
3. Yet another thing that's happened is the rise of social media and the importance of online activity. Your show has a blog and you're on Facebook; how do you use those as part of your show activities? Has it become important to keep the blog and social media updated, or is it a chore, or both? Is that stuff something you think all shows should be doing?
As a talk show host I am in the business of developing relationships with listeners.
Facebook, Twitter and blogs are critical tools used to further develop that relationship and create a greater sense of connection with the audience. We are now in touch 24/7. It's all about total access to the audience and the host. They are also great tools for the host to use as show prep. Most of the things I post on FB will wind up being topics on my show and later expand on social media.
4. Possibly related: How do you do show prep these days? What's the process of getting your show together?
I am constantly prepping for the show. I don't have an off button. I've compiled an impressive list of resources( people, web sites- All Access, etc..) that I rely on to gather local, state, and national topics. I'm also looking for stories, real life stories all the time that I can share with my listeners. I have noticed that the best talkers are great story tellers. I've really been trying to improve that aspect of my game!
5. Has the idea of running for office ever crossed your mind? Would you ever entertain the idea of crossing over from talking about politics to doing it?
Yes and no, If I was single, I'd do it in a heart beat, because I dig a challenge. However, I'm married and have five children. After seeing what the MSM did to Sarah Palin and her family -- for God's sakes, people like Bill Maher made fun of a baby with Down's syndrome. I love my family too much to ever subject them to that crap.
6. How would you say your radio style has changed since you started as an on-air host? What have you learned?
In the beginning, I was more of an ideologue, someone with an agenda. I have evolved, become much more of a free thinker. There are too many folks out there parroting talking points. I love being on first thing in the morning. I get to think for myself arrive at my own conclusions. I read a lot, from both sides of the aisle, that makes me more balanced and better able to defend or articulate my position on air. I'm putting much more emphasis on the entertainment value of my show and really emphasizing the stories.
7. What would you say is the most memorable moment of your career thus far?
The David Earls case, hands down! David Earls was convicted of sexually assaulting two children, ages 5 and 2, here in Oklahoma. He got a 20 year sentence. In a plea agreement the Judge and DA decided he would serve one year in jail and 19 years probation. The public was outraged! With the help of Bill O'Reilly, Geraldo Rivera, the Attorney General and several key State Legislators we were able to keep him in jail so no other children would be victimized. The happy ending is he died in prison a few months ago!
8. Not sure if I've asked you this before, but if I have, maybe the answer's changed, so... Of what are you most proud?
My family, especially my children! I really lucked out: I married a lady who has been a fantastic mother, friend and supportive wife. I am truly blessed!
9. Not long ago, we were embroiled in a brief post-Tucson national debate over whether the country needed more civility and less "heated rhetoric" in talk radio and public political discourse. Now that the issue's receded a little, what's your opinion on that: Is American political discourse too hot, not hot enough, or just right?
Too hot at times. I was ahead of the curve. I got tired of screaming a while ago. Although it can be fun sometimes, too much turns people off and accomplishes little. I'm always looking for a better way. I've been doing a lot of reading on the Power of Persuasion.
10. What's the most valuable lesson you've learned in life and in radio thus far in your life?
You can't change others; you can only change yourself. Change your thinking, change your life! Become the change you seek in the world. -- Gandhi