10 Questions with ... Tom Becka
May 31, 2011
1. Since we last did 10 Questions, you've gotten deeper into sales motivational work, including writing a book about using performance/entertainment techniques to enhance their sales abilities. What led you to write the book? Do you think that radio salespeople do enough to represent the entertainment aspects of what they're selling?
I always wanted to write a book but I felt that there were enough books from talk show hosts that gave their opinions on politics and i wanted to do something different.
I have a background in sales and in performing. I realized how similar both professions are but I don't think enough people realize that themselves. One day i came up with the title "There's No Business Without the Show" and the book just sort of wrote itself.
I love my job on the radio and that's what I do, but I also enjoy the occasional presentation I give to sales organizations and business groups. It has helped me on the radio by increasing my visibility and by giving people another side to my radio persona.
I don't think enough on-air people do enough to represent the show business aspects of their industry let alone the sales people.
2. You've established your show as a go-to place for local talk; do you think that, moving forward, more stations will return to doing more local talk on local issues?
I think local talk is the future. newspapers and TV have cut back drastically. There are a million places to go to find out about national news and politics. Local talk is the obvious niche. There will always be a place for good national shows. But a good local host that can relate to his audience and do live endorsements for clients and works well with their sales dept. will be worth their weight in gold. And as we all know from Glenn Beck, gold is the way to go these days.
3. As a stand-up comic as well as a talker, what and who are funny to you these days?
Just people in general. There is always someone who is doing something so stupid or incredible that you just have to laugh. Here in Omaha we have a major budget problem in fixing our sewer system. Our mayor suggested we might tax toilet paper to fix the problem. That sort of bit just writes itself.
4. What's your greatest regret? Your proudest moment?
My greatest regret? I'm not sure I really have one to be honest with you. Things I might have done differently but doing what I did got me to where I am now and I kind of like where I am.
As far as greatest accomplishment... I have had numerous listeners thank me over the years for things I have done on my show. Many have told me that listening to my show has helped them get through a tough time. I'm very proud of that. I'm also proud of the fact that after all these years I'm still doing what I do and enjoying it.
5. How do you use social media like Facebook and Twitter? Is social media something that supports your radio work, supplements it, or is it a separate entity in itself?
Facebook has become a part time job for me. I put up topics for discussion so that it becomes a 24/7 Tom Becka Show. I have both a friends page and now that I have 5k "friends" I have started a fan page. I tweet to bring people to my facebook page and to my page at KFAB.com where I have put up a lot of info relating to the show. I am more than a radio talk show host. I am an information provider and my page at kfab.com and Facebook and twitter are tools in getting the information out and in promoting the Tom Becka brand.
6. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? What do you think you'll be doing? What do you think talk radio will be like -- how will it be different, or will it be as it is now?
I don't know where I'll be 10 years from now, but I do know that the future really intrigues me. Radio is in the best place to adapt and work with the new media. I got a call from a listener in Afghanistan the other day. I get calls and emails from all around the country. I think we are on the verge of some really exciting developments in media. And I'm not sure where they are all going, but I'm looking forward to the ride.
7. What's the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
I don't really get that embarrassed. I'm a showman and a bit of a ham. It would take a lot to really get to me. I remember an interview I read once from the late Gilda Radner. She talked about being a being a young girl wearing a dress and the boys in the neighborhood saw her underwear and teased her. Her father told her the next time the boys teased her about it to just show them her underwear. She did and the boys freaked and ran away. I just stand up and act like I meant to do it.
8. About what are you most passionate these days?
I am passionate about getting spending under control. I am passionate about the future of radio. And as I write this I am on vacation in France, and today I am going to be passionate about wine and stinky cheese.
9. If you got to be Supreme Benevolent Dictator for a day, and got to make one decision to change the world, what would it be?
It's a trite answer perhaps but what other one could you give???? I would put an end to war. And I would work on new forms of renewable energy.
10. Repeating a question from 8 years ago, now, of what are you most proud?
I am most proud of it all. I have a voice that sounds like a Pekinese in heat, yet I have made a living in radio. I have done stand up and opened for many of the greats. I have written a book. And I'm still standing and somewhat sane. I am proud of being a survivor and proud that I have been able to follow my dreams.