10 Questions with ... Mike Gill
January 3, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Started my radio career at U92 at West Virginia Unversity doing hosting and play-by-play for WVU Women's basketball, baseball and hockey teams. After graduation, I was a DJ at Digital 102.7 WJSE (Alternative) in Atlantic City, then did mornings at 1490 The Game before coming to ESPN 1450, which is now 97.3 ESPN, where I have been since 2005.
1. How did you get your start in radio? Why radio?
I was really searching for something different to do while I was at WVU, and once I was not going to be able to play sports anymore (I was a baseball player, hurt my arm), I got into broadcasting games. I knew sports talk was a tough field to enter, so I did a few DJ shifts at U92 (One of the best college radio stations in the country) and got a job at 102.7 right away out of college.
2. About what are you most passionate these days?
I am passionate about competing and making our station bigger and better everyday. I am trying to do new things alomst everyday; We have New York and Philadelphia in our backyard, and I dont think people can tell the difference.
3. You've been promoted to management as APD, and you're surrounded by big sports stations from the adjacent Philadelphia and New York markets. How do you approach competing with the big stations and their resources? How do you set yourself apart from the other guys?
It's one of the things we take pride in. We are surrounded by bigger markets, but they only thing that seperates us is their budget (ha ha). We have very talented people and have big name guests on, and work hard to create great relationships with the teams; We have beat guys and are a constant presence in Philadelphia with the pro sports teams.
4. Describe your style as a host -- what approach do you take to your own show? What kind of host do you try to be -- controversial, informative, homer, or otherwise?
I think I am a mix of all of those. Some say I am controversial, but I try to entertain and inform everyday. Some people call me a "homer," but I really think I tell it like it is: I let the teams know when they have failed, and I support them when they have done the right thing.
5. How do you use social media and the web in conjunction with the on-air product? How important are Twitter and Facebook to what you do on the air?
I look at social media as a 24/7 radio show. We text, tweet, Facebook constantly throught the show and the day. The show never ends; "The Sports Bash" is a 24/7 brand. I think we are one of the best when it comes to social media, and that includes the big markets that surround us. Every interview, we Facebook it, tweet it, and post it on the website.
6. Who have been your mentors and inspirations in your career?
Well, to be honest, I really never have had a PD that I have worked with; I have always kind of just done my own thing. But Tom Williams of Prime Events gave me my first shot in sports at 1490, the people here at Townsquare (then Millenium) gave me the freedom and now some decision making responsibility, and have recently learned a lot talking to Owen Murphy, who was a PD and Producer for Mike and Mike, the Dan Patrick Show, and more.
7. You've done play-by-play, you've hosted, you've written about sports, you've even established yourself as a successful youth sports coach. So, what would be your dream job in the business -- would it be play-by-play for a particular team or network, or hosting, or writing, or what? Coaching? Where do you see yourself, ideally, in ten or fifteen years?
You know, I really dont have a "Dream Gig." I have always wanted to work in Philadelphia, and maybe one day I will. Right now, I still do play-by-play, and I write for the paper here, I've done TV... I really enjoy working in this market. I love coaching, too; we will be hosting the Mid-Atlantic Regional here in Atlantic City, and after a trip to the World Series last year, its something I am very proud of. I've been asked to coach at the high school level and college level based on our success. In a perfect world, I would manage the Phillies, do the play-by-play, and then talk about them the next day!
8. Of what are you most proud?
I am really proud of what we have been able to build here. What started out as a little AM station that was really the red-headed step-child has become a 50,000 watt FM station that is home of the Philadelphia Eagles, and we have done live broadcasts from Phillies Spring Training and the Flyers Stanley Cup Finals. I am proud to see how my ideas have been implemented and turned a lil' AM into a powerful FM.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ________________.
...striving for perfection.
10. What's the most important lesson you've learned in your career?
Not sure I have learned it yet... but someone once told me to be passionate and I have tried to have fun everyday and be passionate about what I talk about.