10 Questions with ... Brett Winterble
April 9, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I graduated Emerson College in Boston, worked at markets across the country including stints in El Paso, TX; West Yarmouth on Cape Cod; New York City; Los Angeles; and San Diego â€” I have worked with Roger Hedgecock, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Reagan, Bader TV News, Clear Channel Communications, Curtis Sliwa, and EFM. I currently host the Brett Winterble Show.
1. You've been in radio as a producer and host for a long time now; how and why did you get into radio in the first place? What drew you to work in radio?
Radio is the most intimate medium - we are with people from the moment they wake up, while they shower, brew the coffee, take the kids to school and when they park the car and wait to hear those last notes of that favorite song, or that last point a talk host wants to make, before they head up stairs to the office or into the house at the end of the day. Radio drives passions in a way no other medium can. No one has ever gotten angry at Johnny Carson, Jay Leno, or Regis Philbin the way they have at Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern. Radio just feels different. It is mysterious. That mystery attracted meâ€”I wanted to know and to be those people behind the mic.
2. As a host, what's different about you? What makes you stand out from the pack of radio talkers?
Youth, high energy, stream of consciousness takes. I talk about what the listener is "thinking about": Politics, Entertainment, new social trends and yes, definitely terrorism and scary international stuff. I love to lampoon the crazy stories out there. I am not a yeller. I donâ€™t hang up on people.
The show is about entertainment. I am not pushing a political agenda or trying to save souls or save the country. I need to make the audience laugh, engage and think. There is no better feeling than when someone calls or emails to say, "I totally disagree with what you are saying, but I love this show." It means the entertainment value is bridging any social divide. I hope that one day I am regarded as one of the great entertainers in the media.
3. You've worked with several big-name hosts. What has that experience taught you about hosting- what lessons have you learned from the hosts with whom you worked as a producer?
I have learned from everyone I have worked with. No one has the historical grasp of Roger Hedgecock, the prep commitment/entertainment capacity of Rush Limbaugh. Mike Reagan showed that it was OK to laugh at yourself. I have been lucky to work with and near some of the greats in radio behind the scenes as well, Cary Pahigian (now at Saga) gave me my first real job in radio at WXTK on Cape Cod when I was still in college, Kraig Kitchin and Tim Kelly, gave me my first big breaks producing, Ed McLaughlin let me into the EIB, Tom Cuddy and Dave Sniff and Skip Essick, David G Hall has been a great source of information. Rod West and Brandon Dâ€™Amore at BDP have all been wonderful as well.
4. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the near-term future of America? Why?
Definitely optimistic. I have young children, I have to be optimistic--we have been trying to derail this country for about 210 years, and still we have persevered despite ourselves. I am confident that the next Steve Jobs, Ronald Reagan and Michael Jordan are in an elementary school or a daycare center right now.
5. Of all the guests you've had on the show, pick one- who's been your favorite and why?
Micky Dolenzâ€”he has been in the entertainment business forever, he epitomizes joyous communication and is always upbeat and positive, plus he gives 100% to an interview, an appearance a concert.
6. Besides the hosts with whom you've worked, who have been your mentors and inspirations, in radio and in life?
My parents never limited my ambitions. They never told me or my brothers we couldnâ€™t do somethingâ€”except stay out really late during high school. They never limited my ambitions. My wife Sherri spent decades plus in the music business and brings that expertise to our partnershipâ€”she helps keep me focused on the big picture and is an endless optimist, too. She is my best friend.
7. Who and what makes you laugh?
The Marx Brothers, Denis Leary, old Bill Cosby.
8. Of what are you most proud?
Growing my show from a tiny occasional podcast into a nightly 3 hour show. We took it from the spare bedroom to the studio and its more fun than ever before.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ___________.
...being pumped about tomorrow.
10. How do you approach using social media in conjunction with your show ? Is it a show prep tool, a means of engagement with the audience, or something else?
Social Media is an endless source of show prepâ€”you get real time headlines plus instant audience reaction. In Social Media there is only the NOWâ€”the now is 24/7 and you can be there, even when you are not on the mic, thatâ€™s empowering.