10 Questions with ... Joel "The Mouth" McGuirk
November 12, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I went to CSB in 2006; from there, I did an internship at (New York cable network) SNY for the Mets, while hosting, producing, and selling spots for my local show on 1240 WGBB/Freeport, Long Island. I then did my own internet shows on a few different networks, and now, I am here in Olean on 93.9 WVTT.
1. How and why did you decide to get into sports talk in the first place?
I always loved sports, and when I was a kid growing up, I used to listen to WFAN all the time and thought to myself, man, it would be really cool to talk sports. It's something I just love.
2. As a host, what's different about you? What makes you stand out from the pack of sports talkers?
I pride myself on a few key things that I think a lot of others seem to forget: first, I give my listeners real sports talk for real sports fans, which mean I don't care if you may not like what I am saying. I will give you the truth about what is going on in sports, not just what you see on tv or read online. And second, I have passion and an energy that, again, a ton of guys in the industry seem to lack. As I am doing my show, you can feel the emotion in my voice and the love I have for talking about it. Also, when the fans decide to call my show, I give them more then 20 seconds to express their thoughts. Their time means a ton to me, and they deserve time to say what they feel.
3. You're on the air at WVTT after doing a lot of online hosting. Is your approach different on broadcast as opposed to online, or is it all just radio?
It is a little bit different. As you know, on radio, you can't say certain words because of the FCC, whereas doing a show online, you have the freedom to express anything you want, and I think in sports talk, sometimes it does not hurt to say certain words. Not saying that an entire show should be vulgar, but when it comes to sports passion, it always comes out, and sometimes it takes a choice word to really convey that emotion
4. You've moved to upstate New York from Florida -- what strikes you most about the Olean and Buffalo fans and listeners that's different from other listeners and fans? What do your listeners want to talk about -- is it all Bills or more than that?
They are really passionate about their teams, and loyal like I have never seen. They love their Bills and Sabres, that is for sure. But we also talk about the Bonnies (St. Bonaventure); It is right here in Olean. I keep it mostly local, unless there is something really pressing going on in the sports world.
5. Something that's a hallmark of online shows, whether streaming or podcast, is that it's all a new frontier and that there's not a lot of guidance out there -- anyone can start it up but finding coaching and direction is hard and not a lot of hosts have made the transition from online to broadcast thus far. But you have, so how did you do it? What guidance and training helped you take that step and become ready for the next step in your career?
What really helped me were the fans and my producer, Kevin Canessa. Some of these other online shows never sounded like guys who really had it, and that is what a lot of my fans say: there is something about me and my energy, and how I don't hold anything back, that made them come back all the time. And my producer is always keep telling me to keep doing what I am doing -- it is great radio and entertainment
6. In a similar vein, who have been your mentors and inspirations, in radio and in life?
When it comes to radio, my biggest inspiration was Sid Rosenberg -- he, to me, was always the industry standard, and I always wanted to have a show with a wide reach like his. As for my mentor, again a ton of credit goes to Kevin Canessa, my producer; I couldn't have done some of the stuff without him helping me and encouraging me. As for my life, I am sure this is corny, but my Mom was always there for me; even when I told people I will make it big in radio, they laughed at me while my Mom said go for it.
7. 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?
I use social media as a means of engagement. Sometimes, people don't always want to call in, they'd rather just use social media to voice their feelings, and with the growth of social media, it is a HUGE factor and way to stay connected with the fans. I always have Facebook and Twitter up during my show and read every tweet of FB comment I get on the air. Also, during the day, when I am not on air, I am always interacting with the fans, because the simple fact is, without them, there is no show. I want to hear what they say; the pulse of the fans is very important to me.
8. Of what are you most proud?
The audience I have developed. The fans that I have gotten to engage in my show are the most loyal fans; no matter what stream or station I have been on they have found me and keep me striving to get better each day
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ___________.
10. What's the best advice you've ever gotten? The worst?
Best: To just keep doing what I am doing and don't let anything get in your way.
Worst: Get out of radio, you will not like it . Glad I never listened to that one, right?