10 Questions with ... Peter Czymbor
December 3, 2013
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
NECN, WBET/Brockton, WXBR/Brockton; hosting, producing, play-by-play sports.
1. How did you get into radio (and TV, for that matter)? Why radio in particular- how does radio appeal to you, career-wise?
I got into TV when I was 9 years old on a TV show on New England Cable News called "Kid's Company Sportsworld." I was flipping through the channels one day and saw kids my age interviewing significant professional athletes from the time from the Patriots and Celtics. I thought to myself, "I can do that." I called the station and found out they had a workshop for interested kids. I took the workshop from NECN, then Sports Anchor Jimmy Young, and soon enough I was called in to do a voiceover for a highlight package of a college basketball game. The scheduled in studio guest that night was Patriots Linebacker Willie McGinest, but he never showed, so they put me on set to fill his seat.... I was on the show a handful more times after that before the series came to an end. A few years later, when I was 16, I started board op-ing at WBET in Brockton when they needed someone to help produce a new college football show, and I've been actively working in media ever since.
2. Your show focuses on the southern suburban area of the Boston metro. What else do you do to make the show different from other shows in the morning on the local dial? Whatâ€™s unique about you?
Our station, WXBR, is based in Brockton, so it's very important to keep up on issues that pertain to the people of that city and surrounding towns in Southern Massachusetts. For example, we had both candidates for Mayor on leading into the general election in the most recent election season and all the candidates for City Council-At-Large. Outside of providing local flavor that listeners can't get anywhere else, I think we land big guests, and no matter who our interview subject is, we don't simply softball them and are not afraid to ask tough questions. I got the chance to ask Mike Tyson about reuniting with his former amateur trainer Teddy Atlas when he came on recently to promote his ESPN Friday Night Fights boxing show, and I didn't shy away from asking Beach Boys lead singer Mike Love about why most of the original members of the band, including Brian Wilson, were not a part of the current touring version of the band. I think fans appreciate it when you ask valid questions as opposed to just gushing over your guests' accomplishments... as long as you do it in a respectful manner.
3. You've been active in sportscasting, but the show is a general interest talk show. How different is it for you to slide from talking about sports to talking politics, local issues, and lifestyle topics? Do you have any particular preference?
Doing a general interest talk show was not too difficult for me coming from a sports broadcasting background. There's more depth to me as a broadcaster than simply sports. I like the freedom that doing a a general interest talk show allows me.
4. What's your greatest regret? Your proudest moment?
I can't really think of any regrets I have within the broadcast industry. I think your experiences shape who you are, and any mistakes I've made were minor and helped make me the broadcaster I am today. Nothing stands out too big that I regret.
My proudest moment broadcasting would be a lot of the interviews I've done. The interview I've already mentioned with Mike Tyson and Mike Love stand out. I'm also quite pleased listening back to interviews I've done with people like UFC President Dana White, Otis Williams from The Temptations, and Al Bernstein. The one people seem to talk about the most is my interview with Ted Nugent.... I just let Ted talk, and he spoke his views in a way only Ted Nugent can... within hours, the interview was viral and all over the internet and cable news.
5. What's your goal -- what do you want to be doing in, say, ten years? What's the ultimate goal?
I have no idea what I will be doing in 10 years or what my ultimate goal in broadcasting is. I just take it one day at a time and see where life takes me.
6. About what are you most passionate?
I'm most passionate about crafting good interviews with subjects while on the air and creating a respectable show for our audience that can interchangeably be serious and lighthearted, but always respected. Off the air, I like helping develop the next generation of TV and radio production and broadcast professionals teaching that subject at a local high school.
7. Who are your heroes?
My hero growing up was 49ers quarterback Joe Montana. I think I liked him so much as a kid because he always won, but in retrospect I think I liked the way he always carried himself. Even in heated situations, he would keep cool, and when his back was against the ropes, he'd find ways to win.
8. Say you hadn't gone into radio. What do you think you'd have ended up doing for a living? What would Plan B have been?
If I wasn't in radio, I'd probably be teaching more and working more actively in the professional boxing industry. Even working in radio, I do both now. Without radio, I'd just do more.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ______________.
...the internet. I have no idea how people ever lived without email, Facebook and Twitter. And if the wi-fi is ever down at the radio station for a bit, it significantly takes away access you have to so much information that can help you inform and entertain your listeners.
10. What was the best advice you ever got? The worst?
The best advice I ever read was in Jay Leno's autobiography when he said that show business is the one business that even people who aren't in it or know anything about it feel the need to give you advice about it, so take their opinions with a grain of salt. I think that pertains to broadcasting. Thankfully that's saved me from listening to a lot of bad advice.