10 Questions with ... Corey Dylan
July 29, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I broke in my news chops as an intern/writer/field reporter for KERO TV & KBID AM in Bakersfield, CA. Moved back to Seattle after six months in California to produce 'The Robin & Maynard Show' & host weekend overnights at KZOK FM, The Classic Rock Station. Opportunity knocked a few years later, and I got the gig hosting middays at our sister station, KBKS (KISS 106.1 FM). When my time in Seattle was up, I moved across country to host Morning Drive at what became one of the longest running '80s stations in the country, WPOI (FM 101.5 The Point)/Tampa. For a year I also hosted middays at sister Alternative station WSUN FM (97X). After a 9.5 year run, The Point flipped formats and I had the good fortune to sign on with the legendary News/Talk "AM Tampa Bay" on WFLA AM.
1. How did you get your start in radio? Why radio?
The very first time I cracked a Mic was at KUGR Radio - my college station at Washington State University. I was hooked. I've just always loved the idea of forming a relationship with listeners based solely on verbal communication. Whether it's music or News/Talk, you become a part of someone's life and get to engage about the things that matter most in their lives.
2. You were a music station personality before joining WFLA. What (besides the obvious- no music) are the biggest differences you've found, if there ARE any differences, in how you approach doing a show in the Talk format as opposed to, say, mornings at a music station?
The listeners are always different in any one format to the next. With music they're really looking for an escape. Listeners want to hear from you the kinds of things they hear from their friends. When it comes to News/Talk, listeners are looking to engage, discuss, debate, and try to find solutions to issues and problems. The music format introduced me to countless musicians and artists and that was certainly fun. News/Talk introduces you to the major influencers and news-makers. Our listeners and guests on WFLA are some of the most intelligent, interesting, and passionate I've ever come across in my career.
3. You co-host with a couple of real radio veterans; How do you see your role on the show as opposed to Jack and Tedd? What do you see yourself bringing to the table and how does that mesh with their talents?
Jack Harris and Tedd Webb have been working together on WFLA an incredible 20+ years. They have been very generous to open up the show to include me. When the team brought me on, it was to engage the members of the audience who, like me, were coming to a point in their lives where they realized the local, national, and international issues were impacting their kids, young families, and careers. I like to think of Jack and Tedd as my uncles: I can ask the big questions, get straight answers, and tell some quick jokes. I try to ask thoughtful questions and love the double entendre.
4. As a music station host and at WFLA, you've been able to interview a lot of people and met a lot of big-name guests. Who have been your favorites (and, if you can, what was your worst experience with a guest)?
As a producer, I once forgot to tell Robin & Maynard that a national TV reporter was joining us for an interview. They made me interview himâ€¦ LIVEâ€¦ on-air. It didn't go well. I learned my lesson, though I've conveniently forgotten the reporter's name. Interviewing Macy Gray when she was one of the hottest new artists was interesting, because I'm pretty sure I interrupted a "celebration" of sorts. The best experiences have been with Jay Mohr, Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and President Carter. It's been thrilling to ask probing questions and have conversations with those that I mentioned and many more.
5. You're in charge of social media for the show; How important are Twitter and Facebook to what you do on the air? How do you see social media's role in radio programming -- is it a show prep tool, an engagement tool, entertainment, all of the above, or something different?
In the last year I would say that the Social Media effort has been more of a team sport, with everyone really pitching in. I pitch several ideas for the blog each day, schedule all tweets about upcoming guests, and engage our listeners on Facebook each morning. The entire team has been great about sharing our blog content on their own Twitter and Facebook pages, which helps our reach tremendously. While our listeners/friends/followers 'LIKE" the occasional entertaining "cute cat" video, I find that they're most engaged with issues, news, and great information they can share. I think every format responds differently in that regard, so it's really about trying to find the sweet spot with your audience specifically.
6. Who have been your mentors and inspirations in your career?
The people I count as mentors and I've always been able to count on for advice and direction are Robin & Maynard, former GMs Howard Tuuri and Jay O'Connor, my former PD Nick Sanders, and a couple of friends who are still working pros. I'm lucky to work with a couple of guys now who inspire me all the time to work hard.
7. About what are you most passionate these days?
I've always been passionate about issues related to kids: I used to volunteer at Children's Hospital in Seattle and I've been a Big Sis with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County for over 5 years. My Lil Sis faces challenges I couldn't have dreamed of, but she's making great grades and dreaming of a better future. With that said, one of the reasons they matched us in the program is her love of cooking. She wants to be a chef one day, and I like to think my passion for good food has rubbed off on her a little.
8. Of what are you most proud?
I think I'm probably most proud of the fact that I've been able to be so versatile in the media business. I've moved from Big Band to Classic Rock to CHR to '80s, Rock to News/Talk. In order to survive, it's my belief that you need to constantly be reinventing yourself, as the business is constantly changing and shrinking. I think Social Media has had a huge impact on both the way we do everything and the attention span we have for anything. If something new pops upâ€¦. try it. If it catches on, you already have a running start. If someone asks you to do something with your talentsâ€¦ say YES.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without __________.
...ordinarily, I'd say coffee but I just gave up caffeine last week. I'll go with my iPhone.
10. What's the most important lesson you've learned in your career?
Always do your homework. If you're not prepared with the facts, someone will take advantage of it.