10 Questions with ... Eddie Finocchiaro
September 8, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I interned for Sirius before Stern; I then went on to New York's WAXQ (Q104.3 FM) and began Interning for the Jim Kerr show. I quickly became the fill-In producer as well as on-air doing movie reviews, plus producing the station's community affairs show. Then, at the same time, WLTW (Lite FM) stole me away to produce their morning show, Karen and Christine, but for financial considerations I stayed with Q104.3. After Clear Channel cut 2,000 jobs, I was left without a home, so I went from there to GOOM Radio, an online radio outfit based out of France, but after a few years in America, it shut down. Throughout all of this, I was doing The HamRadio Show, which continues today via PlanetPlatypus.com.
1. First, describe the HamRadio Show to someone who hasn't heard it. What kind of talk is it and what will someone hear when they download it?
The HamRadio Show is a "Hot Talk" show: think a male version of "The View" mixed with a lockeroom feel. You will hear what we call Unfiltered Talk Radio, where we embrace "Murphy's law": whatever goes wrong, we use it. It's a stripped-down, no-frills act of "verbal intercourse" in every episode, bringing the conversations you have in your homes onto our airwaves.
2. What interested you in doing radio/podcasting/streaming in the first place? What inspired you to do it?
I have been in love with radio since i was 11 years old, driving with my father in his Thunderbird as he fought with the voices coming out of his radio (Bob Grant). I wanted to know where those voices came, from because they captured my dad's attention with such passion, and I wanted to do that to people..... As for podcasting/streaming, that really came out of necessity due to the radio job market not being what it once was. I knew I had to practice what I preach and slowly build a empire brick-by-brick, so that when the time came (or comes) I would be ready and my show would be ready as well to go up against my inspirations such as Howard Stern, Opie and Anthony, Bubba The Love Sponge, and Mike Calta.
3. You've worked on traditional radio shows as well as on the Internet show -- besides explicit content, what are the key differences between doing an online show and a broadcast show? Are there differences in your approach, like in format, production, length of episodes, frequency of posting, etc. versus what you'd do on traditional radio?
I think the key difference between traditional and internet radio is limits. With traditional radio, you are sometime pigeonholed into a little box of what you can and can't do -- not just potty words but length of talk time, how many interviews to have, who to have in-studio, what to talk about, when to talk about it.... but with internet radio, you are the captain of the ship, and if you sink or swim, it's solely on your shoulders. That freedom is breathtaking, because taking away the limits lets a show find its groove and see what works for it, thus building creativity, not stifling it. After all, content IS king.
4. You've interviewed a lot of people over the years on the show, including comedians, pro wrestlers, porn stars, and musicians. What's the most memorable interview you've ever done? And which was the worst?
The best one was Anthony Cumia -- I got to interview a idol of mine, and to have what felt like a private audience with him was extremely awesome.
My worst was former wrestler turned porn star Chyna: She was not very forthcoming with her answers, and she would never admit to things/subjects that we knew were facts, not rumors. It was like pulling teeth.
5. After several years doing Internet radio, are you seeing the business end changing? Is it becoming more of a viable business?
I think that the business has totally changed itself, with names like Adam Carolla & Marc Maron showing that podcasts/live streaming shows can bring a vast audience. Advertisers are also there, especially for the products you can't advertise on terrestrial radio -- with shows like mine, we can give them a voice so that they can be heard.
6. Who are your mentors, inspirations, and heroes in the business?
Well, let's start with Jim Kerr. my Jedi Master of Radio, who cultivated me into doing a better job on the radio and learning the business from the inside out. He has become my cheerleader on the sidelines, rooting me on in my attempt to take over the world.... Of course, Howard Stern, who, like him or not, built the road down which all other shock jocks rode; Opie and Anthony; Bubba The Love Sponge; and Mike Calta are my heroes and onspirations in the industry. I like to think that I am a hybrid of all the best parts of them; they taught me so much of what to do, and even more importantly, what not to do.
7. Of what are you most proud?
I am proud of myself.
I know that sounds egotistical, but it's true I have built, out of my bedroom in Staten Island, a great radio show, and, of course. it is not a one man show -- I do have a whole team helping me make this thing happen -- but sometimes, it feels like guys like me don't ever win... but I am on the verge of winning big time, and that's why I'm proud of myself, because I made something out of nothing, and for it to succeed is makes me swell with pride.
8. Ideally, where do you see yourself and the show in five or ten years? What's your goal?
I would like to tackle the world of Satellite Radio, another place where limits aren't, well, for lack of a better word, limited... However, I am perfectly happy to stay on PlanetPlatypus.com, if I can build my show in the time frame you gave me into a even bigger entity then it already is.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ___________.
...laughing and making other people laugh.
10. What's the most important lesson you've learned in the business so far?
Always have a Plan B.... because in the fickle world of radio or, hell, entertainment, it can all be taken away from you in a instant.