10 Questions with ... Chris Stigall
February 8, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Northwest Missouri State University; internship with CBS' "The Late Show With David Letterman"; Aide to Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO); KBEQ (Q104), KCFX (101 The Fox), KZPL (97.3 The Planet), and KCTE/Kansas City; mornings at KCMO/Kansas City, 2006-10; WPHT since 1/3/11. Also fill-in for Michael Savage, Rusty Humphries, Lou Dobbs, Fred Thompson, and Jerry Doyle; contributor to BigHollywood and Platte County Landmark.
1. What led you into talk radio?
When the FM morning show I hosted turned into "More Music Mornings," 9 songs an hour tended to hamper my conversation.
2. You've moved to WPHT in a market that's as parochial as it gets in many ways. What preparation did you do for coming to town -- how did you approach being the "new guy"? What has so far helped you acclimate yourself to the city, its political and social history and quirks, and even pronunciations?
I learned to honk my horn for no reason. Other than that, I was hired to do what I do -- entertain. The CBS management team led by Marc Rayfield, Andy Bloom, and Ed Palladino made my wife and me instant believers that the best move professionally and personally was to Philadelphia. It was an easy decision when they made the case. Most hosts on the air here aren't originally "from here." But most of them also have decades-long careers in Philly, which speaks to the allure of this town.
3. Philadelphia, the city itself, is heavily Democratic -- one could say that Philadelphia Republicans (plural, if there are more than Sam Katz) have to be further to the left than Democrats in some cities. You do have conservatives, and even Tea Partiers, in the suburbs, and New Jersey did elect Chris Christie, but it's a Blue market overall. How has the reception for you, a conservative, been so far, and what kind of challenge is it to broadcast to an area with a political landscape like this?
Philadelphia isn't a blue city. It's a red, white and blue city. It's the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The entire state of PA was virtually swept by Republicans in November 2010. Multiple congressional seats, the Governor's mansion, and a Senator. I've never felt more at home.
4. You interned with "The Late Show with David Letterman" and you studied comedy writing. How important, in your experience, is comedy, whether by training or by nature, to talk radio? How do you strike a balance between humor and seriousness when doing political talk?
Comedy is a very persuasive tool in politics. The political left has always dominated on this front -- from Maher, to Stewart, to SNL. Holding an audience is more than just commenting on the news. You have to be entertaining. I'm a better entertainer/broadcaster because of that internship every day.
5. Your WPHT stablemate, Michael Smerconish, is among those who have endorsed a more moderate, centrist position as the political parties and ideologies have continued battling. Where do you stand on that? Is civility and compromise preferable to all-out left versus right?
It doesn't get more moderate on our side than John McCain. He lost to Barack Obama -- a man no honest observer can call a moderate, though he's trying to convince us he is today. A Democrat majority was swept out of power by a Republican majority just two years after total Democrat reign. It's pretty clear the electorate sees an ideological battle after two years and they've chosen sides. No further questions, Your Honor.
6. Of what are you most proud?
Being asked 10 questions by All Access is right up there. Oh, and my kids. But mostly me.
7. Who do you consider your mentors and inspirations in radio and in life?
The gold standard in the talk radio industry is Rush Limbaugh. It's an obvious but honest answer. In life, that homeless guy with the pipes they found on the street corner last month. So many of us drink ourselves out of a radio career never to be heard from again. But it just goes to show you with persistence, you too can meet Dr. Phil.
8. Look forward ten years -- ideally, what would you like to be doing then? What's your ideal future?
Endorsements for Select Comfort and Pro Flowers. Ideally, I'll be sleeping on a Select Comfort mattress covered in rose petals from Pro Flowers.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ______________.
...Air Supply - the band and literally - both are vital.
10. What's the best advice you've ever gotten? The worst?
Best? Always rent.
Worst? Take out a second on that mortgage!