10 Questions with ... Demetri Ravanos
November 15, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started working at WAVH and WZEW in Mobile, AL when I was just 15 years old. I stayed with WZEW through high school doing weekend overnights. After graduating from the University of Alabama, where I ran student station WVUA, I caught on with Cox Radio's cluster in Birmingham, AL, doing nights at WBPT. In 2005 I moved with my wife to Raleigh, NC and began hosting the morning show at WBBB in Raleigh along with Ryan "Salt" MacMillan.
1) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
Well, my wife just gave birth to our second child -- a boy named Aaron Lyle Ravanos -- last month. He and his big sister have taken up the majority of my time. I also like to cook ... and it doesn't hurt that it's football season. That's for sure. I can get lost for hours reading and talking about the Crimson Tide.
2) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Absolutely. When you first get canned, your immediate thought is, "Can I do anything else?" I talked to some folks about getting into PR or advertising, and maybe someday I will revisit that, but I like the performance aspect and creating comedy too much to give up on it right now.
3) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
I am on this site every day. Other than that, I have been fortunate to work with the Reynolds Group and Jacobs Media in the past. They had a high opinion of my partner and me and have been great advocates for us.
4) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I would really love to get into Sports or FM Talk radio. Those are two formats that I think could use a show that doesn't take itself too seriously. I wouldn't mind staying in the Rock world either as long as the station allows me to actually entertain the listeners and force me to be a card reader.
5) With consolidation there are definitely fewer jobs. How do you separate yourself from the pack?
Well, the number-one thing is to work on making your social media presence a big thing. Listeners still want to hear from you on Facebook, Twitter and to a lesser extent, Google+. Big numbers on those sites can make potential employers stand up and take notice. Other than that, I honestly create a new demo for each job I apply for. It doesn't take too long and I have fun doing it, plus when a PD hears you say "I want to work for WXXX" -- or KXXX ... the West Coast is lovely, too. I think you grab their attention a little more. Plus, I have found when you say something like "I'd love to tell you about the time a member of the Carolina Hurricanes almost punched me," people at the very least want to hear the story.
6) Are you able to slow down and enjoy free time doing things with your family and friends that you probably did not have time to do while you were working?
I can actually stay up to watch the end of a game now, which is a nice change. I also have enjoyed being able to go out of town whenever my wife and I get the urge.
7) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
Hitting big numbers with target demos is nice, but I like the kind of response you can see from listeners. Any charity event Salt and I did that paid off right away, such as standing in my underwear on Capital Boulevard collecting food and clothes for a local homeless shelter. That was a great thing, because we had such a great response from our listeners and got a little press out of it.
8) What do you miss most about music/radio? The least?
What I miss most is definitely the people. I have friends outside of radio, but to them my stories are weird or unbelievable. It is nice to talk to people who think that Robbie Knievel trying to sell you his used Jaguar is part of a normal day.
9) If you were offered a similar position to what you were doing for considerably less money, would you seriously consider taking the job just to stay in the biz?
I think so. Look, I have a luxury most people don't. My wife is a doctor. It doesn't really matter what my paycheck is.
10) How will this experience change you when you get back to work?
I think I have learned that you have to do the show you want to do, because it can all be taken away so fast. Also, you cannot make work your life, because when it's gone you don't want to spend time wondering who you are supposed to be now or feeling like you have any less value.
Uh oh ... now you're on your own for getting new music. If applicable, name your three most recent purchases since leaving the biz.
The last three albums I've purchased are I'm With You from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Barton Hollow from the Civil Wars, and In the Mountain In the Cloud by Portugal, The Man. I highly recommend them all. Especially the Civil Wars.