10 Questions with ... Davin & Ana Fesmire
November 29, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
We've been a successful married morning show since being paired up together in Bakersfield in 1998. Prior to that, I (Davin) was a solo host in Denver, Providence, Sacramento and KIIS/LA. Ana and I met back in Providence at WWKX, where I was APD/MD/nights while Ana was part of the morning show and also Promotions Director. Previously, Ana was a part of the morning show at WCLB/Boston. I later hosted successful solo shows again in Phoenix at KZZP and KKFR, then we again teamed up for a successful run in PM drive at KRQQ/Tucson.
Most recently, we moved back to Denver where I worked at KBPI and KALC, and then we did mornings together at KONN (now owned by Max Media under the calls KDHT) 107.1. While doing the morning show in Denver, we were also hired by Shadoe Stevens to provide a morning show for Sammy Hagar's "Cabo Wabo Radio" (via their Denver studios). Lately, I've been working with TV/film production company Fastlane Entertainment, based in Santa Monica (via Denver), and we've launched our own website www.reellivemedia.com, which will be used to combine our efforts in Radio with video that we produce as well. For now, it's being used as a showcase for their radio materials.
1) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I've been sharpening my business plan and marketing skills while working with Fastlane Entertainment, helping them get some big projects off the ground. I've learned more than ever about investment in projects, exit strategies, ROI, and more than there's room to write in regards to building a viable product and getting people "on board" with your ideas. I even worked with some investors on buying some FM sticks.
2) Some people get discouraged or enlightened with the business when they actually step out of it for a while. Tell us your observations from the outside.
We were downsized due to new ownership in a time when ALL the companies seemed to be doing mass layoffs. So for awhile there were NO good gigs (worth moving to).
Then I started doing my own thing for awhile and sort of stopped "looking for radio gigs."
I started helping Fastlane Entertainment as a producer to help with an animated film. Being "out," I got to see radio through the eyes of TV and film people for awhile, and it made me realize how much we tend to hold ourselves back from progress in our business. Radio is getting better, but still generally keeps an "in the box" mindset.
3) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
It's in my blood. Look at Seacrest; the guy doesn't need radio, yet he does what he loves. Yes, I plan on sticking with radio, but I'm going to incorporate my next opportunity into bigger things that will make us a true "brand." Whoever has the vision to have us on board will benefit greatly.
4) What's the longest stretch you've had on the beach?
This one (technically). But I've also been working with Fastlane for the last year or so. But now its time for us to launch our radio show again, but this time with WAY more perspective.
5) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
We are seeking a morning or PM drive show in a place that wants to "go big." I have had a discussion with a syndicator who has interest in us, but first we need to be somewhere that we can build our show to its potential locally. As that's done, I have ways to bring our next employer plenty of NTR and other promotional opportunities as we build this "brand." I also am considering PD opportunities since I've done everything except being "the PD."
6) Are you finding salaries/benefits lower than you ever thought, about the same, or have you seen some pleasant surprises?
Surprisingly, some of the smaller/medium markets where it's not large corporate ownership are starting to step up and pay people on the local level. In some of those situations, you have the opportunity to turn your position into something more profitable than just your salary. We may have a bit of a resurgence in these places.
7) Are you spending as much time listening to radio as you used to?
Yes, but more online radio than terrestrial. The reason is (and don't take this the wrong way), but most terrestrial stations essentially "sound" the same. I'm listening for the next innovative thing and for music that's maybe not played every 90 minutes. After all, this is the next real form of competition whether radio wants to admit it or not. I need to know how to keep "on top" of everyone that's our competition from all sources.
8) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
It has been the career overall. After looking back, compiling ratings for people, etc., I realized that we've never gone down in the ratings ... ever. In fFact, in many of the places I've worked (solo or with Ana) I've doubled up ratings within less than a year. This includes places like Denver, Providence, Phoenix, Tucson and more. We've been really fortunate to enjoy all of the people in those places who've helped us along the way as well.
9) What have you learned about yourself, others, or life in general in your downtime?
You can't "count" on anyone but yourself to succeed. Don't sit around and hope that some friend in the business is going to get you anywhere. You have to do it for yourself through your own hard work and tenacity. Also, believe in yourself ... it's contagious.
10) How will this experience change you when you get back to work?
We're more refined than ever before. Now, everything that we do will have more "purpose" to it. Before, we just worked mostly off of instinct, which was okay, but now we're much sharper and have a real plan to use any and all tools offered to us (including new relationships, mentors, etc.) to make our show explode in our new situation!
What's your handicap now that you've had time to practice?
I haven't played enough rounds to keep a solid handicap, but I get to the driving range when I have time and now have my drives up to around 350-360 yards.