10 Questions with ... Pete LaFaucia
February 28, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I started in radio in February 1999 after winning a contest to be the next morning show sidekick/"man on the street" at WAOR/South Bend, IN. I added overnights to my duties before joining WNIL-A/Niles, MI as Religious Programming Dir.on Sundays and Local Sports Producer. Next, I joined Summit City Radio in Ft. Wayne for weekends/swing at WXTW, and quickly began doing work for other stations in the building as well. In 2007, I joined WNUY/Fort Wayne as Production Dir., and after three months I was made PD. I helped the station flip from AC to Talk ... and I assisted GM Ken Allen develop a system using Skype to broadcast local high school sports. People loved it and it earned us the 2009 Indiana High School Baseball Coach's Association Radio Broadcaster of the Year award. I also started a local racing show on Wednesday nights from our local race track. Eventually I became OM of WNUY, until it was sold and the format was changed and entire staff was let go, including me.
1) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I work on Speed Talk, a weekly one-hour syndicated show about all things racing that I co-host with Cliff Tanner. I put three to four hours a week into the production and distribution of it. We started out locally, but the former GM of WNUY convinced Cliff and me to package it to air elsewhere and we started self-syndication in Aug 2010.
2) Do you plan on sticking with radio?
Hell, yeah, I love doing radio and am excited every time I work on a show, write a bit or score a great interview.
3) What's the longest stretch you've had on the beach?
Twenty-five months. November 2000 till December 2002.
4) What's the best way to get your foot in the door?
Know someone. Other then my first radio job, I have known someone everywhere I have gotten a job. The prospects I have, in my eyes, look best if I know someone at that place.
5) What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get a job?
When I was first getting into radio I was one of four finalists for a morning show sidekick at WAOR, and not having gone to college for broadcasting I figured doing this would get me in the door at radio. The group was asked to do something "outrageous" to show they have what it takes to be on the morning show. The first guy was up in the 6a hour and he paraded around singing Aerosmith songs while holding a sign with the station logo on it. The next guy was up in the 7a hour and danced around in a clown wig holding a sign with the station logo on it, waiving at the passing traffic getting them to honk. I was #3 up in the 8a hour and I striped down to a G string -- BTW I was 345 lbs at the time -- and held the station sign while taunting the traffic and passersby. This was February in the Midwest and it was cold. Thank God one car rear-ended another. I was asked by the State Police to put my clothes back on after only 12 minutes. I found out three minutes into me doing this that #4 left and said he could not compete with that. Obviously, I got the gig.
6) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I would love a job as a producer/co-host on a daily talk show, not necessarily morning drive, but any two to four-hour show were I can show off my talents in production, writing and unique sense of humor.
7) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
Getting Radio Speed Talk syndicated and keeping it going after three years.
8) What do you miss most about music/radio? The least?
The most: The steady paycheck and getting out of bed thinking, "Wow, I am in radio." Where I grew up, people you knew didn't do radio. They worked in the steel mill. Radio/TV was in the "Big City," not little towns in the Midwest. So getting to do something you only knew as something privileged people did still makes me go, "Wow."
The least: Having my phone blow up from high school kids who were board ops who couldn't work cause they were "sick," only to see them post on Facebook that they were at a game.
9) Is there anything specific that you regret doing while you were still working?
I didn't look for another job when I saw the writing on the wall at WNUY. When everyone was jumping ship, I stayed loyal and kept us afloat. Now everyone is at other stations, and I am looking.
10) Having been through all you have dealt with in this biz, what advice would you give people trying to break in?
Don't give up, be creative in the way you get what you want and don't fall back on your last great idea or act because time goes fast ... and pretty soon you have nothing recent that you can put on your mantel and show your next employer.
Great movies you've recently seen ...
Xanadu. Gene Kelly is the Man, and ELO was really a good band, PLUS the movie is one long music video.